From Almaty in Kazakhstan it was only a 3 hours minibus-ride to Bishkek in Kyrgystan. The bordercrosssing was really relaxed and hassle free. Just a quick passport check and i got my 60 days stamp for Kyrgyztan. I decided not to hang out in Kyrgyztans capital for too long, although i really like Bishkeks relaxed vibe, with its many parks and cafes. But I wanted to see nomads life at Lake Song Köl and headed south to Kochkor via shared taxi.

You can catch taxis or buses to almost anywhere from the western bus station but it can take some time until they fill up with passengers . This is an essential Central Asian experience In Kochkor i was staying in one of the many homestays in town and got my first impression of authentic local life. Kochkor is kind of a basecamp for many travellers before heading to the mountains for trekking and you can buy your last snacks and drinks for your the way. Its a nice town to stroll around during the day and explore the bazaar and local restaurants for local food. The hospitality of my homestay family was amazing. After a delicious breakfast i went on another 3hours ride to the Lake Song Köl.

This was the yurt i was staying in.

It was the most amazing scenery that i have seen in my entire life. Absolutely stunning and beautiful mountain ranges dotted with sheeps , goats and horses. You can see a yurt here and there, shepherds on horses and young boys on donkeys. It feels like stepping on a new green planet.
I enjoyed every second of the ride. Arriving at the lake i was introduced to a local family that was part of a yurtcamp. They lived just 1 minute walking distance away from the turquoise colored lake. It was so exciting spending time with them and stay some days in a real nomads yurt. There was not really much to do during the day except for enjoying the beautiful landscape or swimming in the lake. So i spend most of the time with what i had planned to do: ” Watching the locals cooking”.

The delicious recipe that i chose for the story is called ” Oromo” which i would describe as a big filled pasta roll cooked in a bamboo steamer. It looked like a huge beautiful dumpling.
This authentic nomad version of Oromo was cooked for me by this incredibly friendly Kyrgyz family at 3000 meters altitude. Thank you so much for teaching me this dish. I am forever grateful!

Here is the



Just start by making a pasta dough and use 2.5 cups of flour, 1 Egg and water.
Knit the dough and form a huge ball.let it rest for around 30 minutes.
Now take out a batch of the dough and start rolling really flat round pieces (like super thin pizza)

The filling:
You can fill your Oromo with almost everything. Some people in Kyrgyztan fill them with potatos, pumpkins, sourcream and other ingredients. Its really up to you.
This version i had was super simple.

 First spread the raw “Oromo” with butter.
Take sliced onions and spread them all over the Oromo.
( the family prepared them with salt and pepper in a seperate bowl)
add some dried chili flakes.
check if you need some more seasoning.

Thats it!! Thats the filling as i had it at Lake SonKöl. But feel free to add more ingredients if you like.

Now carefully fold over the dough step by step, almost like creating a flat sausage. You dont roll it but you fold it in 4 steps.
Brush the Oromo with butter from the outside and then put into a steamer. Make sure the ground of the steamer was brushed with some fat too.
Otherwise it will stick.
Steam the ” Onion Oromos ” for 40 minutes.
When they are ready cut them in pieces and serve immediately.






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