The main diet in rural Mongolia is beef and lamb or sheep. They are all wild, grass fed and organic. Occasionally locals will eat horse meat however, most people prefer to eat it in the winter because they believe the horse meat makes you hotter in the summer. The some of the traditional dishes are variety of dumpling dishes steamed dumplings or buuz in Mongolian served with cabbage and carrot salads, large flat fried dumplings or khuushuur in Mongolian also served with cabbage and carrot salad, boiled milk tea dumpling soup and steamed homemade noodles with stir fried meat and vegetables called tsuivan. Most dumplings are stuffed with seasoned meat but sometimes families make vegetarian dumplings that are stuffed with cabbage, carrots and onions.
The boodog is usually made with goat but hunters will often make it with marmot that they hunted. This true is Mongolian BBQ because preparation and technique they use to prepare this meal is unique. They strip the skin of the goat or the marmot without making any cut in the body, meat gets chopped up into small pieces and then gets thrown back into the skin with burning red hot stones and vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and onions, the ends of the skin's openings are tied with wires and then finish cooking it from the outside using blow torch.
The boodog is similar to khorkhog but large airtight metal container is used instead of the skin and they only use lamb or goat. This technique is more like cooking in pressure cooker.
Mongolian also make many variations of milk products. Each region specializes in their own techniques resulting different taste and texture. The main traditional milk products are dry yogurt curds or aaruul in Mongolian, plain cheese or byaslaga and plain yogurt or tarag and usually made from cow's milk or sheep's milk.
Most common drink in Mongolia is tea. Commonly tea will be made with milk, salt and sometimes fresh milk fat is added to it at the end but sometimes it is just left black.
The second most popular national drink is fermented mare's milk called Airag and it is usually made in summer seasons. It's an acquired taste to most foreigner but some learn to love it after they get used to the taste. It is slightly sour and little bit sweet tasting. The alcohol content is very low but sometimes can be fermented longer to make it stronger to get the beer like effect.
Nermel arkhi is another traditional drink in Mongolia. It is the Japanese equivalent to sake, Korean soju or Chinese rice wine. It's made from distilled yogurt so the taste is slightly yogurt like and just like sake you can drink called or warmed up. Elderly Mongolian says this drink has medical properties.
In Ulaanbaataar you can find most of Western beers, from Miller to Heineken. Local beers are also good such as Chingiss, Gem Grand, Borgio or Sengur is fine.
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