Fish Si Pyan

From as far as I can remember, I have always loved Burmese cuisine and you will be seeing a lot of Burmese recipes in my blog. My parents who are South Indian were born in Yangon, Burma now Myanmar, and brought back to India their Burmese influences to our family kitchen, and while growing up I’ve always been in love with burmese food. Burmese cuisine is a lot similar to Indian food, as a lot of dishes are a bit on the oily side and very spicy.

Si Pyan or Si Byan literally means ” returning of the oil ”  it is a dish of meat or fish made with condiments which is cooked in oil and water.  While cooking, the water evaporates and leaves an oily gravy in the end. This dish is also one of my favourites because it uses fish sauce, which I absolutely love! Since fish sauce is already salty, make sure you don’t end up adding too much salt. This recipe is really fiery and delicious, and although I have made this with fish, the recipe works perfectly with chicken, eggs, pork or prawns.
Enjoy Si Byan the way I make it at home!




8 -10 cutlets – Barramundi/ bhetki fish, cleaned and washed
7 – Shallots, roughly chopped
6 – Garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 ” piece of Ginger, roughly chopped
1 – Large Tomato, diced
10 – dried whole Red chillies
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 tsp – Turmeric powder
2 tsp – Red chilli powder
1 tbsp – Fish sauce
juice of half lime
Salt to taste



Break dried chillies into half and soak in hot water for 10 – 20 minutes.

Marinade Barramundi cutlets with lime juice, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and couple of pinches of salt. Keep aside for 5 minutes.

In a pestle, coarsely pound together shallots, ginger, garlic and soaked red chillies, use the chilli water to grind if needed, you can also use a food processor to grind.

Heat oil in a non stick pan on a medium flame, add the chilli – shallot paste and sauté for 3 – 4 minutes.

Add rest of the turmeric and red chilli powder, follow by adding diced tomato, fish sauce and salt, stir well cover with lid and cook on low flame till oil separates.

Now add little water about 1/4 cup and mix, add fish cutlets and cook for 3 minutes with lid on.

Very carefully use a spoon to pour the oily gravy on the fish and cook for another 4 minutes or until all the water has evaporated and you are left with an oily gravy.

Serve hot with steamed or boiled rice.