Tibetan Potato-Cheese Momos
Tibetan food is traditionally very plain, with almost no vegetables. These momos are filled with comforting potatoes and cabbage and a cheese that attempts to replace the yak cheese used in Tibet. A fiery sauce with tingly Szechuan peppercorns is a great accent to the fluffy buns.
3 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon quick-rise yeast
1 1/4 cups milk or soy milk
2 tablespoons sugar
or agave syrup
1/2 pound Yukon gold potatoes
2 tablespoons butter or oil
2 cups onion, chopped
2 cups cabbage, chopped
6 ounces dry jack or other aged cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 inches parchment paper squares
2 teaspoons Szechuan peppercorns
, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cilantro leaves (stems removed)
2 cloves garlic
1 cup fire-roasted tomato purée
In a stand mixer or large bowl combine flour, wheat germ, and yeast. In a small pot, heat milk or soy milk and sugar to 100° (no hotter or you will kill the yeast). Mix the warm milk into the flour mixture and knead until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.
In a medium pot, boil the potatoes whole, then drain and mash. You can slip the skins off if you prefer, or leave them skin-on. In a large pan, heat the butter or oil and sauté the onions and cabbage over medium heat until the cabbage is golden, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
Mix together the cooled potatoes, sautéed onions, shredded cheese, cilantro, paprika, and salt. Taste for desired saltiness, since cheeses vary in salt content.
Form the dough into a cylinder and cut it into 20 equal disks. Form each into a ball, then pat and stretch around the edges to make each ball about 3 inches across and thick in the middle. Scoop 2 tablespoons of filling into the center of one ball and pull up the edges, pinching them to seal. Place each bun seam-side down on a parchment square and put them on a steaming rack or plate. Cover loosely. Continue filling momos until they are all formed. Let the momos rise 30–60 minutes.
Put water in the bottom of a large pan or steamer, and bring it to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and put the momos over the steam and put on the lid. Steam until the dough is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
To make sauce: Dry-toast Szechuan peppercorns and red pepper flakes over medium-high heat in a small pan. Transfer to a spice grinder or blender, add salt, and grind. Add cilantro and garlic, and grind. If using a spice grinder, scrape out the spices into a bowl and stir in tomatoes; if using a blender, add tomatoes and purée until smooth.