What Do They Eat in Mongolia?

People often ask what Mongolians eat. There are a lot of places you can find information about traditional meals and national foods (like what you’d prepare if you have guests coming over or are celebrating holiday) but what about the every day normal foods?

I recently spent a week outside the capital city with a group of people and did my best to document what we ate. Here’s what my week looked like…at least the food part of it:

Lunch: rice + beef + potato + carrot
Dinner: beef with bone broth + potato + carrot + noodle
Lunch: beef + potato + carrot + noodle (aka Tsuivan)
Some sort of drink maybe with some meat in it. It was a mid-morning snack.
Lunch: beef with bone broth + potato + carrot + cabbage + celery
Breakfast: sour cream & jam sandwich with milk tea
Lunch: beef + potato + peppers + sweet seasoning with mantuu (steamed bread) and sauce
Dinner: beef + store-bought noodles (I think this is the only mass produced meal I’ve ever had without home-made noodles)
Late Night Snack: bread + something made from sour cream cooked until the yellow oil separates then you add flour and when it solidifies you add raisins.
Lunch side dish: rice with a salad (cabbage + carrot + tomato + sauce)
Soup: chicken + potato + carrot + celery (you can add rice from the side dish)

Every meal other than breakfast has meat–this time it was beef but there’s usually a lot of lamb–with potatoes, carrots, and some other element like rice or noodles. Our meals were made in a giant stir fry bowl over a wood burning stove and they were ALWAYS delicious. Mongolians don’t often include much seasoning but, because of the free range cows’ diet, their meat is full of flavor and they know how to bring the best out of each ingredient.

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