The most popular dishes you can sink your teeth into are the “buuz” (dumpling with a minced mutton filling) and the “khuushuur” (a larger fried flat version of the buuz). The “tsuivan” is another favorite, composed of flat flour noodles, steamed carrots, potatoes and fatty mutton pieces. Meals are accompanied by an unusual but refreshing salty milk tea, a drink often offered to visitors when visiting nomadic families.
A properly prepared and slow cooked “khorkhog” is undoubtedly the most scrumptiously rustic culinary creation you will taste while you’re in the Mongolian countryside. Pieces of mutton, chunky pieces of veg, fresh herbs and onion are packed into a large container with stones (found on the steppe) and slowly stewed on an open fire. After the lid is opened on the container, it is customary for people to take a hot stone and massage it in their palm. Tradition says it has certain healing effects. Beware, take care when handling the stones, they have been stewing inside a pressure cooker for a while. The best way to enjoy this dish is to get your fingers dirty and use your hands. It is important to strip the pieces of mutton until there is only the bone left. Waste not, want not.
In the summer there is a smorgasbord of local organic dairy products available: yogurt, cheese, mare’s fermented mare’s milk fermented (beware, it will get you tipsy) and some more.