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Ready to try Tibetan nomad food?


Ready to try Tibetan nomad food?

taste something new

From the rooftop of the world to the capital of the USA: A former Buddhist monk and refugee, Chef Dorjee is now pursuing his dream of introducing more people to the unique flavors and heartfelt preparation of Tibetan nomad-style dumplings & Himalayan street snacks. 

As a refugee, the tastes of my childhood have been an anchor in my life, and I want to share with others the joy Tibetan food brings to me.

Many people think of Tibet as a magical place stuck in the past, but actually it’s full of modern twists and turns like anywhere else. The food I make reflects the diversity and resilience of Tibetans in diaspora as we adapt to new surroundings.
— Chef Dorjee Tsering
Photo by Farrah Skeiky (c) Dimsum Media

Photo by Farrah Skeiky (c) Dimsum Media

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Cooking Class @ The Hill Center

September 28: Cooking class at the Hill Center 

Join the #momosquad for a fun hands-on class where you'll learn to make Tibetan chicken soup dumplings. You will learn to roll the dough, prepare the filling and garnishes, make your own dipping sauces, twist the dumplings, and set the steamer.

Now booking for Spring private home dinners

Calendar open from January

We are now booking private home dinners (five-course seated, or buffet style) for the months of January to April. Please complete a brief questionnaire and we will respond and work with you to create a memorable and delicious event. Private dinners are an intimate and fun way to celebrate a special event or have a relaxing night with friends: we provide custom tailored menu, florals and tableware, cocktails and drink pairings, bartending, excellent dinner service, full cleaning, and personal attention from Chef Dorjee. 

Vending @ The Emporiyum

November 10-12: The Emporiyum food fest

Grab all your savvy foodie friends and join us for this one-of-a-kind food marketplace featuring the tastiest treats from around the country. Discover delicious foods and purchase thoughtful gifts and top-quality products from a lineup of artisans you won’t find anywhere else. There’ll be tunes from a DJ, plus sips and samples. 




Our mission is to introduce more people to the heartfelt preparation and unique flavors of Himalayan cuisine, and our approach centers delicious dishes from the Tibetan diaspora that are authentic and creative. 


Momos: a juicy Tibetan tradition

Momos (Tibetan dumplings) are shaped by hand with minimal tools: a flat rolling pin, loose flour, and nimble fingers. Each family's recipe depends on their personal tastes and the resources available to them. In nomad families in Tibet, the main fillings are sheep and yak meat -- vegetables are scarce but include wild greens -- along with an extremely spicy chilli sauce.


Chu-Mok: fan-shaped steamed dumplings

Chu-Mok is a dish of semi-soupy steamed dumplings which are folded like fans. Baby bok choy, cilantro, and ramen scallions garnish the dish, along with a spicy sauce with star anise oil and sesame seeds. Our version of Chu-Mok has savory chicken dumplings in a light fragrant broth with a bright herb garnish. 


Steamed or fried?

Momos (shown above raw, prior to steaming or frying) are round dumplings filled with yak or sheep mutton meat and vegetables and twisted closed. A tiny hole at the top emits steam as the filling cooks - the Momos remain juicy while the doughy skins become light and stretchy.


Which shape?

Momos come in all shapes and sizes, and each design has a fable of its own: for example, Tsi-Tsi (like a mouse), and Dawa (like a moon). Some designs work better for soup because their folds can cup the soup; others are more suitable for frying because their flat bottoms become crispy!


Lamb, beef, chicken, vegan?

More common in India and the USA than Tibet, Tibetans use lamb, beef, or even chicken, with more vegetables like laboo kharpo (white daikon radish),  chik-tsay (Chinese chives), red onion and cabbage, and green onions. 

How do I eat them?

Pick the hot dumpling up with your hand (steamed & fried Momos) or with chopsticks or spoon (Chu-Mok). Tilt it up and take a little bite out of the bottom side of the dough, and slurp out the juice inside! Then dip the dumpling in sepen (chilli sauce) and take a bigger bite. Repeat until full. 

What about sweets?

Our bakery & dessert items, such as Tsampa Biscotti with Lindy black raisins and cashews, and Kashmiri Rice Pudding Parfait with saffron and buttermilk, or Ube Cheesecake with tsampa brown butter crust, cardamom troma, and wildflowers, are created by Baker Ally Lynn Taylor. She is inspired by Himalayan natural landscapes, using Tibetan staple ingredients such as tsampa (roasted barley flour), dri butter (from a female yak), shol (fermented yogurt) and troma (a brown sweet root). 


Meet the #momosquad

Meet the #momosquad

Photo by Farrah Skeiky (c) Dimsum Media.



Born to a nomad family in eastern Tibet, chef Dorjee and his family would pack up their belongings and black wool tents every season to move to new pastures for their sheep and yaks. Dorjee grew up watching his mother and sisters cook over a cob stove. He became a Buddhist monk at age 6 and worked in monasteries for 16 years, where he learned how to prepare large amounts of food very quickly.

In 2006, Dorjee walked across the Himalayas for 1 month and 18 days, becoming a refugee in India. After training at a French bakery in northern India, Dorjee moved to Washington DC to pursue his dream of introducing more people to the unique flavors and heartfelt preparation of Tibetan nomad food. Now Dorjee brings his loving attention and finely honed skills to every dish he makes at his own business, Dorjee Momo.


Amberjade & BAby DK 


Amberjade is the Director of Operations and handles vendors and supply chain, events, marketing, and media. Her background is in human rights advocacy, civil society capacity building, and communications. 

Baby Damon Kyap (DK) is almost 2 years old and loves eating his daddy's food - no matter how spicy! He enjoys digging in the dirt, playing basketball, and greeting guests at pop-ups and events. His main job is quality control: tasting as many momos as possible!




Ally Lynn Taylor is a full-time baker at RareSweets in Washington DC. She was previously a pastry cook under Chef Pichet Ong at Maketto, Chef Erik Bruner-Yang's Michelin Bib Gourmand award-winning Taiwanese/Cambodian influenced restaurant. A Deans List graduate of the Baking & Pastry Arts Program at the Culinary Institute of Charleston, Ally collaborates with international artists and local restaurants on inventive desserts and custom pastries inspired by art and natural environments.






Invite Chef Dorjee to your home or event space for private catering in the Washington DC area, and experience an intimate group dinner with courses of vegetable dishes and heaps of steaming momos, custom crafted cocktails, and tea service with desserts. Fill out this home dinner form below to get started creating a memorable and delicious dinner party!


Always wanted to know how to make juicy and savory dumplings yourself? Book a cooking class at our Union Kitchen - Ivy City location with your friends or colleagues and learn how to create different shapes and fillings to suit your tastes. Cooking classes are a fun hands-on activity for small groups, and all ingredients are prepped and provided. Participants get take-home samples of pickles and dipping sauces, and a recipe reminder guide.