Thursday, 22 August 2013

Guriltai Shul - Mongolian Noodle Soup

How do you find inspiration for your meals?  For me, it comes in all shapes and forms.  The most obvious is just that ridiculous, intense and burning desire (usually for dumplings or pies in my case) but hanging around waiting for that to strike can often be frustrating.  The second is just dragging out all the recipe books in the house and poring over them until you find something that looks appetising, but even this isn't easy as often I feel overwhelmed by choice (and some of my favourite recipe books don't have pictures in them, which makes casual browsing harder and more annoying - note to everyone reading this - if somewhere down the line, you get the opportunity to publish a cook book -MAKE SURE IT HAS PICTURES IN IT...)

SO I have to resort to other means of dragging culinary inspiration out from that hole where it lives.  I've tried getting involved with Crazy blogging schemes (The Olympic Food Challenge was by far the best and most interesting - I still dine out on the Duck Tongues story), I've tried making things based on what turned up in our veg box, but now after 185 posts and nearly 100 soups, its getting that much harder.  So I came up with another plan - simply get people to shout out random countries at me on twitter and I'd do some research on the interwebs and make a soup from that country.  Simple, eh?

Well.... The first country out of the metaphorical hat (Like a normal hat but with a nice feather on the side, I'm given to understand) was Mongolia.  Mongolia, like a lot of those huge countries that used to be part of Russia but are now just high scoring word in Scrabble (Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kreplachinstan* I'm looking at you) Mongolian cuisine is pretty basic stuff - mainly just meat (lamb or mutton for choice, but I'm reliably informed (well, informed, anyway) that they also eat Marmot) with perhaps a few vegetables thrown in for good measure.  If you do go looking for Mongolian recipes, keep in mind that 'Mongolian' has also been used as a catch-all phrase to denote 'Exotic', as in Mongolian Beef, which has never even been near a Mongol, or his horde...

So this soup is pretty much just throw a few ingredients in a pot, cook for a bit and serve.  I had to change this recipe to add stock rather than just water, or it would have been rather bland, I fear.  Also, if you can't be bothered making the noodles, I think that dried or fresh pre-bought pasta would suffice pretty well...

Also, if you would like to help my culinary muse, feel free to add countries for me to investigate, in the comments section below.  Cheers!

* One of these countries isn't real, see if you can guess which one...

250g Lamb or Mutton
2 Carrots
1 Large Onion
1 Turnip
300g Plain Flour
1.5l Stock
Salt and Pepper

1.  Prepare the noodles (or Tasalsan Guril if you will) by mixing the flour with 200ml of water to form a dough, then let it rest for 15 minutes in the fridge, wrapped in cling-film

2.  Using a pasta maker, roll the dough into thin strips like fettuccine or tagliatelle and cut into short lengths.  Set aside again

3.  Cut the meat into small, thin strips.  Peel and slice the onion, carrot and turnip

4.  In a wok or frying pan, stir-fry the meat until browned, then remove from the oil.

5.  Add the onion to the wok and stir-fry until they are soft and starting to colour.  Then add the carrot and turnip and cook those until they start to soften too.

6.  Put the meat and vegetables into a soup pan with 1.5l of stock and cook for 40-45 minutes.

7.  Add the noodles 10 minutes before serving and allow to cook in the soup.  Taste and adjust seasoning before serving.  Enjoy!


  1. This Guritai Mongolian Noodle Soup is something. Seems an easy to make appetizer recipe.

  2. God, I love soups when I get sick and even when I don't. I got to try this one and this recipe called chicken vegetable soup which at the same time I found on the web. Thanks for this.

  3. Wow i'm impressed on your recipes, I hope to share it in my blog at