Around the World in 12 Dishes--Mongolia Buuz

We have had so much fun learning about Mongolia this month!! It has been so interesting to learn about a culture that is so different from ours. I have such respect for the strong and hard working Mongolian people. To learn a bit more about Mongolia and their lifestyle check out my post over at Around the World in 12 Dishes blog on Season 3 - Mongolia.


Having seen a few recipes in books (and only a few) I looked on-line and found two websites that have Mongolian recipes: e-Mongol and Mongolian Recipes. Both had a recipe for buuz and so did one of our books, so I decided that was what we would make. Buuz is a steamed dumpling filled with a meat. Usually they are filled with lamb and sometimes goat, but all three places said you could use ground beef. We used the ground beef because I don't like lamb. The book I found is Mongolia by Grolier. (I often use a book from this series since it goes through the holidays and festivals of the country and provides some crafts, stories and recipes.) Hazel helped with all the steps of this recipe except the steaming.

(Adapted from Buuz - Steamed Filled Pockets on All Mongolian Recipes)

2 cups flour
150 mL water (this is just over 1/2 cup, but most liquid measuring cups have mL on the opposite side)

1 pound ground beef or ground lamb
1 onion minced
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4-1/2 cup water
Dashes of ground ginger, pepper, salt, and cumin (caraway, marjoram or paprika may be used instead of cumin)

Oil to oil steamer bottom

1) Make filling by mixing meat, onion and garlic together. Then add water to help it mix easier. Then add spices. Set aside.

2) Make dough by mixing flour and water together. We used our hands. Let it sit for 15 minutes.

3) Make dumplings. We sliced the dough into thin slices and then rolled them out. We used a small spoon (teaspoon) for filling. When our slices were bigger we used two spoonfuls, but these did not turn out as well. Then bring the sides up around the meat and try to close it up, though it can have a small hole at the top. This is the most typical shape for buuz, but there are others.

4) To cook them you need a steamer. Put water in the bottom of your steamer and put oil on the steamer insert so the buuz will not stick to it. Then put buuz on the insert and cover the pan. Put on high heat and steam them for 15 minutes. If you made bigger ones you will need to steam it longer. Do not lift the cover during the 15 minutes. After 15 minutes remove cover and wave a cutting board across the top of the pan. This should make the dumplings glossy and a bit red.

Note: If you do think you need to cook them longer, make sure you have water in the bottom of the pan still. (Yes, I burnt our pan and set off the smoke detector.)

Hazel and I made these on a night Steve was out. We loved them. We had extra filling and I cooked it up in a skillet. Hazel could not decide if she liked the meat by itself or in the dumpling better. One of the recipes mentioned it can be served with ketchup. In Mongolia they do not have many fruits and vegetables do to the dry land, so this is actually considered a complete meal.

To learn about Mongolia we found two DVDs. One is animated and in English the other has subtitles, but the pictures and culture can be seen even by my non-reading daughter. Then we enjoyed reading the stories and books above as well. I find the jers so interesting. They are round houses that can be taken down in an hour and put back up in a new location in an hour. So neat!! I also enjoyed reading about the horses. We also found a craft in Hands-On Asia by Yvonne Y. Merrill.

The book has instructions to make a Mongolian rattle out of two paper bowls, beans, tape and decorations. We loved making these. Typically it said they have monster faces on them. Ours are not too scary though.

The instrument I am most fascinated with however the is the horse head violin.

Horse Violin By Brücke-Osteuropa (Own work) 
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Can you imagine making one of those? They look so neat! Now it is time for the Around the World in 12 Dishes blog hop!! Around the World in 12 Dishes is brought to you by:
Adventures In Mommydom, Afterschool for Smarty Pants, All Done Monkey, Crafty Moms Share, Glittering Muffins, Kid World Citizen, Mermaids' Makings, The Mommy Talks and The Usual Mayhem
Please check out all the wonderful recipes shared! If you have a Mongolian recipe, craft or story to share, please feel free to link up!!