Caterpillar Fungus (Yartsa Gunbu)

Caterpillar Fungus (Yartsa Gunbu)

Caterpillar fungus are known as yartsa gunbu  (དབྱར་རྩྭ་དགུན་འབུ།) in Tibet—yartsa means summer grass, gunbu means winter worm. In Chinese it’s called “chongcao” or “dong chong xia cao” which also translates to “summer grass winter worm.” It’s a rare herb found in Tibet and other Himalayan regions and only grows above an altitude of 4000 meters. The fungus is highly valued for …

Tsampa (Barley)

Tsampa /Barley

Tsampa ( Barley) (རྩམ་པ། ) is one of the main cuisines in Tibet. Tibetan crops must be able to grow in the high altitudes of Tibet. The most important crop in Tibet is barley.  Flour milled from roasted barley, called Tsampa, has been the staple of Tibetan food for centuries. This cereal is an integral part of Tibetan people’s life. Most …

Momos (Tibetan Dumplings)

Momos (Tibetan Dumplings)

Momos ( ཤ་མོག) are seen as one of the most quintessential Tibetan foods, and travellers love to enjoy them. Often described as “Tibetan dumplings”, most see momos as a basic home cooked meal and it is often a family affair to prepare them. Whether you like to dip, dunk, bite, or swallow them whole, your trip to Tibet wouldn’t be complete …

Yak Butter Tea

A cup of yak butter tea.

Probably the most quintessential Tibetan food. Visitors to Tibet either love it or hate it. One thing must be known about Yak Butter Tea (འོ་ཇ། ), however: If you’ve been to 10 different places in Tibet, you have likely had 10 different varieties. Some varieties use slightly rancid butter to make the tea (not by culinary selection, but by lack …