Bishbarmak, the Kazakh dish of excellence. Central Asian Kitchen

Bishbarmak, the Kazakh dish of excellence. Central Asian Kitchen


The Bishbarmak is the Kazakh dish of excellence, cooked for every festivity and occasion, served to guests worthy of respect. The Bishbarmak comes from the cuisine  of the steppe’s people and is prepared in various regions of Central Asia in different variants; anywhere it means “five fingers” as it was originally consumed with hands.

Cooking the dish with all the Kazakh ingredients outside the country is quite difficult, since the horse sausage, the kazy, is not prepared by European butchers. I therefore propose an European variant, with some personal adjustments.

Ingredients for 4 people

For boiled meat: 400 grams of beef, 300 grams of meat with bones (beef or mutton of your choice);

3 large potatoes

1 onion

2 carrots

1 green spring onion

Salt and Pepper.

For dough

220 grams of white flour 00

180 grams of durum wheat semo

10 dl of water and salt 

Preparation of the pasta. Preparation time: 1 hour

If you do not have time to prepare the dough, you can use the classic Italian lasagna; even if the original recipe does not include the use of eggs.

Mix the ingredients and work them to form the dough. Leave it to rest for 30 minutes.


Cut the dough into two and roll it out to form a thin sheet. Cut it into rectangles no more than 10 cm long, like the original lasagne. Put the result of the work in a tray covering it with a light veil of flour.

Preparation of the pasta
Preparation of the pasta

Preparation of boiled meat. Preparation time: 2 hours

As I mentioned, it is not possible to recreate the exact Bishbarmak outside Central Asia with local meat. The preparation can therefore be done with cuts of meat that follow the personal taste, avoiding the pork and white meat. The beef is present in the original in several cuts; on the other hand, it is difficult to find the ram that can be replaced with a leg of lamb that is not too young.

Fill a large pot with water and dip the selected and clean meats. Once boiled, clean the water from the white foam and add the potatoes, onion and carrots (the latter are my variant). Add salt and pepper. Continue cooking for at least another hour.

Ingredients and boiling
Ingredients and boiling

Finely chop the green onion.

In another pan put the broth of the boiled meat and, once brought to boil, dip the prepared pasta or lasagna for about 3 minutes.

Drain the pasta and place it on a plate, drizzled with broth. Add the chopped green onion and boiled potatoes cut into rounds. Place the meat on top and serve hot.


Enjoy your meal!

For other recipe from Central Asia, click here.

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