Buuz Cruuz

By Mike

I’ve been on one cruise in my life, to the Bahamas for my mom’s 50th birthday celebration, and it was indeed a booze cruise. My grandma announced at some point that “this is my second daiquiri, and I am looped!” And by “some point” I mean in the hour or so between the time we boarded and the time the ship left port.

Sadly, I’ll never take a cruise to Mongolia, as it’s landlocked in Central Asia, so our virtual cruise around the world will have to suffice. With that, we bring you Buuz, a Mongolian meat-filled dumpling typically comprised of ground mutton and very little seasoning. For our Buuz we went with ground beef and a touch of seasonings.Β 

The first step is to make the dough to wrap the dumplings in, which simply involves kneading whole wheat flour with salt and water.

Meanwhile, mix the ground beef with salt, pepper, onion and garlic in the food processor.

Next the dough gets separated into into small balls.

These get rolled out and topped with the meat filling–just a dollop is plenty.

The dough was pretty easy to work with, and they folded right up into nice dumpling shapes.

The buuz can be steamed or fried, and we went with steamed, in part because it’s healthier and in part because we know how Kristy feels about deep-frying.

Once they’re done, you’re supposed to fan some air over them to give them a glossy appearance, and we served ours over asparagus.

The dumplings were good, but my initial reaction was that they needed a sauce. Ketchup is the recommended topping, and that’s actually a good match. The filling tastes much like meatloaf, which screams for ketchup in my humble opinion, but it just didn’t feel “Mongolian” to me. Perhaps its the Russian influence.

Everyone liked it, though Miss A took just a nibble at the dough and left it alone for most of dinner. The big hit for her was the asparagus, believe it or not. She ate three big stalks, much to the pleasant surprise of Kristy and I. Finally we got her to open up the dumpling and taste the meat, and taste it she did, sticking the whole thing in her mouth rather than the rabbit-size nibbles she was putting on the dough.

While everyone liked it, nobody loved it and it was a two-spoon meal all around. Miss A was right, the asparagus was better, and while I do enjoy perfectly done asparagus, I can’t give any more than two spoons to something that can’t beat a green vegetable.

Buuz concludes our virtual cruise to Mongolia, and while we didn’t get looped on this cruise, we sure enjoyed our trip.

Print this recipe: Buuz

46 thoughts on “Buuz Cruuz

  1. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    Haha!! Your Grandma sounds like my type of gal… too funny; love her spirit! These little beef pockets look so yummy and achievable too – I love when I can pull out the blender and reduce the preparation time like this. Too bad about the 2 spoons but so it goes… Cheers to Mongolia!

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  2. Deborah says:

    I would never think that these were Mongolian, but then again, I’m not very familiar with Mongolian food!! But at least they were ok, and the asparagus sounds like it was a hit!!

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  3. Charles says:

    I’m probably being dense, but how does one “fan air” over something? Just with a hand-held fan thing? Does that make such a big difference to the appearance? I’d never have guessed it! They look really fun, although I think I’d be in to the fried versions more myself too. You’ve done more than I’ve done with this culinary trip to Mongolia. The only Mongolian food I had before was some goddawful slop cooked up once by an ex-girlfriend – she was actually from Mongolia so I’d have thought she knew some dishes… gah, it was terrible… to be fair, she didn’t have much in the cupboards to go on back then :p

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  4. Eva Taylor says:

    It does sound rather plain, Mike, and I take my hat off to you for not altering the recipe; I wouldn’t be able to resist. Particularly adding a sauce.
    My sister in law burned her arm (3rd degree) in a similar accident to the deep frying incident years ago. I don’t deep fry very often for the caloric reason, but if I do, it’s usually outside!

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    • Kristy says:

      Ouch!!!! That had to hurt. A client of mine recently burned his foot in hot oil. (His wife had set it out on the back step to cool and he stepped in it on his way outside – OMG!) It’s so scary. Outside sounds like a good place to deep fry.

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  5. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    Too bad they didn’t taste as good as they look! I never made dumpling skins – you are amazing making everything from scratch! Until I saw on your blog, I have never known anything about Mongolian food! πŸ™‚

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    • Kristy says:

      I love dough from scratch – I could make it all day long. (Except bread dough…) I’m glad we wound up in Mongolia thanks to Mr. N too. Everything I thought I knew about Mongolian food turned out to be false. So this one was eye opening and fun!

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  6. Dawn says:

    The asparagus looks delicious, sorry the other dish was not such a hit. At least your kids liked the asparagus – I got my girls to try some for the first time this week, and they were underwhelmed…

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    • Kristy says:

      The kids are usually very underwhelmed (read: gagged out) with asparagus. I keep having them try it though and for whatever reason, this one took. πŸ™‚

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  7. Geni - Sweet and Crumby says:

    These were definitely worth a shot and sounded like they had some promise. I have never, ever fanned air onto my food for shine. That’s pretty interesting Chef Dad. I always appreciate the honesty over here on Eat, Play, Love. Miss A. is definitely all about telling it like it is. Have a wonderful upcoming weekend!

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    • Kristy says:

      Miss A is definitely one for honesty. Mr. N too, but he’s beginning to develop a sense of tact and charm. He’s growing up so much! Miss A…she’s just blunt. They’re both honest though and I love them for it! πŸ™‚

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  8. Courtney says:

    Ah, no fun it wasn’t the culinary hit you were hoping for. Glad at least that the asparagus was good – it certainly looks it from here. πŸ™‚ (And I just don’t understand why ketchup doesn’t sound like an authentic sauce for this. πŸ˜‰ )

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  9. ceciliag says:

    The dumplings are great, and pretty easy too. The recipe actually lends itself to experimentation. Has the family started making up your own dishes yet, with an influence from a certain country maybe? or would it all devolve into interesting pizzas! c

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    • Kristy says:

      LOL! You know we actually have started throwing some ethnic flavors into our standard fare dishes. I can’t tell you how often I use cilantro now and that was something we had never used before. Trying these traditional recipes has definitely opened us up to experimentation. I do think this recipe would be good with some different seasonings. πŸ™‚

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  10. Three Well Beings says:

    These are really quite versatile! I think they’d be wonderful appetizers…at a cocktail party (keeping with the “buuz cruuz” theme. I like the idea that there is some resemblance to meatloaf in the filling, and I think if offered as an appetizer, a variety of sauces might be nice. Either way, it sounds really good to me! Debra

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  11. hotlyspiced says:

    These look like Asian dumplings but they must taste quite different with the meatloaf filling and the flavour of the dough. They look really yummy and very pretty on the plate with the vibrant asparagus. I love how your grandmother was on her second cocktail before the ship had even left the port! xx

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  12. profiterolesandponytails says:

    I found this to be quite an interesting dish, but based on your universal two spoon ratings I don’t think I’ll go to the effort of making it. I can’t get my girls to eat asparagus to save my life….so I can’t believe that Miss A rated this below asparagus!

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    • Kristy says:

      We used butter and salt for the asparagus. I’ve done them with olive oil, bacon, pancetta, parmesan, etc., but for whatever reason the butter and salt was a hit (with Mr. N too).

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  13. Caroline says:

    So impressed, entirely homemade! Like the fact that you used whole wheat flour for the dough. Bummer the whole family didn’t love the dumplings, but they still look delicious. πŸ™‚

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  14. Just A Smidgen says:

    I’m always amazed at how you find these recipes, adapt them and then repeat the next day! I would have been stuck just finding a recipe and then converting it to ingredients we can access. This one looks really yummy.. I think I’d have steamed as well!

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    • Kristy says:

      Some countries it’s easier to find recipes for than others. Mongolia was tough and the lack of seasonings (outside salt and pepper) was very interesting. Unlike most other cuisines we’ve come across, but that’s what makes this so fun. πŸ™‚

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  15. Amy says:

    I remember that cruise! Or parts of it. My kiddo one day ate her asparagus and mine. Another day she just kept eating them raw. Then, a few weeks later, she wanted no part of the asparagus. Weird. I love it roasted in the oven with a little olive oil and some seasonings.

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  16. Norma Chang says:

    May be if you cook them like pot sticker they would garner more spoons. Steamed dough tends to be bland and since Kristy does not go for deep frying (me neither), pan frying then adding a little broth (like cooking pot sticker) would be a good compromise and I bet Miss A would love it.

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  17. sallybr says:

    Loved this post, Mike! Particularly the “I am looped” statement, as I had never heard the term and found it hilarious! What a fun grandma!

    too bad about the potstickers not delivering the highest praise, I always think that something that involves so much prep work should leave Phil and I in complete awe… but, it doesn’t always happen

    thanks for the virtual cruise!

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  18. ChgoJohn says:

    Although these remind me of “potstickers”, I’m amazed by the variations of dough-filled pillows in the world’s cuisine. Just look at all of the imitation ravioli out there! πŸ™‚

    I cannot get over your Miss A loving asparagus! You go girl!

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    • Kristy says:

      I couldn’t get over it either John. I was eating and all of a sudden she declared, “You are the best cook ever mom!” I looked over at her thinking what on earth is she talking about (because I didn’t think the dumplings were best cook worthy) and much to my shock she was chowing – and I mean chowing – down the asparagus! Who would have thought. πŸ˜‰

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  19. Choc Chip Uru says:

    These dumplings are so awesome and cute! I would never have guessed they were steamed πŸ˜€
    Thanks for taking us along to Mongolia I had a lot of fun πŸ™‚

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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