Food in Mongolia is pretty simple.  Mongolian foods are mostly based on meat and dairy because of the continental climate and nomads that move on with their domestic animals, also it’s influenced by Russian and Chinese cultures. So, the most typical rural dish is cooked mutton, or beef or horse meat.  In the Gobi Desert, families eat camel meat.  In the rural areas , people use less vegetables because nomads move from one place to another due to their grazing livestock.   

The everyday drink is salted milk tea (süütei tsai), which may turn into a robust soup by adding rice, meat, or dumplings (bansh). 

The most prominent national beverage is airag, which is fermented mare‘s milk.   

A popular cereal is barley, which is fried and malted.   The resulting flour (arvain guril) is eaten as a porridge in milk fat and sugar or drunk mixed in milky tea.   

Source of some information is from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolian_cuisine

But nowadays,  there are many great international restaurants and coffee shops available in UB. Vegetarian meals will be available in most restaurants in Ulaanbaatar.  

Here are the the most typical Mongolian foods on the following pictures. 

Dried curd

Dairy food dried curd

Nomad families make dried curds from fermented yogurt.  They boil the sour yogurt on low fire for many hours till it gets thick and then they pour  it into a rectangular cloth bag to sieve the liquid out.  After that they cut it into chunks and dry them in the sun. 

Clotted cream

Dairy food clotted cream

Mongolian nomads usually boil milk and separate the cream (örömclotted cream).  The remaining skimmed milk is processed into cheese (byaslag), dried curds (aaruul), yogurtkefir, and a light milk liquor (shimiin arkhi).

Fresh homemade yogurt

Dairy food fresh yogurt

Nomadic families make fresh yogurt from skimmed milk.  People from the Gobi Desert don’t usually make yogurt due to hot weather in summer.

Huushuur /fried meat pie/

khuushuur mongolia

Khuushuur (dough filled with meat) is a great snack and cooked by deep frying.  Vegetarians can ask to make the filling with some vegetables.  It’s typical food so, it’s available in almost in an every cafe.

Steamed dumplings

Steamed dumplings

You will be able to find steamed dumplings filled with meat (Buuz) almost everywhere in Mongolia and it’s the most popular food and it makes great snacks.  

Barbecue /khorkhog/


Mongolians usually cook khorkhog for  special occasions.  They cook it in sealed pot with some hot rocks on preheated fire.  They always add some vegetables on it. 

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