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Asian Food Primer: Tibetan Food

by David Johnson

Asian Foods Guide

Common ingredients and popular dishes of various cultures.

East Asia

Pacific Region

South Asia

Southeast Asia

Tibetan cooking has been influenced by its neighbors, China and India, but makes use of ingredients indigenous to the mountains. Tibetan cuisine is similar to that of Nepal. Travel to the Himalayas and interest in Buddhism has stimulated curiosity about Tibetan culture. There are a number of Tibetan restaurants in the United States, especially in large cities and in college towns. Novices should be warned that Tibetan cheese is usually hard enough to break teeth, and should be moistened in the mouth before chewing.

Common ingredients:


goat, pork, mutton, chicken, buffalo, potatoes, barley, vegetables, potatoes

Popular dishes:

tsampa (roated barley flour); momo (steamed or fried dumplings); stir-fried meats; thukpa (noodle soup with meat and sometimes vegetables); carrot cake; banana porridge; lamb with radish; caramel tea; soja (butter tea); barley ale

More Information:

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Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring (1962) is generally considered to be the catalyst for the modern environmental protection movement.

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