January 7, 2011

Momos: An easy Tibetan style dish for a busy lifestyle [Anna’s cooking at home series “The Quick and Tasty”#3]

Tibetan Momos or dumplings are a very yummy dish that can serve many eating purposes. You could serve them at a party or bring them to a potluck, make them at home and put them in a soup or simple broth, fry them up, pair different levels of spicy sauce with them, use them as a side dish for a huge feast and they are great the next day cold for breakfast or lunch.

Seriously these Tibetan peeps know what they are doin’! YES! MOMOS!!!! So good. This version calls for a mix of ground beef and pork *Tibetans do not eat pork but it does give them more taste and moistness. You can try to find some yak meat and that would make them the quintessential Tibetan food but it is pretty hard to come by since yaks reside throughout the Himalayan region of south Central Asia, the Tibetan Plateau and as far north as Mongolia and Russia. They ain’t in North America. They are so cute right? right??

Here is the recipe!

1 lb. of ground beef, pork or a mix (the mix is best)
1 bunch of chopped scallions – chopped finely
1/2 package fresh spinach (raw) approx. 4-5 cups – chopped
3 tbsp sesame oil (unrefined and toasted has the best smell and taste)
2-3 tbsp soy sauce (depends on how you like your soy saltiness)
1-4 tbsp ginger (again depends on your taste buds) – minced or grated
1/4- 1/2 cup cilantro – chopped
Black pepper to taste
One double package of round or square wonton skins (the thinner the better for taste but harder to work with)
*You can always make your own skins too but that is when the dish is not easy anymore. I find the store bought skins just as good.

* Cabbage leaves + cooking oil

*Sauce: Mama’s Fire OR soy sauce with a tsp or two of the East Asian hot sauce Sambal Oelek

Mix the meat, scallions, spinach, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger and pepper together with your hands in a large bowl. Of course this is always when the phone rings. Lay out the skins and put about 1 tbsp of the mixture in the middle. If you use round skins crimp the edges together in a half moon and if you have the square skins either fold over as a triangle or you can squish the points together to make an upside down cone. See the photo for examples. Oil your steamer (I use the bamboo kind that stacks) trays with regular cooking oil or line with cabbage leaves or both. You do not want these babies to stick. Carefully place the momos in the trays so they are not touching. Place over a wok with boiling water. Let steam until finished (approx. 15 minutes).  You can fry half in a little sesame oil and serve the other half plain in soup, that’s generally what I do.


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