Momo are what Asian-style dumplings are called in Nepal. Because of Nepal’s unique location on the Asian continent, sandwiched between India and China, the dumplings take on a much more bold flavor compared to their Chinese counterparts.
Although the dumplings look similar to those you would find in steamed a Chinese dim sum restaurant, the fillings are anything but subtle. Redolent with curry spices, scallions and cilantro,the dumplings really pack a punch! After sampling a few, my mind of course wandered to grilling. I figured the filling would make fantastic burgers and the flavors would really stand up to being cooked over fire, if not get better.
These burgers are made with a combination of ground pork and ground turkey and I combined spice blends that you would find in a well-stocked spice cupboard rather than giving a long list. 🙂
Since the momo dumpling are wrapped with a thin dough and steamed, I didn’t want it to get lost in a bun with a lot of condiments. The extra crunch when served “protein-style” wrapped in big Boston lettuce leaves was a great alternative to the bun. The toasted cumin seed raita lends a cooling element to the spices in the burger and the texture of the cucumbers and whole toasted cumin seed makes it pretty unique.
See How To Grill Better Burgers for some great tips.
- Spice blend:
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoon curry powder - (S&B Oriental Curry Powder)
- 2 teaspoons garam masala (Zamouri Spices)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder - (Gebhardt)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns, ground (can substitute ground black pepper)
- 2 tablespoon neutral oil - canola, vegetable, grapeseed
- 1¼ pound ground pork
- 1¼ pound ground turkey
- 4 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ bunch cilantro, finely chopped
- ¼ cold water
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste (see Cook's Note above)
- Bibb Lettuce leaves, for serving
- Toasted Cucumber Raita, for serving (recipes follows)
- Combine the spices together in a small bowl, stir in the oil and set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine the ground meats, scallions, shallots, garlic, cilantro, and water. Stir and pour in the spice mixture. Toss together until well combined, but try not to overwork. Shape into eight patties and set aside covered in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
- Set up grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat. Brush and oil grates before cooking. Grill burgers on hot grill for 4 to 6 minutes per side until firm to the touch (not hard) and the juices run clear. The internal temperature of the burgers should be 165°F.
- Allow burgers to rest for 5 minutes before serving wrapped in bibb lettuce leaves with the toasted cumin cucumber riata.
- 4 teaspoons cumin seeds
- ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ¾ cup seeded and finely dice hothouse cucumber
- 2 scallion, minced
- ½ bunch cilantro, finely chopped
- Juice from ½ lemon
- Stir together all ingredients until well-combines. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour before serving. Best if served the same day.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!
Anne Maxfield says
Yum! Will definitely have to give this a try.
Jeff Parker says
These are a definite must if you love to Indian-style spices. I do recommend cooking a half-dollar size piece to taste the seasoning and salt balance before forming the burger patties. That way you can adjust to your taste. Let me know how they turn out, Anne. Cheers!