Even when starting with the best of ingredients, the ultimate tomato salad is surprisingly elusive. Too often, the dressing detracts from the near-­perfection of a ripe tomato plucked from the vine, rather than enhances it.

Some are too watery, diluting flavors. Others are so oily they dull the tomatoes’ natural bright freshness. And still others lean too hard into acidity, offering only an unpleasant one-note sharpness.

We learned a better approach in Myanmar’s khayan jin thee thoke, a vibrant tomato salad that captures the essence of Burmese cooking.

Considering its simplicity, khayan jin thee thoke packs a surprising amount of complexity, balancing the brightness of tomato with a wallop of umami. Fish sauce, dried shrimp, chopped peanuts, toasted chickpea flour and shallots two ways—fresh and crispy-fried—come together to create layers of savory flavor and texture. Lime juice, chilies and cilantro, meanwhile, play up the natural bright acidity and freshness of the tomatoes.

Siblings Amy Chung and Emily Chung—London-based cookbook authors and hosts of the Rangoon Sisters Burmese Supper Club—love the flavors of this salad, which is found throughout Myanmar. As they point out: “You have the combination of the slightly sweet but acidic tomato, sour lime, flavorsome garlicky oil, saltiness from fish sauce and texture of crunchy peanuts and shallots. Plus, it just looks beautiful on a plate.”

It’s also a dish ripe for experimentation. After trying many slight variations at different restaurants during their travels, “We ended up combining our favorite parts into our own recipe,” the sisters note.

We loved how the bold flavors uplifted garden-fresh tomatoes. In our version, we use skillet-toasted chickpea flour to impart a subtle nuttiness, though we also found that the salad is perfectly delicious without it. And as a stand-in for the dried shrimp, we simply increased the amount of fish sauce, which captures much of the same briny-savory richness.

As the Chungs do, we have our shallots serve double-duty here: as fresh slices, which we first chill in ice water to ensure a crisper texture, and also fried—fried shallots being a quintessential Burmese ingredient, a flavor bomb that imparts deep, savory deliciousness to absolutely anything they’re sprinkled over.

Naturally, this recipe beautifully showcases freshly picked produce. But we were delighted to find that it also coaxes big flavors from out-of-season tomatoes.