Manti – A recipe from Chef Justin Aprhamian

My local grocer carries a brand of ground lamb I hadn’t
seen before …
Strauss American Lamb.  As
soon as I got home, I checked online to find out more about the company. Along
with their product information, the Strauss company offered recipes using
various cuts of lamb, including ground lamb.

I was delightfully surprised to
find a recipe for Manti, the tiny, boat-shaped, meat-filled dumpling. This particular version came from Chef Justin Aprahamian, 
who was recently awarded the James Beard “best chef Midwest”. Naturally, I had to find
out more about him, too. 

Once I checked
him out, I called Chef Justin’s restaurant, Sanford, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,
to ask for permission to post his recipe on The Armenian Kitchen. They were
happy to oblige.

(By the way, I’m still
searching for a
mantimatic – the cute little rolling pin with blades appropriately
spaced to cut dough into manti-sized pieces.)

Chef Justin’s Manti, photo credit: Ralph Selensky
by Chef Justin Aprahamian, Sanford Restaurant,

Yield: 8-10 servings

Lamb Filling:
1 lb. Strauss ground Lamb
6 oz. onion – diced fine
1 clove garlic (about ¼ oz.) – chopped fine
2 heaping T Chopped Parsley
2 Tsp kosher salt
1 Tsp ground black pepper
1 Tsp ground fennel seed

Dough Ingredients:
3¼ c flour (and a little extra for bench flour)
1 whole egg
1 oz. (2 Tbsp.) melted butter
½ c. warm water
½ c. milk
½ Tsp kosher salt
2 oz. (4 Tbsp.) melted butter set aside for baking

  • Chicken Broth (recipe follows)
  • Yogurt for serving
  • Fresh Parsley – chopped for serving
Chicken Broth Ingredients:
2qt. (8 cups) chicken stock
2 oz. shallot – sliced
3 cloves garlic – sliced
4 fresh bay leaves
6 sprigs thyme
¾ oz. parsley stem – chopped coarse
1 Tbsp. whole black peppercorns
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
½ c. white wine
Salt and pepper to taste


Lamb Filling:
Mix all together and refrigerate until needed.

Combine in mixing bowl (except for the 2 oz. melted butter).
Knead until smooth. Divide into two balls and cover with a towel to rest, 30-45
minutes. With a rolling pin, roll dough out to an even thickness of about 1/8”.
Cut the rolled dough into squares of about 1-1/2”. Place a marble size portion
of meat in the center of each square and pinch the ends together (around the
meat leaving the top exposed) to resemble a boat shape. Continue until
dough/meat mixture is gone.

Chicken Broth:
Gently warm oil in sauce pot, add all aromatics and sweat
lightly about 1 minute. Add wine to deglaze and reduce until about dry. Add
chicken stock and reduce by about a quarter (down to 6 c.). Strain and adjust
seasoning to taste


put the 2 oz. melted butter on baking pan and fill with Manti. Bake at 375°F for
20 – 30 minutes, until Manti are lightly browned. Remove and allow to cool
slightly. Serve in chicken broth with yogurt and chopped parsley.

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  1. Anonymous June 26, 2014 at 7:39 am

    how is this lamb? fatty/ lean/ non smelly? do tell..mariam

    1. Robyn Kalajian June 26, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      Hi Mariam,
      This ground lamb, in my opinion, has very fresh scent- at least the pkg I bought did.
      The nutrition facts are based on a 4-oz. serving, and % daily values reflect a 2000 calorie diet:

      Calories 220 Sodium 85 mg
      Total Fat 16 g Potassium 0 mg
      Saturated 7 g Total Carbs 0 g
      Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 0 g
      Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 0 g
      Trans 0 g Protein 20 g
      Cholesterol 90 mg
      Vitamin A 0% Calcium 2%
      Vitamin C 0% Iron 10%

      I hope this helps!

    2. Kimber Amaro-Aperyan November 16, 2020 at 11:56 pm

      Hello!! I hope you remember me 😉
      I'm just making my version today

    3. Robyn Kalajian November 23, 2020 at 10:23 pm

      WOW! I do remember you; it's been quite a long time since you requested a recipe. I hope you and your family are well. Enjoy your Manti!


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