Fish Dishes

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.

Maria Lidzhigoryaeva, Dishes From My Childhood

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.