Making Momos At Home? 6 Ways To Keep Them Juicy

As comfort foods go, momos are perhaps the most humble and also the most widely loved. However, their preparation is more complex than you think, especially if you want perfectly cooked, juicy and flavourful momos. The key to juicy momos is moisture and the fat content, retaining both is important if you want your momos to stay juicy for longer. There are a number of contributing factors which can help momos hold onto their moisture. 

Steaming, which is the most common way of cooking momos is also the most efficient way to preserve the juiciness of dumplings since steam allows the ingredients to cook gently without excessive heat, preserving the moisture within. There are a few more ways you can prevent your momos from drying out. Let’s have a look

Choose The Right Kind Of Meat

The choice of meat used in momos significantly impacts the juiciness of dumplings. Opt for cuts with a good balance of lean meat and fat. Instead of lean chicken, opt for ground meat from fattier cuts. Ground pork is a popular choice, and combining it with ingredients like shrimp or other fatty cuts can add depth to the flavour and moisture to the filling.

If you find your ground meat is drying up when cooking or when you’ve steamed it, try blending some liquid into the mix and simmering it down. Adding some chicken broth is a great idea to enhance the flavour and for adding moisture.

Choose Vegetables for Moisture

There is a science behind the veggies that go into momos or even Asian dumplings. It’s always best to incorporate vegetables into the filling that release moisture during cooking. Cabbage is a classic choice, but mushrooms, leeks, and water chestnuts also contribute to the juiciness. 

Make sure that the vegetables are finely chopped to allow for even distribution. Remember even distribution of ingredients ensures that the momos contains a balance of flavors and moisture.

Don’t Skip Marination

Marination is a key element when you’re making momos because it helps meat retain moisture. A basic marinade can include soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar if you're making chicken or pork momos. Allow the meat to absorb these flavours for at least 30 minutes. This will tenderise the meat and also prevent it from drying out when cooked.

Binding Agents Are Important

Most home cooks forget that binding agents don’t just bind ingredients together but they also retain moisture. Even if you don’t need cornstarch or flour (maida) in your filling, add a dash anyway to help with added moisture for the momos

Give It A Balanced Filling

Achieving the right balance in your filling is pretty easy. You just need to avoid overpacking the momos, as this can lead to uneven cooking and result in momos that are not as juicy. Aim for a well-proportioned filling that leaves enough space for the juices to circulate.

Pay Attention To The Lid

A flexible silicone or durable stainless steel steamer is ideal because it’s easier to make sure the lid is on tight. If you're steaming momos, leaving it slightly ajar allows excess steam to escape, preventing condensation from dripping back onto the dumplings. This helps maintain their texture and prevents sogginess.