Variations of Mongolian Barbecue

Mongolian barbecue first appeared in Taiwan in 80s and 90s of 20th century. The stir-fry type preparation derives from Japanese-style teppanyakof which was popular in Taiwan at the time. However, it actually derived from Mongolian cuisine of Middle ages when Mongols were ruling the majority of known world. Large amount of meats fried on a large heated griddle does tie with the Mongol soldiers' way of cooking.

The authentic versions of Mongolian bbq that even predates the Mongol era of Middle ages are called khorkhog and boodog in modern Mongolian language. The nomadic tribes of Mongolian plateau had unique nomadic way of cooking. Those variations are still widely practiced in the steppes of modern Mongolia which suits the nomadic lifestyle.

In ancient times, when there were no aluminium containers, the animals were cooked in their skins like pig roast today.  Even today, on special occasions, Mongolians would cook goats or marmots in their skin. The heads will be chopped off and the intestines will be carefully removed and some edibles will be cleaned and staffed back in along with heated stones. Seasoning depends from people to people and also varies according the locations. The openings will be closed usually with metal wires. And the entire dish will be fried or roosted in an open fire. 

Below, you are seeing how it is done today anywhere in Mongolia. The technology is the same. The container looks very used, probably, many times. I would guess 10 litters or 2,5 gallons. You see the end products: the meats are cooked, the hot stones and probably the cook is stirring the soup. Mongolians cook the common vegetables, carrots, cabbages, and potatoes with lots of onions. Black paper and salt with some widely used herbs like coriander. 

The western version of Mongolian bbq is a restaurant style of stir frying meats and vegetables over a large, round, solid iron griddle that is as large as 2.5 m in diameter and can cook at temperatures as high as 300 °C or 572 °F. It is been branded by American restaurant chains such as HuHot Mongolian Grill and BD's Mongolian Barbeque. They rightly claim that soldiers of the Mongol Empire gathered large quantities of meats, prepared them with their swords and cooked them on their overturned shields over a large fire.

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