Recipe for Tibetan Dumplings of China
Utterly(you use utterly to emphasize that something is very great in extent, degree, or amount) unique and delicious, the Tibetan dumplings(西藏饺子Xīzàng jiǎozi) are basically the unofficial(not having official authority or sanction) national 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, vegetarian, steamed (the most popular), fried, and cooked in soup.
Here, we show you how to cook both beef momos and Lobsang’s unique and wonderful vegetarian momos.
In case you’re wondering, the word “momo” is pronounced with the same “o” sound as in “so-so.”
First of all, make the dough.
If you want to make momo dough for four people, use about 3 cups of wheat flour (we don’t use whole wheat, but rather use white, all-purpose flour) and 3/4 cups of water. (You don’t have to be very exact about these measurements — Tibetans never are!)
Mix the flour and water very well by hand and keep adding water until you make a pretty smooth ball of dough.
Then knead the dough very well until the dough is flexible.
Now leave your dough in the pot with the lid on while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
You should not let the dough dry out, or it will be hard to work with.
Shaping the Momos
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.
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.
That way, you don’t have to worry about making good circles of dough because each one will be the same size and shape.
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.
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.
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, and I will teach you two of the most common, the basic round momo, and the half-moon shapes.