The most common rural dish is cooked mutton, often without any other ingredients. In the city, every other local displays a sign saying “buuz“. Those are humblings filled with meat, which are cooked in steam. Other types of dumplings are boiled in water (“Bansh“, “Manti“), or deep fried in mutton fat (“Khuushuur“).
Other dishes combine the meat with rice or fresh noodles made into various stews(tsuivan, budaatai huurga) or noodle soup (guriltai shol).
The most surprising cooking method is only used on special occasions. In this case, the meat (often together with vegetables) gets cooked with the help of stones, which have been preheated in a fire. This either happens with chunks of mutton in a sealed milk can (“Khorkhog“), or within the abdominal cavity of a deboned goat or marmot (“Boodog”).
Milk is boiled to separate the
cream (öröm, clotted cream). The remaining skimmed milk is processed into cheese (“byaslag”), dried curds (aaruul), yogurt, kefir, and a light milk liquor (“Shimiin Arkhi”). 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. The everyday beverage is salted milk tea (“Suutei Tsai“), which may turn into a robust soup by adding rice, meat, or bansh. Horse meat is eaten in Mongolia and can be found in most grocery stores.Mongolian sweets include boortsog, a type of biscuit or cookie eaten on special occasions.