Right here in this article, I will suggest some of the best Mongolian foods for you! If you are finding some traditional Mongolian recipes for your upcoming dinner, you may be curious to know what’s inside them and how they have become so popular in Mongolia!
This post includes everything you wish to know! These Mongolian foods’ popularity is the most trustworthy evidence of their tastiness. After reading this article, there will be a high chance you may want to try them on your next visit to Mongolia!
The Most Wonderful Traditional Mongolian Dumplings
When you learn about Mongolian foods, you may find out that dumplings are one of the most typical traditional types of food in Mongolian cuisine. Let’s come and see what they are made from and what their specialties are!
1. Buuz – Steamed Dumplings
In Mongolian cuisine, Buuz is a typical traditional food served at the Mongolian New Year celebrations, which they call Tsagaan Sar. This holiday usually falls in February. However, the locals actually consume enormous quantities of these dumplings any time of the year.
Buuz’s origin is from a similar breakfast dish in China called baozi. Buuz often consists of minced beef or mutton, mashed potato, cabbage, or even rice. The filling is well-seasoned with fennel seeds and herbs, then wrapped with a dough cover and steamed.
Buuz dumplings look special because they have a small opening on top that shows what is inside. The soft cover and filling will melt onto your tongue at first touch! If you are looking for yummy Mongolian dinner recipes, try to make this dumpling! You’ll fall into it right away!
2. Khuushuur – Fried Dumplings
Khuushuur is another Mongolian meat dumpling option for you! Its filling is similar to that of Buzz, but the wrapping process and appearance are different. The finished Khuushuur will show up in a half-rounded pocket shape.
The biggest difference between Khuushuur and steamed Buuz is that Khuushuur is deep-fried in oil until it gets the eye-catching golden brown color. The crispy outside and juicy filling inside will make you go on an eating binge!
Let’s see what they are talking about Khuushuur in Mongolian cuisine!
3. Bansh – Boiled Meat Pockets
Bansh is a type of dumpling that has pretty similar characteristics to Buuz. It also includes beef or mutton with onions, garlic, and seasonings. The dinner table on special occasions or ceremonies cannot be without Bansh. Moreover, it can be boiled, steamed, or fried.
You may be curious about what to serve with Bansh. It is often served with soup or bouillon in a meal. A common beverage to drink while enjoying these meat pockets is milk tea, which is called Banshtai Tsai. They are all the favorite combinations of the Mongolians!
Fascinating Mongolian Main Dishes You Cannot Miss
Mongolia consists of five common domestic animals: goat, cow, horse, sheep, and camel. And the best meat-containing main dishes in Mongolian are made of these animals’ meat. Explore the most famous main dishes in Mongolian cuisine through this section!
4. Khorkhog – Mongolian Lamb Barbeque
Khorkhog is a grilled lamb that is cooked with potatoes, carrots, and onions in a big pot. The pot is put on an open fire for appropriate heat. In the end, the smoky lamb will be super juicy and savory, adding more flavors to the veggies.
What makes this dish so special is that in the cooking process, the Mongolians will place some huge, unblemished stones inside the pot to support the cooking! Sounds interesting, right? If you have a chance to get to Mongolia, Khorkhog is the must-try dish that you cannot miss!
5. Boodog – Mongolian Goat Barbeque
The next barbecued dish from Mongolian domestic animals is called Boodog. It is cooked with stones with many kinds of vegetables, which is kind of similar to Khorkhog.
Want to know the surprising part? Boodog’s specialty lies in the container. The meat can be cooked inside the body of an animal! It may sound creepy, but it is a traditional way to cook lamb in Mongolia. Because of that specialty, Boodog is served on the most special occasions.
Explore the interesting cooking process of Boodog dish by the locals!
6. Tsuivan – Mongolian Noodles With Meat And Vegetables
Tsuivan is a well-known traditional Mongolian noodle dish. It is the favorite dish of Mongolian men because it has a big portion that can satisfy their stomachs. Mongolian men are so in love with this dish that they believe a wife who can cook Tsuivan well is a good housewife.
Mongolian use hand-made wheat flour to make the noodles in Tsuivan. The meat is usually mutton, but it can also be substituted with horse meat, beef, or pork, all together in a huge frying pan with some veggies like carrots and onions in long strips.
7. Bantan – Flour Soup
Bantan is a famous Mongolian soup known as a hangover cure, which can be one of the best Mongolian breakfast recipes for the last-night drinker! It is made of juicy beef or lamb and tiny dough crumbs. Bantan is super quick to cook and serve.
So, if you are looking for a dish that can help bring you back to life after a drunken party, try Bantan now! Just one spoon, and your soul will be healed right away!
8. Guriltai Shul – Noodle Soup
Gurital Shul cannot escape from this list for sure! It is one of the most famous noodle dishes in China and Mongolia. Guriltai Shul in Mongolian means “noodle soup”. The noodles in this dish are not determined by any standards – they can appear in any size and shape.
There is a must-try special variation of Guriltai Shul that is highly recommended to you! It is called Tasalan Guriltai Shul, which consists of only soup with hand-cut flat pieces of dough. The soup is from boiled beef or lamb bones with harmonious seasonings.
9. Budaatai Huurga – Mongolian Beef Fried Rice
The delicious Budaatai Huurga can appear on the best Mongolian lunch list! This fulfilling fried rice dish is renowned among other dishes using beef in Chinese cuisine. Besides rice and meat, it contains many other ingredients like eggs, cumin, carrots, soy sauce, bell peppers, etc.
In case there’s no beef, you can replace it with lamb. The leftover cooked rice can also be used to make this dish, but it is preferable to use the freshly cooked rice for the best quality.
10. Chanasan Makh – Boiled Meat
This is another traditional and ubiquitous dish of Mongolian that includes boiled beef or mutton and innards. Chanasan Makh will be served when there is a special guest or an important occasion.
The meat will be sliced into chunks and boiled with salted water. When it gets tender, it’s time to take it out and serve. The family’s head or that special guest will be the one who takes the first portion of the dish, which shows the respect of the family to him or her.
11. Uuz – Stewed Mutton Back
Uuz is another traditional Mongolian dish on Tsagaan Sar’s table, next to Ul Boov – the sole cake tower. Uuz is also served in special celebrations like weddings. Mongolians have long eaten it since ancient times!
This dish focuses on the back of a mature sheep with a large amount of fat around the tail. That whole part will be stewed for about five hours until it is ready to be served.
The family members will cut the mutton back into slices during the meal and divide them among the guests. When the party’s over, the leftover Uuz will be split up into pieces and passed to the family’s relatives.
12. Borts – Mongolian Jerky
If you want to know what jerky is called in Mongolia, it is Bortsloh (or Borts for short). Borts can be made from beef, camel, or goat meat.
Mongolians will hang the long meat strips outside for air drying. The meat will dry out and become so hard as a rock that you can’t easily cut it.
The first Mongolian astronaut, Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa, took borts with him when he was in space. It was also a precious food source for Mongolians, especially the soldiers, in the Genghis Khan war era.
Most Tasting Mongolian Desserts You Have To Try
Here are the best Mongolian desserts you have ever known about! These lovely sweet treats from Mongolia will make you fall in love with them at first bite! Let’s see what their names are and what makes them special!
13. Boortsog – Mongolian Butter Cookies
Boortsog is a highly-recommended dessert in Mongolia, which is made from flour, eggs, yeast, milk, margarine, and seasonings. It is made into doughs with many versions covered in butter (a lot of butter), sugar and honey.
Boortsog may sound and look like cookies, but it is actually more like doughnuts since it is fried until it gets golden in oil. Its crunchy cover and soft filling will create the best mixture on your tongue!
14. Ul Boov – Shoe Sole Cake
Ul Boov is the star dish on the table on Tsagaan Sar, Mongolian’s three-day traditional New Year holiday. Its name is literally “shoe sole cake”, which is a huge dish with many layers of biscuit. The number of layers will be representative of the family’s status.
Ul Boov is such an important dessert to Mongolian because they also make them at weddings or other special holidays! If you visit Mongolia on big occasions like New Year’s Eve, there’s a high chance that you may see a Ul Boov dish in the middle of the dinner table!
Let’s see how Mongolians make Ul Boov and decorate their New Year’s Table!
15. Gambir – Mongolian Pancakes
Gambir is the Mongolian version of pancakes. It is made from plain dough, with a little bit of butter and sugar. Gambir is soft and slightly sweet. It can be served with jam, chocolate, fruit, and ice cream for a delicious dessert; or with bacon and egg for a filling breakfast.
Because of its versatile characteristics, which can mix with everything else, Gambir has many different variations with thousands of flavors. So, if you are enjoying a dish having soft pancakes and any toppings in Mongolia, it is probably a gambir dish.
16. Tarag – Mongolian Low-Calorie Yogurt
Tarag is fresh Mongolian yogurt from the milk of yaks or cattle. In some less famous Tarag versions, it is also made from goat or sheep’s milk. It is very healthy with low-calorie content and a lot of beneficial minerals.
After the milk is boiled and prepared with techniques, only the low-fat milk curds stay. Then, the remaining milk turns cool and will be added to bacteria cultures to make into yogurt. It is left there for fermentation for a few hours before it is ready to be served.
17. Aaruul – Dried Curds
Aaruul is super popular among Mongolian nomads. This famous dairy product is also known as Mongolian curd cheese. The curds are dried under the sunlight and wind, then mixed with sugar and fruits like wild berries. These sweeteners bring sweetness to Aaruul.
People can consume them raw by chewing or in liquid form by soaking them into a glass of water and letting it dissolve to make a delicious beverage with high-calcium content. Its taste may vary for the milk used, but it is usually a mixture of sweet and sour.
18. Eezgii – Fried Curds
Speaking of Mongolian milk curds, there is another one besides the former Aaruul. It is Eezgii – a type of roasted dried curds.
Eezgii is basically made from cooked milk with a small amount of yogurt or kefir. Unlike Aaruul, it must be roasted to get golden pieces as the final product.
This fried curd has a mild sweet taste and is usually eaten as a dessert or snack between the primary meals in a day. You will feel the chalky texture right at the moment Eezgii gets onto your tongue. It’ll be somehow an interesting experience!
Here is the interesting process of making homemade Mongolian Eezgii!
Most Delightful Mongolian Traditional Beverages For You
If you are wondering what are the most famous drinks in Mongolia, here are some of them! I have listed the best beverages representing Mongolian cuisine that you should know!
19. Airag – Fermented Mare’s Milk
Airag is a traditional drink made of fermented mare’s milk, which complements the horse culture of Mongolia. It is also called “kumis” in Russian and Turk. The taste of Airag maybe a little sour at the first touch to the tongue, but it will get better after the next sips.
If you have a chance to come to Mongolia, the first thing you may be served when getting to a local’s house is Airag. The Mongolian nomads are super into this national drink since it provides them with tons of minerals and essential vitamins.
20. Suutei Tsai – Mongolian Millet And Green Milk Tea
Suutei Tsai is another famous drink in Mongolia. It is green milk tea usually used with dumplings such as Bansh. You may expect a sweet drink, but it is actually salty, creamy, and savory in taste! It may sound weird, but the tea will be super delicious if you get used to it!
Suutei Tsai reminds the Mongolians of home, so they really enjoy drinking it. They even have a tradition of drinking this green milk tea daily. You can see that the milk tea culture has seeped deeply into Mongolian minds.
21. Shimiin Arkhi – Milk Vodka
Have you ever drunk dairy-based alcohol? Shimiin Arkhi is something like that. It is a kind of distilled vodka from milk that is usually served warm before bed or on many special occasions with various dairy products such as Aaruul or Eezgii.
It is not easy at all to make this milk vodka! It requires a complicated making process that has been completed through a lot of generations. Therefore, the finished product is so worth a try! For more convenience, you can also find commercial milk vodka on the market as well.
This is how Mongols make Shimiin Arkhi with skillful techniques!
22. Khoormog – Camel’s Milk
Mongolian nomadic people produce this camel’s milk. The wild fermentation of camel’s milk is just like that of mare’s or cow’s milk. After this process, the fermented milk becomes richer in nutrients and consists of a lot of beneficial microbes.
Mongolian usually drink Khoormog before bed because high-quality camel’s milk really supports the liver and stomach’s health!
23. Tsatsargana – Sea Buckthorn Juice
Seabuckthorn is a plant that can only grow in some specific locations globally, especially the wide variety of wild sea buckthorn located in the Mongolian Gobi. It is made into a juice called Tsatsargana – a favorite beverage of the Mongols.
If you want to enhance the immune system, you may want to drink some Tsatsargana, which includes tons of vitamins and essential acids for your body!
Let’s Enjoy The Best Mongolian Foods In This List!
Whether you are about to fly to Mongolia for a trip or want to change the menu tonight into something spectacular, you totally should try the food suggestions in the above list! I’m pretty sure that they won’t disappoint you!
Mongolian foods are famous for dairy products with many milk-based dishes. It also consists of many meat-containing meals that can surprise you! So if you are having a great time in Mongolia, try them! Like, share this post if you feel that it is helpful and exciting!