Yeah! So after months (if not years) of talking about how I love dumplings, in the theoretical sense, yesterday I got the chance to love them in the actual sense!
Of course, I made my manti (Kazakh dumplings) on a day when most of the people in our BVS community house were gone. But that works out fine, because it involves more leftovers for me. I’ve compiled tasty recipes before, but for my first time making dumplings, I tried to keep it simple:
3 cups flour
½ cups water or more, as needed
salt to taste
* Mix dough in bowl till smooth; add water as necessary but not so much that it gets sticky. Knead and set aside.
An onion or so, finely chopped
A few cups of ground meat (*or sub half the meat with pumpkin or butternut squash)
Salt, black pepper, cumin, to taste
* Manti is usually steamed but can be boiled or ensouped. You’re not supposed to cook the filling first, but I sauteed the onions then added meat, to make sure they would cook all the way through. Next time I’ll just try steaming. Make sure the meat is oil-drenched, as that’s a big part of the flavor.
* While the filling cooks, boil water in a saucepan and put a metal colander on top. Rub the colander with olive oil before adding manti.
* While the water boils, roll out the dough as thin as you can. (Mine wasn’t thin enough, so my dumplings were a bit doughy). Put a spoonful of the meat and onion filling on the dough and cut around it. Pinch the corners of the dough together over the filling, and pinch all the sides closed.
* Set the manti in the colander, trying not to let it touch its friends. Put a lid on top, and steam till dough is translucent. I did 10-15 minutes but could have gone longer. Pull out and serve hot. For successive batches, remember to check that there’s still water in the pot, and refill as needed.
* For sauce, I dipped mine in cream cheese and salsa. Other recipes, though, recommend a yogurt and garlic sauce, with tomatoes and red pepper drizzled on top. Soy sauce or hot sauce would be great as well.
Delicious. I caught a dishtowel on fire over the gas stove, and almost set a pan on fire when the water in the bottom boiled off. But… the house is still standing and the dumplings are tasty, so I consider it a success.
My next plan is to American cheese, tomato, and mustard, and see if I can’t make All-American Hamburger Dumplings. Kind of like a slider, but with actual meat and in dumpling form. I’m sure they will be a hit.