A Mongolian Staple

One of my all time top five fave recipes. These lamb dumplings are insanely addictive. Versions of this dish are served all over Mongolia, although most are made with fermented mare’s milk instead of yogurt. You will surely find this recipe a little more accessible.

Bizarre Foods in the Kitchen: Lamb Dumplings


  • ½ pound ground lamb
  • 1/3 cup finely minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1 minced hot chile
  • Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup thick Greek yogurt (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint


For the filling: Combine the lamb, onion, garlic, parsley and chile. Season well with salt and pepper and reserve in fridge.

For the wrappers: Place flour in a large bowl and slowly add 1 and ¾ cups cold water and the remaining oil, stirring constantly with 2 forks until dough holds together. Turn out on a floured surface and knead until smooth. Place dough in a clean bowl, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 hours.

Cut dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece into a 1-inch thick rope. Cut the ropes into 3/4-inch pieces. Roll pieces out into 2-inch circles, cover with plastic.

One wrapper at a time, place a teaspoon of lamb filling into wrapper, fold to form a half circle, pleating edges as you go, sealing with fingers. Place finished dumplings on a baking sheet dusted with cornstarch.

Place dumplings into rapidly boiling salted water. Stir once. Once the dumplings float, cook for 2 minutes and drain.

Place yogurt into a large sauté pan over medium heat, when yogurt is warmed through add the hot dumplings and toss to coat. Divide into bowls and sprinkle with the dried mint. I like to pair this with homemade hot sauce…it’s a winner.

NOTE: If you don’t use Greek yogurt,  place conventional yogurt in a cheesecloth lined sieve and drain overnight in the fridge.

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