Saturday, November 1, 2008


Tsuvan (tsoo-vahn) is a staple Mongolian dish taught to me by my dearest companion from Ulaanbataar, on Christmas Eve of 1997. A holiday season hasn't passed since then that I don't crave this meal. My family has come to enjoy it as well. The recipe isn't available by searching the web although a year or so ago I was delighted to find a tourist had made a snapshot of his plate of tsuvan during a trip to Ulaanbataar and posted it where I could find it on the web.

I made Tsuvan today to celebrate my birthday. To the best of my abilities to recreate it, here is the recipe. To be authentic, it would probably have lamb instead of beef, but oh well. Also, there would be no broccoli since it doesn't exist in Mongolia. Also, the way the noodles and veggies are steamed is an important element in what makes this taste Mongolian to me.


• 3 cups flour
• ¾ cup water (add 1-3 Tbs additional if needed)
• 1 egg

• 1 1/2 lbs steak
• ½ medium onion, diced
• 1-2 tsps salt
• ¼ -½ tsp pepper or to taste
• about ½ cup water
• 3-6 cups shredded cabbage
• 2 cups chopped carrots
• 2 cups chopped broccoli (optional)
• 2-4 Tbs oil
soy sauce

1) Noodles: make dough with 1 egg, 3 cups flour, 3/4cup water. Dough shouldn’t be too sticky or too dry. Divide into 3 fist sized balls and set aside for 5-10 minutes.

2) Stirfry: cut steak into strips. Coat the bottom of a very large pan (I used a large soup kettle) with oil (olive oil is good for the steak). Turn heat on medium and begin browning meat. (Make sure you have a tight lid for later). Season the meat.

3) Noodles: roll the balls out in thin circles like pie crust (don’t use flour though). when its thin and coat generously with oil and fold it over every 3” like cinamon rolls. Set aside.

4)Stirfry: slice carrots and onions add them to meat add 1 cup of water to cover them, maybe a bit more to avoid burning. cover and cook 4-5 minutes. Then add cabbage and with about 1 tsp of salt. More if there is a lot of it.

5) Noodles: slice the noodle dough in ¼” strips to make noodles. Add broccoli and then noodles to the pot. Drizzle with 2-4 Tbs of oil (I prefer canola for this) Season with salt to taste. Cover tightly with a lid and let it steam on medium heat 13-15 minutes. Be careful not to let the bottom run dry and burn the steak. Use a fork to separate noodles. Serve with soy sauce.


Andrea said...

Yea! I'm glad to have this recipe. It's so yummy. It seems sort of like ravioli or tamales though, it takes all day to make and it's gone in not time at all.

Regina said...

Yes, so true, I think that's why we only have it when there are lots of people around to help with the kitchen prep.