Momos are cute little dumplings of Tibetan origin filled with either meat or veggies. Below we'll show you how to make them vegan! This recipe is fun, and it makes delicious appetizers.
If you like healthy dumplings and have 40 minutes to spare, then we think you'll love our momos. The ingredients we used here are very common and accessible. You probably have everything in your fridge already!
Momos are quite small, that's why we categorized them as a starter. Our default ingredients below will make 16 dumplings. Feel free to make more if you want to make a big meal out of this! You can easily adjust the quantities in our ingredient tab.
Traditionally momos are served with a tomato-based chutney called achar. Making this chutney is easy, and we'll tell you how to do it here. But know that you can use any other dipping sauce or chutney you usually have with dumplings. If you like spicy dips, give our hot Asian sauce a try.
The recipe is vegan but not gluten-free, as we used plain flour. If you are intolerant to gluten though, worry not. We've got you! Make the dough following our gluten-free pierogi recipe, and then use it in our momos recipe below, skipping the first step.
Finally, check out our substitution advice to try out other tasty variations. Have fun preparing some delicious vegan momos!
What can I use as filling in vegan momos?
In our recipe above, we used simple ingredients common in Tibet and most regions globally: carrots and cabbages.
You can use so many ingredients as filling for momos, depending on the season and your location. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Shiitake mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, or any other "fleshy" mushroom variety.
Lentils (red, green, or brown)
Feel free to pick and mix from the list as you see fit. And if you have any other favourite vegetable, go for it! If it's good on your plate on its own, it's good inside a dumpling. Just make sure there are no hard-edged, sharp bits in your filling that could rip through the thin wrappers.
Can I make momos without a steamer?
If you don't have a steamer, there are two ways to make momos:
Cook them in a skillet like you would cook the Japanese gyozas.
Put together a DIY steamer.
Gyozas are super yummy, so feel free to go for the first option. If you opt for this, we suggest making the momos wrappers a little bit thicker (1 or 2 millimetres more, top) to keep them from breaking.
If you feel crafty instead, you could put together a steamer using a pot, a plate, a cup, and a towel. Sounds fun? Here it goes:
Put a cup inside a deep pot. The cup must be shorter than the pot.
Fill the pot with enough water to cover three-quarters of the cup.
Put a plate on the cup. The plate must be smaller the pot so that the steam can flow around freely. If you have something that looks like a plate with holes, use that instead.
Get a lid that matches the pot and line it with a towel.
Bring water to a boil, put the momos on the plate, and put the lid on.
Make sure the towel is not in contact with anything combustible.
Enjoy your momos!
Are momos vegan?
The traditional momos recipe contains meat, but there are many variations in Tibet and surrounding regions that use veggies or a mix of meat and vegetables. Our recipe above is 100% vegan.
Can I freeze them?
You can freeze momos, but make sure you don't stack them as they will stick to one another.
What do you serve with momos dumplings?
Traditionally, momos are served with a tomato-based dipping sauce. You can use ready-made tomato chutneys or chilli sauces, or you can prepare it yourself, it's so easy.
You can try our Asian chilli jam here or follow the recipe below to make tomato chutney:
In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil with 1 crushed garlic, 5g of grated ginger, and 2 fresh chillies.
Then, add 1 tsp of turmeric, 2 chopped vined tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the sauce for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Transfer the sauce to a food processor and blend it until smooth.
Serve it with 1 tbsp of sesame seeds and a small handful of freshly chopped coriander.
- Cabbage (Green, Savoy, or Bok Choy)
- Canola Oil
- Fresh Ginger Root
- Garlic Clove
- Fresh Chillies (Bird's Eye)
- Ground Turmeric
- Garam Masala
- Fresh Coriander
- All-Purpose Flour
- Lukewarm Water
Add plain flour and lukewarm water to a bowl, and then stir until they come together into a slightly crumbly dough (1).
Now, transfer the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for at least 5 minutes or until you have a smooth and pliable dough (2).
Roll it into a ball, wrap it tightly in cling film, and leave it to rest for 10 minutes while you prepare the filling.
Peel and grate the carrots, then slice the cabbage into small shreds (1).
You can also add the vegetables to a food processor and quickly blitz them into small bits.
Next, heat the oil in a skillet and add finely chopped onions, grated ginger, minced garlic, and sliced chillies (2).
Sizzle the ingredients for a few minutes or until the onion softens and turns translucent.
Now, add the prepared carrots and cabbage to the skillet and stir-fry them over medium heat for 2 minutes.
Then, tip in the turmeric, garam masala, chopped coriander, and cook for 3 more minutes. Season the veggie filling with salt and pepper.
Make sure the filling mixture is as dry as possible or it will make the dumpling dough soggy.
Then, leave it cool down while preparing the dumpling wrappers.
We recommend keeping any unused piece of dough always wrapped in cling film to prevent it from drying out.
Divide the dough into 16 pieces and roll them into smooth balls.
Then, use a rolling pin to roll out each dough ball as thinly as you can, about 1mm to 2mm.
Now, use a cookie cutter or sharp-edged glass to cut out round dough wrappers (1). You can opt for a 9cm (3.5 inches) diameter size, as we did, or go for a smaller one such as 7.5 cm (3 inches).
Next, place two teaspoons of filling in each wrapper's centre and use your finger to wet the outer edge with cold water (2). The water will help to seal the dumplings.
Keeping the wrapper in your hand, use your thumb and index finger to pinch the edges of the dough into a tiny crease (1).
Continue pinching along the disc edges until you have something that looks like an open "tiny sachet bag".
Finally, pinch and twist the opening of the "sachet" edges to seal the momo into a baozi-like dumpling (2). If you are having trouble with this part, look for "how to seal momo dumpling" on YouTube, or follow this easier method from here.
Bring water to a boil in a large pot and then set up your steamer basket. You can line it with cabbage leaves or a sheet of parchment paper.
Then, place the momos in the steamer, close the lid, and steam them for 15 minutes. The dumplings are ready when the dough wrapping looks translucent.
Serve the vegan momos right away, dipping them in tomato chutney or chilli jam.
If you have any leftover dumplings, you can reheat them the next day in the microwave or the oven. They're delicious even cold.