It’s a good thing I don’t have a cumin allergy. Otherwise I’d never be able to enjoy the many delicious Dongbei dishes that liberally employ the spice. Perhaps the most famous is a meaty marvel that goes by the name Muslim lamb chop. It is an entire rack of lamb that’s been braised, deep fried and then rolled in cumin, black and white sesame seeds, and hot pepper. And it is spectacular. The other night at Rural I learned there is a fish version.
Cumin flounder ($15.99) lands on the table coated in plenty of its namesake spice, plus a copious amount of chilies. Gawk at it for a moment and Instagram if you must, but then let the waitress cut up into rectangles using a spoon. Crunch into it while it’s still hot. Each swatch of flounder is perfectly fried. In addition to cumin there are pickled chilies lending a nice flavor to what I’ve come to think of as a Dongbei potato chip of sorts.
Rural, 42-85 Main St., Flushing, 718-353-0086