Don’t know your buuz from your bansh? You will soon with this fascinating, fun, and very tasty list of Mongolian foods.
Sandwiched between Russia and China, Mongolia’s cuisine takes inspiration from both.
The Russian influence comes through in their rich stews, hearty dumplings, and slow-cooked meats.
You’ll also catch a bit of China in the saucy stir-fries and noodle bowls.
All of this makes Mongolian cuisine a bit of a mish-mash in the best possible way.
What is Traditional Mongolian Food?
Mongolia has a rich culture that is evident in their food. Traditional Mongolian food is hearty, flavorful, and often includes meat, dairy, bread and noodles.
Mongolian dishes are often made with just a few ingredients. But don’t let that fool you. They are hearty, satisfying, and delicious.
So shake things up in the kitchen Mongolia-style, and serve something deliciously different for dinner tonight!
20+ Popular Mongolian Recipes You Need To Try
1. Khuushuur – Meat Dumplings
Khuushuur is a fried meat dumpling. Juicy ground beef is stuffed into a pastry pocket and deep fried until golden and crispy.
Easy to make and very delicious, this dish is a simple but satisfying comfort food.
If you have a hankering for dumplings but don’t want fried food, buuz is the answer to your cravings.
In this tasty dish, meat-filled dumplings are steamed until beautifully soft and juicy.
Truly authentic buuz features mutton, but the Western version is a more palatable mix of ground lamb and beef.
You’ll be forgiven for thinking that Mongolian cuisine is 90 percent meat dumplings.
Bansh is another version of the savory snack, made with a thicker dough and boiled rather than steamed or fried.
Serve these hot with whatever sauce is at hand – ketchup, hot sauce, creamy mayo – and/or a heaping of veggies.
A Chinese-style noodle bowl, tsuvian is a flavorful one-pot meal.
Don’t be intimidated by the homemade noodles – these are surprisingly easy. Just mix up a basic flour dough, roll it out, and cut into strips.
The noodles are then tossed right into the pan, to cook alongside shredded beef and veggies.
5. Khorkhog – Authentic Mongolian Barbecue
Mongolian barbecue is probably the most well known of the country’s culinary imports, but the real thing is quite different from what you’ll find in a Western restaurant.
Done authentically, the meat is slow-cooked over stones.
Yes, this is probably the only recipe you’ll find that lists stones as one of the ingredients.
Heat your stones on a BBQ until hot, then place them into a metal container with lamb or goat mutton and spiced vegetables.
Slow cook for a couple of hours, and brace yourself for the most tender, fall-off-the-fork meat you’ve ever had.
6. Mongolian Beef
Can’t be bothered digging up stones for your Mongolian barbecue?
This easy beef is ready in just 30 minutes, making it an ideal weeknight dinner.
Crispy, sweet, and stir-fried with ginger and garlic, this is a Chinese-style meal that’ll remind you of your favorite takeout treat.
7. Mongolian Guriltai Shul Soup
A rich lamb broth, noodles, turnips, and carrots, Mongolian guriltai shul soup is a dish with a long name but a short list of ingredients.
Don’t let this simple soup fool you, though. It’s loaded with tempting flavors thanks to the meaty base broth and spicy herb seasoning.
8. Mongolian Chicken
Ready in just 15 minutes, this fuss-free chicken is a quick and tasty dinner.
Stir-fried in a tangy soy-based sauce, serve this one over steamed rice or noodles.
If you’re cutting carbs, try it with cauliflower rice. This is a versatile dish that’ll work with almost any veggies and a range of sides.
Known as a hangover cure, this is a great soup for the morning after the night before.
Made with juicy meat and small doughy dumplings, a bowl of this is sure to revive body and soul.
10. Mongolian Lamb
The secret to Mongolian lamb lies in the marinade.
Adding a pinch of baking soda to the piquant sauce, adding your lamb, and leaving it overnight to do its thing, turns any cut into a melt-in-the-mouth delight.
Stir-fry it in a sweet and spicy hoisin sauce, and you’ll have an amazing dinner you’ll want to make again and again.
11. Mongolian Green Beans
Green beans are hardly the most exciting side.
So dress them up in a tangy sauce and transform them into the veggie dish of your dreams.
Garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and red pepper – just a handful of ingredients can turn your beans from dreary side into scrumptious crowd-pleaser.
Gambir is a soft pancake, made from a plain dough and lightly sweetened with sugar.
Like any good pancake, it’s incredibly versatile. Serve it with bacon and egg for breakfast.
Fill it with fruit for a light brunch. Or spoon it over ice cream for a delicious dessert.
13. Boortsog – Mongolian Butter Cookies
Go anywhere in the world and there will be a local cookie recipe to share.
That’s just the way humanity operates. Our cookie cravings transcend borders.
These are more like fried dough than cookies, and that’s a very good thing.
Mix together a sweet dough, braid into thick knots, and fry until golden.
Fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside, you’ll want to eat these warm with butter, lots of butter.
14. Mongolian Donut Holes
These teeny, tiny donut holes are just adorable. They’re also pretty darn delicious.
Simply made, these are just a mix of flour, condensed milk, eggs, baking powder, baking soda and a little bit of salt.
They’re deep fried to get that perfectly crunchy golden shell, and rolled in sugar before serving.
A word of warning, though: just because these are tiny treats doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to cram 12 in your mouth at once. And I know because I tried.
15. Vegan Mongolian Beef
It sounds like an oxymoron, but you can actually enjoy vegan Mongolian beef.
Ok, so there’s no actual beef, but soy ‘meat’ or tofu works just as well in this aromatic stir-fry.
16. Mongolian-Style Beef Crepes
Stir-fry is great for dinner, but sometimes, you’ll want that same flavor for lunch.
In those moments, whip up these light and tasty Mongolian crepes.
They take all the best parts of the classic dish – stir-fried tangy beef and shredded veggies – and encase them in a soft, floury crepe.
Serve with spiced yogurt. Flavored with cumin and turmeric, it’s the perfect accompaniment to this meaty, yummy wrap.
17. Suutei Tsai (Millet and Green Milk Tea)
Milk tea is salty, savory, milky, and malted. It’s a traditional drink that you will be offered when visiting any Mongolian family.
It’s full of surprising tastes, thanks to the rich toasted millet, grassy green tea, and creamy milk.
Best enjoyed on chilly nights, this was a traditional drink for nomads journeying across the steppes.
Warming and wonderful, pour a cup and unleash your inner wanderer.
18. Budaatai Khuurga
Budaatai khuurga is a hearty rice bowl, great for nights when you want something filling and flavorsome.
Beef fried rice, seasoned with spices like cumin and chili, this dish is both nourishing and comforting.
There are plenty of veggies in there to balance out the beef – cabbage, carrots, and bell peppers.
Once you nail the basics, this is one of those ‘anything goes’ meals.
Chuck in leftover vegetables, switch it up with chicken pieces or add some shrimp for extra protein.
Not for the faint-hearted, uuz is a slow-cooked slab of mutton straight from the sheep.
The mutton is stewed for 3-5 hours until it turns into amazingly soft and tender meat you can eat with a spoon.
A milky brew of fermented horse milk, airag is a must-try for culinary adventurers.
Thanks to the fermentation process, it’s slightly alcoholic. It can also be further distilled into mongol arkhi or milk liquor.
A few glasses of that, and you’ll be nursing a very interesting hangover!
21. Mongolian Beef and Spring Onions
A classic soy-flavored stir-fry, this beef dish features shredded meat sauteed in a piquant Chinese-style sauce.
Packed with protein and served over rice, it’s a filling and flavorful dinner.
22. Mongolian Beef Sloppy Joes
East meets West with this brilliant reimagining of a Mongolian classic.
Ground beef is mixed with a sweet and spicy sauce and piled onto hamburger buns.
It’s a fuss-free spin on your average sloppy Joe that’ll satisfy kids big and small.
23. Mongolian Shrimp
These stir-fried shrimp are saucy, sweet, and spicy.
If you’re craving takeout, look no further.
Easy, quick, and irresistible, this dish provides a healthier alternative that’s on the table in minutes.
24. Fish Curry
This rich curry consists of tender, flaky white fish in a creamy, mild sauce.
Made with coconut milk and aromatic spices like coriander, cumin, and turmeric, it’s a beautiful blend of flavors that’s reminiscent of Indian and Far Eastern cuisine.
25. Mongolian Shrimp and Scallops
In this versatile dish, seafood is lightly fried with fragrant spices.
You can serve this one as an impressive but simple appetizer. Or serve it over fluffy rice or vegetables to make it a satisfying meal.
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