Mongolian Cuisine

Mongolian Cuisine

By Candice SongUpdated Mar. 18, 2021
Roasted Whole SheepRoasted Whole Sheep is a famous Mongolian dish.

Mongolian cuisine can be found in China's Mongol Autonomous Region of Inner Mongolia and in other northern Chinese provinces, as far east as Beijing.

Mongolian cuisine is mainly derived from the traditions of ethnic Mongols. It is a blend of their nomadic diet and influences from northern China and Russia.

Flavors of Inner Mongolian Cuisine — Salty and Sour

Influenced by cuisine from northern China, Inner Mongolian cuisine generally tends to be salty and sour. Spices are often used in cooking.


The main ingredients are beef, mutton, wheat flour products, dairy products, and wild vegetables.

Different Eating Habits

Mongolians have different eating habits depending on their geographical location due to the local products available.

In pastoral areas, ethnic Mongolians eat beef, mutton, and dairy products as their staple food.

In agrarian areas, the eating habits of ethnic Mongolians are similar to the Han (Chinese majority) people. They eat corn flour and millet as the staple food, and sometimes they eat rice, wheat, coarse rice, buckwheat flour, and sorghum. With the increasing popularity of greenhouses, more varieties of vegetables are appearing on the ethnic Mongolians' dining tables.

Cooking Methods

The cooking methods are relatively simple and emphasize the freshness of ingredients, including barbecuing, stewing, steaming, and instant boiling, of which barbecuing is the most popular cooking method.

Mongolian Dishes

Roast Leg of Lamb Roast Leg of Lamb

Typical Mongolian dishes include roast meat, jerky, instant-boiled mutton, roast leg of lamb (烤羊腿 kǎo yángtuǐ /kaowwyang-tway/), hand-stripped mutton, milk tea, cheese, and yogurt.

Hand-stripped mutton is the most famous dish. Ethnic Mongolians are hospitable: they always welcome guests by preparing their best ‘roasted whole sheep' (烤全羊 kǎoquányáng /kaowwchwen-yang/), to be “stripped” using their hands.

Mongolian hotpot is now a popular “Beijing food”. In recent years, franchises from Inner Mongolia based on hotpots have sprung up in Beijing.

Where to Eat Mongolian Dishes in Beijing

Little Sheep

Little Sheep is the most famous Mongolian hotpot chain in Beijing, which is famous for its lamb. There are quite a number of Little Sheep restaurants in Beijing, and they all have the same green round logos and a high-end look.

Chinese name: 小肥羊 Xiǎoféiyáng /sshyaoww-fay-yang/

Average price per person: about 75 yuan

Little Sheep (Shiyuan Branch)

Little Sheep (Guomao Branch)

Little Sheep (Hongjunying Branch)

Dahr Khan Bar & Restaurant

Chinese name: 达尔汗蒙文化餐吧

The restaurant is a gathering place for many Mongolian celebrities. It mainly serves Mongolian dishes. Lamb is the main attraction.

Popular dishes are hand-stripped lamb, roasted lamb chops, lamb pies, and whole roasted lamb. The restaurant also offers nightly performances of traditional Mongolian music and dance from 8:30pm to midnight.

Mongolian Cuisine Menu

English Chinese Pronunciation Characters
hand-stripped mutton shŏu bā yángròu shoh baa yang-roh 手扒羊肉
instant-boiled mutton shuài yángròu shweye yang-roh 涮羊肉
whole sheep banquet zhěng yáng xí jnng yang sshee 整羊席
roast deer nose shāo hăn bí shaoww han bee 烧罕鼻
crucian carp stuffed with pork in soup jìyú tāng jee-yoo tung 鲫鱼汤
whole fish feast quán yú yàn chwen yoo yen 全鱼宴
pearl carp zhēnzhū lĭyú jnn-joo lee-yoo 珍珠鲤鱼

Travel with China Highlights and Taste Authentic Chinese Cuisine

Enjoying Chinese food in a local restaurantEnjoying Chinese food in a local restaurant

If you want to try China's authentic cuisine, our tours can take you to authentic local restaurants.

See our most recommended Chinese food tour: THE FLAVOR OF CHINA. This 12-Day Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, Guilin, and Hong Kong cuisine tour covers the most popular destinations in China and savors five different regional cuisines. It can be extended to include Inner Mongolia.

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