Utterly unique and delicious, momos — Tibetan dumplings — are the most beloved dish of Tibet. Every Tibetan family has a slightly different momo recipe, with various theories on how to make them the most juicy and delicious, or how to keep the dough skins to the desired delicate thinness. The variations are endless – momos can be meat, or veg, steamed (the most popular), fried, and cooked in soup. In case you’re wondering, the word “momo” is pronounced with the same “o” sound as in “so-so.” The momos pictured here are called “sha momo” in Tibetan — which actually means just “meat momo.” Typically, in Tibet the meat momo would be made from yak meat, but outside of Tibet people use ground beef instead, or, less commonly, chicken. These momos are also steamed, and are the round style, one of the two most common styles. The other common style is the half-moon, which you can see if you look at the page showing the “shamey momo,” the vegetarian momo. If you are lucky enough to have any leftovers, you can heat them by frying in a little bit of oil for amazing goodness.
If you would like to explore and share the wonderfully comforting, unusual flavors of traditional Tibetan food, please see our Tibetan Home Cooking eBook and video series for detailed written recipes and step-by-step videos showing you exactly how to cook almost every classic Tibetan food. For momo lovers, Tibetan Home Cooking has two easy-to-follow recipes and videos for making steamed vegetarian and meat momos.
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By Lobsang Wangdu and Yolanda O’Bannon