Central Asian

Squash Manti With Gochujang Onions

November 30, 2020
1 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham. Food stylist: Samantha Seneviratne. Prop stylist: Amanda Widis
  • Prep time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • makes approximately 50 manti
Author Notes

To make these manti, it’s helpful to have a long and slender rolling pin like the Uzbeki or Indian kind—or a pasta maker. If you don't have either of these, or prefer to roll out by hand with your regular rolling pin, try doing so in batches or it can be very difficult to conquer the entire large flat sheet of dough. And if you'd rather not work with dough at all, substitute square wonton wrappers from the store.

Try to get your hands on cumin seeds from Uzbekistan, which are the small black ones that tend to have a stronger flavor. They're so small, in fact, they don’t need to be ground. The Turkish ones will be larger.

This recipe calls for vegan ground beef, but you can use tofu instead, if that's more readily available. Just be sure to squeeze all the moisture out through a cheesecloth, or first microwave the tofu to sap it of its moisture. You don’t want to weigh down the manti wrappers with too much liquid. —Dakota Kim

What You'll Need
  • For the filling
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, fine-diced
  • 4 cups winter squash or pumpkin (approximately 1 large or 2 small kabocha, preferred for its sweetness), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups Russet potatoes (approximately 1 large or 2 small potatoes), peeled cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound vegan ground beef (I like Meatless Farm Co. or Impossible), defrosted but not cooked; or extra-firm tofu, pressed and crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Uzbek or Afghan wild cumin seeds, or ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • For the dough & topping
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons gochujang
  • 2 scallions, green and white parts sliced thinly
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream
  1. Make the dough: Beat one egg in a large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 ½ cups water, and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and stir. Then add one half-cup of flour at a time, until you’ve added the 6 cups of flour total. The texture of your manti should not be sticky. If it’s sticky, add another quarter to half-cup of flour.
  2. Separate the dough into two equal pieces so they’re easier to knead. On a flat surface, knead the two balls dough for 5 to 7 minutes each. When the dough balls have reached a smooth consistency, place them back in the bowl and cover with a cloth and set aside for half an hour to rest. Meanwhile, make the manti filling and topping.
  3. In the large bowl of a food processor, add the squash and potatoes in batches and pulse until coarsely chopped. Place the chopped squash and potatoes in a large mixing bowl, and to this mixture add the diced onion. To this, add the vegan ground beef or crumbled tofu, salt, pepper, sesame oil, water, ground coriander, cumin, and garlic. Stir to combine and set aside.
  4. In a sauté pan over high heat, heat the sesame oil. Add the sliced onion and the salt and stir. Sauté on high for a couple minutes, then reduce to low. Cook the onions until nearly translucent, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring periodically. (If the pan gets too dry, add additional splashes of oil or water as needed.) Once the onions have become translucent, turn off the heat, add the gochujang, and stir. Set aside.
  5. Before you roll out the dough, prepare a metal or tiered bamboo steamer, greasing with oil or lined with parchment paper to prevent sticking. (If you don’t have steamer baskets, you can dip the bottom of each manti in vegetable oil and steam them on oiled plates, dividing each tier with little ramekins or bowls placed in the center of each dish as a trivet.) Place water at the bottom of a bamboo or metal steamer and heat over a low flame.
  6. Using a knife, divide both large balls of dough into four smaller balls each, all approximately the same size. Roll each of the eight balls into a rectangle approximately 5 inches by 3 inches. Then, roll the rectangles through your pasta machine on the thickest setting. Roll the dough through the pasta machine again at a medium setting, then at the second-thinnest setting. (Alternatively, you can roll the dough out by hand.) The thickness of the dough should be so thin that you can see a bit of translucency and sunlight come through it when holding it up to the light—similar to wonton or mandu wrappers you buy in the store—but not falling apart.
  7. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into approximately 50 even squares about 4 inches by 4 inches. As you receive excess dough from cutting squares, you can roll the excess back into the dough and press it again at the widest setting, a medium setting, and then the second-thinnest setting until it’s ready to cut into squares again.
  8. Place two tablespoons of filling on each square. Gather the four corners together at the top, pinching them and sealing them shut. Then, pinch two opposite corners together like you’re gathering a knapsack, and pinch the other two opposite corners together to draw the knapsack to a close. The end result will be a gathered, wrinkled look, like a coin purse.
  9. Place your manti in the prepared steamer and steam for 20 to 25 minutes, until the wrappers are soft and chewy and the filling is fully cooked. Depending on the size of your steamer, you may have to do this in batches.
  10. To serve, place 5 to 6 manti on each plate in a circle. Top all the manti on each plate with gochujang onions, sliced scallions and sesame seeds (in that order). Dollop a tablespoon of yogurt or sour cream into the center of each plate, and you’re ready to eat.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lizzy Christman
    Lizzy Christman
  • JLGM
  • Mendonoma
  • angelitakarmalita

5 Reviews

JLGM February 1, 2021
This is a wonderfully modern take on a traditional manti dish. Like most Americans I know very little about Uzbekistan and its Korean community, and that's why I was so grateful to gain a glimpse into how these cuisines collide.

I hope Food52 continues to add content like this!

(PS The black cumin / nigella / kalonji is absolutely worth it.)

Mendonoma January 10, 2021
I don't understand why you present a recipe with an essential ingredient that 99% of the readers will not have....Uzbekian cumin seeds. Can you offer us an alternative that we might have....like regular cumin seeds? Otherwise, this recipe falls in the 'pass' category for me to try. I am willing to do the work to make these, I have everything else on hand (even gochujang) ....I'm sure those cumin seeds are lovely.......but not on my shopping list of ingredients.....to join all the other myriad containers of things I bought and didn't use again.
angelitakarmalita January 12, 2021
Why the negativity? Recipes are always just “a guide”. Respectfully, Use regular cumin seeds and move on.
Lizzy C. January 24, 2021
So they should just write an inferior recipe because you don't want to bother buying a specialty ingredient? If you don't want to make this recipe, just make something else. Don't demand other people dumb down their recipes to suit your unwillingness to buy ingredients
txchick57 January 29, 2021
Quit bitching and do a little investigating. It was easy to find. https://www.burlapandbarrel.com/collections/all/products/wild-mountain-cumin