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Mongolian Cuisine

Wonderful Mongolian dishes fresh from the steppes..

|Dining & the best food
Dining & the best food 2017-10-23T14:35:18+00:00

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Modern Nomad Food

One of the best reasons to visit Mongolia, a fast steppe land of pristine natural beauty and generous hospitality, is to discover the delicious food of its resident nomads.

For Thousands of years, the nomadic Mongolian people have lived off domesticated herds of livestock, developing a culinary tradition on the steppe that defines modern Mongolian cuisine. Plates of grilled lamb, fried and steamed dumplings, flavorful vegetable soups and numerous varieties of beef stew are just a few of the traditional highlights.

Today you can find the same wonderful Mongolian dishes in the city too, fresh from the steppes at, for example, the Modern Nomads restaurants.

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Real Mongolian

The combination of vast barren plains and a largely nomadic way of life in Mongolia has contributed to a unique culinary tradition. It is based largely on meat and milk, and designed to aid survival and travel in the harsh steppes.

Real Mongolian barbecue is known as Khorkhog and is a known across the vast reaches of Mongolia. It is usually made with mutton, which is cooked inside a pot containing hot rocks heated in an open fire. Vegetables are added to make a stew and the flavors are left to blend for several hours. This is best enjoyed inside a ger, a Mongolian yurt, where the food is served communally. Intourtrade offers visitors the opportunity to stay in gers as they travel across the steppes experiencing nomadic culture first hand.

Tsuivan is a noodle stew made with roughly cut noodles combined in a stock with meat, usually mutton, and vegetables. It is the Mongolian version of the noodle soup found throughout east Asia in various manifestations. Guriltai Shul is another variant in which the ingredients are made into a meat-based soup and is often combined with curd from yak’s milk. The consistency of the soup often depends on the season, as does the type of meat used and the spice level, which tends to rise as the bitterly cold winter sets in.

Mongolian dishes like khuushuur khorkhog and buuz
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Boodog is an example of Mongolian barbecue which, also as with Khorkhog, uses hot stones as a cooking method. But in this case the hot stones are not placed inside a pot but are actually inserted into the carcass itself. The dish is usually made with either a young goat or more often a marmot, which is stuffed with heated rocks and a variety of vegetables and spices. It is then simultaneously heated from the outside, either on a barbecue or with a blowtorch to ensure it is cooked through and to burn off the animal’s fur.

The dish is another example of a more utilitarian nomadic lifestyle, in which cooking materials are not readily at hand and rocks and fire stand in for an oven.

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