Why Huushuur is the most sought after food during Naadam Festival?

Editor S.Odbayar

2015-07-13 12:22 GMT+8

This question might interest not only any guest visiting Mongolia during the Naadam Festival, but also Mongolians who almost unconsciously follow the crowd to buy huushuur at the Central Stadium and Hui Doloon Hudag, where the main Naadam Festival events of three manly games take place every year.

I wanted to find the answer why this food has become so much popular during the Naadam Festival and asked friends, colleagues and even my family members. Unfortunately, I couldn’t encounter any definite answer to why everyone has that craze to find huushuur during naadam and go to the Central Stadium whether it is hot with bright sun up high or during the sudden July showers through pools of water and mud.

The answers did not deviate much from the general ‘just because it is delicious’, ‘good to gulp down in between the wrestling matches’ and ‘easy filling the stomach’. Thou, some have given some extended answers like ‘it is considered as Mongolian fast food and it is convenient with huushuur not to over eat, as one can decide how many to eat.’

Those were the perspectives from the consumers. Then I decided to go the other route and think from the perspective of the food vendors. Of course, for them huushuur is easy to make, except the preparation procedure, which requires mincing the meat, seasoning the meat and preparing the dough, and when the meat and dough are ready it is just the matter of stuffing the dough with meat, roll it flat and ready for deep fry.

Food vendors line up at the Central Stadium, Hui Doloon Hudag and anywhere where Naadam Festivities are happening, choosing to serve huushuur as their main item available, aside from more time consuming barbeque and other dishes.

Current cost of huushuur per piece is MNT 800-1,000. As of July 1, 2015 the prices for 1kg flour at the markets range between MNT 1,149-1,236, 1kg of mutton ranges between MNT 6,500-8,500 and 1 kg onions are at MNT 1,000-1,500. (Source: www.1212.mn Statistics Information Database, Weekly Consumer Price Report)

Food vendors specializing in huushuur say that with 1 kg of meat they come up with around 25 huushuur as per one huushuur they use 40gr of meat and per 1 kg of meat they use 1.5 kg of flour. So the real cost of a huushuur can be calculated easily, which I am leaving it with you.

Back onto the question why has huushuur become the most favorite? Going through the answers to my question the answer might come to some definite ones like: easy to make, tasty because it is deep fried, easy to pack into paper or foil paper and is very portable, can be heated by dipping into hot tea or soup, can be done with any ingredient of desire and even vegans can adapt the traditional meat recipe into vegan huushuur with stuffing with their favorite vegetables, easy to fill the stomach during busy viewing of wrestling matches at the stadium and somehow affordable compared with other dishes like barbeque.

As for food vendors it only requires a hot pot with oil to deep fry the huushuur, flour, meat and some seasoning and huushuur is ready to serve maximum amount of consumers in a very short time frame, giving the vendors the opportunity to have bigger profit margin in just few days of Naadam Festival.

In conclusion, if you are still wondering why huushuur is such a favorite, just go to the huushuur vendor and try it out. You won’t regret it at all. Besides it can be garnished with various salads, seasonings such as ketchup, soybean sauce and you can gulp it down with hot milk tea, soft drinks or even airag. Enjoy!

 

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