Mongolian Foods & Beverages
Mongolian foods are simple and full of variety of meat that includes mutton, beef, camel, horse, sheep even marmot. There are some Mongolian cuisine accompany meat with vegetables, noodles, rices and pasta. People mainly eat sheep and goat meat but not much beef, camel, pork and horse meat.
Mongolian people consume a lot of milk tea, wild fruit juice and home-made alcohol drinks. A variety of dairy products are bread and butter for breakfast and snacks throughout the day. For breakfast and lunch, locals always have pastry and fried bread.
We introduce you a list of most popular Mongolian cuisine and beverages that you will definitely happen to try in the city or in the steppe.
Traditional Mongolian Cuisine
Huushuur – Deep Fried Meat Pie
Huushuur are small, half-moon shaped fried pastries filled with meat (sheep or beef) and onions. You can easily find it in many Gers and local restaurants in the Mongolian countryside. In addition, this is main Mongolian dish of Naadam festival in July. You can find special Huushuur stuffed with vegetable (mostly main recipes potatoes, cabbage or kimchi cabbage) or Mongolian cheese in Ulaanbaatar city.
Buuz – Dumplings
Buuz are large dumplings and recipes are dough filled with meat (sheep or beef), onion and garlic and steamed for twenty minutes. Dumpling is the one of the best Mongolian cuisine on national holidays. For instance, At Tsagaan Sar, Mongolian New Year, Mongolians prepare as many as 1000 dumplings for their guests.
Bansh – Small Dumplings
Bansh is dumpling like buuz, but smaller and often boiled in a soup or fried. Fried dumpling is delicious if you dip in rich sauce. Banshtai shul (dumpling soup) warm you up on cold days.
Tsuivan – Stir fried noodle
Tsuivan is a popular Mongolian dish and main recipe is home-made noodles, fried with meat (sheep and beef) and onions in a covered frying pan. Stir fried noodle is especially delicious with horse meat. Most people find the dish very filling so make sure you order small portion or share.
Chanasan makh – Boiled meat with salt
Main recipes of Chansan mah is boiled fatty meat (sheep, beef, goat) with salt and some vegetables including potatoes, carrot and cabbage.
Khorkhog – Authentic Mongolian Barbecue
Mongolian barbecue is a special cuisine offered on special occasions. It is popular cuisine from Genghis Khan ; a founder of Mongolia Empire. We put meat (sheep and goats), potatoes, carrots, turnips, onions, garlic, and some water into a large pot together with hot rocks. Make sure to tightly close the pot and allow it to stand for half an hour in open fire. The heat of the stones cooks the meat and vegetables thoroughly. We believe that holding the hot stones helps to relieve tiredness and improve blood circulation.
Boodog – Goat or Marmot
Boodog is goat meat cooked by putting hot rocks inside the skin. It can also be prepared from marmot meat with vegetables and onions.
Lavsha – Guriltai shul (Noodle soups)
This dish is like tsuivan, but the noodles are boiled with enough water to make a soup rather than fried.
Bantan – Meat porridge
A thick porridge-like dish made from a broth of meat with onions. Locals add flour to give the dish its thick consistency. We believe that it is especially good to treat hang-overs and food poisoning.
Uuts – Sheep meat
Uuts is whole steamed sheep meat which is unique Mongolian cuisine. Mongolians cook this special dish for Tsagaan sar (Lunar new year).
Budaatai huurga – Stir fried rice
Budaatai huurga is a dish made from home-made rice, fried with meat (sheep and beef) and onions in a covered frying pan. Moreover, it is especially delicious with side dish like salad.
Gedes dotor – Intestine (stomach, liver, lung, eyes, head and heart)
Feast on intestines is a special Mongolian dish to honored guests.
Borts – Dried meat
Nomads often consume dried meat for summer when freezing becomes unavailable outside.
Mongolian Traditional Pastry
Bin – Fried bread
Bin is fried thin bread from flour, water and salt. We eat it with soup.
Gambir – Fried cake
Gambir is fried flour cakes and we make it from flour, sugar and oil.
Boortsog – Cookies
Boortsog is national cookies made from flour, oil, salt, and sugar, fried in oil. Locals have it for breakfast instead of bread.
Ul boov – Biscuit
Ul boov is biscuit made of flour – is the second main Mongolian dish for Tsagaan Sar, Lunar New Year. The biscuits are about thirty centimeters long and four centimeters thick. We stack them on a plate with each level laid out in a triangle or square shape. Layers have to be odd numbers – three, five, etc – as the odd numbers represent happiness.
Mongolian Dairy Products
Aaruul – Dried curd
Mongolian cuisine is rich in producing dairy products. Aaruul is dried milk with or without sugar, the countryside it is often eaten with yogurt for breakfast. Mongolian children like to eat aaruul as a snack.
Byaslag – Mongolian cheese
Byaslag is Mongolian cottage cheese made of goat, sheep, yak or cow milk.
Eezgii – Dairy product
Yoghurt is added to milk until it becomes sour. Then we boil the mixture for four hours. The thick residue on the bottom of the pot is eezgii. It is hard because we put outside to dry.
Holison Tos – Mixed oil
Holison tos is a sort of porridge, made from boiled butter mixed with eezgi (see above) and some flour. Hot tea or water is stirred in until oil comes out of the mixture. Eaten with sugar.
Orom – Clotted cream
Clotted cream is a main Mongolian dish- butter for the bread. We add flour mixture to milk and boil it for an hour at low heat. The milk continuously pick up and our back into the pan. Then we scoop thick clotted cream floating at the top.
Tarag – Yogurt
Mongolian yoghurt, one of the tastiest dairy products you will find in Mongolia. We make it adding some tarag to warm milk, and cover the milk with thick cloth for 5-8 hours to keep it warm. We can use cow, goat or sheep milk.
Tsotgii – Cream
We make this cream from cow, sheep or goat milk. Mongolians use this instead of butter on bread.
Shar tos – Yellow butter
We make this yellow butter heating rancid clotted cream in a big pot and use for all kinds of Mongolian cooking. Mongolians keep shar tos in the preserved large intestine of small livestock. Some of the main benefits of using shar tos for cooking are as follows :
- No burning smell when heated up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
- Shar tos keeps well in cool, dry and shadowy places instead of a fridge because of its relatively dry composition.
- Our body digests it quickly compared to vegetable oils and normal butter because the clotted cream’s lactose and cholesterol disappear in the process of making the shar tos
Khoormog – Camel milk
Yoghurt made from camel’s milk. People drink it before going to bed for its medical qualities. It is especially good for the liver and stomach.
Aarts – Milk curds – Sour Milk
Main ingredient of Aarts is dried milk curds. We dry yoghurt until it becomes a dried white cake. You can eat it with milk and sugar or boiled with water, sugar and some flour. It is very healthy for a baby’s stomach.
Hailmag – Cream
Main recipe of hailmag is butter cream, flour, raisin and sugar.
Mongolian Traditional Beverages
Nermel – Home -made vodka
Locals make home-made vodka from milk. It comes in many flavors and strengths. Although it does not appear to be strong, it can get you drunk fast.
Airag – Fermented Mares Milk
Airag is fermented mares milk and one of the classic Mongolian drinks. We put the milk into a sheep stomach to make it sour. Pound vigorously with a stick for an hour to help fermentation. Then we sit it 3-4 hours for fermentation. We prefer to drink Airag when it is fresh. Also we believe that it helps to clean the system. However, we don’t suggest you to drink much.
Arkhi – Vodka
In the cities this vodka made from wheat has replaced nermel to become the national strong alcoholic drink. It too comes in many tastes and strengths.
Suutei Tsai – Milk tea
Milk tea is a traditional Mongolian tea and drink. Mongolian women make it adding milk and salt to the tea. Brew it for a while in a large pan on the stove. Meanwhile scoop up the tea with a large ladle and let it pour back into the, pan.
Tsatsargana – Seabuckthorn Juice
Seabuckthorn grows and had adapted to only few geographical locations and is rich in minerals. Large amounts of wild Seabuckthorn grow in the Mongolian Gobi which is hostel environment for most plants. Mongolian Seabuckthorn are 100% natural and contain many vitamins and organic acids. Drinking Seabuckthorn juice boosts immune and digestion systems; protects from cold in winter and spring time.
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