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.
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.
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 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)
- Location: 31 South Avenue, Shiyuan, Shunyi District 北京市顺义区石园南大街31号
Little Sheep (Guomao Branch)
- Location: 2/F Zhongfu Mansion, 99 Jianguo Road, Chaoyang District 朝阳区建国路99号中服大厦2楼
Little Sheep (Hongjunying Branch)
- Location: 11 Beiyuanzhong Avenue, Chaoyang District 北京朝阳区北苑中街11号
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.
- Average price per person: 50–80 yuan
- Opening hours: daily 10am–2am
- Address: 11A Xiushui Nanjie (behind Friendship Store), Chaoyang District 朝阳区秀水南街甲11号 (友谊商店后边)
Mongolian Cuisine Menu
|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
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.