Mongolian food and drink
Updated: Jun 10
1. About Mongolian Food and Drinks
Mongolian cuisine has undergone many changes since the time of the Mongol Empire, but traditional dairy products and mutton still hold a special place in the heart of Mongolian food. Traditionally, Mongolian food is divided into two main categories: "white foods" (tsagaan idee), which refers to dairy products, and "red foods" (ulaan idee), which refers to meat.
White foods are usually consumed during the summer, while red foods are more commonly eaten in the winter. However, this division only acknowledges the most esteemed foods, and other significant food groups are often overlooked, including grains, which provide a significant source of calories for even the purest nomads, game, wild vegetables, herbs, fruits, and berries, as well as salts used for seasoning.
Mongolian animals are slaughtered in a unique manner. The animal is placed on its back, and its legs are restrained or tied for larger animals like horses. The butcher creates a hole below the breastbone and quickly rips open the aorta, resulting in a catastrophic internal hemorrhage. This method of slaughter aims to retain all the blood in the body, which is the opposite of Jewish and Muslim slaughtering methods. After removing the organs, the blood is scooped out and used for making sausages. This slaughter style caused conflict in Muslim territories during the empire period, where attempts to impose this method were made. Additionally, the Mongols were notorious for consuming animals that had died naturally or been killed by wild animals.
2. Popular Mongolian foods:
Mongolian cuisine is heavily influenced by its nomadic past and the harsh climate of the region. Traditional Mongolian dishes are simple, hearty, and often made with meat and dairy products. Here are some of the most popular Mongolian foods:
Khorkhog: This is a traditional Mongolian dish that is made by cooking meat, usually lamb or goat, in a special pot with hot stones. The meat is usually seasoned with salt and pepper and served with vegetables.
Buuz: Buuz are Mongolian dumplings that are usually filled with minced meat, onion, and sometimes garlic. They are typically steamed and served with a side of hot sauce.