When I first made momo I went old school. I made momo dough by hand and rolled it out and filled my momo. That was good. Then I went and planned a party where I was going to serve A LOT of momo. I made my momo filling. I made my momo dough. People started arriving. I couldn't work fast enough. It was like that old I Love Lucy episode but instead of chocolates there were momo.
I couldn't keep up. There was no way this was going to work. Alan and I were busy with guests and food. So I called Mr. X who hadn't arrived yet and said "Help!! Stop at a market on the way here. Bring me won ton wrappers stat!" He did. Two large packages.
Paula Wolfert was at the house that night. She grabbed one of the first momo right out of the steamer and said it was good.
Later she came up to me in the kitchen and said, "Did you change something from the first momo I had?"
"Uh....yes," I said. (Damn caught!I) "I used wonton wrappers from the store for the later ones."
"Ah" she said, "because the first ones had chi. The others taste great, but the dough doesn't have chi"
Chi pronounced chee is the natural energy of the universe. In other words, vital. Alive. That is what you get when you roll your dough by hand, cut it out and fill your momo. I will tell you how to do that. The other way for a crowd, is fast and also delicious and for those who want a quick and tasty snack on the party tray, a miracle of ease. Here's what to do:
There are a lot of fillings that one can use for momo, both meat and veg. Since most of what I serve are vegetarian snacks, I always offer some chicken or shrimp momo, so that's what I'll tell you about.
Place 1lb of fresh cooked small bay shrimp in a food processor and grind it to a rough paste.
A few Thai basil leaves (or regular basil) finely chopped
1 shallot very finely chopped
1/2 tsp of salt or to taste
1 tsp of kashmiri chili or 1/4 tsp each of cayenne and paprika
1 tsp of ground coriander
A pinch of cardamom
Mix it all together well.
The chicken momo mix is the same. Just ground chicken meat. Grind it a bit more in a food processor so you have a rough paste.
Making the Momo
Open a package of won ton or sue gow wrappers
Drop 1 tsp of filling into the center of each and then twist and pinch it closed at the top like a little purse.
Spray the levels of a bamboo steamer with non-stick spray and place the momo on them.
Cover the bamboo steamer and place it on top of the pot of boiling water.
Serve them up with a nice chutney or dipping sauce.
For purists like me who want to make just a few momo but with the real deal dough for steaming, here's what to do:
For a basic momo dough, mix together:
3 and 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp of salt
When it's well mixed add in:
About 1 cup of room temperature water.
Add the water a little bit at a time. If it gets too moist just add a bit more flour to firm it up. Knead it for about 5 minutes or so until It becomes nice and elastic.
Roll it into a ball and set it aside in a bowl. Cover it with a damp cloth and let it rest for about 30 minutes. That's it. Very simple... except when you're expecting a herd of people. One great thing about this momo dough is that it can be frozen for momos later, momos all the time, any time you want them.
Here's one final momo.
|Worlds' Largest Momo Found in Sonoma|
Meanwhile, back in Sonoma, we're smack in the middle of the Sonoma International Film Festival. Alan and I are on the Festival Jury so we've been watching a lot of films. Tomorrow we'll be going down to the Plaza to check out all the food and wine and movie action. Tomorrow night is also the big Gala and dinner for Susan Sarandon. We'll take the camera with us so follow along on Twitter @kathygori