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fd-Mongols-msg – 10/2/10


Food of the Mongols. Recipes for Mongol food.


NOTE: See also the files: Mongols-msg, fd-Russia-msg, kumiss-msg, dairy-prod-msg, Mongols-N-o-B-art, Mongl-Mission-art, horse-recipes-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



From: corun at access2.digex.net (Corun MacAnndra)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Mongolian Cuisine (HELP!)

Date: 30 Jun 1995 18:28:39 -0400

Organization: Express Access Online Communications, Greenbelt, MD USA


Keith Johnson <ad520 at freenet.unbc.edu> wrote:

>I am trying to locate medieval mongolian recipes, I would be most

>appreciative if anyone has some and would be willing to post them here or

>e-mail them to me.


Here are a couple of Mongolian recipes that are fairly common over there.

I can't attest to their periodness, and I'll let the cooks of this group

debate whether or not there's a case for them having been made in the 13th

century, but they're the only Mongolian/Tuvan recipes I have.




From the alt.culture.tuva archives....



Cooking and serving boiled lamb without spices is not a deeply rooted

Tuvan-Mongolian tradition, and any representatives of the two nations

happily parted from old habits in favour of paprika, pepper, marjoram, etc.


A truly fine dish is made as follows:


Mix flour and little water (salting permitted) to make dough; flatten (in

college kitchens comfortably by wine bottles [should be emptied beforehand])

to 2-3 mm, cut ~ 10-15 cm diameter discs, fill with minced lamb (keep the fat);

form a ball in your hand by pinching the edges together; leave a little

opening on top (important!); put over steam for 20 (?) minutes. The meat boils

in its own juice, keeping all vitamins, minerals, trace elements. You eat

it by hand, opening your mouth BIG!


5-15 balls per person. It is the famous booz (Mongolian name).


Here is the recipe for the fried version of booz, the khoorshoor.

Dough and fill is the same as for booz.


Dough: flour and water (salt added), make dough, flatten to 1-2 mm, cut

discs of 10-15 cm diameter with a cup. Fill: minced meat. Spices: typically

none, but salt; paprika, pepper, especially marjoram help a lot.


Put the disc of dough in your palm, put the minced meat on it and flap the

dough over it (you get a half-disc).


Pinch the two dough layers together. No holes should be left, otherwise the

juice of the meat will disappear. The khoorshhor is flat, about 2 cm

thick. Fry both sides in lamb fat (although Mongolians here readily use

sunflower oil). The colour of the fried dough should be light brown. It is

crisp at the edges and soft in the middle.


The pattern of the pinched edges of booz and khoorshoor is a matter of

competition and pride. Several delicate forms can be made by the fingers,

the smaller and thinner is the better for booz. The margins should not be very

thin for the khoorshoor, because it burns when frying.


   Corun MacAnndra   |

Dark Horde by birth |                  vivivi - the editor of the Beast

   Moritu by choice  |



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: DDFr at Midway.UChicago.edu (David Friedman)

Subject: Re: Mongolian Cuisine (HELP!)

Organization: University of Chicago Law School

Date: Sat, 1 Jul 1995 16:42:59 GMT


Corun MacAnndra gives modern recipes for two versions of a lamb in dough

ball recipe, called "booz" and "Khoorshoor." They sound similar to the

medieval islamic Sanbusak, which I suspect is related to the modern Indian

Samosa and to the following ingredient list from _Ain i Abari_ (16th

century Mughal):


20. Qutab, which the people of Hind call sanbusa: This is made in several

ways. 10 s. meat; 4 s. fine flour; 2 s. ghee; 1 s. onions; 1/4 s. fresh

ginger; 1/2 s. salt; 2 d. pepper and coriander seed; cardamons, cumin seed,

cloves, 1 d. of each; 1/4 s. of summaq. This can be cooked in twenty

different ways, and gives four full dishes.


Our current worked out version is:


To make 1/34th of this:


10 oz meat

4 oz flour=aprox 1/2 c white + 1/2 c whole wheat

2 oz ghee=aprox 4T (can substitute butter or margarine)

1 oz onion=1/3 to 1/2 c chopped

1/4 oz fresh ginger=1T chopped

1/2 oz salt=2t

1/24 th oz pepper=1/2 t ground

1/24 th oz coriander seed=1/2 t ground

1/49th oz  cardamon=1/4 t ground

1/49th oz cumin=1/4 t ground

1/49th oz cloves=1/4 t ground

1/4 oz sumac=2t


The following instructions are loosely based on the Andalusian Sanbûsak



Mix the flour, cut into it the ghee; continue until it is finely cut in.

Sprinkle on about 4-5 T water and knead to a smooth dough.


Cut up meat, combine it and all remaining ingredients in a food processor.

Process about 25 seconds, until it is all cut finely together. Roll out the

dough to about 12”x16”, and cut into 2”x2” pieces. Divide the filling

evenly, putting about a 1.5 t of the filling in each (i.e. use up all the

filling). Wrap the filling in the dough. It would probably work with fewer

squares and larger amounts of filling as well; the related Andalusian

recipe specifies a lump of filling the size of a walnut and an equal amount

of dough to wrap it with.


Put about 3 c of cooking oil in about a 3 qt pot, heat to between 350° and

370°, fry the Sanbusas about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes each, drain, serve. Makes

about 48


Rather salty, but not intolerably so. People who do not like salt should

probably cut it in half. Almost all of the dishes from this source come out

quite salty.



DDFr at Midway.UChicago.Edu



From: ddfr at midway.uchicago.edu (7/4/95)

To: Mark Harris

RE>Mongolian Cuisine (HELP!)


>What's "ghee"?


Clarified butter. You can get it from Indian grocery stores, or make it

following instructions in Indian cookbooks. Basically it is butter with

some impurities removed, making it stable to a higher temperature and (I

think) less subject to spoiling.


David Friedman

ddfr at midway.uchicago.edu



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: DDFr at Midway.UChicago.edu (David Friedman)

Subject: Re: Mongolian Cuisine (HELP!)

Organization: University of Chicago Law School

Date: Sat, 1 Jul 1995 16:35:34 GMT


> I am trying to locate medieval mongolian recipes, I would be most

> appreciative if anyone has some and would be willing to post them here or

> e-mail them to me. ...


>   Keith Johnson


The following is an ingredient list for Shulla for the _Ain I Akbari_,

which is late 16th century northern Indian (Moghul). According to Charles

Perry, whose opinion I trust, Shulla is a mongol dish, and the source is

period although not period mongol. Unfortunately, what the source gives is

a list of ingredients, not a recipe:


Shulla: 10 s. meat, 3 1/2 s. rice; 2 s. ghi; 1 s. gram; 2 s. onions; 1/2 s.

salt; 1/4 s. fresh ginger; 2 d. garlic, and round pepper, cinnamon,

cardamons, cloves, 1 d. of each: this gives six dishes.


According to calculations by Robin Carroll-Mann, who first told me about

this source:


1 ser = 964 gm. = 2lbs, 2 oz.

1 dam =20.084 gm. = 7/10 oz.


The following is our worked out version, as it currently stands:


meat: 1lb leg of lamb

rice: 1.6 oz = 3-4 T

ghee 1.6 oz = 1/4 c

gram (chickpeas) .8 oz = 2T

onions 3 oz sliced (check volume)

salt .8 oz salt! = 1T

fresh ginger .4 oz peeled and copped (check volume)

garlic .07 ounce! = aprox 1/2 clove, sliced

pepper .035 oz = 1/2 t

cinnamon .035 oz = 1/4 stick

cardamon .035 oz = aprox 1/2 t

cloves .035 oz =  aprox 1/2 t


Melt the ghee, put it in a pot. Brown the meat, onions, and garlic in it

for about 5 minutes on a medium heat. Add 1 1/4 c of lukewarm water, salt,

chickpeas, cinnamon. Simmer about another 10 minutes, then add ginger,

pepper, cardamom and cloves. Add the rice and another 1/2 c of water.

Simmer another 1/2 hour. Serve.


This was done on the (very uncertain) assumption that Shulla is related to

Shurba in al-Baghdadi, and that the recipe we have for the latter thus

gives a rough idea of how the former is made.


If you find any period mongol cookbooks, please let the rest of us know.



DDFr at Midway.UChicago.Edu



From: saaral at dcez.com (Grey Randall)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Mongolian Cuisine (HELP!)

Date: Mon, 03 Jul 1995 17:52:20 GMT

Organization: Capital Area Internet Service info at cais.com 703-448-4470


ad520 at freenet.unbc.edu (Keith Johnson) wrote:


>I am trying to locate medieval mongolian recipes, I would be most

>appreciative if anyone has some and would be willing to post them here or

>e-mail them to me.


A while back I had a recipe for Khorkhog, which was listed as a

mongolian festival dish. The book doesn't say how old the recipe is,

but it consits of the following:


1 Lamb cut into small pieces still on the bone

1 basket of onions chopped coarsley

seasonings to taste

(also needed is a large urn and many small stones that have been

heated in a fire)


cooking broth


Mix the lamb pieces and onions together.

fill the urn with alternating layers of the lamb mixture and the hot

stones until full, cover the urn and leave it alone for a few hours.


When finished, remove stones, scoop out lamb and onion mixture and

serve over rice with cooking broth.



I've made this on several of our saturday night gaming sessions,

although I cheated. I used boneless lamb, and baked it in a covered

caserole dish at 350 for 75 minutes.


I have a few more Mongolian recipes at home on my bookshelf, I'll go

digging through them when I get home today (IF they decide to unchain

me from my desk)


The book with the Khorkhog recipe has the instructions for the

buttered tea.  I've made it for 3 events, and got mixed results each

time. The second and third times I had to make a substitution and

ended up with results that were drinkable, but nothing to write home





Saaral (Soon to be Changed)/Grey the Succinct (Don't Blame Me, a BEAR Named Me!)

Frequent customer of the Tendou Akane's Kitchen of Pain



Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 18:45:02 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: SC - Cossacks, Mongols, and Huns..Oh My!


Karen Lyons-McGann wrote:

> Conchobar says:

>         Ok, I foolishly agreed to make a soup/stew for our event in March.

> Me too!   It's the first time I've volunteered for such a thing.  The

> title of the event is "Cossaks, Mongols & Huns" and I don't have to stick

> to the theme, but it would be nice.  Anyone have an idea what Cossaks,

> Mongols or Huns ate?  Or know of what book I should hunt down to start

> finding out?

> Anne


Okay. Lessee now. First off, I suspect that whatever the Cossacks ate

in period either hasn't been documented in any way accessible to us, or

concerns their eating habits since the eighteenth century. Huns are in a

similar, but diametrically opposed, situation. I'm not aware of any

Greek or Roman authors who went into their eating habits, and while

there may be some period or early-post-period Hungarian recipes

available, there's some question whether those recipes represent the

eating habits of nomadic horsemen to any extent.


Now. The Mongols, on the other hand...


There are several relatively modern Mongolian recipes available in

archives from the UseNet newsgroup, rec.org.sca, a.k.a. the Rialto. I

believe the noble Lord Stefan Li Rous can hook you up with those; since

it's been a long time since I've looked at them, I'm not certain they

made their way into his Florilegium files.


In the mean time, you might check William of Rubrick, who was a European

traveller in the Far East in the 14th century. No specific recipes, for

the most part, but numerous descriptions of dishes and foodways.


Distantly related (because modern) is a method my brother-in-law, who

travelled to Outer Mongolia last summer, and made a video recording of

Mongol herdsmen cooking what was, for them, a traditional version of

Mongolian hot pot.


They built a big bonfire, heating smooth riverbed rocks in it until they

glowed. They added the rocks, and rather minimally seasoned chunks of

freshly killed, skinned, and butchered lamb or kid, to a large milk can,

with a clamping lid, and sealed it shut. They then played a version of

soccer with the can for ten minutes or so. Maybe more like five.


They then flipped the can upright again, and carefully opened it,

spraying meat juice, ash, and superheated steam everywhere (since the

milk can, having become, effectively, a pressure cooker, lacked a safety

valve) and ate their barbecue like proper Mongols: squatting on their

heels around a campfire, with semi-raw, semi-grilled leeks and

wheat-flour flatbread griddlecakes, and, of course, plenty of Russian






Date: Thu, 18 Dec 1997 11:04:26 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Cossacks, Mongols, and Huns..Oh My!


Karen Lyons-McGann wrote:

>> They built a big bonfire, heating smooth riverbed rocks in it until they

>> glowed. The added the rocks, and rather minimally seasoned chunks of

>> freshly killed, skinned, and butchered lamb or kid, to a large milk can,

>> with a clamping lid, and sealed it shut. They then played a version of

>> soccer with the can for ten minutes or so. Maybe more like five.

>> Adamantius

> How well do you think a lamb/kid stew would sell?  I've eaten both and

> liked it, but hardly anyone eats lamb, and I don't think you can even by

> kid around here.  Everyone would think it smelled and tasted odd and I

> couldn't sell any. This is one of the things that makes people say

> "period food is yucky" because they aren't familiar with it.  But, you

> said they ate it with flat bread? That's useful to know.


There's no reason lamb stew shouldn't sell, if properly prepared. The

trick is to make sure the lamb isn't too mature, trim off most of the

fat (but not all or it could be dry), and season it well. For a

Mongolianesque seasoning, I'd suggest ginger (fresh), lightly toasted or

fried garlic (fresh is best, but a nice cheat is to buy the little

dehydrated flakes or chips--NOT powder or "salt"--and either toast them

lightly in a low oven until they just begin to turn golden, or sauteed

in a lightly oiled saute pan, to a similar shade--make sure you don't

burn them) and a dash of cheap American or Canadian whiskey, like rye,

which is a reasonably close approximation of the kaoliang sorghum "wine"

you find in the North and West of China, which sometimes gets up to

around 180 proof. The wine, that is.


If you wanted to do something like this as a stew, rather than as a sort

of barbecue, which is really what the milk can method seems to produce,

I suggest you brown the lamb in a bit of oil, and just add more liquid,

like, for instance, beef stock. Small amounts of dark Chinese soy sauce

(thicker and less salty than the light kind) and a small pinch of

Chinese Five Spice Powder wouldn't hurt. Nor would a piece of dried

orange peel. If the lamb has enough gristly connective tissue on it, it

will cook until soft and the dissolved gelatin will thicken the broth

enough without adding any other thickener. You could eat this with wheat

flour cakes (bao bing in Mandarin, kinda like flat, thin, biscuits,

cooked in a frying pan or griddle, with or without a garnish of sesame

seeds), or the kind of wheat pancakes usually eaten with Mu Xi pork in

Chinese restaurants, rather like wheat flour tortillas. Or, in a pinch,

this could be eaten over thick, eggless, wheat-flour noodles, like the

Japanese udon.





Date: Thu, 18 Dec 1997 11:08:30 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Mongol Cooking


One further source you might want to look at is the _Ain I Akbari_. It is

16th century Mughal. The Mughal culture was Persian/Indian, and the

Persians had been under Mongol rule (the Ilkhans) for a considerable while

somewhat earlier. So the recipes might (or might not) have some connection

to Mongol cooking. I believe there are a couple of worked out ones on our

web page, and in the latest edition of the _Miscellany_ (7th), although

probably not the previous (6th), which is the webbed one.





Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 19:34:35 -0500 (EST)

From: Chabi Merkit <afn05063 at afn.org>

Subject: SC - Mongol Receipes


Most of the receipes I have came from the Mongolia Society.  I also have a

few traditional receipes from some friend that are from Mongolia, but I'll

get to those.....


Sturgeon Boullion


1 kilogram Sturgeon

2.5 liters water

1 onion quartered

1 bunch parsley

1 parsnip

1 bunch celery

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper to taste


In order to make this sturgeon boullion one may use the entire fish or just

the head.


After cleaning and scaling sturgeon, cut it into peices, chopping the head

into a few peices, removing the eyes and gills.  Cover the cut sturgeon with

cold water in apot and bring to a boil.


Skim off the foan as it collects at the top.

Add the parsley, celery, and onion and bring to a boil for the second time.


Then cook over low heat for 50-60 minutes.


Take out the peices of fish and debone it.


Cook the cartilage until is becomes tender.


The fish is served on a plate, decorated with parsley springs and onion whil

the boullion is served separately in small bowls (pialy).


This receipe is from one of the more stable villages near lake Baykal.





Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 22:30:48 -0700

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Mid 15th Century Mongolian food


The only thing I know of anywhere close is the _Ain I Akbari_, which is

16th c. Mughal. The connection between Mughal and Mongol is a little

complicated, but does exist. The book contains ingredient lists for 30

dishes, with quantities but without instructions (some can be identified

from period Islamic cookbooks, or, less clearly, from modern Indian

recipes), along with instructions for a frying pan bread and for distilling







From: bojegei at aol.com (Bojegei)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: More Mongol Stuff

Date: 27 Aug 1999 23:12:46 GMT


Keith D Mondschein <kdm at acsu.buffalo.edu> writes:

>       I am attempting to research period Mongol recipes, but am not

>having much luck.  I am only able to find the occasional hot pot, fried

>dumpling (khoshoor), or marinated lamb recipes and I am sure that Mongols

>ate more than just these three dishes (besides the marinade for the lamb

>isn't period).  Are there any decent cook books out there? If so, what are

>they called, and where could I pick one up?

>       Thanks in advance.  BTW- I'm willing to trade recipes.


Hot pot (despite being called mongolian hot pot) is not mongolian according to

the mongols posting to soc.culture.mongolia.   The closest thing I've ever

heard of is boiling the lamb in milk. (Tim Severin's book)


I've never seen any references in period works to khoshoor or marinating the



I've seen plenty of references to milk, koumiss, wine, mead, roast lamb (mostly

without even salt), cheese, & every kind of milk product.  There's also

multiple reference to the mongols fondness for pine nuts (they still eat them

constantly.)  There's a reference to someone trying to grow almonds in

mongolia but apparently not successfully. Battues (circle hunts) were used for

both military training & food gathering so it's probably safe to assume they

ate pretty much everything they could hunt.  Fish was a starvation food.  An

ambassador from Africa brought one of the Khans (Ogedei, I think) a watermelon.

They ate a thin gruel for breakfast.  


Try reading some of the following period texts dealing with the Mongols for

references: the Secret History, the various works in _Mission to Asia_ (also

published as _The Mongol Missions), _The Successors of Genghis Khan_, Marco

Polo, _Travels of an Alchemist_, _Genghis Khan: History of the World Conquerer_

etc etc  Ibn Battuta would probably have some good info too but I haven't read

that one yet.


A Chinese cookbook from the Yuan dynasty was translated & published Petit

Propos Culinaires #60  (many thanks to Dame Alys for putting this info out on

the Rialto).  The introduction references a central asian book from the same

period that was written for the mongol court but I haven't found a translation

yet.  (does anyone know how to get in touch with a Paul Buell or an E.N.

Anderson?)  The recipes in the 2 books are supposed to be massively different -

almost all the central asian recipes were meat based (mostly lamb) and very

little vegetables & seafood.  The chinese book has lots of veggies & seafood.





Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 17:50:13 -0400

From: "Alderton, Philippa" <phlip at morganco.net>

Subject: SC - Fw:      [SCA-U] Unsual Foods


>Well, things are a bit slow, and I've been going thru really old posts.

>This was one of mine in Atlantia:

>Re: Medieval diseases, or never touch plague rats

>        Date: Wed, 9 Dec 1998 15:30:59 -0500

>        From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

>Organization: Windmaster's Hill, Atlantia, and the GDH

>          To: Merryrose <atlantia at atlantia.sca.org>

>> Poster: carl christianson <einar at cvn.net>

>> Elen Prydydd  wrote:

>> The prof I had for population history was really keen on McNeill:  he

>> drilled it into us pretty unmercifully  ;->  He even told us about

>> Mongolian folkways that prevented the spread of the damn disease:  never

>> touch a dead rodent (unless of course you just shot it) -- it's probably

>> diseased and has disease-carrying fleas on it!


>> Elen

>Actually, this is still a current practice in Mongolia. I am reading

>a book on Women of Mongolia by Martha Avery, 1996, where it states

>that it is forbidden to carry marmot into the cities, but they do it

>anyway, because of the threat of spreading plague. Problem is that

>Marmot is a delicacy there and they are addicted to it. Marmot plague

>is called tarvagan takhal. It seems to be seasonal though, worst in

>from June to middle of August when the animals are weakest. Hunting

>season is August 15 to October 15, after that they hibernate.

>There are a number of ways to cook it. One involves making sure it is

>shot in the head, reaching down the throat to pull out the insides,

>placing hot river stones inside, and throwing the whole marmot on the

>coals of a fire. After about two hours he gets really big and one

>removes the stones, which can be used to rub oneself with, then pours

>out the soup which has gathered inside the animal into two or three

>cups. Then you eat the rest of the animal.

>Magnus, just chock full of extraneous information. Enjoy your marmot. ;)



Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 22:10:46 -0800

From: "Wanda Pease" <wandapease at bigfoot.com>

Subject: SC - Book on Mongol Foods, Islamic Medicine (long)


Dr. Paul Buell wrote the information below for the e-mail list MEDIEV-L.

This is a scholarly list that I lurk on.  Since the book sounds as though it

might be of interest to several people I'm forwarding it with his permission

along with this second post regarding it's price (yike!) and where it can be



Book can be obtained in the USA from

Columbia University Press or directly from Kegan Paul:



Amazon.com has it listed too. Just do a search on my name or A Soup for the Qan.

Alas, the price is 75 pounds, about $127.00 at the most recent conversion rate.

Now for that you do get a fat book. But this may not entirely be a good

thing (more to carry around).


Dr. Buell said:

Participants in this list (MEDIEV-L) may recall that when previously a regular

poster I often posted on food history topics as part of a long-continued

project to translate, explain, and introduce the Mongol-era (1330)

dietary manual Yin-shan cheng-yao, "Proper and Essential Things for the

Emperor's Food and Drink," a work which is not only a most important

Chinese medical classic but which also documents Mongol court foodways

and therewith the interactions of the Mongols with a broad Eurasian

culture, from Iraq to Manchuria, from Siberia on south to Kashmir (represented by a superb stew eaten with a fennel pita). Well the long task, begun with

too much enthusiasm about 1980, is now finally complete and about two

weeks ago our rather too large book was finally published in London by

Kegan Paul International, an old established British publisher of

primarily academic books which has been around for more than a century

and a quarter, as they like to remind me. Since the book was very much

written with the interests of non-Sinologists in mind, comparative

Medievalists in particular, I not only call the attentions of those on

the list so inclined to the book, but also actively solicit your

suggestions and criticisms since, as well be made, clear below, the

project continues. Anyone associated with general Medieval journals who

would like review copies should contact me too and I will pass the

information on to the publisher (or contact them directly at the address

given as CC above). At the end of this posting is the publisher's

official summary of the book if I miss anything here.


The book announced, I come to my second reason for this posting. I and

my team (in this case Buell, Eugene N. Anderson, a young 4 star cook

named Olav Hekala, and Fr. Sabban, the dean of French food historians,

if we can talk her into it) will continue with food research, this time

an annotated and fully introduced translation of the recipes section

from a circa 1369 north Chinese popular encyclopedia. This book not only

contains what seems to be the earliest recognizable Baklava (a

Turkicized derivative from Mongolian Bakhlakh, "to wrap in layers," by

the way)  recipe, but a true food diversity, everything from Islamic

sharbats (called that) to south Chinese leaven recipes. This project,

however, will be only a short-term action as we (the we in this case is

myself, food historian Eugene Anderson, medical historian Paul Unschuld,

medic and medical anthropologist Chris Muench, and science historian

Lisa Raphals) get into an even larger project that I think will truly be

of interest to any and all Western Medievalists. This will be a full

translation and annotation of the four surviving chapters (our of 34

originally, a veritable encyclopedia since the surviving chapters are

some 450 pages) of the Hui-hui yao-fang, "Muslim Medicinal Recipes," a

text associated with Islamic medicine as practiced under the Mongols.


What is interesting about this text is the fact that, although in

Chinese, it is unvarnished Arabic traditional medicine, even with

Arabic-script entries for medicinals and terms otherwise transliterated

into Chinese. Although others have claimed that this work is an

adaptation of Ibn Sina's Canon, our research so far has shown that the

work is, in fact, from one or more Persian language sources and that the

work has a very much practical medical application with little that is

theoretical about it (in contrast to Ibn Sina). Much of the content is,

in fact, not only not theoretical but far in advance of any then

contemporary medicine anywhere in the world. The text's discussion of

burns, for example, is unparalleled and could provide guidance even

today. It is living proof, moreover, that Islamic medicine circa 1300

was not as moribund a tradition as some would have us believe.


One of the things that impresses me the most about this text is the

similarity of much of its content to early Medieval translations from

Arabic texts into Latin and other Spanish languages except that the

Hui-hui yao-fang is a far better translation of its sources and is far

more usable, judging by criticisms I have read of the first Arabic

translations in the West. Which brings me to the purpose of these

jottings and my (brief) reappearance on this list. I am very interested

in establishing contact with any one working in Arabic medicine, in

particular Arabic medicine as transmitted to the West for purposes of

exchanges of information. Please direct any inquiries to the email

addresses below. If you are interested in our book also direct inquires

to the same source and I will tell you where you can get it or find out

more information. Thanks in advance and for reading his long post.


Below, FYI, the publishers summary of our book. The full title is: Paul

D. Buell, Eugene N. Anderson, and Charles Perry, A Soup for the Qan:

Chinese Dietary Medicine of the Mongol Era as Seen in Hu Szu-hui's

Yin-shan Cheng-yao, London, Kegan Paul International, 2000


Paul D. Buell, Seattle, Washington (email as above or

pbuell at titan.cc.wwu.edu)


To be Published March 2000: A Soup for the Qan (ISBN 0 7103

0583 4) by Paul D. Buell, Eugene N. Anderson and Charles Perry


In the tradition of Edward Schafer and Berthold Laufer, this is an

elegant and scholarly study of a remarkable text which brings to

life a long vanished civilization, and adds to our understanding of

practices and concerns which are still of fundamental importance

to us today.  In 1330, the Mongol Emperor Tugh-temur of China - a

descendant of Qubilai-qan - was presented with a dietary manual,

the Yin-shan Cheng-yao, or "Proper and Essential Things for the

Emperor's Food and Drink," written by the imperial dietary

physician Hu Szu-hui.  Since Hu's primary interest and charge was

the medical aspect of nutrition, always a central focus in the

Chinese world, much of the book is an account of the medical

values of foods and recipes, in terms of medieval Chinese

nutritional therapy.


Containing both prescriptions for life and health and instructions for

the preparation of court delicacies, it describes the cuisine of the

era in great detail, disclosing the long-term Chinese assimilation of

foreign foods and foodways, and the effects on China of conquest

and rule by foreigners with only limited interest in Chinese culture.

Food and foodways are sensitive barometers of material and social

conditions, revealing change in process and cultural interactions in

unique ways.


This edition includes a reproduction of the compete

text of the Yin-shan Cheng-yao based primarily upon the 1456

Ming edition but also including surviving fragments from the Yuan

Dynasty original.  For the first time, it is presented here in full

English translation, and also in facsimile Chinese, along with the

text's many woodcut illustrations. A full background and analysis

are provided from the textual, anthropological and culinary points

of view, giving the historical and cultural context, and a detailed

study of the text with sections on Turko-Islamic Influences,

including Islamic materia dietica and medica, and The Chinese

Framework, including the social context of Yin-shan Cheng-yao

foodways. A special feature is a section on how the recipes

in the book can be adapted for cooking today.  Whether it

is read as a work of history or of anthropology, a translation, a

culinary resource or medical manual, this is an exceptional work,

one that makes a highly important contribution to many fields.



Date: Tue, 04 Apr 2000 11:47:05 -0400

From: Richard Keith <keith.78 at osu.edu>

Subject: SC - Mongolian foods long


Greetings, I found this information on Mongolian food on the net.  Thought

it might be of interest.  PS  If any one has more period Mongolian recipes,

I would love them for war this year.  I have looked in Stephen's files.






Mongolian and Tibetan Foods and Beverages


Cathy Ang


Because of the unique geographic locations of Mongolia and Tibet, foods and

beverages of these regions exhibitunique characteristics. However,

literature in this area is scarce and mostly appear as popular articles

instead of scientific papers. As an effort to stimulate further studies on

the subject, I provide a brief introduction of the specialty food and

beverage items in Mongolia(Part I) in this issue, and Tibet (Part II) in

the following issue of the newsletter.


Part I. Mongolian Foods and Beverages


A. Dairy Products:


Unlike the Hans in China, dairy products are very important dietary items

in Mongolia. Dairy products are often referred to as white food and meat

products or animal flash items are referred to as red food. Traditionally,

raw materials for white food include milks from cows, horses, sheep, goats,

camels and reindeers. Horse milk is considered to contain the highest

valued nutrients. Cow's milk is most popular and it is used for a variety

of other products. Ten major dairy products are listed below.


1. Liquid butter: It can be made from milk of cows, sheep, goats and

camels. To make the liquid butter, fresh milk is poured into an earthen jar

or a wooden barrel and let stand at 20+ oC for 6 to 8 hours with air

ventilation. The milk is then partially coagulated, becomes light yellow

and forms a thick, semi-solid layer. The yield is about 2-3 portions of

liquid butter from 10 portions of milk. The liquid butter can be served

with sugar and fried millet, in vegetables or tea and as a spread on bread.


2. White butter: There are two ways to make the white butter. One way is to

put the liquid butter into cheese cloth (course cloth) sag which is then

hung up to remove the liquid. With stirring, the butter is separated from

the liquid. Another way is to stir sour milk (yeast fermented) to separate

the white butter from liquid. Usually it needs stirring for several

thousands times.


3. Yellow butter: It is made from white butter. Either the fresh or sour

white butter can be heated in a pot until the yellow butter oil melted and

separated from the butter cream. Milk from cows, sheep, goats and camels

can be used for white as well as yellow butter. Mongolian people often take

a bowl of yellow butter before starting a long journey. It can also be

served with pan fried millet and pan cakes.


4. Milk tofu: It can be made from either raw or cooked milk. To make raw

milk tofu, milk is placed in a warm place to become fermented. Use a ladle

to stir it occasionally until it is coagulated and forms tofu-like texture.

Transfer the contents to a mold or a sag to remove the liquid and let it

air dry. To make cooked milk tofu, the liquid from making the white butter

(or the liquid from making milk film) is fermented, coagulated and filtered

through a cheese cloth sag The coagulated milk is heated with stirring

until it becomes thick. It is then placed in a cloth sag and pressed out of

yellow liquid. The solid part is placed in a wooden mold to form square or

rectangular shapes and let air dry. The best type of milk tofu is white in

color. The product is often air-dried for storage and prevention of

molding. The dried milk tofu is used for milk tea, for shepherds and long

distance travelers.


5. Milk film (milk leather): Heat fresh milk in a pot at low temperature

with stirring until foams occur. After cooling, a layer of cream is

coagulated on top. It is removed as a film (skin) which is then air-dried

in a well ventilated place


6. Sour milk: It can be made from raw milk or cooked milk. Place milk in

jars at 18 o C or above and allow it to ferment for about two days. The

milk appears to form chucks. The sour milk made from cook milk (milk is

boiled first) is slightly sour.


7. Milk tea: It is also referred to as the Mongolia tea, the most important

beverage for the shepherds. To make the milk tea, the brick tea is crushed

into pieces followed by boiling in water for 3 minutes with constant

stirring. Fresh milk is slowly added to the tea at a proportion of one part

of milk to 3 to 6 parts of water. A little of salt may be added. Milk tea

is sometimes served by adding pan fried millet.


8. Milk wine: It can be made with any type of milk but the most valuable

and famous milk wine is made from the horse milk. Raw milk in a wooden

barrel or porcelain jar is allowed to ferment and separated from fat. The

fermented milk (without top layer fat) is transferred into a pot equipped

with a set of the distillation devise (consisting of a bucket of cold water

placed above two brick jars) covered around with towels. The pot is heated

at high temperature. The evaporated alcohol will condense underneath the

cold water bucket and drip into the brick jars. The most expensive horse

wine is fermented and distillated over six times. Horse milk tastes sour,

sweet and slightly bitter


9. Cheese: After removal of the yellow butter, the buttermilk part is let

fermented in a warm place until the milk is coagulated as chunks and

pieces. It resembles cottage cheese


10. Milk pie: After the cheese is getting sour, add sugar and flour

followed by shaping and baking. Milk pie is used as a dessert


B. Grain Products.


1. Millet: Millet is one of the most important grain products in Mongolia.

It can be cooked with water as the way for cooking rice. It may be cooked

with higher proportions of water to make congee. However, the most unique

product is the pan fried millet. With kernels removed, pan fried millet is

used as a type of ready-to-serve cereal. It is a common practice in

Mongolia to add pan fried millet to milk tea for serving


2. Fried flour: The common types of grain in Mongolian diet are buckwheat,

wheat, oat and millet. The fried flour is made by frying grain flour at low

heat and adding sugar. The fried flour is used as a dry staple


3. Millet and flour cookies: Fried millet and fried flour are mixed

together and added with sugar, yellow butter, and milk. Cookies are then

formed by hand and baked


4. Fried pie: Mix flour, yellow butter, egg and sugar. Forms pie shape and

pan fry.


5. Steamed layer bread: Steam the pie batter until done.


C. Animal meat products


Livestock raised in Mongolia include wild horse, sheep, goat, cow and

camel. However, not much beef, pork or horse meat are consumed. The most

popular meat items are the goat and sheep's muscle parts. The lamb can be

barbecued as a whole lamb, grilled or boiled in smaller pieces. There are

also smoked meat and dried meat items


D. Tea drinks


Teas in Mongolia are categorized into three types by color. The red tea of

the Chinese Hans is referred to as black tea in Mongolia, the Jasmine tea

as yellow tea and the brick tea as blue tea. Among these teas, the brick

tea is the most popular type because of its convenient in carrying around.

Most of the brick teas are from India. Tea drinking is very natural and

important in Mongolia. Tea beverages such as milk tea (described in

previous sections ) are for three meals a day, for serving to guests, for

snack times and for thirsty. Some locally grown plants (their flower,

leaves and stems) are also used as tea drinks.



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Mongolian cooking

Organization: Verio MidAtlantic

From: corun at clark.net (Corun MacAnndra)

Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 15:45:04 GMT


For those interested in period Mongolian and Chinese cuisine there is

a book out there for you. The book is called Soup for the Qan, and is

a translation of the Yin Shan Zheng Yao, a cookbook that comes from the

court of Kublai Khan. I will caution all and sundry that this book has

undergone a revision, and the new edition is due to hit the bookstands

some time in April 2000. The current ISBN is 0 7103 0583 4, and the

authors are Paul D. Beull and Eugene N. Anderson.


Here's a short blurb about the book from the Kegan Paul International

site in England;


> This is a complete translation of the medieval Chinese dietary Yin-Shan

> cheng-yao (1330), with full notes and supporting text, along with a

> monograph-sized introduction. The Chinese original is the first dietary

> manual of its sort in Chinese history, and is of particular interest on

> account of substantial Mongolian, Turkic, and general Islamic influence.

> The purpose of the translation is to make an important work of the

> Chinese herbal tradition generally available, placed in its proper

> historical and culturla context, and to make a contribution to the study

> of traditional East Asian foodways in a broader context. The translation

> will be the first of its kind and should substantially alter previously

> held views on Chinese interactions with non-Chinese cultures, including

> China's Mongol conquerors and their key Turkic allies.

You can get the current edition at Amazon and Borders, with the latter

vendor being less expensive. Amazon sells the book for $127. Borders has

it for about $93 and change. However, these prices may change when the new

edition hits. Also, Borders has it on Special Order only.





From: "Phlip" <phlip at 99main.com>

To: <sca-east at indra.com>, "SCA-Cooks" <Sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>,

   <theforge at mailman.qth.net>

Date: Sat, 3 May 2003 11:30:13 -0400


Paul Buell's new book, "Historical Dictionary of the Mongol World Empire" is out, and I think it's a great resource for SCAdians interested in the Mongol empire. In addition to being set up as a dictionary, with thoughtful entries on any number of topics, it contains six essays which give an excellent overview of the Mongol influence in period, as well as appendices on Mongolian scripts, Mongolian vocabulary, and a collection of recipes from the Yinshan Zhengyao (1330), as well as a great bibliography for those of us who want to learn more.


Paul, while not SCA himself, tried very hard to get the publishers to offer a pre-publication discount to SCAdians, but in their infinite wisdom, they KNEW that only libraries and universities would buy it, and after some discussion, we have decided to ask you a favor when you order the book. At the bottom of the order form online, there's a section which reads, "Additional Instructions". Please add in words to the effect of, "By the way, I'm not a library, I'm in the SCA, and I'm buying this book because of my interest in historical recreation". We're hoping that if enough people do this, it will occur to these people that, yes, there IS a market for historical information beyond academia, and they'll keep their promise to Paul to offer his books to us at a discount next time.


The least expensive way to order is from the publisher. Go to:






(Or go to www.scarecrowpress.com and put "buell" in the search engine,  

if your browser won't take that URL)


And read the review. If you want to order it, click on "add to cart" and

follow the instructions, just like you might with any other online  



If you buy it from them, they give you 15% off the List price- s/h is  

$4.00 for the first copy, $1 for each additional copy.


I think you'll like it, folks- I've read it, and I'm very impressed. It's not so scholarly that it's incoherent, it simply gives you the information, simply and straightforwardly.





From: KazOShea at aol.com

Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2003 19:07:19 EDT

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Mongol Feast Questions

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


I was an n assistant cook for a documentable Mongol feast, and I helped to

plan out some of the dishes and had mentioned to the head cook that there was a

real lack of anything vegetarian friendly. Well that is the way teh Mongols

cooked in period, they were no vegetarians,everything had meat meat and more

meat just in case there was not enough meat in it. To take it out of fully

documented but in a period style you could use some of the fake meat broths, I

have used them and there is not an appreciable diffrence in flavor from using a

meat stock. If ou are going to strictly to Mongol and strictly to period

recipes you are out of luck for vegetarian friendly.





Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2003 02:12:35 -0400

From: "Phlip" <phlip at 99main.com>

Subject: Fw: [Sca-cooks] Mongol Feast Questions

To: "SCA-Cooks" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


As I mentioned, I asked Paul Buell about Mongolian vegetarian dishes,

And camel dishes.


> Mongol recipes did not include a lot of vegetarian ones. Mostly, they simply

> did not have the vegetables available in Mongolia. Sorry, not part of the

> tradition.

> No more information about how the Mongols cooked camel meat, alas.

> Hope this helps. Paul


We discussed it for a while late last night, and he said that Mongols just

didn't eat many vegetables or grains- they didn't have them, unless they

ransacked some town or another- and even then, they didn't eat much.


It wasn't until late into their period that wines were drunk- kumiss

was the preferred beverage.


As far as camel, he's unaware of any recipes in the areas he's been

studying, but he will ask around. In the meantime, I think I'll ask Gene

Anderson- he has other areas of interest, and might have some ideas.


Saint Phlip,




Date: Fri, 05 Sep 2003 01:55:49 -0500

From: "Michael Gunter" <countgunthar at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Mongol Feast Questions

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


> Well that is the way the Mongols

> cooked in period, they were not vegetarians,everything had meat meat and

> more meat just in case there was not enough meat in it.

> If you are going to strictly to Mongol and strictly to period

> recipes you are out of luck for vegetarian friendly.

> Iago


Actually, this is different from many of the more archaeological and cultural

references I've seen on the nomads of the Steppes. I was just reading up

on it the other day. Although you are correct in the documented sources of

Mongol feasting, I feel this does not reflect the true Mongol or Steppes nomad

diet. Meat was a real treat and the more meat served the greater the honor

given to the guest. Especially if the meat came from valuable animals such

as a male or pregnant female. Remember, to the average nomad, the size of

your herd was your wealth. To eat from this constantly was to drain them of



Much of the nomadic diet contained millet that was casually cultivated. By

This I mean they would scatter the seeds in certain places and hope there

Were plants when they came back. Milk and milk products were also very common.

Everyone is familiar with kumiss or kwass, fermented milk. But they also drank

defatted milk (sort of like a skim milk) as well as yoghurts and simple



Gathered fruits and vegetables were eaten. Often mixed into the millet porridge

or cheese/yoghurt mixes. There were cases of a dried yoghurt cheese. I recall

a type of pasta that was dried in large cubes and grated into boilng liquid.

Master A knows more about this.


Some of the meat dishes included a hide kept whole and the meat chopped up.

Then the meat was placed back into the hide with the hide sewn up and a

large tube fitted in. A pit was dug and a fire lit. Once the coals had burned down or rocks were added to stay hot the hide was placed into the pit and

covered with the pipe left sticking out. As the meat cooked the juices and icky fats and such would bubble out of the pipe. When the pipe bubbled clean, the meat was dug up and enjoyed.


There are also reports of meat placed on sticks with onion and garlic and



Here are some areas to check:


Tender Meat Under the Saddle. Customs of Eating, Drinking, and Hospitality Among

Conquering Hungarian's and Nomadic Peoples. Krems. 1998 ISBN 3-90 1094 10 5


Medieval Arab Cookery, Essays and Translations by Maxime Rodinson, A.J. Arberry,

and Charles Perry. Prospect 2001  ISBN 0907325 91 2


Book of Dede Korkut. Geoffrey Lewis. Penguin Books, Canada 1979

ISBN 0140442987


God's Banquet, Food in Classical Arabic Literature.  Geert Jan Van Gelder.

Columbia University Press. 2000 ISBN 0 231 11948 8


I hope this gives a slightly better overview of nomadic people's diets.





Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2004 07:22:07 +0800

From: drakey2 at iinet.net.au

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Mongolian cooking documentation

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


> -=The Seamus wrote:

>> I am in a Seige cook-off comp. on sat. and with the ingredents that

>> they will be giving us it lends it self to mongolian cooking...


>> Does anyone have any recpies/documention for mongolian dishes handy?


>> I have found a few but more are always welcome!

> Your best bet is to find a copy of "Soup for the Qan"...it contains

> translations of period Mongolian recipes, and is excellent.


Don't forget that not only do we have the 2 sources already mentioned but Paul

Buell also wrote an article called something like Turkicisation of Mongol Food

and Foodways.  It's got a couple of dessert recipes that are conspicuously

absent from the manuscripts contained within a Soup for the Qan and the PPC






Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 13:58:03 -0600

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Mongol measure?

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


> I went online and did some searching and found a "tau" listed as a Mongoian

> measure. I have a feeling my friend found a badly-translated (babblefish?)

> page. It mentions cooking marmots, rather than gerbils, so....

> Hrothny


I'd love to see this recipe.  Could you post the URL?


In the meantime, I bet the "tau" is actually "tou" or about 317 cubic

inches. If you want to checkout some of the weights and measures for

Mongolian cooking, take a look at the Silver Horde website:








Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 15:06:29 -0500

From: "afoil" <a5foil at ix.netcom.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Mongol measure?

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


I just hit Google. I never knew there was so much to know about gerbils!


I rather think that marmot is a better translation, since even today Mongols

hunt and eat marmots. See http://www.e-mongol.com/mongolia_nature.htm among

other pages.





Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 15:10:48 -0500

From: "Terri Morgan" <nothingbutadame at inthe.sca.org>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Mongol measure?

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


> I'd love to see this recipe.  Could you post the URL?

> In the meantime, I bet the "tau" is actually "tou" or

> about 317 cubic inches.  If you want to checkout some

> of the weights and mesures for Mongolian cooking,

> take a look at the Silver Horde website:




> Bear


Thanks - that matches what I just told my friend (and I sent him to that

exact websie just now). Here's what he wrote to me:



I saved this as I thought is was cool, but cannot get back to the  



" Catch many of the mice of the Hairy Tail (gerbils 1 tan clean), finely

ground coriander (one liang), onions (ten stalks), pices (five ch’ien).

Apply [coriander, onions and spices] uniformly to ingredients and roast. One

may dress the hairy mice in a thick flour with fuang and steam-roast until

done in a cage; this is also possible. One may dress the hairy mice with

liquid butter combined with flour, and brazier cook in a brazier; this is

also possible.”

... “MIce of the Hairy Tail meat is best in fall, when they are fat for the

long sleep.  It is rich, brown and crackles when fried. It supplements the

center and augents ch’i. It is beneficial eaten broiled dipped in salt

broth water and roots. Of the white foods best with airag."


Got this from a Iraqi article on a Arabic historian, Ibn Battua. I ran  it

through the translater program at work as it was written in Persian. The

program did not recognise Tan, Liang, Ch'ien, airag, Fuang. I think from  my

readings on other sites that "white foods" is a dairy product of some  





So my guess that it was a translation problem is probably right.


Thank you, everyone, for the help!

Now if I can just keep my fingers crossed that he won't take me up on that

offer to help him make kumiss (airag)...





Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 15:27:18 -0500

From: Robin Carrol-Mann <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Mongol measure?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Terri Morgan wrote:

> ... “MIce of the Hairy Tail meat is bes in fall, when they are fat for the

> long sleep.  It is rich, brown and crackles when fried. It supplements the

> center and augments ch’i. It is beneficial eaten broiled dipped in salt

> broth water and roots. Of the white foods best with airag.




I Googled some of the phrases in this recipe, and came across a SCA

website that has an almost identical recipe, except that the meat is

identified as Eurasian curlew, which is a bird. The original is

attributed to "Soup for the Qan".



Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom



Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2006 08:02:59 -0700

From: "Anne-Marie Rousseau" <dailleurs at liripipe.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] mongolian food....RE:  Mutton:  Was Small Numbers

To: <alysk at ix.netcom.com>,    "'Cooks within the SCA'"

        <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>,    <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


There's mutton and there's marmot, I'm told....


Check out my friends webpage...she's done a ton of research on Mongolian




--AM, who is partial to the scallion pancake things :)


Malkin wrote:

> I still have not settled on a food theme. Mongols appear to have survived

> mostly on mutton, and after my youth-life of summers spent working on sheep

> ranches, I can not abide the smell or taste of mutton.



Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 09:43:54 -0700 (PDT)

From: Kathleen Madsen <kmadsen12000 at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Mongolian meat cakes

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org


> If the mongols had used cheese in medieval meat

> cakes, wouldn't it have been something like green

> mare's milk cheese? Something curdled fresh on

> horseback, close to cottage cheese?

> ~Aislinn~


The Mongols were migratory herders and did indeed do

some preservation of foodstuffs, cheese being one of

the easiest foods to preserve.  If it was something

that is used for grating then it would definitely be

aged or sun-dried.


One of the basic recipes, which the Romans used as

well, was to make a curd, drain it, and spread it out

in the sun to dry into hardened sheets.  These were

then either ground up or grated into a food that would

reconstitute it to some degree.  People today do a

sort-of similar version by putting dollops of drained

yogurt on a plate or tray and placing that in the

refrigerator (uncovered) to dry out.


It is thought that the cheese called Cacciocavallo was

originally created by the Mongols as it was something

that could easily be slung across a pack animal,

saddle, or tent pole as it traveled and aged.

Unfortunately it is merely speculation.  It's one of

those cheeses that has been around for so long that no

one's quite sure where it began.  On top of that, it's

named after it's shape - not a recipe so while what we

have available under that name today may come close to

the correct shape the flavor/texture/milk could be all



There are also cheeses that were made in the stomach

of the goat or sheep and were left to age there for

transport purposes.  This cheese was so full of the

active enzyme in rennet that your tongue is just

assaulted with it. Imagine the "sharpness" of cheddar

magnified about 30 times over.  Just the thought makes

me pucker.


These are all of the aged ones that I have been able

to find that could have conceivably been used by the

Mongols. Fresh cheeses would have included yogurt,

sour cream, possibly a feta-style, and a few others.

I'm working on the cheeses for a

Persian/Iranian/African trade route feast our Barony

is holding in a few weeks.  The Head Cook is serving






Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 06:54:07 -0400

From: "Elaine Koogler" <kiridono at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Any period Mongolian recipes out there?

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


I'm not sure what you mean when you say that "Soup" is all wrong for the

location. It is definitely Mongolian, despite the fact that the recipes

were written down by a Chinese gentleman...he was physician to Kublai Khan,

and much of the book deals with stuff to keep the Khan happy and healthy.

So it is definitely period.  You need a rice or noodle dish, right?  I don't

have any of those specifically, but I can offer this one, which is quite

tasty (and you can find the weird ingredients in a good oriental grocery

store...note that it is  not from the main body of the book, but from a

monograph that Paul Buell sent me, and is actually from Chu-chia pi-yung

shih lei (A late 14th c. household encyclopedia).  This was, according to

Buell's monograph, written a little later than Yin-shan cheng-yao (Good and

Essential Things for the Emperor's Food and Drink), and was for popular

Chinese consumption rather than for Court use as was the case for the

former. This recipe is part of the "Muslim" recipes from that book.  All of

this is Mongol in that, firstly, this was one of the periods when the

Mongols ruled China (Yuan Dynasty), and is one of many examples that

illustrate the influence Chinese and Middle Eastern food ideas and

methodologies on Mongol cuisine.


Rolled Thin Pancakes


Spread out thin wafers.  Set out walnuts, pine nuts, peach kernels, hazel

nuts, tender lotus seeds [Nelumbium speciiosum], dried persimmons, lotus

rhizome, gingko fruits, prepared chestnuts, badam [Per:  almonds]. Except

for the yellow of the chestnuts, to be cut into strips, cut everything up

finely. Combine with crystallized honey.  Add pulverized lamb, ground

ginger, salt, onions, and combine.  Make the filing.  Put into thin wafers.

Fry in oil.


Lumpia wrappers

2 tsp. Ground Walnuts

2 tsp. Ground Pine nuts

2 tsp. Peach kernels (used slivered almonds, ground )

2 tsp. Ground Hazelnuts

--Lotus seeds (omit?couldn't find)

4 tsp. Dried persimmons, finely chopped

2 tsp. Lotus rhizome, finely chopped

4 tsp. Gingko fruit, finely chopped

2 tsp. Prepared chestnuts, cut into strips

1 tbsp. Crystallized honey

1# Ground lamb

1 tsp. Ground ginger

1 tsp. Salt

1/2 small Onion



Chop walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, persimmons and gingko finely.

Cut the chestnuts into strips.  Mix together with the crystallized honey.

Add the ground lamb, ginger, salt, and onions and mix together thoroughly.

Place filling in wrappers, and roll the wrappers up tightly.   Fry in  

peanut oil.




PS: There are a number of noodle recipes in Soup...I just haven't redacted

them. One of the ones that occurs in several books, including Soup is

"Tutam Ash" and "Chuqmin Noodles".  The second of these sounds quite tasty,

except that it calls for "innards"...sheep intestines and lungs!  If you

need copies of these, let me know,



On 8/24/07, KristiWhyKelly at aol.com <KristiWhyKelly at aol.com> wrote:

> My menu need some serious tweaking, and I've been asked to include  

> period 'Eastern' recipes, specifically rice or noodle dishes.

> My only source for that region was _A soup for the Qan_ which is

> apparently all wrong for the location, which is Mongolian.

> Any ideas for sources or dishes?  I'm pretty desperate now.

> Grace



Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 07:19:23 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Any period Mongolian recipes out there?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


On Aug 23, 2007, at 11:46 PM, KristiWhyKelly at aol.com wrote:

> My menu need some serious tweaking, and I've been asked to include

> period 'Eastern' recipes, specifically rice or noodle dishes.

> My only source for that region was _A soup for the Qan_ which is

> apparently all wrong for the location, which is Mongolian.

> Any ideas for sources or dishes?  I'm pretty desperate now.


I'm a little confused between your subject line and the actual

question... am I right in thinking you're looking for non-Mongolian

Asian dishes? If so, "A Soup for the Qan" might easily apply to much

of Yuan Dynasty China (probably not the far south or east, places now

known as, say Quangdong or Shanghai, but then China is a big place).


Please note that rice or noodle dishes might not be found quite where

we might expect them, looking from a modern perspective, since

availability by trade of various items might not have been in period

what it is today. So, for example, there are probably not too many

Mongolian rice dishes: where would they get it and why would they

carry it? Similarly, in the south of China, you're probably less

likely to find wheat noodle recipes than you are those for, say, some

version of cellophane or bean starch noodles.


There are a few noodle references in Ni Tsan's Cloud Forest Hall

Collection of Rules for Eating And Drinking, which, as I recall, is

from 14th-century East central China. There's a pretty

straightforward recipe for wheat noodles, which it then directs you

to serve in broth or sauce, one for cold stirred noodles in a fish or

shrimp, soy and vinegar sauce, one for gluten noodles in what to me

looks like a pretty complex sauce with lots of ingredients ;-), and a

reference to using cellophane noodles as a substrate for steaming

crabmeat; the noodles are removed when the dish is cool, and

presumably discarded.


In the same source there are enough rice references to suggest the

author and any potential readers were familiar with rice, but not

many recipes that aren't for rice wine: it refers to rice porridge

and suggests one recipe as a condiment/topping; presumably there were

other toppings, just as there are today. There are also a couple of

filled wheat bun, bread/pancake-type items, and wontons.





Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 10:16:51 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Any period Mongolian recipes out there?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


Would you ask your requestor WHY Soup for the Qan was not appropriate?

The description for the book is

"This volume?s original was written by an imperial dietary doctor who

detailed foods and their medicinal values in those days and he presented

this information to the Mongol Emperor Tu-temur who ruled from 1328 to

1332 C.E. The Buell/Anderson translation of the 1456 C.E. edition

provides page by page translation with copies of each original page and

a page-by-page commentary. Included are more than two hundred recipes

and court delicacies, dietetic materials, and more. After them is an

Appendix called Materia Dietetica et Medica and another section by

Charles Perry called Grain Foods of the Early Turks (who were neighbors

of the Mongol court)."


As a librarian I am wondering if they have seen an actual copy of the

book or are relying on hearsay.

I know the book is very expensive and that copies were not available for

a number of years due to the publisher keeping OS.




KristiWhyKelly at aol.com wrote:

> No, I'm looking for Mongolian recipes.

> And the request was for rice or noodle dish.  And I was told by the

> requestor that _Soup_ was not a proper source for Mongolian  

> dishes.  So, if  I can find another period source I would be greatful.

> Thanks  Grace



Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 10:33:04 -0400

From: "Saint Phlip" <phlip at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Any period Mongolian recipes out there?

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


Dear, I think you're asking for the impossible. As I read you, you're

asking for either Mongolian food that isn't Mongolian, or

non-Mongolian food that is Mongolian.


If you read more, you'll discover that early period Mongolians didn't

do rice and noodles until they started conquering China. Once they did

conquer much of China (and other places) they started to adopt the

foods of their conquered nations, so Soup for the Qan is very

appropriate for later period Mongols.


Early Mongols were steppe people, and other than by conquest, their

diet consisted of mainly found foods and the products of their herds.

It was only later that grains and flours became part of their diet.


If you want Mongolian noodles and/or rice, you need to look at Soup  

for the Qan.


On 8/24/07, KristiWhyKelly at aol.com <KristiWhyKelly at aol.com> wrote:

> No, I'm looking for Mongolian recipes.

> And the request was for rice or noodle dish.  And I was told by the

> requestor that _Soup_ was not a proper source for Mongolian  

> dishes.  So, if  I can find another period source I would be greatful.

> Grace



Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 11:50:14 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Any period Mongolian recipes out there?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


Maybe what you need is something like

*Imperial Mongolian Cooking: Recipes from the Kingdoms of Genghis Khan

*by Marc Cramer.


Not period or very historical but maybe it's good enough for your feast

given its parameters and restrictions on using Soup for the Qan.




KristiWhyKelly at aol.com wrote:

> Any idea of how to stop the discussion of Rowan's research on the list?  I

> so don't want to get into this subject.  I just want some  recipes.

> Thanks for your help,   Grace



Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 12:13:02 -0400

From: "Elaine Koogler" <kiridono at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Any period Mongolian recipes out there?

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


Even the book that Lady Johnna mention, *Imperial Mongolian Cooking: Recipes  

from the Kingdoms of Genghis Khan" contains recipes that are very much like  

what you find in Soup.


I did locate one recipe in Soup that appears to be pretty much traditional

Mongolian, though it's not noodles:


*32. Roast Wolf Soup*


Ancient *pen-ts'ao* do not include entries on wolf meat.  At present we

state that its nature is heating.  It treats asthenia.  I hae never heard

that it is poinonous for those eating it.  In the case of the present recipe

we use spices to help its flavor.  It warms the five internal organs and

warms the center.


Wolf meat (leg; bone and cut up), tsaoko cardamoms (three), black pepper

(five *c'ien*), *kasni* (one *ch'ien*), turmeric (two *chi'en*),

*za'faran *(one *ch'ien*).


Boil ingredients together into a soup.  Adjust flavors of everything using

onions, sauce, salt and vinegar.


It is believed to be traditional Mongolian by Buell as the Chinese weren't

eating this sort of "critters" at this point (including dog), and Muslims

would have been upset at the idea of eating meat of this sort.  Beyond this,

I'm afraid I can't be of much assistance.  You might try contacting the

Silver Horde at mongol at NYCMongol.com.  I know that the head of the Horde,

"Puppy" has a lady who just got her Maunche for Mongolian research,

including cookery.




*7.      **Cooking Wonton*


Chop the meat finely.  Add riced bamboo shoots or wild-rice shots, chives,

or *Basella rubra *tips.  Use Szechuan pepper and a bit of apricot kernel

paste. Wrap.  The skins should start out thick and small when cut out.  Then

flour them and roll them out.  (When stuffed) put into fully boiling water.

Stir; do not cover.  When they float up, take them out, stirring no longer.

Do not use Chinese Cardamom in the filling, except to warm the *ch'i*.


Note: In the subsequent edition of *Petits Propros Culinaire*, #61,

Francoise Sabban, a French professor who specializes in Chinese food and

culture, made some corrections to the translation by Wang and  

Anderson. The corrections to this recipe are:


' "The skins should start out thick and small, *then cut into squares*".  The

last part of the last sentence does not mean "except to warm the *ch'i*" but

"*if you add Amomum villosum Lour.* (which is not exactly 'cardamom') *you

will have hiccups*", as the Chinese editors explain it, and as every

dictionary confirms it.'




1 lb. Ground beef

1/4 cup Bamboo shoots, finely chopped

3 tsp. Chives

1/2 tsp Szechuan pepper

1/2 cup Apricot kernel paste  (use almond paste instead)

1/2 tsp salt

Won ton wrappers


Mix all ingredients except wonton wrappers thoroughly.  Form mixture into

small balls and wrap in wrappers.  Drop dumplings into boiling water, and

stir gently.  Remove them when they float to the surface.



Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2008 17:33:15 -0400

From: "Elaine Koogler" <kiridono at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Musing on Mongol

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


On Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 2:18 PM, Lilinah <lilinah at earthlink.net> wrote:


<<< I have managed to get a copy of the first article published in the PPC some years ago, although i've never seen the follow up article which was

published one or two issues later (anyone have that?)


Not much vegetarian among them. They follow clearly Chinese cooking

techniques and i look forward to making some, but nearly all involved meat

in some way. I had been hoping there'd be more vegetarian recipes among



However, this makes me think that having a course of "fringe" foods might

work, or one or two "fringe" dishes in each course - both purely Arabic and

purely Chinese, and maybe a Turkish recipe or two - might help diversify the

food for non-meat eaters.


Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita



If you look at some of the recipes that Paul cites in his information about

the work prior to the actual translation, you will find some recipes that

influenced what was done.  IIRC there is at least one really wonderful fried

spinach dish that's very similar to a European one, only differing in

seasonings. It would also not be unreasonable to include a Middle Eastern

veggie dish or two.  Same, same with using the Cloud Hall ms.  Mongol

cookery was heavily influenced by both of these, so their inclusion would

not be much of a stretch at all.  In fact, in the feast where I featured the

Mongol recipes, I did just this to get a few vegetarian dishes.


Here is the recipe for the spinach dish, along with my redaction and notes:


p. 76.  #8.  Isfanakh Mutajjan*


**Cut off the lower roots and wash spinach.  Dry after boiling lightly in

salted water.  Fry spinach in refined sesame oil until fragrant.  Add

chopped garlic.  Season by sprinkling with finely-ground cumin, coriander

and cinnamon.


5 oz. Spinach

1/2 tsp. Salt


1 T. Sesame oil

1/2 clove Garlic, finely chopped

1/8 tsp. Cumin, ground

1/8 tsp. Coriander

1/8 tsp. Cinnamon


Thoroughly wash the spinach.  Steam the spinach very lightly with salted

water. Stir fry spinach in sesame oil until fragrant.  Stir in finely

chopped garlic and mixture of cumin, cilantro and cinnamon (Chinese cassia)


Note: This particular recipe was not part of the Mongol treatise, but

rather from another group of Muslim recipes that were included in the book

to show the relationship between the two cuisines.  In a conversation with

Dr. Buell, he indicated to me that this was probably transported to China

well within our period and came into common use there.

This is a fairly common recipe...very similar in seasonings to Saag, a

Mughal dish, and only differs in seasoning from several European spinach

dishes, Spynoches yfryed, for example, from A Forme of Curye.  As I know you

know, there was so much "cross pollination" in that part of the world that

who's to say what recipes were served where, especially after the Mongols

conquered China!



I also suspect that your recipe for Jazr would be compatible as well.



Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2008 06:53:47 -0700

From: Lilinah <lilinah at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Bean Paste in Soup for the Qan

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


I've been meaning to pass this along to the list for about a week...


After i asked the list about the bean paste in "A Soup for the Qan",

i wrote to Paul Buell and Eugene Anderson. Gene said the bean paste

would have been made with mung bean starch.


This is what is used to make what are variously called "cellophane

noodles", "glass noodles", and, IIRC, "bean threads" or "bean thread

noodles". In ASftQ it is apparently made into a paste, and often

mixed with other ingredients, so buying glass noodles wouldn't

necessarily be the same.


I figure, if someone else is making SCA-period Chinese or Mongol

food, this would be helpful to know.


Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita


<the end>

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