I am in a serious relationship with momo. I often talk about this savory steamed dumpling to anyone who shows interest. My momo enthusiasm has rubbed off on many omnivore friends – most of them at least try this curried meat wrapped inside flour dough.
For many vegetarians, pescatarian, or folks with dietary restrictions, my momo enthusiasm is somewhat anticlimactic. One of my friends eats only halal meat, which means either getting halal certified meat or serving fish momo or vegetarian momo.
For the friend, I decided to make tuna momo.
Why tuna for momo?
Tuna is a rare fish because it’s warm-blooded like many mammals and have a higher concentration of myoglobin, which is used for higher oxygen intake. Myoglobin, a ubiquitous protein, gives meat its characteristic red color – the higher the amount, the deeper the red color. The amount of myoglobin depends on species of animal, their body parts as well as their age. For example, beef has more red color, i.e, has more myoglobin, than other mammals such as pork or veal (young beef). In tuna, myoglobin concentration is comparable to chicken (light muscles) to beef (dark muscles). I am using tuna steaks because I believe it will be closest fish with the meaty qualities.
For tuna filling;
tuna steak without skin (¾ lb)
red onion (1 medium, finely chopped)
garlic (4 cloves, crushed)
ginger (1/2 square inch, crushed)
garam masala (1 teaspoon)
oil (1 tablespoon)
water (¼ cup)
salt (1 teaspoon)
Dumpling wrappers pack of 1 (40 pieces)
For momo achaar;
roasted salsa (1 cup)
tahini (2 tablespoon)
water (½ cup)
salt (¼ teaspoon)
cumin powder (1 teaspoon)
cilantro (6 frozen cubes)
Here’s how I made the tuna momo.
First thing, make sure you get red tuna steaks — not canned tuna. Canned tuna is white tuna meat processed with salt, oil, and water.
Cut tuna steaks into pieces.
Grind the tuna steaks in a food processor. Since tuna meat is a tender, it needs only a few pulses. If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop/mash it with hand as well.
Chop onion, garlic, and ginger. I chopped them in the same food processor container. No need to clean since everything is going to get mixed.
Add onion/garlic/ginger puree to ground tuna.
Season it with garam masala, oil, salt, and water.
Mix to get the dumpling filling. The tuna momo filling looks like chicken or turkey momo fillings.
How to properly use the commercial dumpling wrapper?
For dumpling wrappers, I used a commercial wrapper. The wrapper package can be stored long term inside a freezer. Thaw and store them in refrigerator prior to use. Make sure to leave the thawed wrappers in the room temperature for at least a couple of hours before using them. Keeping the wrapper in the room temperature will make dough soft – making it easier to wrap and seal momos. I have seen even veteran momo makers failing to do this step- patience is indeed a virtue and microwaving wouldn’t cut it here . Thus, remember to bring the wrapper (dough) to room temperature before using.
Put a teaspoon of tuna filling in the middle of the wrapper. Brush (or coat) the borders of the wrapper with water. Seal the tuna inside the dough by pinching the dough. I am not going to get into the art of dumpling making here. The goal is to make a sealed filling wrapped in the flour dough.
Easiest Momo Sauce Ever!
For momo sauce, I whipped up a very easy (read lazy) version of classic momo achaar (sauce) made with roasted tomatoes and sesame from ingredients found in the any US grocery store.
For this you need a (double) roasted tomato salsa and tahini (sesame paste).
Optionally, you can put cilantro as well. Keeping the easy-theme, I used frozen cilantro cubes.
Mix tahini and cilantro to salsa. Spice up with ground cumin seeds. To get constancy right, add water and supplement salt to taste.
I wouldn’t say this is the best momo sauce ever, but considering the effort needed, it is the tastiest bang for your time.
The flavor of the tuna momo was slight fishy – not too fishy since tuna is a mild tasting fish. The texture was just right for the dumpling. I am happy to report that this tuna momo satisfied my pescatarian friend’s craving for momo.
I was surprised that I had even some leftover for the next day. Like any momos, fried next day momos are so preciously delicious.
Related Dumpling Posts
- Tuna Momo with the easiest momo sauce
- Counting Calories in Momo
- Momo Recipe – In Memory of Kathmandu’s Momocha
- My attempt at making vegetarian momo
- Classic Momo Sauce – Roasted tomatoes and cilantro
- My Momo
Posted in: Cooking | Tags: Asian Food, Chinese Food, dumplings, Fish momo, Momo, Nepali Food, Newari Food, Tuna momo recipe, vegetarian momo