Mongolia isn’t exactly known for its cuisine. Food is far more functional for the nomadic people of this remote land and once you visit, you can see why. There are lots of livestock and due to changing weather (it can get very, very cold), no one stays in one place long enough to grow a huge variety of crops. Therefore, food is often meaty, fatty and dairy based to provide protein and easy cooking/storage.
So aside from just advising you to steam up some meat a la Khorkhog (though, you will need river stones…), an easy one to try is Naadam khuushuur. Eaten at the biggest festival in Mongolia, Naadam, these deep-fried meat pastries are a popular snack:
300g plain flour
250g minced beef or mutton
1 round onion (small, chopped)
2 cloves garlic
Salt ½ tablespoon
- Pour the flour and pinch of salt and water into a bowl and mix well to make a soft dough.
- Cover the dough to let it rest for a while.
- Put the minced meat, onion, garlic and pepper in another bowl. Mix salt and water in small bowl and then pour it into the meat mixture and mix well until combined.
- Knead the dough and divide into 4 small balls. Then roll the balls into a long line and cut into balls roughly 4cm thick.
- Flatten the dough into 1cm thick circle and add one tablespoon of meat mixture into the middle. Fold and roll it into a ball between your palms.
- Drizzle some oil on the board and start to flatten the khuushuur with rolling pin into a 1cm thick and 10cm diameter round khuushuur. When you flatten the khuushuur, make sure not to push the meat out of dough. Roll it slowly and soft.
- Pour enough oil into the frying pan and heat over a medium temperature. Once the oil is hot, start to fry the khuushuur on both sides until they look golden and crispy.
- Serve it with any salad or sauce you like.