Lamb Manti Dumplings

Manti are a type of large dumpling made by steaming in a steamer for a length of time. These dumplings are similar to jiaozi or mandu from China and Korea respectively. The typical fillings are meat, potatoes, pumpkin or squash, and spices. This recipe will include two filling choices. Each filling choice is for 1 dough made from the ingredients below. If you want to try both, you’ll need to double the dough recipe or cut each filing amounts in half. Manti are great on chilly days, the steaming of the meat will release juices into the dumpling, making a nice broth!

Prep Time: 2 to 3 hours (including 30 minutes dough resting)

Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes per batch

Servings: 2 to 4

Ingredients for the Dough:

  • 500 grams flour
  • 200 mL water
  • 1 egg
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients for Lamb-Cheese Filling:

  • 1/2 lb ground/minced lamb
  • 1/2 onion, diced small
  • 6-8 oz cheese such as mozzarella, farmer’s cheese, tvorog
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Ingredients for Lamb-Pumpkin Filling:

  • 1/2 lb ground/minced lamb
  • 1/2 onion, diced small
  • 2-3 small potatoes, diced small
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Equipment:

  • Kitchen weight scale
  • Measuring spoons
  • Sturdy wooden spoon
  • Bread Dough mixer (Optional but handy)
  • Mixing bowls x 2
  • Rolling pin
  • Pizza cutter or knife
  • Pasta-machine for rolling out dough (Optional but very handy)
  • Bamboo or metal steamer
  • Large pot to hold steamer and boiling water
  1. Weigh out the flour and water on a scale. In a mixing bowl or bread dough mixer, combine the flour, water, egg, and salt. The dough will be really, really stiff! Turn the dough and contents out onto a counter or table and using your hands incoporate the flour into the dough ball. This may take several minutes of kneading and folding. The dough will be stiff but loosen as you knead more. Set the dough aside in the mixing bowl, cover with a lid or cloth for at least 30 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, prepare and combine your filling of choice. Mix thoroughly. After the dough has rested, roll it out using a rolling pin or a pasta machine. The dough should be softer, flexible, but not stiff enough to tear. If you’re rolling out the dough, aim for a rectangular shape. Roll out dough to a couple millimeters thick.
  3. Next the dough must be cut into squares. Using a pizza cutter or a knife, cut squares from your rectangular dough shape and set aside. Try to keep the squares about 3.5 to 4 inches across.
  4. Add 1 Tbsp or so of your filling to each square. There are many ways to fold your manti. One manner is to hold the square in your hand, the filling in your palm and bring the corners together and pinch. Another way is to lay each square flat, fold over two opposite corners. Then fold over the other two corners. From this pinch the new edges to seal. This video on Youtube shows the latter example.
  5. Now it is time to steam; set your steamer in a pot of water, heat on high to bring it to a boil. Oil the bottom of the each level of your steam or place a safe cooking mat if you have one. Add your manti, leaving some space between each one. Steam for 30 to 40 minutes. The goal is to make the dough al dente. Be sure to check the water levels during this time and top up if necessary. Be careful when removing manti from the steamer as steam is very hot and can burn you. Cool slightly and enjoy with a sauce or as is!

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