10 Dishes You Have to Try in Kyrgyzstan

Updated: Apr 9, 2020

As you look at the mountain pastures in Kyrgyzstan, you’ll notice lots of sheep, goats, cows, horses, and even some yaks.  Since much of the country is engaged in breeding livestock, meat is a substantive part of traditional and modern Kyrgyz cuisine.  Mutton, horse meat, and beef are the meats you’ll see most often in Kyrgyz dishes today.  It’s served in dumplings, on top of noodles or rice, or alongside potatoes.  And of course it wouldn’t be Kyrgyzstan without a nice steaming pot of fresh black tea to go with your meal.  Below are some traditional Kyrgyz dishes that have been polished and perfected over the years.  I’ve also included some common dishes you’ll find in Kyrgyzstan that have been introduced into the country from neighboring countries and people groups.


Oromo is my all-time favorite dish.  Once finished, it comes out as layers of dough that have been filled with finely cut chunks of meat, fat, and whatever else the cook feels like adding – carrots, onion, potato, or pumpkin.  It’s steamed in a special multi-layered pot and is excellent when eaten with a side of ketchup.  Although I’ve seen this in a few restaurants around Kyrgyzstan, it’s not the most common restaurant dish.  You’re more likely to see it served in Kyrgyz homes.