Countries with the Most Similar Food to Mongolia

Country Food Similarity Index - Map of Countries with Similar Food to Mongolia

The Country Food Similarity Index is a statistically-based attempt to quantify how similar the food in one country is relative to another. By comparing the weight of raw food ingredients used in each country, a score is assigned that reflects the degree of similarity between the respective countries. The methodology is exactly the same for each country studied. 

The Most Similar Cuisines to Mongolian Food

Mongolia is quite a unique country and its cuisine reflects that fact. The Mongolian diet is heavily based on meat, particularly beef and lamb. Due to the vast herds of livestock in the region, it is readily available. In contrast, the country consumes relatively little fruit, due to its harsh climate with bitterly cold winters. The five countries with the most similar food also eat a lot of bread, potatoes, lamb, and beef.

  1. Kyrgyzstan, another landlocked country in Central Asia, shares many of the same culinary practices. Both nations rely heavily on dairy products and meat due to their nomadic heritage. In Kyrgyz cuisine, Beshbarmak, which consists of boiled lamb or beef served on a bed of noodles, resembles Mongolian Tsuivan. Additionally, fermented dairy products are staples in both Mongolian and Kyrgyz diets.
  2. New Zealand‘s cuisine shares many similar ingredients with Mongolia, despite their vast difference in geography. Both countries have strong sheep farming traditions, so roast lamb, lamb chops, and lamb stews are commonly enjoyed in both cultures. Moreover, hangi, a traditional Māori method of cooking food in an earth oven, parallels Mongolia’s Khorkhog, where meat and vegetables are cooked using heated stones.
  3. Uzbekistan borders Kyrgyzstan. It is another country that shares many historical ties with Mongolia. Like Mongolia, Uzbek cuisine heavily features meat, particularly lamb and beef. Moreover, both cuisines embrace savory pastry dishes, such as Uzbek samsa and Mongolian khuushuur, which are filled with meat and fried until golden brown. Furthermore, steamed dumplings filled with minced meat are eaten in both nations.
  4. United Kingdom is another English-speaking country on this list. Traditional British dishes like roast beef, shepherd’s pie, and meat pies resemble Mongolian meat-centric meals. Additionally, both cuisines incorporate root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions in various dishes. The British Sunday roast and Mongolia’s hearty stews share a common emphasis on slow-cooked meats and accompanying vegetables.
  5. Russia is to the north of Mongolia. The country was essentially a satellite state of the Soviet Union for decades, so it is no surprise their food is similar. Both cuisines favor hearty and filling dishes. Soups, such as borscht and solyanka, are common in both countries. Furthermore, Russians and Mongolians tend to consume a lot of fermented dairy products as well.

Related: The 10 Most Similar Countries to Mongolia

The Least Similar Cuisines to Mongolian Food

The countries with the least similar food to Mongolia are all located in tropical regions, so their climates are much hotter and wetter. They are also more densely forested. Their diets rely far less on the consumption of wheat, meat, and potatoes. Instead, ingredients like rice, cassava, and tropical fruits make up a large part of their cuisine.

  1. Democratic Republic of Congo is a former Belgian colony located in the middle of Africa. Cassava is the dominant staple food in the country. The most commonly eaten meat in Congo is freshwater fish, whereas beef and lamb are more popular proteins in Uzbekistan. Furthermore, their diet has relatively little meat or dairy in it.
  2. Solomon Islands is a Melanesian archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean, so its geography is far different than landlocked Mongolia. As a result, the country’s diet generally consists of a lot of seafood, tropical fruits, and coconuts. Raw fish and taro leaves are commonly consumed there.
  3. Cambodia, like Mongolia, is another country where most people have East Asian ancestry. However, their cuisines are far different. The Cambodian diet is heavily based in rice and cassava, while relatively little wheat and potatoes are consumed there. Another difference is that freshwater fish are more commonly eaten in Cambodia.
  4. Micronesia is another archipelago that borders the Pacific Ocean on this list. The country’s diet generally consists of a lot of seafood, tropical fruits, and coconuts, in contrast to Mongolia. Its traditional dishes often involve grilling or steaming fish, taro, breadfruit, or yams.
  5. Liberia is a West African country, founded in the 19th century by freed African-American slaves. Their staple ingredients are far different from Mongolia’s. Liberian food typically has a lot of rice, cassava, and plantains. Additionally, Liberian dishes often feature fresh ingredients like seafood and tropical fruits.

Related: The 10 Least Similar Countries to Mongolia

Full Food Similarity Ranking of Countries and Territories

Mongolia’s Most Common Food Ingredients

Protein: Lamb, Beef
Fruit: Apple, Mandarin
Vegetable: Carrot, Cabbage
Starch: Wheat, Potato

Primarily based on 2020 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.

Leave a Reply