Who would have thought that one of our most popular posts would be Mongolian dumplings? That savory little Buuz recipe gets the greatest number of hits and our statistics show that tons of people are directed to our blog because they are looking for Buuz or Mongolian dumpling recipes. By the way, the folks at Food Porn Daily thought Buuz was one of our posts worthy of being a feature.
I challenged Oli to find another interesting, unusual dish that would generate as many queries and visits to the blog. Always up for a challenge, (as people who play scrabble or backgammon with him will attest) he accepted.
He landed in Central Asia again. This time in Mongolia’s neighbor Kyrgyzstan. Again, there is dough involved and a savory filling and the dish is steamed. It’s an everyday dish called oromo. A simple pasta dough is rolled out paper thin, strewed with a filling that can range from meat and rice to seasonal vegetables (I say you can use your imagination and take the filling where you would like) then rolled up jelly roll fashion and steamed.
In Kyrgyzstan the filling is usually mutton, onions and some sweet pumpkin. Oli’s version combines lamb (you could use beef as well), onions, and carrots for a touch of sweetness. Parsley brightens brightens the mix.
He paired the oromo with a refreshing cucumber, garlic and yogurt tzatziki.
Gotta tell ya, he met the challenge and I think he hit this one out of the park. What do you think?
Basic Pasta recipe
Begin by making the pasta dough.
You don’t need a pasta machine. After you make the dough, divide it in half and just roll it out using a rolling pin. Next make the filling. While the Oromo is steaming, make the tzatziki.
1/2 pound lamb or beef, ground or minced
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely diced carrot
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Vegetable oil to coat the steamer basket
Oli used a 9 1/2-inch steamer. If you use another size, roll your dough to a size that will fit in your steamer basket.
1. Mix meat, parsley, onion, carrot, salt and pepper together in a large bowl.
2. Roll out pasta dough into two 12×16-inch rectangles. Dough should be “see through” thin.
3. Divide the filling onto each pasta sheet and evenly spread it leaving about a one inch margin on each of the longer sides. Fold those sides in and begin rolling the dough (jelly roll fashion) from the shorter end.
4. Lightly tamp down the roll. Don’t squash it, just compact it a little.
5. Brush the surface of the steamer basket with oil.
6. Carefully settle the roll into the basket and cover with steamer lid.
7. Fill a soup pot large enough to accommodate the steamer basket with water that will come up to about 1/2-inch below the bottom of the basket and bring to a boil and carefully place covered basket into the pot. Water level should be deep enough that it doesn’t evaporate during cooking and not so high that it boils up onto the surface of the basket. Reduce heat so that water simmers and steam oromo for 50 minutes. Check every once in a while that you have enough water in the bottom of the pot. Add water as necessary.
You will have to slightly increase or decrease your cooking time if you make a larger or smaller roll.
Now you are ready to make the tzatziki.
1 cup Turkish or Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon grated garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1. Peel cucumber and cut in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Just start at one end and drag the spoon to the other end of the cucumber – seedless in no time.
3. Place grated cucumber in cheesecloth or thin tea towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
4. Mix cucumber, yogurt, garlic and salt together in a medium bowl.
The oromo should be ready to plate now.
Carefully move the oromo from the steamer to a cutting board. You can use a wide spatula to help move it in one piece.