A Khorkhog is a traditional Mongolian dish of meat and vegetables slow cooked inside a sealed dough container. If you’re ever lucky enough to sample this rare delight, be aware that one of its principle ingredients is… rocks!

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That’s right: not cooking ON rocks or over an open fire place, but using actual stones as part of the cooking process.

In Mongolia, people typically use a milk jug to cook their khorkhog. The metal container can hold enough liquid and create steam when pressurized, allowing the food inside to cook properly. But you can cook with pressure cooker (carefully) in your own home.

Ingredients for khorkhog:

  • 5kg goat meat (ideally ribs) – cut into small pieces
  • 5- 7 potatoes and carrots peeled and chopped into large chunks
  • onions and garlic sliced to your preferences
  • salt and pepper 
  • water – around 300ml
  • 10-15 round small stones ideally round and smooth

Instructions

  • Prepare the stones by cleaning them and heating them over coal for around 1 hour until they are hot.
  • Add the hot stones, meat, and spiced veggies to the pot or pressure cooker in layers. To generate steam during cooking and for more even heat distribution, pour 1-2 cups (300-500ml) of water over everything before closing the container. Place it on the BBQ at medium/high heat.
  • Khorkhog is a hot dish that usually takes at least two hours to cook, though you can leave it in longer if needed. It’s served with a stone on the side of the plate.

Khorkhog is a traditional dish whose recipe cannot be pinned down to one ingredients list. Common vegetables in this dish are potatoes, carrots, onions, and cabbage; few spices are used as well besides salt and pepper.

Khorkhog is traditionally eaten with the fingers, sans utensils. Furthermore, it is customary to throw these stones from guest to guest; many people believe that doing so has healing effects. It is said that cooking these stones in contact with the fat of the meat gives them additional medicinal benefits.

khorkhog mongolian food

Khorkhog is a unique and delicious experience that offers something different from your regular dishes. It’s the perfect dish for special occasions or to impress dinner guests! The combination of smoky flavor, soft vegetables, and tender meat make it an unforgettable meal. It is even better with Mongolian vodka.

So if you’re ever in Mongolia, be sure to sample some of the local khorkhog and experience the unique flavors of Mongolia! You won’t regret it. Enjoy!

If you have questions about Mongolia, don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll be happy to help in any way that I can!

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