Tell Your Momo From Dim Sum

Dim sum is a true soul food but most people can’t tell there momo from dim sum. We break your bubble and tell you the difference between momo and dim sum. Don’t mix them again, OK?

From a size zero girl to a 200 pounds weight lifter, everyone happily eats dim sums/ momo for they are yummy, they don’t leave you stuffed (unless of course you eat like 100 of them at a go), in a nutshell they are soul-food. But just like people can’t get over calling a photocopy ‘Xerox’; most food patrons goof up with dim sums/ momo. So let us educate you on who is who in the dim sum world.


Let’s start with Dim sums, what are they? By definition dim sums are ‘a little bit of heart’. Long back, royal chefs in China used to make small bites for the queens who would want to watch their weight but also eat good food. This led to various innovations and today one could pick from almost 2000 types of dim sums. They could be steamed, fried and baked. The stuffing ranges from ham, pork, prawns, fish or even beef to almost all the vegetables.


To be politically correct, dim sum’s nationality would be Chinese. Another politically correct thing to say would be, momo is a type of dim sum. But having said that, momo is a Tibetan where as dim sum is Chinese. Tibetan activist and writer, Tenzin Tsundue in his book of poems ‘Crossing the Border’ included a poem titled ‘My Tibetaness’. In his poem he points out the mistaken identity the region has to face. It is the same with Momo.


In India however we love thy neighbour; hence the affinity towards momo is more than that towards the Chinese cousin. Momo made way to India during Chinese invasion where Tibetans were seeking shelter in our country. Dim sum’s India entry is way before that of momo. In the eighteenth century when Chinese migrant came to Calcutta on job hunt they traded a few of their kitchen secrets with the locals. Even after having such an old connect with India dim sum failed to connect with Indian food chain as well as momo did.


Dim sum is a show off item on the corporate buffet where as momo is the fancier street food option. You will always find a hath gadi with a hipster dude that would have steaming hot momo on offer. A typical food court of a mall will always have a momo counter. Dim sum on the other hand is fine dine affair. With UK dim sum giants like Ping Pong and Ka Hospitality’s Hakkasan and Yauatcha opening doors in India, the concept of high tea with dim sums have grabbed eye balls. Hence we feel it is essential for one to know what the fundamental difference between dim sum and momo is.


To sum up the story telling Momo is dim sum’s humble Tibetan cousin you can eat with your hands and not chopsticks!

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