|Mongolian Master Chef Ch.Sanchir, who has won numerous awards from international cooking competitions, gave an interview about healthy eating and cooking.
His signature dish made of chicken breast was listed in the Top 100 Recipes by the European Union in 2010, and now, he is trying to produce a dish using a special type of wheat which he claims will slow down the effects of cancer and improves the immune system.
Tell us about the new dish you’re working on to help people enhance their immune system and slow cancer?
A German doctor studied plant structures and developed a new species of barley wheat, or wheat grass, within a year. My wife tested it on herself. We’re trying to see if it can be used to maintain a healthy diet. The key to eating healthy is not just to try and fill one’s stomach but to get nutrition and vitamin the body needs. I pay a great deal of attention on making healthy food using soy beans, plants and beans without losing the vitamins and minerals they contain. The newly produced plant has been globally studied and proven to be a “super food”. Wheat grass is effective for balancing chemicals in the human body and improving immunity.
As the body becomes healthier and immunity becomes stronger, the human body automatically begins to cure itself. Wheat grass is widely used in western countries and the USA for cancer treatment. Cancer patients only need to squeeze 25 to 30 grams of wheat grass into a fruit juice and drink it every day. This has the same effect as consuming 3.5 kilograms of broccoli. No one can handle eating this much broccoli every day. We first let the seed soak in water and planted it in soil after it sprouts. It can be considered a very beneficial plant for revitalizing the body from the inside by breaking food into alkaline. Most people become sick because the food that they consume becomes acidic during food processing. In other words, they are consuming too much acidic food. These types of food shrink the gastric mucosa (mucous membrane layer of the stomach), causing physical deficiency from not being able to acquire useful vitamins from food.
How is wheat grass beneficial for cancer patients?
It’s widely viewed that cancer strips away motor abilities. Once you get cancer, you can’t fully cure it but you can slow the process by developing immunity against it. We tested wheat grass based treatment on a person suffering from rheumatism, a disease of unknown cause and detected through fever symptoms. We had the patient drink wheat grass juice for over a year. As a result, pain relieved and the patient stated to lose weight and gradually became healthier. A child who wasn’t able to walk due to joint problems started to walk with a cane after drinking the juice for a month. Later, he drank the juice twice a day for two months and he was able to walk on his own two feet with some support from a guardian. We thought wheat grass affected only the disease at first but it had actually been improving the child’s immunity. The stronger one’s immunity is, the better their ability to heal themselves. Professional organizations determined that wheat grass doesn’t harbor any threat to the human body so we’ve started to seek ways to deliver it to everybody.
An increasing number of people are being diagnosed with cancer and digestive diseases in Mongolia. Is this related to the food they consume?
I’ve been a chef for 19 years and have been training new chefs as well. Now, I’m thinking it’s more important to focus my work on public health education rather than being a chef because various types of digestive diseases have been increasing lately.
The cancer rate wasn’t this high when I had just graduated 20 years ago so cancer is mainly connected to what we eat. The most important thing to do is find ways to cook alkaline food and make the body healthy from the inside. Vegetables imported from abroad can be stored for a longer time compared to vegetables grown in Mongolia. Domestically grown leafy vegetables rot easily while Chinese salad cabbages stay fresh for a long time. Fruits are conserved for a long time so it’s clear why cancer has increased.
What is a healthy diet?
Truthfully, many people think healthy food is only vegetarian food but they are wrong. I’m trying to promote healthy diet among Mongolian women through a reality television show. Mongolian women need 3,600 calories a day to be healthy. The show teaches how to get enough calories throughout the day. Fetus grows in an alkaline environment in the mother’s womb and around 70 percent of the body is made up of water. Most of the food we consume today breaks into acid during food processing and the human body becomes ill when there’s too much acid in the body. Wheat grass plays a very important role in balancing the acid level of the body. When the body is able to maintain the balance, the immune system improves and starts to heal the body from the inside.
What kind of diet would you recommend?
A meal consists of an appetizers, soup, main course and dessert. So how do we eat them correctly? A common mistake among Mongolians is that we try to fill our stomach with one plate of food. That’s not how we should be eating. Let’s talk about why it’s necessary to eat appetizers before a meal. Appetizers must be cooked in small amount, they should have strong aroma, look appetizing, and arouse appetite. By having an appetizer first, it makes people want to eat more and helps release gastric acid.
Drinking soup after having an appetizer hydrates the body and give you the necessary calories. The purpose of a main course is to make a person full and give necessary nutrition. Eating dessert, which contains sugar, afterwards is to stop the release of gastric acid.
So there is a reason why people crave sweet things after a meal?
The body itself demands dessert. Once the body stops releasing gastric acid, the body starts to digest food and attain nutrition it needs. This is an important process for replenishing cells in the body. A certain number of cells die and rejuvenate on a daily basis. This process is crucial for children’s growth. Children and young people need to have more new cells than dead cells to grow. People can’t see this themselves. This is the main significance of maintaining a healthy diet.
Apart from becoming healthier, is it possible to become younger using food?
In recent years, obesity has increased among the population because people aren’t properly managing their diet. Aging speeds up in people who are overweight. People look different and age differently based on the type of job they do and how they live. Foods should be chosen carefully and consumed in appropriate amounts. I want to spread this knowledge and information to the public.
Reportedly, you received a proposal to open a Mongolian restaurant in Shanghai. Is this true? If so, how did you respond?
I received proposals to open Mongolian restaurants in Shanghai and Hohhot city. Before making a decision, I need to consider if it’s right to reveal Mongolian food recipes abroad. I would immediately accept if I only thought about the profit I could make. Shanghai and Hohhot city wants to introduce khorkhog, shorlog and boodog. I held a meat show in Hinggan League and Baotou city in Inner Mongolia to promote Mongolian food. A chef from Altai BBQ Restaurant cooked and roasted meat with long knives blindfolded. We also showed how to cook meat on hot rocks and the proper way to cook shrimp. We made some proposals to the administrator of Hinggan League.
Mongolia doesn’t have any national food registered in UNESCO. Mongolians thought that khuushuur and buuz were our national food but lately, it’s become controversial. What can be considered as Mongolian national food?
Yes, we don’t have any food registered as our own. The national food field is just starting to develop. During the Mongol Empire, founded by Chinggis Khaan, Mongolians considered roast meat as national food. It states in the Secret History of the Mongols that mountain goats were killed with an arrow, fire lit under shields to fry, roast and cook meat chopped with a sword.
Is it true that your recipe was included in the Top 100 Food Recipes of the World?
I won a silver medal in the seafood category and special prize in the steak category of the eighth Istanbul Gastronomy Festival in 2010. I cooked a seafood dish that was supposed to take 30 minutes in just 15 minutes. It became the fastest-cooked dish with the best presentation. At the time, the European Union announced the Top 100 Food Recipes and my cuisine made from chicken breast was included.