What do people eat in Mongolia?


Traditional Mongolian diet is heavily influenced by the nomadic lifestyle and the harsh climate of the region. Here are some key aspects:

Dairy Products: Mongolian cuisine relies heavily on dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese (aaruul), and fermented mare's milk (airag). These are staple foods for many Mongolians, providing essential nutrients and calories.

Meat: Meat is a significant part of the Mongolian diet, with beef, mutton, and horse meat being the most common choices. Due to the nomadic lifestyle and the availability of pasture-raised animals, meat is often consumed in various forms, including grilled, boiled, or dried (borts).

Buuz and Dumplings: Buuz, or steamed dumplings filled with meat (typically mutton), are a popular dish in Mongolia, especially during holidays and festivals. They are often served with sauces or condiments.

Soups and Stews: Mongolian cuisine features a variety of soups and stews, such as noodle soups (tsuivan), meat and vegetable stews (khuushuur), and dumpling soups (bansh).

Grains and Flour Products: While not as prevalent as dairy and meat, grains like wheat and barley are also consumed in Mongolia, often in the form of flour for making bread, noodles, and pastries.

Tea and Beverages: Tea is a common beverage in Mongolia, typically served hot and sometimes flavored with milk or salt. Additionally, fermented drinks like airag (fermented mare's milk) and kumis (fermented camel's milk) are popular, especially among nomadic communities.

Fruits and Vegetables: Due to the harsh climate and nomadic lifestyle, fresh fruits and vegetables may not be as readily available in all regions of Mongolia. However, root vegetables like potatoes and carrots are commonly used in cooking, and some fruits and vegetables are preserved for consumption during the winter months.

Modern Influences: The Mongolian diet has changed with urbanization and modernization, including incorporating processed foods and imported ingredients. However, traditional dishes and culinary practices remain integral to Mongolian culture and cuisine.


A typical family eats three meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are no standard mealtimes for most people. However, in most organizations, lunchtime is from 1 PM to 2 PM, and people have breakfast before 9 AM because they have to work. Dinner is usually after 6 PM for most people.

For most people dinner is eaten at home. Children have lunch at the school cafeteria, and people have lunch at the restaurants, cafeterias, etc.

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