When traveling, most people care about the local cuisine. The same goes for Bhutan tourism. Bhutanese food is a highlight of a trip to the mysterious Dragon Kingdom, just like sightseeing. Internationally, most people yearn for the beautiful natural scenery of Bhutan, but there are not many people who know Bhutanese cuisine. Bhutanese food is influenced by Tibetan, Chinese, Nepalese, and Indian food cultures. So if you've been to any of these countries, you probably have an idea of what to expect in Bhutan.
Bhutanese food is delicious and unique. Dishes are usually served with white or red rice and center on meat (usually pork or chicken). Most Bhutanese dishes are cooked with very spicy chili peppers. Even if you think you have a more adventurous palette, you may find the spice content of Bhutanese food difficult to handle.
When traveling in Bhutan, you don't have to worry about food. First of all, Bhutan has almost no environmental pollution, and the locally grown food and vegetables are almost free of pesticides. So when you travel to Bhutan, you can eat what we call green food, pollution-free natural food every day. Even the dining table and chairs you sit on are made of natural forest wood. All livestock feed is also purely natural. The traditional diet of Bhutanese locals is actually similar to ours, mainly beef, pork, vegetables, and rice. The favorite vegetable of Bhutanese is chili, which is very similar to Southwest China. The main drink of the local people is milk tea similar to the Tibetan region of our country, which is generally salty. Bhutan also has its own highland barley wine or shochu made from corn and wheat. If you like drinking, you can try it, too. So what are the delicacies of Bhutanese food worth tasting? Below we introduce you to eight recommended Bhutanese food.
We will start with one of the most famous Bhutanese foods: ema datshi, which is chili and cheese.
When you travel to Bhutan, you probably eat almost every meal. Chilies, which can be fresh green chilies or dried red chilies, are sliced lengthwise and cooked with datshi, a local Bhutanese cheese, and plenty of butter. While the basic ingredients remain the same, the more you eat, the more you realize that no two ema datshi are the same: each chef has his or her own version, some with a lighter flavor and with more water, or others have richer toppings and more cheese.
Kewa is potato, so Kewa datshi is potato and Bhutanese cheese. This dish is also very popular. Potatoes are usually thinly sliced and sautéed with cheese and lots of butter. Sometimes the chef will add some chili or tomatoes, but usually, it's a very mild Bhutanese dish, but only focuses on potatoes and cheese.
The third staple cheese in Bhutanese food is Shamu datshi, cheese served with mushrooms. As a chili addict, ema datshi might be most people's favorite Bhutanese dish, but Shamu datshi is a close second. Mushrooms, which can be any kind of local Bhutanese Himalayan mushrooms, are again cooked with butter for a cheesy stew. Like all other variations of Bhutanese datshi, you can eat Shamu datshi with rice.
Shakam shukam datshi is a rather rare dish, you won't find it in too many restaurants in Bhutan, trust me, if you travel to Bhutan and eat it at a local restaurant for the first time, you will be struck by this combination of Fantastic love, especially the unique white pepper. You may already recognize Shakam and datshi - chili and cheese - but shukam is Bhutanese dry white chili. So this Bhutanese dish consists of dried beef cubes cooked with cheese and white chili peppers. White pepper is a very unique and incredibly tart spice.
Shakam Shukam Datshi
Bacon lovers can try this dish! Sikam paa is like the next level of bacon, a dish that is passionately loved by many Bhutanese. You'll see translucent pork belly skewers hanging in the sun to dry - that's sikam. The pork has an impressive fat ratio and is dried in the sun. For sikam paa, the dried pork belly is then fried with dried chilies. Now, are you tempted by this dish?
If you like tripe, Bhutanese goep, stir-fried tripe slices with dried chilies, green onions, and sometimes small vegetables, this is also a great dish! Like many other famous Bhutanese dishes, the dried chili of Bhutanese goep is also very delicious. The tripe may be a little chewy, but that's the real texture of the tripe.
Goep beef tripe
Momos are dumplings from India to Nepal to Bhutan, known as Tibetan food - basically the whole Himalayan region - or even more broadly, they are very similar to any type of dumpling in the world and probably originated in China. Momos are easily the most common of all the restaurants and street food you can find in Bhutan. They are served piping hot, filled with minced meat, cheese, or vegetables, and served with a generous amount of Bhutanese chili sauce called ezay.
You can get freshly steamed momo or fried momo, which are deep fried after being steamed. If you are Chinese and used to eating dumplings, then when you go to Bhutan, it is recommended that you try Momos to experience the different tastes of dumplings!
Jaju is a Bhutanese milk and vegetable soup. It is usually made with some kind of local spinach or radish leaves or any number of light leafy vegetables. The soup consists of milk and butter. Overall, the taste is usually quite mellow and bland, but it complements a complete Bhutanese feast well. If your Bhutanese diet is too spicy, try Jaju. Compared with other dishes, this is very light, you can also add some cheese to it to relieve the spicy stomach.
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