Spiced Turkey Momos

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Did you guys know I have a real job???? Yep. When I'm not folding a bajillion dumplings or working on questionable baking experiments, I'm working away as an architect/interior designer. About 90% of the time it's really fun and I'm able to balance my day job with my every-other-minute-of-the-day job as dumpling maker and cake baker. Except for this week. I'm in that 10% when it's not super fun and I have a million fires to put out and not enough time in the day to catch up with everything. I've been waking up before 6:30 am all week. Today I was up at 5am! JESUS. If you know me personally or have ever lived with me, you know that the idea of me waking up early sounds literally impossible. I could sleep for 12 hours straight if I never had to wake up to pee or if no one was around to check if I was still alive. But I'm doing it. The one thing that I like about being a busy bee is that once this wave of craziness passes, you feel like a strong independent woman who gets shit done. It's a great feeling!

So, the small amount of energy I normally reserve for Eat Cho Food things has been slightly drained. Thankfully, I folded my last dumpling this past weekend! Well my last dumpling for a while. I definitely overdid it with the dumplings this past month. I NEVER thought I would say that. But dumplings are a lot of work! I can't imagine being a dumpling folding lady as my full time job. Those ladies must have great fingers. I'll share my last dumpling next week. I'm considering titling that post I made dumplings every weekend for a month and this is what happened. Seems very on trend... what does that even mean? Gosh, I'm so sleepy. My point is I should now be able to work on some less labor intensive recipes like oolong tea blondies and pineapple buns!

Let me tell you about these momos though, before I fall asleep at the keyboard. If you never had a momo before, you need to! They are Nepalese/Tibetan dumplings. Similar to a classic chinese dumpling or potsticker, but packed with a bunch of warm spices. Think potsticker with indian spices: cumin, coriander, garam masala. They are so good! I had my very first momo in San Francisco at Little Nepal in Bernal Heights. I had honestly never heard of them or even ate Nepalese food before living in San Francisco. I just googled "nepalese restaurant ohio" and there are about 10 options in the whole state of Ohio. I'm actually sort of surprised there are that many. None in Cleveland though.... go figure.

These momos are filled with ground turkey (health!) and yummy spices, and lay on a bed of spicy tomato sauce. They have just the right amount of heat. Not too spicy that it makes your mouth feel like its on fire. But more like a gentle, slow, and pleasant warming sensation that makes you want to eat more. The tomato sauce adds a little bit more heat and also acid to help balance everything out. Honestly, I would throw this sauce over some pasta and call that dinner. Again, as with all dumplings they are labor intensive. But a freshly steamed, fried, or boiled dumpling is just on another level! So worth it.

You can fold momos in a bunch of different ways, but I like to fold them into these cute little bundles. I want to tell you that I am a dumpling folding master now, but I'm not. One day! I feel like I'm getting better and better with each dumpling recipe I try. But I'm still about 2 thousand dumplings away from being able to fold dumplings without any anxiety. Don't forget to freeze your extra uncooked dumplings and stock them up in the freezer!

I hope you all have a rejuvenating weekend full of sleep, not thinking about work, free time to make dumplings, and football! Are you having a party?! We have our Eagles beanies ready and chicken wings ready to be fried up. I'll probably end up half watching the game, reading my new cookbook, and cheering when Reuben cheers. Woo!


Spiced Turkey Momos

makes 24 dumplings

for the dumpling dough:

2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup just boiled water

for the filling:

3/4 lb ground turkey
1/2 small yellow onion finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onions (white and green parts)
1 serrano chile finely chopped
1 tsp fresh minced ginger
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 /2 tsp dried chili flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp water

for the spicy tomato sauce:

3/4 lb tomatoes
1 serrano chili
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp water
1/4 tsp cumin
olive oil

filling:

To make your filling, combine turkey, onion, green onion, serrano chile, ginger, and garlic in a medium bowl. Give it a good mix with a fork until evenly combined.

Mix together all your spices, olive oil, and water in a small bowl. Pour the spice mixture into the meat mixture and give it another good mix. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the filling to rest and let the flavors develop for at least 30 minutes.

dough:

To prepare your dough, place flour in a large bowl. Create a well in center and slowly pour in the just boiled water. Stir the water into the flour with a wooden spoon. Once all the water has been absorbed, start kneading by hand. Knead either in the bowl or on a lightly floured surface for 4 minutes until you get a smooth and consistent ball of dough. Place dough ball in a ziplock bag and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes. The dough will slightly steam in the bag and make it easier to work with.

sauce:

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Place tomatoes, serrano chili, and garlic cloves on a baking tray. Toss with a light drizzle of olive oil and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove serrano chili and garlic from the tray and continue roasting the tomatoes for another 15 minutes. 

In a food processor, pulse the tomatoes, garlic, serrano chili, salt, water and cumin for about 30 seconds until you get a fine salsa like texture. Taste and add more salt if you prefer. Set aside for dumplings.

assembly:

Once your dough has rested, take out of the ziplock bag and knead your dough again for 10 seconds. Divide the dough in half. Keep 1 half in the ziplock bag so it doesn't dry out.

Roll out the other half into a 1" think rope. Divide the rope into 12 equal pieces. With a small rolling pin, roll out each piece into 3" to 3 1/2" discs. If the dough starts to stick just sprinkle some flour on your surface and the rolling pin. Alternatively you could use a tortilla press to make your wrappers. I find that you still have to using the rolling pin a little to get it thin enough.

Place a heaping teaspoon of filling (you can adjust based on the size of your wrappers) in the middle of the wrapper. Fold the dumpling in counter clockwise circular motion, pinching tightly with each crease. Here is a link to a helpful folding video! Just note that the dumpling wrapper they are using is much thinner than the one we are making.

Place complete dumpling on a lightly floured baking tray and repeat the folding until all the wrappers have been used.

To steam the dumplings, boil a large pot of water. Line a bamboo steamer (that fits snuggly over your pot of water) with cabbage leaves or parchment paper. Once the water is boiling, place the dumplings in the steamer. Place the steamer with lid over the pot of boiling water and allow the dumplings steam for 8 minutes.

After 8 minutes the dumplings should have slightly plumped up. Allow to cool and serve with the spicy tomato sauce.

recipe adapted from the Spiced Lamb Momos in the Asian Dumplings cookbook