Momos are steamed dumplings with a variety of savory fillings. It is a snack that is easy to make as well as light and healthy. This recipe uses premade wonton wrappers and salad shrimp to make delicious Shrimp momo in under 30 minutes.
The winter this year is turning out to be very disappointing for us – almost nonexistent. So it was a welcome change when the mornings began to look foggy a few days back. The fog and the mist brought with them visions of mountains, steaming cups of chai, and of course momos.
What are momos
Momos are a popular east/south Asian snack. These are small pouches of meat or vegetable mix with a dash of spices wrapped in thin flour wrappers and steamed till done. These are similar to the Japanese gyoza or the Chinese steamed won-tons.
This simple and satisfying dish came from Tibet and has become very popular wherever the Tibetan diaspora spread, and I for one, am glad for it! Call these the Indian/Tibetan dim sum!
How ever one chooses to refer to it, there is no denying the fact that steaming hot momos fresh out of the steamer is a treat on cold foggy days. There is something very primal and satisfying about sharing a steaming bowl of food – my kids still remember one of their older cousins as the brother who got them momos in Bangalore.
Where I was born, Southern India, we had our steamed rice dumplings. These were vegetarian and could be sweet or savory. As northeastern folks started moving to the south, they brought with them their hometown favorites, including Momos. These became an instant hit – and even the health-conscious mothers and grandmothers gave this savory ‘tiffin’ a reluctant nod.
Momos have two parts – the filling and the wrapper
Filling for Shrimp Momos
All sorts of meat and vegetable combinations are used to fill these dumplings. Chicken and pork dumplings are popular in our family but my favorite is the shrimp momos. Virtually anything can be added as the filling as long as it is not watery. A mix of protein and some herbs is a great filling choice when making momos as a healthy snack.
These two-bite dumplings can be a light meal as well. Add them to soups or make a double batch with different dipping sauces to make a meal of it .
Looking for more shrimp recipes? Try these
- Shrimp curry with mangoes
- Brazilian Shrimp Stew
- Crispy Grilled Shrimp
- Shrimp Biryani in Instant Pot
- Shrimp in roasted coconut curry
Momo wrappers are made with flour and water. Mix flour and water and knead together to make a smooth dough. After resting roll the dough out thin and cut uniform circles or squares out of it.
Making these from scratch requires some skill. So in this semi-homemade easy shrimp momos, I am using store-bought wonton wrappers.
How to Make Easy Shrimp Momos
One of my favorite dumplings is the Chinese Har Gow. Check out this recipe for Har Gow . Har Gow has pristine white almost transparent wrappers. You can see the orange color of the shrimp inside. It takes quite some skill to achieve this perfection.
The shrimp momos that I make are the easy versions and a far cry from this. To put it mildly, mine does a good job of hiding the mystery ingredients in the filling! At the same time, it is super easy and absolutely delicious – and that was the whole idea.
Assemble the wrappers
When you have time try making the wrappers from scratch. It is a fun activity to have the kids involved in as well. But today store-bought wrappers and cooked shrimp come to the rescue as we are short on time. Keep the wrappers covered to prevent them from drying out.
Make the filling
I used cooked salad shrimp in this recipe. It is both convenient and affordable. Fresh shrimp in these will taste awesome as well. Follow the same recipe, but make sure that you add a little corn starch to absorb any extra moisture.
Shape the momos
The store-bought wrappers have a liberal coating of flour to keep them from sticking together. A little bit of water goes a long way in helping the wrapper seal. Brush the outer sides with water before folding the sides over the filling.
There are different ways of shaping the momos. The method shown above is one of the easiest for a novice. Lightly moisten the edges of the momo wrappers. Place the momo filling in the center and gather the sides together to the center. The moisture helps the wrapper adhere together, pinch the tips for insurance and you are good to go.
One thing to remember is not to overfill the momos. For my 3 inch wrappers, I put a heaped spoonful – about 2 tsp if you want to measure. You could add up to 1 tbsp, but the more filling there is the more skill you need to close without spills.
Line the steamer rack with parchment paper or lightly coat it with oil to prevent the momos from sticking. You can even use leaves like banana leaves to line the steamer rack.
A generous dip in spiced soy sauce mix and you get dunked momos …
These momos are easy to make, that I don’t make them in advance. But if you have to make ahead, here are a few tips to try.
- If you are planning ahead fill and shape the momos in advance and keep refrigerated in airtight containers. Take out and steam just before serving.
- Make the filling in advance upto 2 days and keep refrigerated till use.
- You can also freeze individual portions of the filling for longer storage.
Easy Shrimp Momos
- 3 Dozen 2 Inch Circular Dumpling Wrappers –
- 2 Cup Cooked Salad Shrimp
- 1 Inch Fresh Ginger
- 2 Stalks Green Onions / Scallions
- 3-6 Stalks Cilantro Optional
- 1 Tsp Soy Sauce
- 1 Tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
- 1/2 Tsp Corn Starch
- Salt To Taste
- Pepper To Taste
- Take the shrimp in blender bowl. Add 1 tbsp of the finely grated ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil , roughly chopped scallions and cilantro. Pulse a few times until the shrimp is roughly minced. Transfer to a bowl, taste and adjust salt and pepper. Add the cornstarch and mix well.
- Bring plenty of water to boil in a steamer. Grease the steamer rack and/or partially line with parchment paper. Make sure that at least some steam can escape through .
- Place the dumpling wrapper on the work surface . Take one and brush water on the outer sides. Place 1 to 2 tsp of the mix in the center of the wrapper and bring sides towards the center and pinch it close. Do not over stuff the filling as the dumplings will not close properly.
- Place the formed momos in the steamer rack and steam for 10 minutes.
- Serve warm.
- Keep the wrappers covered when not working with them.
- If not steaming immediately keep the shaped momos covered as well.
- Finely shredded carrots, cabbage or minced chilies are all optional additions to the filling
Important: Values are only estimates. Actuals vary depending on ingredients and serving size.