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World Travel Guide > Guides > Asia > Mongolia

the fp is food-and-drink

Mongolia Food and Drink

Meat is the basis of the diet, primarily mutton, with goat, horse, camel and yak meat dishes also on offer. Rice, flour, potatoes and onions are other main ingredients while green vegetables are rarely encountered outside the capital. The local cooking is quite distinctive.

Specialities


• Traditional meals generally consist of boiled mutton with lots of fat and flour with either rice, pasta, noodles or dairy products.
• Boodog is the whole carcass of a goat or marmot roasted from the inside - the entrails and bones are taken out through the throat, the carcass is filled with burning hot stones and the neck tied tightly, and thus the goat is cooked from the inside to the outside.
Khorkhog is popular in the Mongolian countryside. This meal consists of chopped up goat, potatoes and onions slowly steamed inside a metal container. Scalding hot rocks are placed inside the container to create the steam and once extracted it is customary to pass the stones from hand to hand.
Buuz is the national food; a steamed dumpling filled with mutton. These are eaten in great quantities during the Tsaagan Sar (New Year) festival. You can find buuz in restaurants throughout Ulaanbaatar. 
• Khuushuur is another popular food item. This deep fried mutton pancake is particularly popular during the summer Naadam festivities.

Things to know

Many restaurants will add a sales tax.

Tipping

Not customary, but this is changing and 10% is the norm if leaving a tip.

Regional drinks


Suutei tsai (salty tea with milk) is very popular.
Mongolian vodka is excellent.
Chinese and Korean beers are widely available.

Legal drinking age:
 18 (minimum purchasing age).