Chicken Momos with Spicy Tomato Dip Sauce

Chicken Momos with Spicy Tomato Dip Sauce

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Have you ever tasted chicken momos? If your answer is yes, oh, lucky you! If your answer is no, then I you have to! Whatever you answered, if you would like to know how to make momos at home, I recommend you to read all the instructions below before starting it.

At first glance, it seems long and complicated, but believe me, it’s not. If you still have questions after reading the instructions, check out my bonus tips at the end to see if you can get answers there. If not, then feel free to comment below or e-mail me your questions to reka@homecookvibes.com.

It’s not hard to make momos at all just it’s worth preparing for it. I’m not going to lie to you, it will be time consuming to prepare them, especially for the first time. It will be about 3 hours, with the dough, stuffing, shaping, steaming, everything. Don’t rush, just relax and do it!

I will write down all the information you may need about how to make chicken momos at home. By the time you read it, your pocket will be full of lots of useful advice, information and instruction. I guarantee that you will be prepared and confident enough to make your own homemade chicken momos!

If you are looking for a veggie momo recipe, you will find my ideas under the chicken momo recipe. But since the dough and almost the whole recipe are the same, you should also read the instructions below before you start making it at home.

But first of all I feel that we need to clarify something:

What is a momo?

Momo is an Asian dish that set out on a world-conquering journey from East and South Asia. If you want to read more about its history, you can find a very well-collected article on Wikipedia here.

chicken momos
Shiny dough, juicy filling, perfect chicken momos

These steamed dumplings can be filled with meat or vegetables or both. Its dough consists of few ingredients, very easy to prepare and can be shaped in many ways. If you are making momos with different fillings, it is a lot of fun to shape them differently so it is easy to tell the difference at first sight.

You can eat them as they are, but if you want to enhance the taste, you should also make a sauce (called chutney or achhar) to which you can dip them. I will show you a recipe for a spicy tomato dipping sauce, and among my bonus tips you will also find a recipe of a softer-tasting garlic dip.

momo dip sauce
Both the filling and the dip sauce is a very important part of consuming momos

A word like a hundred: chicken momos are very tasty Asian delicacies with a unique taste that would be a sin to miss!

How to make perfect dough for the chicken momos

Momo making is a ceremony for me. I love the way of the dough-shaping, so much fun during the process and pride at the end. So let’s see how you an make the perfect dough for chicken momos.

The filling is very important part of the chicken momos, but the success depends on the dough, as it holds it all together. You can find the exact amount of ingredients in the recipe, and here you can read my recommendations based on my experiences.

The ingredients of the dough need to be kneaded thoroughly, so far there is nothing interesting in this. In general, I strongly recommend using standing mixer when making dough, but not in this recipe. Do it with your hands instead.

The warmth of your hands also helps the dough come together. You will need about 5 minutes to knead it thoroughly to get a smooth-surfaced, non-sticky, flexible dough. When you do it for the first time, you may feel the urge to add a little more flour or even a little more water to make it easier to knead. But you won’t have to. You don’t need to hurry, knead slowly and keep on doing it for about 5 minutes. The dough will be perfect.

When the dough is ready, knead into a large ball and cover tightly with a damp kitchen towel. This is very important because otherwise the dough will dry out easily. Let the dough rest for a minimum of 30-40 minutes. During this time, you can make the filling.

chicken momos
Different colored chicken momos in satisfying harmony with the dip sauce

Instructions for the filling

The number of momo fillings is countless. Take a look at the fillings that were made using meat. I’ve only made it with chicken so far, but it can include turkey, beef, pork, lamb, and even yak meat (this is not really surprising, as yak is bred exactly in the areas where momo comes from).

In addition to meat, vegetables are often included in the filling. Various onions, cabbage, kale for example work very well in it. Carrots, bell pepper, sweet potatoes … the list could be long, feel free to try what you like best.

The range is also wide for spices. What I definitely recommend is salt, pepper, ginger and coriander, topped with a little chili sauce (it can be sweet or spicy, whichever you prefer). And to make the filling really juicy, add a little coconut milk at the end.

It is also possible to put cheese in it (such as Indian paneer cheese or other hard cheese). I will tell you honestly, I haven’t tried this version yet, but what’s late doesn’t depend. Anyway, we are cheese lovers, so it won’t be missed either. I will definitely share my experience with you here on the site.

How to shape the chicken momos

You have the perfect dough and the juicy filling, so now it’s time to shape the chicken momos. It may seem difficult at first glance, but after the first few pieces it will go really well and become fun. I advise you to start with the traditional round dumpling shape. I will now share the details of this process with you.

Prepare the dough first

The first step is to roll the dough with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. How thin? As much as you can! About 1-2 mm will be good. Cut out circles from the dough using a glass or a round cookie cutter and now comes the most important part of the process.

In order to make it easy to shape the momos, roll the edges of the dough circles a little thinner so it will be easier to fold. However, leave the middle part thicker, as this will be what holds the filling. You can either do this with a rolling pin, or you can pull the edges a little by hand to thin them.

I usually use a glass that is 6 centimetres in diameter and then I roll these 6-centimetres dough circles to about 10-centimetres circles. This is the perfect size that you can handle well.

Attention! These dough circles can stick together very easily, so I don’t suggest you to put them on top of each other. Rather, leave them on the floured surface, next to each other.

chicken momos
Roll the dough thinly and you can easily shape the momos

The momo shaping process itself

This is going to be an exciting part now. Loosely place a dough circle on the fingers of your left hand (if you are left-handed, of course put it in your right hand). Put one and a half teaspoons of filling in the middle. Keep your fingers loose so that gravity does what it has to do. The middle of the dough sinks a little under the weight of the filling. It’s like you have a little bird’s nest in your hand.

With the index finger and thumb of your other hand, pinch about 2 centimetres from the edge of the dough. Then, fold along the edge of the dough until you reach the starting point.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to make good quality videos yet, but it will be available soon. So far, here’s a brilliant momo folding video where you can see how to do it.

Don’t worry if the first few pieces don’t look the way you want them to. Don’t stop, you can do it!

A little extra help: you can see in the video that the dough is so soft and stretches so easily. When the momos are almost ready, you can easily pinch the dough together and finish shaping.

After the shaping process put the momo on a plate or baking paper lightly greased with olive oil. Leave 2-3 centimetres between two momos because they can stick together easily. Cover them with a clean kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out. Now continue until you run out of dough.

Steaming process of the chicken momos

There are several ways to make the momos. For example, they can be fried, but the traditional method is steaming. I will introduce you to this amazing technique now. The taste of steamed momo is quite unique. Steaming makes the dough to have a completely extraordinary taste and texture

How to get the best steamer

So you might want to get a steamer. I really recommend you to purchase one to make perfect and traditional chicken momos. In the supermarkets there are plenty of type of steamers. There are small ones or 3 or 4 tier steamer pots, ones that are electric or traditionally used on a stove, steamers made of metal or bamboo… Oh, God.

It is up to you to decide which one you like best that you would love to try. However, I share my opinions and suggestions with you to make the choice easier.

First of all, I can’t comment on electric steamers because of a very simple reason: they were too expensive for me.

I was thinking about buying a bamboo steamer but when I saw them in the supermarket, well… what can I say, I wasn’t really convinced by what I saw. Each seemed a little unreliable for me. I am sure that there are excellent quality bamboo steamers and I just wasn’t in the right place. But since they looked like they would fall apart if I started working with them, I didn’t risk it.

For me, the best choice was a metal steamer. I still love it and wholeheartedly recommend it to you too. I finally decided to buy this simple, but really awesome stainless steel 3 tier steaming pot. It was much cheaper than the electric ones, I can use it on a stove, very easy to clean and big enough for making momos for two. This is all that I wanted.

If you usually only cook for yourself, the smaller, 3 piece steamer set will be perfect for you. You can put 7 momos into the steamer at a time and that’s enough for one person as they are very hearty delicacies.

You can use the steamer for other recipes as well. For example, you can steam fish or vegetables in it! Veggies will be much tastier, more crunchy thanks to steaming, and their vitamin and mineral content will remain at a higher percentage than if you cooked them. It is worth trying, I will give examples of such dishes later. So grab the steamer and get back to the chicken momos!

momo dip sauce
Steaming makes the momos irresistible

The momo steaming process itself

If you steam momos, you have to pay attention to three things. First, let the water be really hot. If it’s not hot enough, there won’t be steam, and steam is the only thing you will need in the next 15 minutes.

Second, before you put the momos in the pot, lightly grease it with oil so they won’t stick there. Otherwise, you will not be able to take them out from the steamer.

And the third important thing to know is that when you arrange the momos, they should not touch each other. They can stick together very easily and the steam cannot flow enough between them so they will not be finished evenly. They will grow a little more during steaming so you need to leave at least 2 centimetres between them.

Fill the bottom bowl halfway with water, bring to a boil. When it is bubbling, lower the temperature a bit, let it boil calmly. Place the momos on it, cover with a lid and steam for 10-15 minutes. Since the filling is already cooked, you really only need to cook the dough, so maybe ten minutes will be enough.

How will you get to know that your amazing chicken momos are ready? Remove the lid and be careful because of the hot steam can burn your hands. Touch the momos, when the dough is hard and their surface is a little shiny, they are fully cooked. Transfer them to a plate with a spoon and wait a few minutes because their middle is still very hot.

How to store the chicken momos

If you make the recipe, you will have more than 40 chicken momos. You may ask: we won’t eat this amount, what should I do with them? Well, I have good news! You can store the steamed momos in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in an airtight container. Use another container for the dip sauce. When you want to eat the leftovers, just take them out of the fridge, place them over steam in the way you’ve learned, and in 2-3 minutes they’ll be hot again, as if they’re just made.

You can also freeze them in the following way. Once you’ve filled the momos, put them on a tray and put them in the freezer before steaming. They freeze hard for about an hour and a half. Take them off the tray, put them in a bag, and they can go back to the freezer. You can store chicken momos in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you want to eat them, steam the frozen momos in the same way as you should do with fresh ones. The difference is that in this case they need a minimum of 15 minutes. But it can be up to 20, depending on their size. Don’t forget to check them carefully. If the dough is hardened and shines nicely then it is good.

Chicken Momos with Spicy Tomato Dip Sauce

It’s not hard to make momos at all just it’s worth preparing for it. I’m not going to lie to you, it will be time consuming to prepare them, especially for the first time. It will be about 3 hours, with the dough, stuffing, shaping, steaming, everything. Don't rush, just relax and do it! This recipe is enough for about 49-50 chicken momos (one serving is 7 momos).
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Servings 7 person
Calories 450 kcal

Equipment

  • steamer, blender

Ingredients
  

For the dough

  • 450 g flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 280 ml water

For the filling

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 7 cloves garlic (grated)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger (grated)
  • 200 g kale (shredded)
  • 1 medium carrot (shredded)
  • 85 g bell pepper (chopped)
  • 2 medium spring onions (chopped)
  • 4 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 450 g chicken breast (minced)
  • 120 ml coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • salt, pepper to taste

For the Spicy Tomato Dip Sauce

  • 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic (grated)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon of chili flakes
  • 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 4 medium tomatoes (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce
  • 1 lime's juice (freshly squeezed)
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 120 ml coconut milk

Instructions
 

Making the dough

  • Put all the ingredients of the dough in a medium bowl and knead together with your hands. I don't recommend to use a standing mixer in this case because it's better to feel the texture of the dough with your hands. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Then cover tightly with a damp kitchen towel. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes.

Making the filling

  • Prepare all the vegetables, chop and shred them according to the instructions.
  • In a large non-stick pan, heat the oil and cook the garlic and the ginger for 2 minutes on medium heat.
  • Put all the vegetables into the pan: kale, carrot, bell pepper and spring onions. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat. Stir occasionally.
  • Add sweet chili sauce and soy sauce, stir well. Add the minced chicken breast to the vegetable mixture. Cook until the chicken is done (about 10-15 minutes).
  • Add the coconut milk, stir well. Season the filling with salt, pepper and ground coriander.

Making the chicken momos

  • On a lightly floured surface roll the dough about 2mm thin.
  • Cut out 6 centimetres circles from the dough with a round cookie cutter or with a glass.
  • Roll the edges of the dough circles with a rolling pin until you get circles about 10 centimetres in diameter. Leave the center thick, just roll the edges.
  • Loosely place a dough circle on the fingers of your left hand (if you are left-handed, of course put it in your right hand). Put one and a half teaspoons of filling in the middle. With the index finger and thumb of your other hand, pinch about 2 centimetres from the edge of the dough. Then, fold along the edge of the dough until you reach the starting point. When the momos are almost ready, you can easily pinch the dough together and finish shaping.
  • After the shaping process put the momo on a plate or baking paper lightly greased with olive oil. Leave 2-3 centimetres between two momos because they can stick together easily. Cover them with a clean kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out. Now continue until you run out of dough.
  • Fill the bottom bowl of your steamer halfway with water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat.
  • Grease the steamer's second (and third if you have) pot with olive oil and arrange the momos. Leave at least 2 centimetres between them.
  • Put the pots on top of each other, cover with lid and cook the momos for about 10-15 minutes. When the dough is hard and their surface is a little shiny, they are fully cooked. Transfer them to a plate with a spoon and wait a few minutes because their middle part is still very hot.

Making the Spicy Tomato Dip Sauce

  • Prepare the vegetables according to the instructions listed above.
  • In a large non-stick pan, heat the oil and cook the garlic and the ginger for 2 minutes on medium heat.
  • Sprinkle with the chili flakes and sesame seeds and cook for about one minute. Don't worry, sesame seeds will stick together, just stir continuously.
  • Add the onion, tomatoes, soy sauce and sweet chili sauce into the mixture and cook them for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Pour the mixture into a blender, add the lime juice and the coconut milk, and turn on the machine. You will need about 20 seconds to get a completely creamy sauce.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the perfectly steamed momos. Enjoy your meal!
Keyword asian cuisine, chicken, dip sauce, momos

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How to make veggie momos

If you want to make momos without meat, then I have a few ideas I would like to share with you.

The easiest solution is to make the recipe you read above the same way, just don’t put meat in it. A few days ago, a friend of mine visited us who doesn’t eat meat. I made momos. Before the filling was done, I separated it into two parts. I put the meat in the first half and did nothing with the other half. The veggie version became an equally wholesome dish and it tasted great to us carnivores as well.

Another version I’ve already tried is also really good. Meat is a very nutritious part of this dish, so it’s better to replace it with something just as hearty. What I recommend you to try is sweet potato. All you have to do is peel, cut into small cubes and cook the potatoes. When chicken is added to the recipe, you are not adding chicken, but boiled sweet potato cubes. Everything else is the same.

If you don’t like sweet potatoes, you can try any other root vegetables, such as celery. But it can also be very delicious with pumpkins, use the same procedure for these as well. Peel it, cook it, and you can add it to the filling at the right time. You will need the same amount of vegetables as the amount of chicken I used in the recipe.

chicken momos
You can play with momos not only in shape but also in color

Bonus tips

There are recipes that says it’s not necessary to cook the meat before the steaming process. It is definitely true. But! In this way, the steaming process takes longer before the meat is properly cooked. I suggest you make the filling separately, cook the meat in it, you will have enough time for it while the dough rests. This way you don’t have to worry when you steam the momos to see if the meat isn’t left raw in the middle.

If you can’t find minced chicken in the supermarket, don’t worry! Buy skinless and boneless chicken breasts and cook them. If they have cooled down a bit, you can cut them finely with a sharp knife, it will be just like you used minced meat.

You can play with momos not only in shape but also in color. You can see in the pictures that I made two colored chicken momos. The secret lies in the oil in the dough. I put olive oil in the dough of the light-colored momos. The orange colored chicken momos contain paprika seed oil. The paprika seed oil gave the dough a touch of extra paprika taste and a really beautiful look. It is a typically Hungarian product, difficult to obtain it outside my country. Feel free to use chili flavored olive oil instead!

Finally let me give you a tip for another dip sauce. Grab a cup of sour cream, add a teaspoon (or two) of garlic cream (or 1-2 cloves grated garlic), salt and pepper. Mix well and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

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