B is for Boortsog That’s Good Enough for Me

Mr. N is in the driver’s seat for the next few weeks and he’s picked for us to cook some meals from Mongolia. I need to go back and look, but I believe that Mr. N has picked an Asian country more than half of the time. He loves Asian foods and if I had to guess, I would say that aside from pizza, it’s probably his favorite type of cuisine (followed by Italian). We laugh about Mr. N’s choice every time because Mike is dying to pick Thailand, but we don’t want to pick two countries from the same continent to follow each other, and Mike always picks after Mr. N. So this time, Mike has asked Mr. N if next pick they can make a deal. We’ll see how that holds up in a month or so.

Mongolia is a land-locked country in East and Central Asia, bordering Russia and China. As such, it is influenced by the foods of these two large neighbors. We usually save the dessert recipes for last, but we’re feeling rebellious this week. Woo! Okay, maybe it’s just that this happens to be a really easy recipe and it fit into our schedule, but rebellious just sounds more fun. So what is this Mongolian dessert recipe that we bring to you today? Boortsog – deep-fried cookies!Β 

The recipe is a simple one. First, you melt the butter in a sauce pan and stir in some sugar, salt and milk until dissolved.

Next you pour the melted butter into a large mixing bowl with four cups of flour. Using your hands, you begin to form the dough into a ball. This process reminded me a lot of making a pie crust. The dough may need a bit of extra liquid to form into a smooth ball, so if necessary add six to eight tablespoons of water (or milk).

Once the dough is smooth it’s time to roll it out. Most boortsog is rolled rather thick – like to about 1-1/2-inches. We wanted a bit smaller portions so we rolled them to about 1/4″ to 1/2″ thickness.

Next it’s time to shape the cookies. Mr. N chose a dinosaur cookie cutter and Miss A picked the dragon-fly. They couldn’t wait to get to this part of the process. Miss A said it was just like playing with Play-Doh, only better because you could eat it. I did notice quite a few pinches of dough go missing.

Once the cookies are cut, it’s time to heat the oil. We used about 48 ounces of vegetable oil, filling our large stock pot to about 2 to 2-1/2 inches.

When the oil reaches 350F, turn the heat from medium to low and begin to fry the cookies in batches. (After experiencing a grease fire years ago – before I knew how to cook – we make sure to now use a thermometer and keep the baking soda handy.)

You’ll want to fry the cookies until they’re golden brown. Ours took about five minutes.

After you remove the cookies from the oil, you’ll want to place them on paper towels to drain and cool. Then it’s time to serve them up. Boortsog can be eaten at room temperature, but they are best warm.

I was worried about the shapes holding up in the oil, particularly the dinosaur with the thin neck and tail, but they did great. The cookies, or biscuits if you prefer, were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Mr. N and Miss A were about jumping out of their skin to try one of these. The cooling process was nearly the end of them, that is, until they decided to play with some of the leftover dough. I swear I had more of a mess to clean up after this recipe than I did with the deliberate tossing of peanut shells on the floor.

Fortunately, the wait was worth it. Especially for Miss A. She absolutely loved the boortsog, which we tried on their own first.

Mr. N thought they were a bit too bland for him; although he kept eating his cookie. He seemed kind of torn on his verdict.

After taking a bite, I understood what he meant. I wasn’t really sure how I felt about them with my initial taste, but the more bites I took, the more it grew on me.

Then we tried them with some raspberry preserves. Doesn’t that dinosaur just look like he wants the jelly?

The warm boortsog were delicious with the preserves. It definitely took these cookies up a notch. Mr. N agreed and came in with his final vote of 3 spoons. Miss A liked the cookies both ways and declared they were a definite 102 spoons. Hmm…looks like the dinosaur has gone extinct.

Perhaps it was a Cookie Monster.

I think a version with the letter B is in order Cookie. So how did Mike and I rank the boortsog? Well, they are a strong 3 spoon for us. Definitely tasty, but definitely unhealthy. They were kind of a cross between a deep-fried cookie and a deep-fried biscuit. Almost doughnut-like, but crunchier. As far as flour-laden cookies go though, these were better than others we’ve tried. And surprisingly they taste pretty good a day or two later too.

This weekend we’re going to embark on a real Mongolian cooking adventure. We’re all pretty excited about it actually. Wish us luck as this one is way out of the comfort zone and we’ll be back early next week to share the results. Cheers!

Print this recipe: Boortsog

55 thoughts on “B is for Boortsog That’s Good Enough for Me

  1. A Mongolian says:

    Actually, making the dough is the main part. Traditionally, butter, sugar etc is added (always use warm water, as cold water raises the risk of burn). And it is not meant to be eaten warm, you eat after it has completely cooled down. That’s why, it tastes better like 2-3 days later. And I agree, they’re definitely not healthy.

    And as to making buuz and horhog in your other posts, maybe the top part of buuz was undercooked, because the dough was pretty lumped on the top.

    And horhog was bland maybe because you put too much water. Judging from your pictures, it definitely looked too much water there. In Mongolia, stones are usually in the fire, not over it, so when you use it for cooking, it is so hot, you need pincers like tool to put it in. Hot stones and steam should cook it. Putting it on barbecue grill only raises the risk of the lid blowing off (at least that’s how it’s cooked in Mongolia)

    Anyway, thanks for trying them. I hope you’ll try them again.


  2. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    Very interesting! I’ve never fried cookies but I’d totally give it a try. I need those dino cookie cutters! Kids must have fun making them. I need to include my kids for cooking more often like your family!


  3. Lisa {Smart Food and Fit} (@LisaNutrition) says:

    What a fun recipe! I’m not a big deep fryin’ person myself but this is a once in awhile treat that I can see my kids having fun with. I just love those cookie cutters! I bet they tasted awesome with those raspberry preserves. I’ll have to make these but shape them into a flat circle and spread them with preserves!


  4. Courtney says:

    I just think your kids are simply adorable. 102 spoons…must be good then for sure! πŸ™‚ My boys would love the eat as you go program, too, and waiting for them to cool?!? Torture. πŸ™‚


  5. Deborah says:

    Hey Kristy – I have a question for you, but I can’t find a contact email for you anywhere. Would you mind emailing me at tasteandtell @ gmail . com? πŸ™‚


  6. Deborah says:

    I have never had a deep fried cookie before!! It sounds like fun for the kids, though, and I’m excited to see what other Mongolian food is to come!


  7. Marina@Picnic at Marina says:

    My grandmother used to make fried cookies for us, and we loved it! I didn’t know that they make it in Mongolia too. Apparently many cultures have some sort of fried cookies, which only proves how good it is! great post!


  8. hotlyspiced says:

    These are great. And your cookie cutter selection is a lot better than mine! I don’t have dragonflies or dinosaurs. Amazing how all the shapes help up so well during the cooking process. I think they would go well dipped in that beautiful dark conserve you have xx


    • Kristy says:

      The kids love picking too – and it keeps them invested in the process. They have some ownership in it this way. πŸ™‚ Plus it’s a great geography and culture lesson for them (heck, and me!).


  9. Charlie says:

    They look great and with the shapes my grandkids would love them.

    I think the thing is that we tend to compare and visualize things by our own standards of what something is where we live.

    These cookies for example.
    We think of cookies as sweet, and sometimes over the top sweet.

    Others that don’t have the access to the things we do, and where the recipes have been passed from generation to generation have different expectations.

    In Mongolia these are probably the ultimate treat.

    Look at China, it is nothing to eat rice three times a day, different ways and then for dessert.

    I think these are a lot healthier, than a ton of sugar.

    Thanks so much for sharing
    Have a joyful day


    • Kristy says:

      Hi Charlie! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. You are absolutely right – there are some things that our tastes just aren’t accustomed to. I think that’s one of my favorite things about this blog – we’ve learned to open ourselves up to so many new flavors and cuisines. It’s been fantastic! And you know, I do wonder how they’d stack up to a sugar and shortening laden cookie health-wise. Probably not too different. πŸ˜‰


  10. The Orange Bee says:

    So these look like fun and I agree not so healthy but sometimes – who cares? I was thinking dunking in Nutella just when you said raspberry preserves! Play-doh is always a favorite isn’t it?


    • Kristy says:

      You’re right! Sometimes it’s good to be bad. πŸ™‚ And I’m so bummed that I didn’t think of nutella. The kids would have loved that! I just might have to make them again now. πŸ™‚


  11. Three Well Beings says:

    I think they sound like so much fun to make! I don’t think they’re very healthy, but so few cookies really are, I think they would be fine! The addition of jam or preserves makes sense to me! Kristy, I mentioned your blog today in an “honor roll” of favorites. My post was in acceptance of the Sunshine Award and Genuine Blogger Award, but I don’t like to encumber other bloggers who may just not have the time to follow through! I mentioned yours along with others making it very clear that I want you to have the recognition, but don’t have an expectation of additional follow-through. It’s totally up to you, of course. But I do want other friends to “find you” along the way! I hope you enjoyed the race today…I didn’t catch it after all. My dad entered the hospital today with pneumonia…I’m sure he is going to be fine, but the day did take a turn! Enjoy your Sunday! Debra


    • Kristy says:

      Debra you are so kind! I can’t even tell you how big of a smile your comment put on my face. More importantly though, I do hope your dad is doing better. I’ll be thinking of him (and you). πŸ™‚ Hugs to you!


  12. ChgoJohn says:

    102 spoons, eh? Now that must be some kind of cookie! Then again, deep-fried dough in the shape of dragonflies & dinosaurs AND served with preserves? I think 102 spoons is kinda low. πŸ™‚


  13. Dawn says:

    Basically you cannot go wrong with frying just about anything. Personally I don’t like to do it in the house, but these do look like a lot of fun! I once saw a picture of someone that took a kitkat bar, covered it in batter and then deep fried it…now that is a little over the top.


  14. Charles says:

    Fried cookies? Well I never… I’ve never heard of them at all, and good on you for getting your “deep-frying hat” back on again! (Now you can make some potato chips!)

    I love the look of the cookies, and I gotta say I’m amazed the shapes held up so well in the oil. I wasn’t expecting such good results when I saw the initial dough shapes! Thanks for the Mongolian introduction… looking forward to seeing what’s next! (Ask Mr N if he knows the capital of Mongolia!)


    • Kristy says:

      Potato chips – I’m all over them! Especially now with my mandoline!!! Still loving that thing Charles. πŸ™‚ And I’m making your roasted chickpeas this week. I can’t wait!

      I was actually surprised the shapes held up so well too. I think the thickness of the dough helped with that. And I’ll ask Mr. N…but first I have to go look it up myself. πŸ˜‰


  15. profiterolesandponytails says:

    I can’t believe the elaborate shapes the kids made! I also can’t believe that the mess created by the dough surpassed the mess from the peanut shells. Looks like the kids had fun — even though Mr N. looks a bit skeptical!


    • Kristy says:

      Oh the mess did surpass the peanuts. The peanuts were easy to sweep up. I’m still finding little spots of dough on various surfaces! πŸ™‚


  16. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    I just love the cookie shapes and I bet the kids had a ball making these! I know I would be right in there :). I wonder if adding some spicing – cayenne maybe parmesan – might help with the bland factor. Also, I’m curious whether you could bake these instead of deep frying and get a good result? The step by step reveal photos of the kids are adorable…

    I’m looking forward to Thailand too Chef Dad ;-).


  17. Eva Taylor says:

    I would definitely sprinkle some icing sugar over these, Kristy. They remind me of a Hungarian deep fried dough my Mom used to make called, Csoroge FΓ‘nk. I love the shapes the kids chose to cut the cookies with, that one dinasaur turned out great! Have a lovely weekend.


  18. Jasline says:

    This recipe looks interesting! I’ve never had a fried cookie before, but the dinosaur ones look really good! And I love how your family gives spoons as rating, cute, fun and effective!


    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Jasline! It’s definitely effective – well, most of the time for Miss A. She tends to go all over the map on us sometimes. LOL. πŸ™‚


  19. A_Boleyn says:

    Anything you fry just seems tastier, doesn’t it? And it’s not bad to indulge every once in a while. I think I’m going to enjoy Mongolian cooking though I don’t know where you’re going to locate yak’s milk. πŸ™‚

    (Shows how much I know about Mongolian cuisine, doesn’t it?)


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