20 of the Most Popular Mongolian Foods

Traditional Mongolian cuisine is very rich and satisfying, using the meats and dairy products that are native to the lifestyle of the area. It takes influences from the cuisines of many neighboring countries, but with many factors that are uniquely Mongolian. Mongolian dishes are also traditionally very warm and hearty to fit with the cold climate of the area. Here are 20 of the most popular dishes of Mongolian cuisine.

  1. Korkhog

This is a hearty Mongolian barbecue dish. It’s made with lamb, carrots, potatoes, and onions that are cooked over smooth stones, which give a unique finish to the dish. It’s very hearty and smoky and ideal for dinner on a cold night.

  1. Guriltai Shul

These are essentially noodles with a Mongolian twist. It’s a combination of noodles, vegetables, and a fatty meat served in stock. The dish is heavy and very filling, and combines several different flavors in a unique way.

  1. Chanasan Mahk

This is a traditional breakfast dish that’s very different from a western breakfast option. It consists of mutton dishes that are boiled in salty water, and can be served with sauces of your choice.

  1. Gambir

This delectable dessert combines a variety of different flavors, as is very common in Mongolian cuisine. It’s made like a pancake but is a dough-like texture that contains butter and sugar. You can then opt to top it with chocolate, fruit, jam, or really anything you want.

  1. Budaatai Kuurga

This is a Mongolian rice dish that makes a perfect side or can be served on its own. It’s made with a shredded meat, traditionally either lamb or beef, and then a vegetable mix that contains carrots, onions, bell pepper, and cabbage.

  1. Tsuvian

This noodle stew is somewhat similar to Guriltai Shul in that it uses very similar ingredients – noodles, veggies, and of course, mutton or another fatty meat. However, in this dish the noodles are much more roughly cut, and everything is served on a plate instead of in a stock.

  1. Khuushur

These little dumplings are a staple of Mongolian culture and are eaten at all types of meals. They are made from satisfying, flaky dough that contains mutton or another heavy meat.

  1. Qurut

This unique dish is made from drained yogurt or sour milk that has been sun dried into a biscuit. They are usually eaten as a dessert and often are served with butter as well. They are very heavy and satisfying.

  1. Boodog

The Boodog is a traditional Mongolian roast that’s a staple of their culture. It is a whole goat that is opened and cooked with hot stones, similar to the ones used in Korkhog. However, the stones are placed inside the goat to cook it. The goat is then filled with potatoes and onions.

  1. Buuz

These are another type of dumpling that are very popular in local restaurants in Mongolia. They are made from a soft dough and filled with mutton or another rich meat. They are usually steamed and make a great appetizer.

  1. Airag

This is one of the most popular beverages in Mongolia. It is fermented mare’s milk and it is slightly alcoholic. It is very tangy and nutritious and pairs well with the heavy flavors of other Mongolian dishes

  1. Boortsog

These are rich, delicious butter cookies that are served as dessert. They are a thick, fluffy pastry that can be served with honey or other toppings if you prefer. This dessert is a good contrast to the meat flavors of Mongolian main dishes.

  1. Orom

Orom is a form of clotted cream and can be made from many different types of milk. It is very rich and is often spread over bread or paired with jam as a breakfast item or dessert.

  1. Mutton kebabs

Since mutton is a staple in many Mongolian dishes, it is no surprise that mutton kebabs are very popular among locals. This classic food is often found from street vendors and at festivals in Mongolia

  1. Ul Boov

This is a soft cake that is made with a flaky, golden exterior and then filled with sweet cream. It is about the size of a cookie and makes an excellent dessert.

  1. Five Fingers

This meal isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s incredibly filling and satisfying. It’s a stew where all parts of a lamb are cooked together, and traditionally, the parts of the lamb that you eat depends on your place in the family. Since it’s truly every part of the lamb, you could end up eating anything from a heart to a stomach to an eyeball!

  1. Uuz

This is a celebratory dish that consists of the back of a mutton. It’s very thick and rich and is usually full of fat. It’s typically cooked with a flame similar to a blowtorch instead of in an oven.

  1. Bantan

This is another type of soup that is popular in Mongolia. It contains lumps of flour, meat, and onion rings. This dish is traditionally served to children since it is mild and easy to eat.

  1. Eezgii

This is a dried mass of cheese that is often served as a side dish or a snack. It’s very light and somewhat sweet. It’s made by over-curdling cheese until the liquid is gone and it has turned to a golden color.

  1. Suutei Tsai

This beverage is a Mongolian version of milk tea. It is served in a bowl and is paired with most meals in Mongolia. It’s lightly salted, which is very different than the preparation of most milk teas.

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