10.060 Buuz


6 (Wed) March 2019



at Rock Salt



Mission to Mongolia, Day 4 (see previously 10.059 Khuushuur).

In Ulaanbaatar.  As part of a coordinated region-wide retreat to work on the new Regional Director’s vision for the future – Tue to Thu – I’ve been deployed to facilitate the proceedings at the Mongolia Country Office.  Could be construed as a recognition of my skills as a facilitator, but probably not.  Anyway, happy to be in Mongolia for the first time.

Chinggis Beer on tap.

Buuz is a Mongolian dumpling.  Minced meat – typically beef and/or lamb – with simple seasonings and aromatics – essentially the same mix as khuushur – wrapped in flour skins and steamed.  The term derives from the Chinese “baozi,” although the thin-smooth skins here appeared not to be leavened, more like jiaozi (see generally 3.187 Xiaolongbao).  Enjoyed every day, whether on special occasions and or as a casual snack.  Typically eaten by hand.

While I do appreciate the establishment’s attempt to elevate the presentation of this humble item, I’m not convinced that a cheese board is the right way to go.

Pretty good.  Shape and texture felt vaguely Korean, though the slightly gamy lamb made it taste distinctly Mongolian.  Very juicy and flavorful.  Buuz would pair very well with booze.

Guriltai Shul (2.5) – noodle soup, almost exactly like Korean kalguksu, and not just because it was served in a dolsot bibimbap bowl – another odd plating choice (see above).

Quick observation about Mongolia food culture: the service is very simple – main dish as is, no sides, no condiments, no fuss – perhaps owing to their nomadic heritage, still very much alive.

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