Chinese food Mongolian barbecue thinly sliced beef with mixed vegetables
Food - Drink
Why The Name Mongolian BBQ Has Been Misleading You
At a Mongolian BBQ meal, diners select raw meats, vegetables, and sauces for the cook to sit-fry on a giant grill. It is said the concept was inspired by tales of Mongolia's legendary ruler, Genghis Khan, whose soldiers used their shields as cooking pans over campfires, but historians say that this vision of the Mongolian diet is false.
Mongolian diets consisted of dairy and boiled meat, and so-called "Mongolian" BBQ originated with the late Chinese comedian Wu Zhaonan. Zhaonan moved to Taiwan after fleeing China in 1949 and opened a restaurant named Kao Rou Xiang (Fragrant Grilled Meat), which served "Beijing-style" BBQ cooked on an iron plate.
Wu called his cuisine "Mongolian BBQ" because political restrictions wouldn't let him use the moniker "Beijing," and he later turned his menu into an all-you-can-eat buffet. Copycat restaurants followed, including Colonel Lee's Mongolian BBQ in Los Angeles in 1969, and so we now have our modern idea of "Mongolian" BBQ.