Two moms. Five daughters. Opposite ends of the globe.

Two moms. Five daughters. A friendship that spans opposite ends of the globe.

We have been best friends for ages with a shared love for good food. A desire of good health for ourselves and our families have lead us to exploring the paleo lifestyle together. Enjoy our adventure!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Naked Momos

I'm amazed that the smell and taste of a simple dumpling can so quickly transport me to my favorite part of the world. Lounging and people watching from a rooftop cafe in Thamel, having a late lunch after the long walk up to Swayambhunath, the monkey temple. Crowded into a tiny restaurant in Shigatse, unable to avoid the generous servings of yak butter tea. Warming up with a tall glass on chhaang on a cool evening along the Annapurna circuit.

Momos are little meat and veg dumplings found in abundance at restaurants in Nepal and Tibet. They are made with a variety of minced meat spiced up onion, garlic, ginger, and cilantro. They can be steamed or fried and usually contain a little cabbage and yak cheese. And they are always served with the most tasty of dipping sauces ranging from tomato based to soy based to super spicy chile based!

The first time I made momos, nearly fifteen years ago, I had just returned home from my first adventure to the Himalayas and I was excited to show off my new cuisine ideas to friends. Total disaster! Don't get me wrong. I made a great filling, but the homemade dumpling skins sucked (I never did cook well with flour... perhaps it was a sign). Over the years and especially after subsequent trips there, my cravings returned and I tried again and again. But always stumbling over those #$%& wrappers... until now!

Serves 4

Momo Ingredients:
  • 1-2 green chilies, finely diced
  • 2-3-inch piece ginger, grated
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 4 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 T coconut aminos
  • 2 T oil (I prefer sesame or coconut)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2-2 pounds ground pork or turkey

Dipping Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 tsp green chilies, finely diced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 T cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 T lemon juice

  1. Mix all dipping sauce ingredients in a glass bowl and let sit while you prepare the momos.
  2. Mix all momo ingredients.
  3. Form meat mixture into small discs or larger patties.
  4. Heat some cooking oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  5. Fry momos in batches, cooking 3-5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
  6. Serve over shredded cabbage, carrots, and cucumbers with dipping sauce.

Note: Frying an entire batch of small disc shaped momos seems to take forever. This is my favorite way to prepare momos, but since I'm usually short of time, I often opt for larger "momo patties" (fewer = quicker). A couple nights ago, I was in a particularly lazy mood when my momo craving occurred. The resulting "lazy mom momo" was received by my family just as well as any other form of momo and took about half the time! Instead of forming any shapes at all, I dumped the entire mixture into the pan and fried it up like I would taco meat. I normally prefer ground pork, but this was just as delicious with turkey!

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