2 Most Popular Tibetan Sauces

Tibetan Sauces

Aside from being one of the most beautiful places in the world, Tibet cuisine also offers different dishes for locals and tourists to try on. Tibetan food ranges from the tasty Yak meat to savory vegetarian dishes. They are known for their use of noodles, goat, yak, mutton, dumplings, cheese, butter and soups. 

But one thing notable about their dishes would be the sauces incorporated with them. Traditional Tibetan sauces are usually hot and spicy, as they are usually made with chili peppers and other ingredients. 

Tibetan Sauces

Here are some of the most popular Tibetan sauces.

Tibetan Hot Sauce

Tibetan Hot Sauce

Hot sauce is a popular dip, not only in Tibet, but in most parts of the world. The Tibetan hot sauce is taking it a notch further as it is a combination of many ingredients. In Tibet, their popular hot sauce is called Sepen. 

It is made from red hot chili peppers, onions, tomatoes, scallions, garlic, celery, coriander, salt, and oil. These ingredients are chopped by hand and stir-fried in oil until everything is cooked down.

The process of making this Tibetan hot sauce includes blending tomatoes, garlic, peppercorn, and peppers in a blender or food processor. It is then mixed into diced celery and cooked in the sauce for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. 

There are few variations on how the hot sauce is prepared. Some may want it thick or thin, chunky or smooth. This hot sauce would be perfect for different Tibetan dishes such as momo dumplings or laping.

Traditional Tibetan BBQ Sauce

Traditional Tibetan BBQ Sauce

If you love grilled dishes, then check out their BBQ sauce that’s really interesting. It uses a lot of ingredients to deliver that distinctive and savory flavor. That includes sesame oil, red pepper flakes, rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar,  tomato paste, water, onions, ginger puree, and garlic. 

Spices such as mustard and black pepper, and sweeteners such as sugar or molasses are also added. This BBQ sauce is perfect for grilled recipes like beef or steak. Tibetan BBQ sauce can also be incorporated with other cuisines. Momos that use meat can also make use of this BBQ sauce. 

Other Tibetan Foods

Other Tibetan Foods

Aside from their famous sauces, Tibetan also boasts their wide array of cuisines that may have influences from neighboring countries such as India, Nepal and China. If you love soups and stews, they have a lot to offer. 

Indian influence is notable with some of Tibet’s cuisines such as their curry-based food. They have their famous Lunggoi Katsa, a stewed sheep’s head with curry, fennel, monosodium glutamate and salt. They also have Dropa Khatsa, which is a dish made of stewed tripe, with curry, fennel, monosodium glutamate and salt. 

They also have a chafing dish in the Han Chinese style called Gyagoh. It is a hot pot of vermicelli, kombu, mushrooms, meatballs, bamboo sprouts and salt. This is traditionally eaten by senior monks during important ceremonies.

If you want to eat some spicy cold mung bean noodle dish in Tibetan and Nepalese cuisine, look for the dish called Laphing. Those who are looking for adventure with exotic food, Tibetan cuisine offers Lowa Khatsa, a dish made of pieces of fried animal lung and spices. 

Should you want to eat some dairy products, check out Sergem which is made from milk once the butter from the milk is extracted. Yurla, a  wheat pastry with butter, is also common in Nyainrong County in northern Tibet.

Vegetables like celery, carrots and fresh green chili are stir-fried to create their dish called Shab Tra. They also offer Sha Shingbee which is a  stir-fry dish of sliced mutton with green beans. You might want to check out a deep-fried turnover with a filling of ground or minced meat and onions called Chebureki.

Tibet’s desserts would also be a sure win. Dre-si is a sweet dish made with rice that is cooked in unsalted butter and mixed with raisins, droma, dates and nuts. You can also try Thue which is  made with dri cheese (or sometimes Parmesan or other hard cheeses), brown sugar (usually porang) and unsalted sweet cream butter.

Some of them are served during special occasions like Losar or Tibet’s New year. Tibet also has their own version of cheesecake called Tu. It is made with yak butter, brown sugar and water, and made into a pastry. 

Tibet also offers their famous breads such as Balep, a bannock quick bread. A round and flat bread that is consumed mainly in central Tibet called Balep korkun is also popular along with the steamed bread called Tingmo. 

Since they have animals that produce milk, Tibet also creates their own cheeses. Some of them are Chhurpi, Chura kampo, Chura loenpa and Shosha. 

How To Make The Famous Tibet Hot Sauce (Recipe)

If you want to try their hot sauce and would like to recreate it for momo dumplings or other cuisines, then here’s a simple recipe that you can follow. 

To start, get these ingredients: 

  • 9 Tomatoes
  • 3 Stalks of Celery (diced)
  • 2 Hot Peppers of your preference
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground emma or peppercorn


  1. In a blender or food processor, blend tomatoes, garlic, emma, and peppers. You can also boil the tomatoes ahead of time, for about 5 minutes or until the skin loosens on the tomatoes if you don’t have a blender or food processor. 

  2. In a pot, heat oil and add the blended tomato sauce. Cook in medium high heat until the mixture starts to boil.

  3. While the tomato sauce mixture is boiling, add the diced celery and salt to taste. Boil for another 5 minutes. 

  4. Lower the temperature to medium heat and cook the sauce for  another 45 minutes. Stir the mixture occasionally every 15 minutes. 

  5. After 45 minutes, put the temperature under low heat and let it simmer for another 15 minutes.

  6. Add the chopped cilantro and let it cool before serving. You can serve it with sesame seeds and other delicious food that you love.

It is very easy to make this beautiful hot sauce recipe from Tibet in the comforts of your home. Go ahead and try to make some for your family and friends to try on, especially for those who loves to eat spicy gourmet food. 

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