Khuushuur, the Mongolian take on a fried dumpling, is a classic regional comfort food found on many local menus. And, thanks to this recipe from the Shangri-La Hotel in Ulaanbaatar, we can now enjoy these savory treats at home, thousands of miles away:
240 grams (8.5 ounces) Beef (brunoise cut by hand)
5 grams (0.17 ounces) Black pepper
180 grams (6.35 ounces) Khuushuur flour dough
3 grams (0.1 ouncs) Salt
80 grams (2.8 ounces) White onion
5 grams (0.17 ounces) Mongolian traditional cumin powder
Method: Prepare the filling. Mix minced meat, onion and garlic.
Add water until the mass is smooth to work with. Add salt and spices (the dough has no salt).
Prepare the dough: Mix flour and water to create a pliable dough. Let it rest for 15 min.
Cut the dough into 3 cm (1.2 in) thick slices, roll the slices. Cut the rolls into pieces of 4 cm (1.6 in), flatten the pieces with a finger.
Form the Khuushuur: The pieces of dough are rolled into circles of about 10 cm (4 inches) diameter, making the center slightly thicker than the edge. It is best only to roll as many circles you can process further within a few minutes. Forming the pockets will be more difficult when the dough is already starting to get dry. Hold one circle the open hand (the left one for righties) and place about one and a half tea spoon of the meat mass on one half, so that some space along the edge is left free. Fold the circle in half with fingers and palm, so that the edges meet over the meat.
Connect the edges with the other hand: At the near end, press the two edges together. Alternatingly form a little loop of either edge, and press it onto the already closed part with a little offset. A seam is created that looks like braided from the sides. When reaching the far end, close it by pressing it together. Several variations are possible, like starting from both ends, and let the "braids" meat in the center.
Alternative method: Press the edges flat together, closing the pocket. Fold the near end to one side and press the end of the fold flat. Fold again a little further down, creating a spiral shape. Press the end of the new fold flat as well. Repeat until you reach the end.
The cooking: The finished Khuushuur are fried in oil, not too dark. The head produces steam within the pockets, causing some juice to drip out after a while, which will splash around when hitting the hot oil. It is recommended to cover the pan with a screen to keep the oil in. On the stove in the yurt, the Khuushuur are normally deep fried in oil. Of course, a modern deep fryer serves just as well.
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