These signature round dumplings have their roots in Tibet but have become so universally popular that Melbourne now even has its own Momo Fest! It’s the best kind of comfort food: delicious, versatile and perfect for sharing with friends and family.

Jinpa Gyatso

Chef Jinpa Gyatso was born into a nomadic tribe from Amdo, Tibet, and created a tasty version of Tibetan round momo to tempt our tastebuds. Every Tibetan family has a slightly different recipe for momo, so it’s the perfect opportunity to experiment with fillings depending on who you are cooking for and what they like.

What is your earliest memory of eating this dish?

When I was 6 years old, my grandmother and grandfather made momo for New Year celebrations. I ate loads!

How did you learn to cook it?

My grandmother taught me when I was around 9 years old.

Is this a regular “everyday” meal, or something more special?

Usually momo is a special meal prepared for New Year, wedding and anniversary celebrations, or to treat special guests who came a long way or haven’t been seen in a long time.

Beef Momo Recipe

Makes approximately 25 pieces

Dough ingredients

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • ¾ to 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tsp salt

Filling ingredients

  • 500 g beef mince
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 5 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt
  • Chilli sauce and soy sauce, to serve

Instructions dough

  • Combine flour and 2 tsp salt in a large bowl.
  • Make a well in the centre, add 1 cup of lukewarm water and mix until mixture forms a dough.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-minutes or until smooth.
  • Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30-minutes to rest.

Instructions for filling

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Using your hands or a spoon, mix lightly but well. Set aside, from 30-minutes to 2-hours, to develop the flavours.

Shaping the momo

  • Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until 2 millimetres thick.
  • Turn a small cup or glass upside down to cut out little circles about the size of the palm of your hand.
  • Put one circle of dough in your left hand, and add a tablespoonful of filling in the centre of the dough.
  • With your right hand, begin to pinch the edge of the dough together.
  • You do not need to pinch much dough in the first pinch — just enough to make a small fold between your thumb and forefinger.
  • Now you will have a little piece of dough pinched together, and you should continue pinching around the circle little by little, keeping your thumb in place, and continuing along the edge of the circle with your forefinger, grabbing the next little piece of dough, and folding and pinching it down into the original fold/pinch being held by your thumb.
  • Basically, you will be pinching the whole edge of the circle into one spot.
  • Continue folding and pinching all around the edge of the circle until you come back around to where you started and then close the hole with a final pinch.
  • Make sure you close the hole on top of the momo. That way you do not lose the juicy part of the momo.

Steaming the momo

  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
  • Lightly oil the bamboo or metal steamer with vegetable oil and arrange momo so they do not touch.
  • Cover and steam over boiling water for 15-minutes until the wrappers are slightly translucent.
  • Serve them hot, with soy sauce and chilli sauce of your choice.

Download Recipe here

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