Burmese comfort food

The definition of Buffalo comfort food expands with each wave of immigration. Case in point: the Burmese chicken noodle soup at Sun International (1989 Niagara St., 447-0202).

On the menu as own no koksware ($6.50), it's a big bowl of chicken broth creamy with coconut milk, yellow with turmeric and flavored with garlic, ginger, onion and paprika. The taste might remind you of a thin, mild Thai curry, hiding a helping of yellow, lo-mein-gauge egg noodles. Chunks of tender dark meat chicken and sliced hardboiled eggs add heft. Shaved raw onion and a lime wedge arrive alongside, to apply as desired.

It's topped with cilantro and a scattering of crunchy rice noodles, best devoured quickly, because they go soggy faster than milk-doused cornflakes.

Chef Kevin Lin, whose wife, Stephanie, owns the place, said own no koksware was one of the first Burmese dishes on the menu because it's popular across Burma's numerous ethnic groups. It might be prepared for a party or religious event that involves feeding a group.

Since Burma is near Thailand and India, own no koksware and other dishes have been influenced by both cuisines, Lin said. "Kind of like Thai curry, but not the same spices. Similar to Indian -- Indian people use turmeric -- but different. Own no koksware is 100 percent Burmese-invented food."

-- Andrew Z. Galarneau