Momo Truck brings Himalayan flavors to Charlotte

Tom Hanchett

Jay Subedi’s Momo Truck features dumplings, wraps and more from Bhutan and Nepal.
Jay Subedi’s Momo Truck features dumplings, wraps and more from Bhutan and Nepal.

Ever dreamed of visiting Asia’s Himalayan Mountains? Now a bit of Himalayan culture is roaming Charlotte.

The Momo Truck, a bright orange mobile eatery, is turning up all over the Queen City, including at the Rural Hill Food Truck Rally in northern Mecklenburg this Saturday evening.

Truck proprietor Jay Subedi fled the ethnic wars in Bhutan and Nepal to come to Charlotte in 2008. He was among the first arrivals from that region north of India, which has become the Queen City’s fastest growing immigrant stream in recent years. Subedi launched Charlotte’s first Bhutanese/Nepali grocery store, Central Market, while earning a degree in Civil Engineering at UNC Charlotte.

He eagerly talks about the traditions behind his food truck’s menu of wraps, dumplings and rice bowls. “Our food is Indo-Chinese,” drawing on Indian and Asian influences, he says.

The katti roll, a tradition that came to the Himalayas from India, is filled with chicken and veggies and comes with extra momo sauce on the side.
The katti roll, a tradition that came to the Himalayas from India, is filled with chicken and veggies and comes with extra momo sauce on the side.

The Momo Truck’s katti roll traces its origins from the Himalayas back to Kolkata, India. There a paratha flatbread is rolled around grilled meat and sauce. Subedi substitutes a tortilla for the paratha, creating a wrap that feels familiar to Charlotte customers.

Momo, the truck’s namesake, are dumplings stuffed with meat. They’re the Himalayan take on the potstickers found on Asian restaurant menus – but much plumper and meatier, with a zesty sauce on the side. 

Subedi makes the momo sauce, key ingredient in most of his menu items, by hand. “It’s roasted tomatoes with Indian spices,” he confides. He’s toned down the pepper heat a bit to please American palates. “Ours is a fusion truck,” he says, a four-wheeled ambassador of Himalayan flavors. “Things people really like, easy to make, easy to eat.”

This Saturday, find the Momo Truck at the Summer Food Truck Rally at Rural Hill, the farm history park off Beatties Ford Road. Sunday, the truck will be at Blue Blaze Brewery in west Charlotte. For future locations, check “Momo Truck” on Facebook or at the website: https://www.momotruck.com.

Momo dumplings are an Asian tradition, thought to have originated in Tibet.
Momo dumplings are an Asian tradition, thought to have originated in Tibet.

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