Mongolian Khuushuur – Mongolia’s Ultimate Street Food

Focus on Mongolia – March News
April 2, 2015
Focus on Mongolia – April News
May 5, 2015

Mongolian Khuushuur

First, you have to battle with the spelling and pronunciation, but once you’ve won those two small challenges, all you have to do is eat this delicious Mongolian dish. Khuushuur is Mongolia’s version of a handheld meat pasty. It’s a circle of wheat flour dough folded in half around a filling of minced or ground mutton, sometimes beef, and deep-fried. The ingredients are typically seasoned with salt and with chopped onion.

Mongolia's traditional khuushuur - mutton pancakes

* For vegetarians, you can supplement the meat for vegetables. Usually potato, cabbage and carrots are the main vegetarian ingredients if you’re buying them in Mongolia at a roadside guanz (canteen).  

There’s no need to go upmarket. Just grab napkins and eat. Mongolians add spicy ketchup or Maggi sauce to accompany khuushuur. They cost between 800 and 1500 tugrik each, an absolutely delicious bargain!

By now, you probably have worked out that the EL team (including myself – Jess) like Mongolian food. So here is one of EL’s guests Emer Levins writing about her love of khuushuur:

‘It was on the train that I first heard the word khuushuur. A local cross-border trader had joined my carriage as I travelled from Russia into Mongolia. As we struck up a conversation we inevitably ended up on the topic of all things best in Mongolia. When it came to food khuushuur and buuz (dumplings) were his top tips. However, if I’m honest buuz was easy but khuurshuur took me a bit of time to get my head around. It took several tries on his part before I could make out what the word was and then several goes on my part before I could pronounce it in any form that he approved of.  The way I remember how to pronounce is like this  – hore-shore. 

However, having tasted it I will forever remember how to pronounce it as it’s Mongolia’s most delicious and abundant fast food. A firm favourite with Mongolians, it usually makes an appearance at a stall or two at festivals and can be found in most local restaurants in the aimags (towns). You’ll find the drivers will never turn down the offer of some khuurshuur! 

So, what is khuurshuur? It usually comes approx the same size as a small pitta bread, crescent in shape and filled with deliciously flavoured mutton.  It’s typically deep fried and at its best when hot.  Sharing some khuurshuur with new friends or old, in a dusty van in a new aimag or at a festival with a bottle of beer is a uniquely Mongolian experience.  Highly recommended to all who travel  through the open expanse of this land.’ 

Khuushuur - Mongolian Cuisine

Cooking up a storm in Bulgan in Omnogobi Aimag – the southern Gobi. This is one of our favourite roadside gers selling freshly made khuushuur.


Mongolian Khuushuur

Waiting for our dinner in the small town of Zereg in Khovd Aimag in Western Mongolia. You probably will never pass through but it’s worth stopping for the khuushuur.

For a step by step recipe guide to making Mongolian khuushuur including pictures of each step, head to – fo/en/recipes/ ml

Alternatively, here’s a link to ARTGER’s YouTube video on Tsuivan. ARTGER produce a variety of documentaries on Mongolian food, culture and travel. Led by the Mongolian personality Nargie.

If you’re interested in Mongolian cuisine – including Mongolian Khuushuur then why not consider signing up for one of our online cookery lessons? For £20 you receive our 24-page Mongolian recipe guide that includes ‘how-to’ links including recipes to some of Mongolia’s most famous dishes. Included in this package is a one-hour cookery lesson via Skype at a pre-arranged date & time with members of the EL team –

Or, if you’re inspired by our informal blog posts, why not consider exploring our Mongolia with us? Here’s a link to our range and style of tour experiences – including our 13-day Food Of The Nomads taikor made experience.

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