Burmese creamed corn with onions

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Known as pyaung-hpu kyaw in Myanmar, this vegetarian creamed sweetcorn recipe is topped with crispy onions and made extra-decadent with a spoonful of condensed milk. Serve as a wonderfully indulgent side to curries or other Burmese dishes.

This recipe is taken from Mandalay: Recipes and Tales from a Burmese Kitchen by MiMi Aye (£26, Bloomsbury). Photography by Cristian Barnett.

First published in 2019

Condensed milk is the secret and perhaps startling ingredient in this recipe for Burmese creamed corn. Although I'm not sweet-toothed, I used to hoover this stuff up as a child and my kids now do the same. Use double cream instead if you really must, but it’s worth trying it the way it should be, as pure comfort food (just try not to think about garmonbozia while you’re at it). Note that two different types of corn are needed here to get the texture of Burmese corn (which comes in all sorts of different colours). This dish also works well as a topping for toast.




  • 2 onions, 1 sliced and 1 diced
  • 4 tbsp of groundnut oil, or another neutral-tasting oil
  • 250g of sweetcorn kernels, tinned in unsalted and unsweetened water
  • 250g of sweetcorn kernels, frozen
  • 1 tbsp of tapioca starch, heaped, mixed with 3 tbsp water to form a paste
  • 1 tbsp of condensed milk, or double cream


Begin by making the fried onion garnish. Squeeze the sliced onion in your hands to get rid of as much juice as possible (I find microwaving the onion slices for 1 minute makes this job much easier)
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok or frying pan over a high heat. Turn the heat down to medium and fry the sliced onions for 15 minutes, then turn the heat back up and fry for another 5 minutes, until browned and beginning to crisp up a little. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside
Briefly blitz all the sweetcorn (including the liquid from the tinned sweetcorn) in a blender or food processor until most (but not all) of the kernels break down into a mush
Heat the remaining oil in the same wok or pan used for the onions over a medium heat. Fry the diced onion for 10 minutes until translucent. Add the blitzed sweetcorn, tapioca paste and condensed milk, stir thoroughly and fry for another 10 minutes
Serve warm, topped with the fried onions as a side dish
First published in 2019

British-born to Burmese parents as a 'third culture kid', MiMi Aye has always moved between two worlds, and she has spent her whole life soaking up Burmese food, language, and culture through endless trips to see family and friends in Myanmar, as well as back in the UK.

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