Chicken Momo Recipe

Chicken Momos

Until recently, Lobsang had never tried to create a chicken momo recipe — probably because we love so much both the veggie ones and the beef ones that he makes. But we finally tried them out and this new recipe is a surprising new favorite. Traditionally Tibetans don’t eat chicken, but after coming into exile, they have made efforts to be more healthy in general and especially to consume less red meat. These chicken momos are a perfect alternative. Our vegetarian friends should check out the oh-so-tasty veggie momo or spinach and cheese momo recipes 🙂 

Recipe for Chicken Momos:

  • Prep Time: 1.5 hours
  • Cooking Time: 10 minutes
  • Makes about 55 momos. People eat very different amounts of momos, but it is common for one person to eat 8 or more.
  • You will need a steamer. 

Ingredients

Dough

  • 3 cups of standard all purpose wheat flour (We don’t use whole wheat for these. You can do it, but it’s a bit inflexible for shaping the momos)
  • About 1.5 cups of water (may need a little more or less, depending on your flour)
Chicken Momo Recipe
Ingredients for chicken momos.

Chicken Filling

  • 1 pound of ground chicken (We use organic and pasture-raised.)
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, chopped small
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped small
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped small
  • 2 stalks of green onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup of cilantro, chopped small
  • .5 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (we use low sodium)
  • 10 little pods of emma/Szechuan pepper (= about 1/4 teaspoon ground up)
  • A little bit of cooking oil (we use avocado oil) to grease the steamer.

Warning: All momos will be very hot when first cooked, especially the filling. Please be careful!

[CookingMiddle]

Chicken Momo Recipe
The chopped and minced ingredients to add to your chicken.

Preparation

(We are slightly adapting Lobsang’s basic veg or meat momo recipe, which you can see here.)

Prepare the Dough

  • Put about 3 cups of wheat flour in a bowl and slowly add about 1.5  cups of water. We use unbleached white (not whole wheat) all-purpose flour.
  • Mix the flour and water very well by hand and keep adding water until you make a fairly smooth ball of dough.
  • Knead the dough very well until the dough is flexible.
  • Leave your dough in the pot with the lid on while you prepare the rest of the ingredients, or put it in a plastic bag.
  • You should not let the dough dry out, or it will be hard to work with.
Chicken Momo Recipe
Preparing the dough.

Prepare the Filling

  • Combine all the ingredients with the ground chicken and mix well. Lobsang does this by hand. 
  • Set the mixture aside while you prep the dough. If you’re new at this and it will take you a long time to make the dough, you could put your mixture in the fridge.
Chicken Momo Recipe
The chicken filling mixture.

Make the Dough Circles, the Easy Way

  • When your dough and filling are both ready, it is time for the tricky part of making the dumpling shapes.
  • For this, place the dough on a chopping board and use a rolling pin to roll it out quite thinly. It should not be so thin that you can see through it when you pick it up, nor should it be quite as thick as a floppy disk for a computer (remember those? :-). Somewhere between those two should work out.
  • After you have rolled out the dough, you will need to cut it into little circles for each momo.
  • The easiest way to do this is turn a small cup or glass upside down to cut out circles about the size of the palm of your hand, or to use a round cookie or biscuit cutter, as you see in the image. Our biscuit cutter is 2 3/4 inches in diameter, but it’s a tiny bit too small. A 3 inch diameter cookie/biscuit cutter would be perfect.
  • That way, you don’t have to worry about making good circles of dough because each one will be the same size and shape.
Roll out the dough for the dumpling skins.
Roll out the dough for the dumpling skins.
We use a biscuit cutter for a quick way to make momo dough circles
We use a biscuit cutter for a quick way to make momo dough circles

Or, Make the Dough Circles, the Traditional Way

  • Of course, you can also make the circles by the more traditional, and more difficult, way of pinching off a small ball of dough and rolling each ball in your palms until you have a smooth ball of dough. See this method being done in our video of Chef Tsering’s momo party.
  • Then, you can use a rolling pin to flatten out the dough into a circle, making the edges more thin than the middle. This is much harder to do, and takes more time, though many Tibetans still use this method.

Shape the Momos

  • Now that you have a small, flat, circular piece of dough, you are ready to add the filling and make the momo shapes.
  • There are many, many different choices for momo shapes. For this recipe, I used the half-moon shape, which is easier to learn than the round one.
Chicken Momo Recipe
Ready to shape the half-moon momo.

The Half-Moon Momo

  • For this style, you begin by holding the flat circular dough in your left hand and putting a tablespoon of the chicken filling in the middle of the dough.
  • Then you have to fold your circle of dough in half, covering over the filling.
  • Now press together the two edges of the half circle so that there is no open edge in your half circle, and the filling is completely enclosed in the dough.
  • You will now have the basic half-moon shape, and you can make your momo pretty by pinching and folding along the curved edge of the half circle.
  • Start at one tip of the half-moon, and fold over a very small piece of dough, pinching it down.
  • Continue folding and pinching from the starting point, moving along the edge until you reach the other tip of the half-moon.
  • You can experiment with different folds and pinches to find the way that is easiest and nicest for you.
  • As you are making this chicken momo recipe, you will need to have a non-stick surface and a damp cloth or lid handy to keep the momo’s you’ve made from drying out while you’re finishing the others.
  • You can lay the momos in a lightly-greased steamer (see the step below) and keep the lid on them, or you can lay them on wax paper and cover them with the damp cloth.
Chicken Momo Recipe
Chicken momos in the steamer – piping hot and ready to eat!

Last Step: Steaming the Momos

  • Finally, you should boil water in a large steamer. (We use a large double-decker one, which is nice because you don’t need to make a ton of batches.)
  • Oil the steamer surface lightly before putting the momos in, so they won’t stick to the metal, then place as many as you can without touching each other.
  • Add the momos after the water is already boiling.
  • Steam the momos for about 10 minutes. 
  • Serve them piping hot (but please be careful not to burn yourself on the very hot filling!). Normally, we would serve the momos with Tibetan hot sauce, sepen, or Patak’s Lime Relish. These days we’re using a new, mild, tomato-based sepen recipe. That recipe is coming soon. 

PS: If you’re interested in tasting momos in Lhasa, you can learn how to travel to Tibet here.

Chicken Momo Recipe
Chicken momos – piping hot and ready to eat 🙂
Tibetan Home Cooking

Tibetan Home Cooking

Bring joy to the people you love by making your own delicious, authentic Tibetan meals

Updated on January 22, 2020. First published on September 2, 2017.

Your Tibet travel guides, Lobsang and Yolanda

Most people who want to go to Tibet don't know how to get there or who to trust for help. We’re Lobsang Wangdu and Yolanda O’Bannon, and we help make Tibet travel more simple, safe and ethical so you can feel peace of mind about your trip.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Amita Vikram Pratap says

    I am planning to make mutton and chicken momos for a group of 25. please suggest, do i need to steam or cook the chicken and mutton before filling into the momos.
    Or the 10 minutes of momo cooking time in the steamer is ample for chicken and mutton as well.

    • yowangdu says

      We have never made mutton or chicken momos ourselves, but we have been with people making chicken ones, and the chicken did not need to be cooked ahead of time. We think mutton also would not need to be cooked. If you really want to be sure the meat is cooked, you could chop the meat or get ground meat, then stir fry it until it is cooked. Then mix with all the other ingredients and steam for the normal amount of time, because the dough has to cook. Hope this helps.

  2. Jeremy Williams says

    I made chicken momos the other day and the meat filling inside turned up hard.I remember eating momos in a chinese restaurant they were so soft and almost melted in your mouth.Did it become hard because I used a mixer for grinding the chicken or did i leave in the steamer too long ( about 10-15 mins) ? Should i have chopped the chicken instead ?I had mixed an egg with the filling,could it due to that ? By the way your momos look great

    • yowangdu says

      Hi Jeremy, we find that adding a little veg ingredient to the meat, like some finely chopped bok choy, softens them up a little. The egg is likely to bind the meat together, so contributed to the hardness. Some Tibetans add a little oil, just a little. Hope this helps!

  3. Neisha says

    My boyfriend recently had shasha chicken from a Tibetan food stall and loved it so much we had to go back the next day for seconds!
    I can’t seem to find the recipe anywhere,I’m hoping you can help?

    Thank you for this website after trying the Tibetan food I’m hooked and can’t wait to cook it for my family and friends.
    X

    • yowangdu says

      Hi Neisha,

      We have a chasha recipe on our newsletter if you sign up here for the Quick Start for Tibetan Cooking in one of the boxes above on this page. Not sure when it comes but we put a recipe somewhere in there 🙂

  4. Sukti says

    I could eat momos for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My quest for THE recipe has ended here at your blog.
    thank you so much for the wonderful photo-demo.

  5. Kaajal says

    Hi, I have one of those bamboo steamers that sits on top of a pot, can you guide me on how best to use that to make the momos. This recipe looks awesome and I can’t wait to try it. Thanks.

    • Cameron says

      This is what I use. You need to soak all of the steamer in warm to hot water for at least 30 minutes. Then you lay in a lettuce leaf on the inside to place your momos on. If you choose to to use the lettuce leaf you need to really grease the bamboo the momos will be sitting on. Even then they usually remain a little stuck and part of the bottoms can become ripped of. I have done both eats and they work well!

      • Kaajal says

        And eventually today is the day I am going to try these out. Will try and the bamboo steamer and the a normal pressure cooker to see which ones turn out the best.

  6. Lee says

    My Indian boyfriend has craving for momo. There is a restaurant selling momo here but he said it was so bad. I was hoping I could make him some and found this recipe! Simpler than I thought. Thank you for the recipe.
    oh what is emma?? anything to replace it? I have schezuan sauce though haha..

  7. NITIN MAHENDRA TRIVEDI says

    Hi… There is also a soup made with momos. Had once a a Nepali friend’s place. Can you please share it ????
    TIW

  8. abhijit sil says

    can i use the receipie in my new upcoming momo how will i get expert to serve in my own hand pure tibetian food like momo nudles with pure tibetian spices where will it find in westbegal or imporn from tibet please help i am a new enterprenure in this field

  9. amit says

    I am a hardcore lover of momos, you can imagine just by writing the word “momos” here my craving boosts up. But one thing I am searching the whole internet, how to make momos like Tibetian restaurants, momo vendors in market (they make soft and white momos). When I make momos at home they turn out to be little hard, pale and little white bubbles on the momo sheets (even your momos looks like the same). If you know the secret PLEASE SHARE IT.

    I have tried every method avaliable on the internet such as making dough with hot warm water or add oil or keep them moist everytime etc. But nothing works.

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