Traditional dishes to try in Mongolia

Journalist A.Odontuya

2016-04-26 12:39 GMT+8

Mongolia is the country for meat lovers. We eat meat almost whole year due to we have harsh weather condition which has affected the traditional diet. Mongols mainly eat beef, mutton, horse meat and goat meat. It is popular to eat horse meat during the extremely cold Mongolian winter due to its low cholesterol. Traditionally, people think horse meat helps them warm up..

However, Mongols prefer not to eat meat at late or during the summer. If you visit herder family, you will notice that they eat dinner at around 5pm to 6pm and drink yogurt or boiled milk before they go to sleep. Meat is mostly cooked or used in soups. Spices and vegetables are not served often in the nomadic family. 

In recent years, families living in cities realize that eating too much meat is unhealthy especially for those who are not working outdoor. 

Therefore the food and meal serving in the countryside and city is quite different. Modern families in cities focus on healthy food by eating different types of vegetables and vegan food. You can find all vegetables from every corner of UB city while there are plenty of vegan restaurants which have really good choices in a country of meat lovers. 

We deliver you the some traditional dishes which can be found only in Mongolia.  

Buuz is a type of Mongolian steamed dumpling filled with meat. The dish is traditionally served on most public winter holidays including Tsagaan Sar and New Year Celebration. Buuz is prepared in weeks before and left outside to freeze for a while to make it easier to store. 

It is also offered at all restaurants and small cafes in Ulaanbaatar. Ingredient of buuz is very simple, it includes flour, meat, onion, salt, cumin and warm water. The dough can be filled with anything from savory meats to vegetables, cheese, fruits or even seafood. 

Buuz is considered as fast food in Mongolia and you can find it every canteens, cafes and restaurants. Also you can buy frozen buuz from supermarkets to steam it at your home. 

Huushuur is a kind of dumpling which fried in hot oil. It is easy to make, tasty because it is deep fried, easy to pack into paper or foil paper and is very portable. Also it 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. 

Huushur is also fast food of Mongolia. You can find it almost every canteens, cafes and restaurants as well as it sold at every roads to the countryside in the summer. 

Horhog is barbecue dish in Mongolian cuisine. Horhog is made by cooking pieces of meat inside a container which also contains hot stones and water, and is often also heated from the outside. It is made with mutton, vegetables, pepper and salt. 

Photo source: www.iwannatrip.blogspot.comHorhog is cooked in an aluminum can with hot stones. When the sheep turns to stew the horhog is done. The hot stones are removed then given to all of the people who are going to eat the horhog and they roll the hot greasy stones in their palms and fingers. Mongolians believe that if you roll or hold the stone that it is good for your health. They believe that the the heat and the grease from the just cooked meat eliminates fatigue and helps with their stamina. 

Bantan is dish with the lowest fat content due to the soup is given to babies as the first solid food. It is also appropriate in other situations, bantan is a favorite hangover remedy for many Mongolians.

The ingredient of bantan consists of flour, meat and onion. Also you can add carrot, egg or green onion. 


Borts is air-dried meat cut into long strips which are hung in the shade. The Mongolian nomadic lifestyle and the local climatic conditions gave rise to specific methods of preserving meat. The most widespread one is air-drying. 

Before using the dried meat it is powdered and the put into boiling water. In a minute you have a nourishing broth. It is the most suitable meat for travel. Also people boil it in milk tea. You can find packaged borts ar supermarkets also some canteens, cafes and restaurants serve cuisine made by borts.   

The everyday beverage is salted milk tea. Mongolian milk tea is made by pouring cold water into a kettle, a pinch of salt, crushed green tea, milk and then is brought to the boil. Once the tea is boiled, the mixture is put through a tea strainer to remove the crushed tea. Milk tea has many different tastes, depending on the aimags you visit. Some people prefer to drink with a bit more salt and others prefer to drink it with less salt. Milk tea is served with many meals and snacks in Mongolia. You can find it every cafes and restaurants of Mongolia. Also you can try its packaged powder from supermarkets. 

Dairy products are usually high energy-yielding food products. It is believed by experts that this food item is the reason behind the strong teeth of Mongolian people. It is curdled milk that is dehydrated and dried. 

Airag is the fermented horse milk with
an alcohol content of about 7%. The most prominent national beverage during summers in Mongolia is airag. It is also popularly served during weddings, festivals and other special events. It improves pathogenic microbes in your body and ensures good health if consumed in moderation.

Boortsog is a type of fried dough food. The dough consists of flour, yeast, milk, eggs, margarine, salt, sugar, and fat. Boortsog is often eaten at breakfast. 

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In conclusion, Mongolia is a country of tasty cuisine. Therefore do not worry on foods, you will find something to eat everywhere in Mongolia. Enjoy!


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