Tingmomo Recipe: How one can Make Tibetan Steamed Buns

What involves thoughts once you consider Tibetan delicacies?

It most likely is dependent upon which a part of the world you reside in. For those who’re in North America, it could be the well-known Tibetan butter tea, or bhocha, as it’s recognized to Tibetans, which impressed the once-viral bulletproof espresso development. However for those who dwell within the Himalayan area of India, Bhutan, or Nepal, residence to among the largest Tibetan exile settlements of the previous seven many years, you’ll seemingly know of momo, Tibetan dumplings which have develop into extensively adopted in these Himalayan nations.

Tingmomo is one other Tibetan deal with it’s best to know. A steamed bun with a tender, fluffy texture, its title, some say, is a contraction of tingba, the Tibetan phrase for “cloud,” and momo, the Tibetan phrase for “dumpling.” The buns, known as tingmo for brief, are usually paired with phing sha, a savory stir-fry of glass noodles with mokru (wooden ear mushrooms) and chunks of meat; or with shapta, thinly sliced meat stir-fried with velvety gravy that you just sop up with items of tingmo.

My favourite childhood reminiscence of tingmo is definitely of the leftover tingmo that Tibetans wish to eat for breakfast. For the reason that buns lose a few of their softness in a single day, they’re sliced into halves and frivolously pan-fried in oil, which leads to a dense flatbread with a scrumptious crunchy backside and a little bit of chew. In my household, we’d wash it down with some steaming sizzling cha ngamo, or candy milk tea. And generally, if our modest earnings allowed it, we might benefit from the frivolously pan-fried leftover tingmo with some strawberry jam or marmalade, which for me as a baby was utter bliss.

Over time, the making of tingmo has developed, very like my journey as a Tibetan in exile; I’m one of many third technology of Tibetans displaced from Tibet, and a first-generation U.S. citizen. Simply as a few of our Tibetan meals, like momo and thukpa (noodle soup dishes), have been extensively adopted by our Himalayan host nations, you will note that present variations of tingmo made by Tibetans in exile are influenced by the accessibility of substances generally used within the delicacies of our Himalayan host nations.

So, whilst you can take pleasure in tingmo made the standard manner with simply flour and yeast, it’s more and more widespread to see Tibetans of my technology, who grew up exterior Tibet, making our tingmo utilizing ga-se (turmeric) and/or sonam penzom (cilantro). For those who occur to see white tingmo at a Tibetan restaurant, it’s being served the standard manner. If it has a yellow hue or is flecked with inexperienced, you’re being served the extra up to date model.

Neither is any much less genuine — the iterations of our meals are reflections of our journey as Tibetans. We are attempting to protect roots which have been forcefully uprooted, all whereas making an attempt to suit into and survive as exiles in our host nations, which, for a lot of Tibetans like me, are the one houses we’ve recognized.

Tingmomo, Two-Coloration Tibetan Steamed Buns

Makes 8 buns


For the white dough:

2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lively dry yeast
23 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
2 teaspoons sugar

For the yellow dough:

2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon lively dry yeast
23 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
2 teaspoons sugar

Vegetable or every other impartial oil for brushing


Make the white and yellow doughs:

Step 1: In two separate bowls, sift collectively the flour and salt. In a single bowl, add the turmeric and blend properly. Set each bowls apart.

Step 2: In two separate bowls, proof the yeast by combining 23 cup heat water (105 to 115 levels, or heat to the contact), sugar, and yeast. Stir gently to dissolve the yeast, then put aside to sit down undisturbed for 10 minutes. When the yeast has completed activating, you’ll see frothy bubbles.

Step 3: Combine the white dough first. Put the dry substances within the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. (You may also combine the dough by hand.) Add the activated yeast combination on a low velocity till the dough comes collectively. Add 2 tablespoons water to additional hydrate the dough if it appears too dry. Change to a dough hook and knead for about 8 to 10 minutes to develop the gluten.

If kneading by hand, knead on a frivolously floured countertop for about 12 to fifteen minutes.

Repeat the identical steps to make the yellow dough.

Step 4: Frivolously oil two separate bowls and place the doughs inside them. Cowl with plastic or a humid towel, then place in a heat space of your kitchen, corresponding to an oven that’s turned off. Observe that 77 levels is the perfect temperature for proofing.

Step 5: Proof the dough for about 1 to 2 hours or till it has doubled in dimension. (Proofing occasions can differ vastly; for those who dwell in a heat local weather, the proofing could also be completed in as little as 45 minutes.) You’ll be able to examine to see if the dough is prepared by poking it together with your finger — the indentation ought to stay however the dough will nonetheless spring again a bit.

Assemble the tingmomo:

Step 1: Beginning with the white dough, mud your work floor with flour and switch the dough to it. Flatten the dough right into a rectangle together with your palms. Then, utilizing a rolling pin, roll the dough as skinny as you possibly can into roughly a 15-by-17-inch sheet, sustaining its rectangular form as a lot as potential. Put aside; repeat with the yellow dough.

Step 2: Frivolously oil the floor of the white dough. Then place the sheet of yellow dough on high and frivolously oil its floor as properly. Use a rolling pin to frivolously press the sheets collectively.

Ranging from the brief finish, roll the dough into a decent log, jelly roll fashion. Trim each edges and minimize the dough into eight equal elements. For smaller tingmomo, you possibly can minimize the dough into 10 elements.

Prepare dinner the tingmomo:

Step 1: Add water to a steamer pot (or any massive pot appropriate to accommodate a steamer). It must be at the very least a pair inches deep however not contact the ground of the steamer basket or rack. Carry the water to a boil.

Step 2: Frivolously grease your steamer basket with vegetable oil. Place the tingmomo within the basket, leaving at the very least 1 to 2 inches of house between every bun to permit for enlargement. Cowl and steam for about 10 to 12 minutes.

Step 3: Take away the cooked buns from the steamer. Take pleasure in them sizzling. You’ll be able to dip them in sizzling sauce or chili oil, or use them to sop up stir-fry dishes. Acquired leftovers the following day? Slice the tingmo in half and frivolously pan-fry them, after which take pleasure in them with jam.

Kyikyi is a third-generation Tibetan residing in exile and a first-generation U.S. citizen. She does seasonal pop-ups, teaches Tibetan cooking, and writes about Tibetan tradition by way of the lens of meals with the aspiration to assist protect at-risk Tibetan heritage.
Louiie Victa is a chef, recipe developer, meals photographer, and stylist residing in Las Vegas.
Recipe examined by Louiie Victa

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