Focus on Mongolia – April News
May 5, 2015
Focus On Mongolia – May News
June 5, 2015

Tsuivan – Mongolian Noodles

I first wrote this blog post having spent the day at Naran Tuul (Black Market) in Ulaanbaatar with Turuu. As well as everything from a can opener to a full-size ger (seriously), you can eat to your heart’s content here.  And that’s what we did, shop and eat. For a typical Mongolian eating experience, you just pop into any of the guanz (what could best be described as a Mongolian canteen) and order up your lunch.  Guanz serve cheap food and serve the usual collection of national staples including Tsuivan – Mongolian noodles. With the option of tomato ketchup or Maggi sauce.
Tsuivan - Mongolian Noodles


Tsuivan is an uncomplicated noodle stir fry made with rough-cut fresh noodles with fried meat and vegetables. It is the sort of meal you can rely on when you’re hungry. It tastes great, is cheap, and fills you up. It’s a staple dish that you will find anywhere throughout Mongolia. The noodles are versatile and you’ll find them in a variety of dishes including another popular dish  – Guriltai Shol – Flour Soup.

Tsuivan is straightforward to make.

You can find a recipe here – – or below is our own brief guide.

  • The noodles are traditionally prepared by hand – flour and water mixed together (pinch a side of the dough using your thumb and index finger. If it is fairly hard but still soft enough to give into the pressure of your finger, the flour is ready) then rolled out (until around 2mm at their thickest) and cut into strips (this is the pared down version of the recipe!). Prior to rolling the key is to oil the flour as this prevents the noodles from sticking together at the end. 
  • They are usually sautéed together with small pieces of mutton or beef and a mix of vegetables typically including onions, carrots and peppers. 
  • Once the vegetables have been seasoned and sautéed you then add water to the same pot until it reaches up to around two/thirds of the vegetables. 
  • Place the noodles on top and close the lid tightly – basically, the noodles are cooked by the steam from the boiling water and this requires around 15 minutes on a medium heat followed by a low heat (the water should have evaporated by the time the noodles are ready). 
  • Once ready, take off the lid and use something to fan fresh air into the pot – the noodles turn dry at the surface and will lose their stickiness.   Use a fork to separate the noodles from each other (sticky noodles basically mean that either there wasn’t enough oil on the dough in the first place, or they need to be cooked further) and voila!

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 Tsuivan (Mongolian Noodles ) 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 tailor made experience.

Sign up to our Newsletter

Written by Jess - the founder of Eternal Landscapes - there's no spam, no sharing your details and no random offers. It goes out once or twice a month. Hopefully enough to be of interest but not too much to annoy.

We respect your privacy.