Japan has its gyoza, Russia its pelmeni and China its
potstickers, but the winner of the steamed-dumpling global sweepstakes
just might be momo, the savory stuffed snack items out of Tibet.
Tiny in dimension but hearty enough for the most alpine appetite,
they're prepared with lush, spicy fillings ranging from potato, cheese,
or chicken to yak, goat, buffalo, and — mmm! — Snickers
bars. The menu at Berkeley's Taste of the Himalayas features three
momo varietals. The veggie version is packed with spinach,
mushrooms, cabbage, and cashews while another comes with chicken,
scallions, and a bazaar's worth of spices. But our favorite is the
lamb, in which a snappy filling of onion, cilantro, and minced baby
mutton is stuffed into a delicate wheat flour casing that explodes with
flavor when you bite into it. A silky, bisque-like tomato dipping sauce
laced with cumin accompanies this tasty treat.