Toasted Manti with Garlic Yogurt and Cayenne Pepper Butter

. July, 2015
Toasted Manti with Garlic Yogurt and Cayenne Pepper Butter

Spicy and rich Turkish dumplings taken from Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton.


For the yogurt:
1 fresh, sticky, burning garlic clove
1 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt**
1 splash extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt to taste
For the manti:
110 grams (10 sheets) square fresh wonton skins, yellow not white
110 grams (40 thimblefuls) lamb mince
1 cup beef broth*
For the cayenne butter:
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt

*College Inn beef broth in original recipe
** Fage brand in original recipe

Read Dish cookbook reviewer David Parker's review of this recipe here



Microplane garlic into yogurt; season with salt and EVOO, and whisk until smooth and blended. Let sit to see how garlic emerges. Add garlic or yogurt, depending. We want it very assertive.

To assemble manti:

Roll tiny lamb meatballs, no larger than a rounded ¼ teaspoon. Do not season the meat. Pack them in orderly rows on parchment in shallow fish tub. Get ahead. Get externs and trailers to join you. This whole deal is labor intensive. Ask for helpers.

Keep wonton skins fresh and do not let them dry out. Keep a small stack in front of you at a time, kept under ultra clean, barely damp cotton dinner napkin.

Have in front of you a very narrow pastry brush, a pint of cold water, a knife.

Cut short stack of wonton skins into 4 exactly equal squares. One cut north-south; One cut east-west.

Lay out the squares, set a tiny lamb meatball in the center of each, brush the edges with water to dampen, and fold into perfect purses, enclosing the meat and sealing the seams securely. Gently and subtly push down on each one after you have formed it to flatten the bottom so it will sit steady later in the pan during pickup.

Pack in neat and orderly rows on parchment in shallow fish tubs. Store in freezer.

Get ahead. Get externs and trailers to help whenever they are in the building. On slow nights, send a line cook downstairs during lulls to keep going on these. They’re a real bitch, I recognize, but stay at it.

Lay frozen manti on parchment in ½ sheet pan and toast in 375° oven until golden on their bodies and deeply toasted at the star-like seams, 12–15 minutes.

To pick up: In sauté pan, heat beef broth to simmer. Add toasted manti, seams up. Continue to simmer until broth reduces and becomes full-bodied and has taken on what starch there is from the wonton skins.

The manti will turn glossy and swell slightly, 5–6 minutes in total. 10 orders/100 pieces

To plate:

Dollop of room-temperature garlic yogurt in center of small shallow bowl. Manti in neat garland, seams up, around yogurt. We are not this kind of restaurant, but the tweezers really work well here.

Spoon the glossy beef broth into the bowl to pool up around the manti. Don’t drip on the yogurt—that stays white and pristine. Melt cayenne butter quickly, to foaming, and drizzle around into the broth, making reddish beads in the broth. Don’t drip on the yogurt. Sell quickly. Do not let this sit in the pass.

*PLEASE do not “improve” the dish by using out homemade pasta sheets or our homemade beef broth. Always use wanton skins and College Inn.

This is an edited extract from Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton published by Hardie Grant RRP $NZ 69.99, available in stores nationwide.