Traditional Buryat Cuisine
Buryat cuisine is one of Baikal's sights, so everyone should try it at least once in a lifetime. Traditionally Buryats were cattle breeders, which determined the peculiarities of their cuisine. Meat dishes predominate in their daily diet: in winter it is beef and horse meat, and in summer - lamb. They use pork less often. The source of a variety of fish dishes is the unique and purest Lake Baikal. Almost all the Buryat menus are made up of natural products, sometimes, as in the case with stroganina, in raw form - the Buryats got adapted to cook food that helped them to survive in harsh conditions.
A special place in the Buryat cuisine is occupied by dairy products and dishes made of milk - Buryats prepare drinks from milk, second and first courses and even bread. Such exotic names as tarasun, khuraud, shanan zohei, or salamat - all these are Buryat cuisine. Recipes, despite all the exotic names of these dishes, are simple and accessible, if desired, they can be prepared at home from the products always available at a farm.
So, what are the dishes the Buryat cuisine famous for?
Buuzy (sort of dumplings) - the most popular dish of Buryat cuisine, buuzy are prepared with horse meat, beef or lamb with the addition of onion and visceral fat. Meat is washed, chopped into small pieces, ground milled and finely chopped onions are added. The main condition - mincemeat must necessarily be juicy, only then the buuzy will turn out delicious. The dough is prepared as for home-made noodles, but steam cooked. Dishes of Buryat cuisine look nice on plates with national color pattern, so you need to put the buuzy on a dish with Buryat ornament and serve it to the table.
Buchler - Traditional soup with lamb, potatoes and homemade noodles. Despite the apparent simplicity, one of the favorite dishes of the Buryats.
Khushuur (meat pears) - It is interesting that both minced meat and dough for Khushuur are cooked in the same way as for buuzy (see the recipe below), only a little more water is added to minced meat. The difference from buuzy is that this dish is fried in fat, and readiness is checked by puncture - if fat comes out of it, the dish can be served.
Sharbin (savory closed pies) – they are stuffed with minced meat and fried in a pan.
Buryat pilaf - Those who have ever tried Buryat pilaf say that it can not be compared to any other. It is amazing that pilaf is a dish that can be found in many cuisines, and the ingredients are usually similar. That is why it is surprising that everyone cooks this dish differently.
Sagudai - This dish is made of raw fish, can be prepared from local northern types of fish: whitefish, muxun, chi. A great quick and versatile snack.
Various recipes of the unique Baikal fish – Omul. One of must eat dish on Baikal.
Khuruud – natural Buryat homemade cheese.
Airkhan – dry cottage cheese.
Urme - milky froth, one of the best dairy dishes. The technology of making urme is quite simple. Fresh milk (preferably in a cast-iron boiler) is boiled on low heat for twenty to thirty minutes until foam appears. Then put in a cool place for 12 hours. After a while, a layer of foam with a thickness of 1.5 to 2 cm is formed on the surface of the milk. The thickness of the layer depends on the fat content of the milk. The foam is carefully removed with a birch spatula and dried, if it is a warm season. In the winter it is frozen. Dried or frozen froths are cut into wafers or in any other form and served on a table.
Nogoon sai is Buryat green tea. In cold water shredded green tea is put and boiled, being stirred constantly to remove the bitter aftertaste. The milk is poured and all boiled again, continuously stirred, for 5-7 minutes. Some people drink it slightly salted. Served with ghee and Buryat pies.