a few days ago our countertops were piled with food gifts – cookies, cakes, breads, candies. and after staring at and eating more than i care to share over christmas eve and christmas, i wanted to make and eat something on the other end of the food spectrum. no sugar allowed and preferably something with a little bit of green.
central asian lamb dumplings made with kazakh noodles? perfect.
for years i avoided dumplings in asian restaurants because the word “dumpling” conjured up pasty flour dumplings one might find in southern chicken and dumplings recipes. not my thing. and even though i knew i was being ridiculous and figured the dumplings at the chinese hole-in-the-wall restaurant were not even remotely related to the former, i was still wary. then one day i caved and subsequently felt like an idiot for all the years of non-dumpling eating i could never get back.
the recipe is from beyond the great wall: recipes and travels in the other china and they sound sexier than they really are. kazakh noodles turned out to be made from a basic flour/egg/water dough and the filling consisted of ground lamb, leeks, carrots, garlic and sesame oil. but oh my, are they good.
i can see this being a good “make with friends” recipe. it’s quite easy but a bit time consuming. in a good way, though, and i enjoyed the repetition.
i served them with a dipping sauce made with rice vinegar, soy sauce, and fresh ginger. and to complete the green side of the meal requirement, i boiled up the last fresh green beans we had and served them alongside. while making them i wondered what the boys would think but figured that making this a “no forks allowed” meal would at least help matters. turns out they ate everything right up and elisha compared the meal to “chicken fingers and fries.” if comparing dumplings and green beans to chicken fingers and fries gets them eating, no complaints from me.