A trip to Mongolia is not complete without tasting the local cuisine. Here are listed the top six eats of Mongolia.
A staple during Mongolian New Year. Essentially a steamed dumpling full of minced mutton. A heavy, tasty treat, perfect for warming the bones during the harsh winter months. Families are tasked with making as many buuz as they can in preparation for Tsagaan Tsar (Mongolian lunar new year). Families typically factory up 800 buuz for the celebration. Too many buuz for the freezer you say? Luckily the freezing weather means families are able to store their supplies on the balcony. A nifty perk if you live in the worlds coldest capital.
From winter to summer. Khushuur is usually eaten during the summer Nadaam festival and consists of a fried pastry filled with meat. When eating hot it is favorable to pass the khushuur from one palm of your hand to the other and even to hold the hot khushuur against each ear for health benefits.
A large amount of preparation is needed for this meal. Firstly, you should have a ger with stove ready. Secondly a live sheep. Thirdly a strong Mongolian capable of preparing the sheep. Fourth, the meat and innards should be placed into a very large bowl along with whole vegetables, smooth rocks and water. Fifth, leave to boil for two hours. When ready you will be given hot rocks to juggle between your hands (this is supposed to have health benefits before chomping down on possibly the freshest meat you will have ever eaten.
There are many variations in Mongolia. Essentially fermented milk; some types are mixed with flour and sugar for a more desert like treat. Expect to find them in all shapes and sizes. Great for a quick energy booster as well as something to suck on during a long journey.
An acquired taste; airag is alcoholic dairy produce. Enough said really, some love it, some hate it but everyone gets drunk all the same.
A stir fry meat, vegetables and flour dish that is a typical every day meal in Mongolia. Fruit and vegetables are hard to come by in Mongolia, especially during the winter months. Carrots, potatoes, onions and beets are the most common vegetables that Mongolians cook with.