Posts Tagged With: Mongols

Kazakhstani Beshbarmak (Boiled Meat with Noodles)

Kazakhstani Entree

(Boiled Meat with Noodles)


1 small onion (1 more later)
1¼ pounds lamb or beef steak
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon pepper
water to cover steak, about 4 cups
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
½ cup water (about)
1¼ cups flour (2 more tablespoons later)
2 tablespoons flour
1 medium potato (optional)
1 tablespoon ghee or butter
1 small onion

Serves 4. Takes 2 hours 30 minutes.


Cut 1 small onion into slices ¼” thick. Add onion slices, steak, bay leaf, pepper, and enough water to cover steak and 1″ more. Bring to boil using high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1½ hours. Stir every 20 minutes. Keep steak covered with water.

While meat simmers, add salt and 1¼ cups flour to large mixing bowl. Mix with fork. Whisk egg in cup. Add egg to mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Gradually add ½ cup water, as needed, until you get a smooth dough. Mix with hands each time you add water. Knead dough for 5 minutes. Cover dough and let it sit for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle flat surface with 2 tablespoons flour. Divide dough into 2 dough balls. Roll out a dough ball on flat surface until it is about ⅛” thick. Cut flatten dough into 3″ squares. Repeat for each dough ball.

When meat has been simmering for 1½ hours, cut potato into ½” cubes. Add potato to pot. Simmer on low for 35 minutes or until meat and potato are tender to the fork. Keep potato and steak covered with water. Remove simmered onion and potato and set aside on 2 different plates. Cover to keep warm. Keep broth in pot.

While steak still simmers, cut 1 small onion into slices ¼” thick. Add onion slices and ghee to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Remove sautéed onion slices from heat.

Divide broth into 2 pots. (This will speed things up and keep meat and potato from getting cold.) Bring broth to boil using high heat. Add ¼ of the dough squares each to the 2 pots. (Add squares one at time to prevent sticking. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 4 minutes. Remove dough squares with slotted spoon. Repeat for remaining 2 portions of dough squares.

While dough square boil, cut steak into 1″ cubes. Cover again to keep warm. Remove bay leaf. Divide pasta squares between 4 plates. Top pasta squares with meat cubes. Top meat with simmered onion slices and potato cubes. Garnish with sautéed-onion slices. Spoon remaining broth over sautéed onion. Serve immediately.


1) This dish, Beshbarmak, is undeniably tasty. This is why some many Kazakhstanis eat it so often.

2) However, take a look at the picture at the above picture. The tablecloth depicts, among other things, an oversized pineapple.

3) This is because all Kazakhstanis love pineapple. I mean, who doesn’t it?

4) But the inhabit of Kazakhstan really, really love the pineapple.

5) Whence sprang this deep and abiding taste?

6) From Genghis Khan.

7) Here how it started. It’s remarkable that we all the words in the following conversation.

8) Genghis Khan: Yo ho, Beshbarmak tastes great, but I really have a yearning for something sour and tart.

Kublai: And something with lots of Vitamin C to ward off colds. I do so hate the sniffles.

Subotai: How do you know about Vitamin C?

Kublai: I went to a fortune teller. She told me that 1,000 years from now, people would be eating pineapples to fight off sniffles.

Genghis: Well, there’s nothing more useless than a sniffling warrior. By heavens, we’ll get us some pineapples even if we have to destroy entire civilizations to do so.

All the Mongols: Yay! Yay!

9) But pineapples, back then, grew only in Brazil. So the Mongols conquered their way ever westward, stopped only in Hungary when their pineapple-lacking army came down with sniffles.

10) But in return for widespread destruction of Kazakhstan, the Mongols gave the locals the recipe for Beshbarmak. So, some good came out of the invasion. The Mongols also passed on their hunger for pineapples. Hence, the frequent pineapple imagery seen in Kazakhstan.


Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

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Mason Jar Strawberry Ice Cream

American Dessert



2 cups heavy whipping cream
5½ tablespoons sugar
2¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 cups whole strawberries, fresh or frozen

Makes 3 cups. Takes 15 minutes to make and 3 hours to firm in freezer.).


food processor or blender
3 cup Mason jar or other airtight container


Puree strawberries. Add all ingredients to Mason jar. Make sure that the lid to Mason jar is screwed on tightly. Shake jar for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens to the consistency of batter. Put jar in freezer. Let sit for 3 hours or until firm.


1) Mason Jar Strawberry is fantastic. It’s so yummy. Only people who hate: whipping cream, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and strawberries will dislike this dessert. That means billions and billions of people love it. People have adored this dessert for millennia. Lands without strawberries conquered surrounding peoples in a never ending quest to find wild strawberries. This is how the Roman Empire and the Mongol Empire, among others, grew to be so big.

2) Alas, the Romans and the Mongols despite their mighty armies never did manage to find, much less conquer, a land with strawberries. Their subjects grew sullen and defiant. Finally, their peoples rose up and overthrew their non-strawberry-providing rulers. (Okay, with a little help from invading foreign armies.)

3) Rulers then sent expeditions to find strawberries. This is really how Columbus sold Queen Isabella on finding the Americas. The idea that the Spanish went exploring to find gold was just a cover. The conquistadors wanted the real wealth, strawberries, just to themselves. Seeing the Spaniards’ success, other nations sent our their explorers to find their own La Fresado, The Land of Strawberries. Pretty darn quick, the entire globe got explored. International trade boomed between the old countries and the new strawberry-growing lands. We owe it all to the yummy strawberry.


Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Paul’s Banana Strawberry Nut Bread

American Breakfast



3 bananas (overripe ones are better)
5 ripe strawberries
½ cup pecans
½ cup butter (softened or melted)
½ cup raisins
2 eggs
½ cup sugar
2¾ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
2¼ cups flour
no-stick spray


spice grinder
electric beater
9″ x 5″ loaf pan

Makes 1 loaf. Takes 1 hour 20 minutes.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel bananas. Put bananas and strawberrues in large mixing bowl. Mash or smoosh with potato masher or fork. Chop pecans or grind with spice grinder until all the pecan bits are quite small. Add butter, pecan bits, raisins, eggs, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla extract to mixing bowl. Blend with electric beater set on medium or “cake.” With electric beater running, gradually add all the flour. Blend until the batter is smooth. Spray loaf pan with no-stick spray. Pour batter into pan. Put pan in oven. Cook for 45 minutes or until a toothpick or fork inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes. Turn loaf pan over onto a plate.


1) This is a moist and tasty bread. However, it would surely harden like a brick if left out under a hot, summer Sun and forgotten. Indeed, the Great Wall of China, built to keep out northern invaders, was constructed with banana-strawberry-bread bricks. These ingredients arrived via caravan along the great Banana Strawberry Road, stretching from Bananistan to Peking. The fruit bricks of Great Wall did their job until the advent of the Mongols, fierce fruit lovers who ate their way through. No country has a built a culinary wall ever since.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

Categories: cuisine, history | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Shua Yang Jou – Mongolian Hot Pot

Mongolian Soup

Mongolian hot pot


5 ounces cellophane noodles or bean threads
1″ ginger root
3 green onions
1 onion
¼ cup parsley, fresh
1 pound bok choy or Chinese cabbage
10 cups lamb or beef stock
24 ounces freshly-made dough or 8 sesame rolls
3 pounds deli-sliced lamb (thin as you can get it)
1 cup spinach
2½ tablespoons rice wine
2½ tablespoons sesame oil
⅓ cup soy sauce
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1½ tablespoons red bean curd or fermented bean curd*
* = or plain bean curd or tofu, not authentic but gosh, the fermented stuff can be hard to find.


chopsticks (for dipping and cooking the lamb in the hot pot)
something that acts as a hot pot, a pot with a fire under it, that goes in the middle of the table Slotted spoons or strainers (for dipping and retrieving the veggies in the hot pot)
sonic obliterator to use on anyone who says, “I want a big Big MacTM,” after all this preparation.
spice grinder.
wire rack, if you are using sesame rolls

Serves 8. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes if you use sesame rolls, 2 hours 30 minutes if you make your own dough. This is designed to a leisurely dinner and can take up to two hours, unless of course, you have teenage boys.


Soak noodles in hot water for 30 minutes. While noodles soak, peel ginger root and grind into powder. Dice green onions, onion, and parsley. Separate bok choy into separate leaves into 2″ squares. Leave spinach leaves as is.

Add lamb stock to large, regular pot. Bring to boil using high heat. While lamb stock comes to boil, tear freshly-made dough into 8 pieces and shape them into balls. Add dough balls to pot. Remove dough balls when they puff up into absorbent dumplings. (If you are using sesame rolls, place rolls on wire rack. Place wire rack on pot. Remove steamed rolls when they soften.) Add stock to hot pot. Set level of heat so that the stock is kept comfortably hot.

Place sliced lamb in large serving bowl. Put ginger, green onion, onion, parsley, bok choy, and spinach in second serving bowl and mix together with fork. Add rice wine, sesame oil, soy sauce, cayenne pepper, and fermented bead curd to second mixing bowl and whisk together. Add noodles to third serving bowl. Place a dumpling on a small plate for each guest.

Guests should pick up slices of lamb, veggies, and bean curd with chopsticks and dip food the bowl with the wine/oil/sauce. They then put these items in the part of the hot pot nearest to themselves until the meat and veggies are done to desired levels. Add extra wine/sesame oil/soy sauce mix and their dumpling to individual bowls as desired.

After the lamb, veggies, and dumplings are eaten, the hot lamb stock, enhanced with the flavor of the dipped lamb, veggies, and dipping sauce, is ladled into the individual bowls. This meal is really a two-course feast in disguise.


1) As correctly noted above, fermented bean curd, or red bean curd can be powerful hard to find. It was especially hard to find in the fragmented Mongolia of 1205. Without fermented bean curd, a tribal leader could not offer his guests shua yang jou. No Mongolia hot pot, no guests. No guests, no tribesmen willing to support you as chief. No support, you get deposed. A deposed chief dies.

2) So finding fermented bean curd (FBC) became of paramount importance. Drought struck Mongolia in the summer of 1205. The bean plant crop failed on a cataclysmic scale. Whatever bean plants survived could not be put in water to ferment. No fermented beans, no FBC.

3) It’s worth noting that fermented plants stink. They increase in stinkiness with each successive day. The yurts, tent homes of the Mongols, could really reek if the dwellers were soaking a lot of beans.

4) Fermenting bean stench was a just as much a turnoff to lovemaking then as it is now. This is why the Mongol population had always been low compared to its neighbors. But with the disappearance of the bean crop in 1205, fermented in the tents stopped. Love making soared. Babies popped out like tennis balls from an automatic serving machine. The Mongols needed more land for their burgeoning families. The tribal chiefs had scant supplies of FBC necessary to make shua yang jou. The loyalty of their tribesmen began melting away.

5) Tribal chief after tribal chief launched devastating raids in neighboring tribal lands, carrying off whatever FBC they could find. Thousands died, banquets went unplanned. It was horrible.

6) Along came Genghis Khan. “Whoa dudes,” he said in fluent Mongolian as he was a Mongol, “there is some gnarly badness going on.” Yes, he was a surfer at heart. “China has lots of FBC. Iran has lots of FBC. Why kill ourselves for it, when we can totally kill them.” He pointed his finger to the south. “Are you with me?” The Mongols roared their approval. He was their one leader.

7) And so the Mongols, conquered, killed, and enslaved entire towns, cities, and regions which is admittedly bad. However, their conquests paved the way for the vibrant Asia-to-Europe spice trade. So some good came out of all this.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

Categories: cuisine, history, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guriltai Shul (Mongolian Soup)

Mongolian Soup



2 potatoes
2 carrots
1 onion
12 ounces whole cut of lamb or beef (You have a lot of leeway here.)
12 ounces egg noodles
¾ teaspoon pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 cups lamb stock or beef stock


Dutch oven


Peel potatoes. Dice potatoes, carrots, and onion. Cut meat into strips ½” wide and 2″ long..

Add vegetable oil and onion to Dutch oven. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add meat. Sauté for 3 minutes at medium-high heat or until meat browns. Stir frequently. Add carrots, potatoes. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add pepper, salt, and stock to Dutch oven. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add noodles. Bring soup to oil then reduce heat to low and let soup simmer for another 10 minutes or until noodles are soft. Serve hot.


1) Mongolia took a 2010 livestock census. I’m impressed. America expends a lot of effort and money taking a census of just its humans. How did Mongolia do it? It’s not as if the country’s critters have a fixed address. How did they make sure they counted every animal or didn’t double or triple count them? It’s hard to tell sheep and goats apart. Oh sure, you can differentiate between two goats if they’re male and female, but there’s millions of male goats and millions of female goats. You can’t ask the sheep’s name. Even if you could get the sheep to reply, they probably have only four different names like, Baakaa, Baama, BaaRaa, and Baazaa. But the Mongolians managed to take what they thought was a reasonably accurate census of their livestock. As I said, I’m impressed.

2) And just how did the Mongols get their livestock to answer the census’s questions? Do they have someone who can talk to the animals? I had always thought Hugh Lofting’s The Story of Doctor Dolittle was pure fiction, but now I think it was really based on a Mongolian veterinarian.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

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