Food & Drinks
THE MAIN DISHES OF MONGOLIA
- Khorkhog: Stone Powered Mongolian Barbecue. ...
- Buuz: Steamed Dumpling.
- Boodog: Traditional Roasted Meat.
- Chanasan Makh: Meat Chunks Boiled in Salted Water.
- Khuushuur: Fried Dough with Meat Filling.
- Guriltai Shol: Mongolian Mutton Ramen.
Traditional Mongolian food culture is predominantly influenced by the nomadic life as well as the extreme continental weather which results in a diet rich in meat and dairy products but limited to spices and vegetables. The uniqueness of the main ingredient “meat” can vary from beef, lamb, and goat to even horse and camel meat depending on the geographical location of the country. The most well-known traditional foods are buuz (steamed dumplings), khuushuur (deep-fried meat pie), khorkhog (Mongolian barbeque with meat and vegetables), and boodog (traditional Mongolian roast).
Buuz and khuushuur are the two main dishes of the two biggest festivals celebrated in Mongolia. During Lunar New Year, each household makes hundreds, some thousands of buuz for the guests, on the other hand during Naadam, the biggest traditional festival of Mongolians, people will eat and cook khuushuur as the main dish in the festival area, and every restaurant in the country. Fillings of the buuz and khuushuur are usually lamb, goat, and beef, seasoned with diced onions, garlic, and salt. The main differences between Chinese dumplings and Mongolian dumplings are the hardy dough and meat fillings. The use of the heated stones in the barbeque (khorkhog) and the roasted goat (boodog) is the crucial element that makes those meat-dominated dishes the most famous travel and festive meal every Mongolian is obsessed with.
Along with those heavy meals, Mongolians love to drink traditional tea and alcoholic drinks that are made from the dairies. Traditional Mongolian milk tea has a very rich and unique taste due to the salt added to the milk tea instead of the sugary milk teas other Asian countries serve.
Suutei tsai is what Mongolians call milk tea and it’s the most consumed drink as well as the first thing you’ll be proposing when visiting Mongolian family. Another traditional drink you’ll be offered when you first visit Mongolian family, especially in the countryside, is the Airag, fermented mare milk. Airag is also considered the Naadam festival’s main beverage while containing 2-3 % of alcohol, a rich source of vitamins and minerals, and is usually served during hot summer weather. The famous vodka, milk vodka known as “shimiin arkhi” is the traditional vodka made from cow milk yogurt, which is drunk throughout the whole year.