Who’d have thought the world would have embraced a Mongolian folk-metal band singing songs about Genghis Khan in their native language? But that’s exactly what’s happened to The Hu.
Like every other band on the planet, their rapid rise was stopped in its tracks by the Covid pandemic. At one point, the band were forced to self-isolate in Australia after being unable to return to Mongolia. Rather than kick their heels, they started their own YouTube cookery show, HU’s In The Kitchen (opens in new tab), which found them making, among other things, traditional steamed Mongolian dumplings known as buuz.
We caught up with the band to find out how 2020 treated them – and, more importantly, get that mouthwatering recipe for buuz…
How did you end up isolating in Australia?
Gala (lead vocalist): “We started our world tour in early February, which included Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Brasília and North America. By the time we reached Australia, the COVID-19 pandemic had escalated and many countries started restricting events. Our last performance was in Brisbane, after which many of the remaining tour dates had been postponed or cancelled in the following countries. With this change, we had no choice but to cancel the tour and return to our homes. Unfortunately, at that time Mongolia had its borders closed [to prevent the spread of COVID-19] which is why we stayed in Sydney, Australia until we could return home.”
What was it like living together, and how did you spend your time?
“During the tour we are usually so busy moving constantly from one city to another, so it was nice for all of us to relax during that time. We spent our time working on music for the upcoming album, playing games such as cards, and also cooking together, which you can check out on our YouTube channel under the name HU’s In The Kitchen?.”
When and why did you start the cooking series?
“During our last North American tour, our manager Tuga filmed our tour manager Dan while he was cooking for us in the green room in Detroit, which had a kitchen. Tuga named it ‘HU’s in the kitchen?’ and uploaded it to our YouTube channel. We received great reactions from the fans, so we decided to keep it going.”
Why did you choose to make Buuz and Niislel salad in your latest video from Australia?
“Buuz is a well-known dish in Mongolia and Niislel salad is the perfect pair for it. Both dishes are very common in Mongolian celebrations and you are likely to find both at the table of any Mongolian party. We were celebrating [touring guitarist] Jamba’s birthday during our last video, so Buuz and Niislel salad were a must!”
How difficult was it to get the ingredients?
“The main ingredients to make Buuz are quite simple – flour and meat – so we were able to find them easily. Niislel salad has simple ingredients as well with the base being potatoes, so it was easy to get everything at the local grocery store in Australia.”
Who’s the best cook in The Hu, and why?
“The best cook is hands-down Enkush [Morin Khuur, throat singing]. It won’t take long into any of our HU’s In The Kitchen? videos to see that Enkush is the master chef leading the rest of the band.”
You wrote new music under lockdown… what does it sound like, and when will we get to hear it?
“Our new music sounds like Hunnu Rock! During the lockdown we also recorded new songs for a Star Wars videogame, which everyone should be hearing soon.”
The Hu’s recipe for buuz
- 300g minced or diced beef
- 150g plain flour
- Seasonings for the meat. You can use any seasonings with any amount that pleases you:
- Salt (dissolve the salt in some water to make your beef extra juicy!)
- Black pepper
Make the dough by combining flour and water. Make sure the dough is not too hard or too runny.
Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
Cut the dough into small pieces – the size varies depending on how big or
small you want the Buuz. We prefer
Roll out each dough piece into a thin, round shape.
Season your meat and fold it into the dough (you can watch Jamba’s technique in our YouTube video!).
Steam it for 15-20 minutes, and make sure your meat is cooked through.
Enjoy the Buuz!