Kalmyks who live close to water sources, such as the Caspian sea, the Volga river and the Manych rive, and who are engaged in fishery have widely used fish in their diet. The most popular dish is soup made of either a whole fish or only its head. Fried fish, fish burgers, and caviar are also on the menu of traditional dishes.
Lyubov Mokrousova, Fish Dishes
In Maria’s childhood her uncle used to go fishing. Fish was fried on a big stove. The eel was a species regarded as the most oily and greasy. Today Maria rarely cooks fish. First she washes the fish, scales it and guts it. She uses the intestines to make bulmg (intestines mixed with flour and fish fat). The dish Maria liked the most when she was a girl is porridge made of rice. Maria recalls that rice was very rare in the past. In her childhood she also ate ukha, a soup made of fish. There were no proper potatoes to eat, although Maria remembers some ‘water potatoes’ that were brought to them from Tsagan Aman. When fried, this ‘water potato’ looked like the yolk of an egg. Other dishes that she remembers from her childhood are pancakes and shuurmg.
Maria Lidzhigoryaeva, Dishes From My Childhood
In this video Maria makes fish dishes including cutlets, a soup and bulmg.
Maria was born in 1937. She is from Tsagan-Aman. She says her grandfather used to go fishing. He caught carp, zander, ruff, eel and other fish varieties. Maria recalls that in her childhood they ate a lot of fish, although they did not eat catfish or pike. Apart from cooking it, people also dried fish. Maria’s mother used to make bulmg from eel.
In this video Maria removes a carp’s intestines. She makes the following dishes: cutlets (from the minced fish), a soup (from the head, the tail and the fins) and bulmg (from the belly and fat).
Maria Lidzhigoryaeva, Fish Dishes
Zurgan says that in the past people went fishing in a place called Shorg which was rich with fish and ducks. When people had nothing to eat, they went fishing and collecting duck eggs. People cooked fish and made fish soup. They also fried fish.