Monday Meal Review: Mongolia

Western Mongolia. Photo by tiarescott.

THE SCENE This week my brain is stuck on Mongolian nomads. I am obsessed. While I sip my hot, salty tea I think of their fierce loyalty in brutal winters. While I nibble the tangy carrot slaw, I imagine how hard it must be to move five times a year - so often that you cannot keep a veggie patch. So often that even a basic carrot salad would be a major treat, normally reserved for city folk. I take so much for granted. But what really hit home is how these nomads (who live so … [Read more...]

Recipe: Mongolian Carrot Salad (w/ Poll)

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In Mongolia, the seemingly endless parade of meat, meat, and more meat, is only occasionally interrupted by vegetables. And, even then, relief doesn't come with a garden salad, but rather some combination of root vegetables. This is because there really isn't a whole lot of good farmland in the giant, cold, central Asian country - only the hardiest specimens make it. In the big city, versions of this simple carrot salad can be found, either dressed in a vinaigrette (as I have done) or in a … [Read more...]

Recipe: Mongolian Millet & Green Milk Tea (Suutei Tsai)

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  If tea time in your home means sweet, sugary cups of deliciousness, think again. This week we're sipping on salty, milky green tea cooked with buttery toasted millet. This is one of the more elaborate versions of Suutei Tsai - a famous Mongolian drink enjoyed out on the cold steppes. Each sip tastes of milk and salt and cereal - but the drink also has a remarkable drying effect in the mouth, thanks to a healthy dose of naturally astringent green tea. This is absolutely the strangest tea I … [Read more...]

Menu: Mongolia

Ava-eats-Mongolia

Don't look for bad things in the good that you do. { Mongolian Proverb } I know what some of you are thinking right this very moment: "Mongolia... what on earth is she going to make from Mongolia that I'd like?"  I know because that's what my very own Mr. Picky said moments before I presented this simple menu. Cooking him meat would have been too easy. He'd automatically love it. Instead, I went with a vegan carrot salad (what!) and an amazing salty green tea. I wanted to give him … [Read more...]

About the food in Mongolia

Monastery in Mongolia. Photo by Bouette.

After the hot, sweaty day I had yesterday, a little stove top travel to the central Asian country called Mongolia is a welcome retreat. Even though the Gobi desert sprawls through southern Mongolia, she is best known for her long, cold winters (especially in the the mountainous north and on the dry, grassy steppes, where temperatures can dip way into - 40 F). Very little grows in dry, chilly Mongolia, but that's okay. Instead, people rely on an intensely meaty diet. And for good reason - 30% … [Read more...]