Tibetan Momos


Servings: 6


For the filling
  • 1/2 pound ground pork or turkey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red or white onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
For the dough
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup warm water


For the filling
  1. In a large bowl, combine the filing ingredients and mix until fully combined. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
For the dough
  1. When ready to shape the momos, make the dough. In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Gradually add just enough water until the dough comes together in a soft, not sticky, ball.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Use a sharp knife to cut off about 1/4 of the dough; cover the remaining dough and set aside. Roll the piece of dough between your hands to form a 2-inch-wide log, and cut the log into sections about as big as a small walnut.
To shape the momos
  1. Flatten one small piece of dough with the heel of your hand, and then use a rolling pin to form it into a 4-inch disk. Rotate the disk counterclockwise after each roll to keep it circular, rolling from the center out and making the edges as thin as possible.
  2. Turn your left hand palm up and lay the circle of dough across your slightly bent fingers. With your right hand, scoop about 1 tablespoon of filling into the center of the dough. Press your left thumb gently on top of the filling and hold it there while you shape the dough with your right hand.
  3. Think of the disk of dough as the face of a clock. Use your right thumb and first two fingers to pinch together one edge of the dough firmly at 3 o'clock. Draw in the dough from the 2 o'clock position, and pinch it tightly against the first pinch to make two adjacent folds in the dough. (This is the beginning of what will look like a drawstring bag.) As you draw in the third pinch of dough (from 1 o'clock), rotate the dumpling toward you slightly, so the pinched folds stay in the 3 o'clock position. Don't forget to keep your left thumb lightly pressed on top of the filling.
  4. As you continue to add tight folds, the dough will start to enclose your left thumb. When you can't pinch any more folds, take your thumb out, gently grasp the top of the folds with the tips of your fingers, and twist lightly to seal the dumpling and accentuate the swirl design.
  5. Repeat with the remaining circles of dough. Try to keep your folds small and neat. Don't give up if they aren't perfect right away; your momos will get prettier with practice. (If you just cannot get the hang of forming these dumplings, form them into half-moons instead.) Filled momos will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 day, but they are best steamed right away.
To cook the momos
  1. When all the momos have been formed, spray the insides of a large steamer basket with nonstick cooking spray (or lightly oil the surface). Arrange the momos in the basket in a single layer, side by side but not touching. Place the steamer over, not in, a pan of boiling water (the water should not touch the momos). And cover tightly. Steam until the momos have swelled and the dough is firm and no longer tacky to the touch, about 15 minutes.
  2. Serve with Soy Sauce, chili-garlic paste, sriracha, or your favorite hot sauce.

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