Join twowildtides on the country challenge. Each week, we’re going to be heading to a new country (in spirit). Primarily, we’ll be cooking a meal from each country; but we’ll also be watching travel documentaries, reading travel blogs, and listening to music. During the global pandemic, travel is largely inaccessible. We want to reignite our wanderlust, satisfy our travel bug as much as we can, and learn some new things along the way. I have a feeling our bucket list will have a number of items added to it through this experience as well. We created a simple alphabetical spreadsheet with all the countries of the world, and each week we will draw a random number that corresponds with a country on the spreadsheet.
This week, we visited Mongolia, a large landlocked country in Asia, bordered by Russia and China.
Mongolia is a land of vast, unspoiled wilderness, for a long term known as the ‘end of the earth’. A country where 30% of the population live in nomadic tribes, from the mountains of the north to the Gobi Desert’s “Singing Sands” in the south.Natasha Edwards of wildfrontierstravel.com
Mongolia has a fascinating culinary landscape, from wholesome essentials to intricate dishes using traditional and local ingredients, there were many recipes we could choose from. My vision of Mongolian food was skewed by years of occasional dining at ‘Canadian Chinese’ restaurants which often feature Mongolian Beef or Mongolian Noodles– I’m still not sure what makes those dishes Mongolian. We opted for Tsuivan, a fried noodle dish with carrots, onion, potato, and cabbage.
Tsuivan was highlighted as #4 on this list of top Mongolian dishes by Flavorverse, #4 on this list by Insight Mongolia, #7 on this list by Taste Atlas, #2 on this list by PokPokSom.com, #2 on this list by DiscoverMongolia.mn, #2 on this list by Meanwhile In Mongolia, and #1 on this list by Nomadic Boys.
We followed this recipe by Tara’s Multicultural Table.
It was a busy weekend, so we opted not to make our noodles from scratch. I don’t regret this decision, as my past experiences with homemade noodles, gnocchi, and other doughs have proved that my skills in this area are still not entirely refined. I think any effort made by me at homemade noodles would have ultimately taken away from the taste and texture of the dish.
Tsuivan was a very simple meal to make, and it’s something that in the West, bloggers promote as an “Easy Weeknight Meal!” It took all of 30 minutes to get tender beef and vegetables with perfectly cooked and flavoured noodles. The flavour was not super bold, so we did add hot sauce and soy sauce to amp up the experience a bit.
We both agreed that we would make Tsuivan again and again. It’s easy, satisfying, filling, and healthy. Plus, it’s even better leftover! We ate it for three days and on the final day, when the noodles started getting a little dry, I added avocado and a soft boiled egg and it was totally refreshed. Try making Tsuivan for yourself!
See ya next week,