Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Kyrgyz Style Gamburger (Гамбургер) and 5 foods that are healthier cooked

In Russian language, ‘h’ is replaced by ‘g’ so hamburger becomes gamburger. If you happen to be in Kyrgyzstan, feel homesick and order a gamburger, you will be in for a shock. Here’s a cross section view.


The dominant flavor in the gamburger is mayo laden coleslaw, with subtle flavors of well done meat and French fries. And you get all of this from one bite. 

If you are not in Kyrgyzstan and anxious to create the gamburger experience, here’s how:
1.      Smother both halves of a burger bun with mayonnaise and ketchup.  Ideally the bun should be either dry or moist with a very chewy crust. For the authentic experience use factory mayonnaise.
2.      Place some French fries on the bottom half of the bun. French fries go in the burger, not on the side. Use less than 10 fries.
3.      Top the fries with well done kebab meat, a relatively small amount for a subtle flavor. About 20-30 grams should be enough. Type of meat should remain a mystery.
4.      Top the meat with a generous amount of mayo laden coleslaw. You should be able to get close to your daily recommended vegetable intake, and close to you recommended annual intake of factory mayonnaise.
5.      Throw in some cucumber slices for crunch and your gamburger is ready to rock and roll.

If your gamburger tastes like a hamburger, or tastes meaty, you have done something wrong. Start over again.

In Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, there are hundreds of "gamburger" stands. I bought mine from the one below and it set me back by 55 soms (US$1.12). 


In recent years a couple of ‘regular’ hamburgers chains have made an appearance. These chains use meat patties, topped with cheese if ordered, and fries are served on the side. They do things the boring old fashioned way! The price of a hamburger and gamburger is comparable. My guess is that gamburgers have a larger market share. 

Today's Favourite Photo
Standing Rib Roast

Today’s Favourite Blog
Source: Care2
Interesting list of 5 foods that are healthier cooked.

1. Spinach.
Cooking spinach boosts our body’s ability to absorb nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, lutein and antioxidants like beta-carotene. The amount of calcium triples when spinach is cooked.

2. Kale

Raw kale is harder on your digestive system than cooked kale. And it’s also less nutritious. Cooked kale has more vitamins A, and K, as well as fiber.

3. Mushrooms
Cooking mushrooms isn’t just the healthier option, it’s also the safer option. There are several types of mushrooms that are only safe to eat cooked. Even mushrooms that are commonly served raw, like button mushrooms, are hard on your digestion. Mushrooms have very tough cellular structures, so cooking draws out their nutrients, making them more digestible, and killing any toxins they may contain.

4. Tomatoes
Cooking tomatoes boosts the amount of lycopene that is released into the body. Raw tomatoes, on the other hand, only release about 4% of this antioxidant.

5. Carrots
Raw carrots, and the beta-carotene they contain, are somewhat difficult for our bodies to digest. Cooking breaks it down and boosts its nutritional value.


  1. Hilarious! I would love to taste a gamburger! Have you ever heard about a chip butty? It's a British sandwich with chips (French fries for AmE speakers) and sauces (no meat). Gamburger is therefore an improved, protein loaded version (and healthier because there are some vegetables!). Welcome back! I'm glad to see you posting again.
    I knew about tomatoes (since then I have a huge stock of canned tomatoes and use them more often than before...) but had no idea about carrots and other vegetables.

    1. I love chip butty. Carbs filled with carbs. In Central Asia (and in many other parts of the world), there are many variations of bread etc filled with potato. There is also deep fried bread filled with potato. Delicious though!

  2. I would love a gamburger! My boyfriend spent half of last year in Russia, and he's always pointing out things and telling me what they would be in Russian. He never mentioned this! I love it!

    1. Glad you liked it. I didn't see these gamburgers in Russia.