Food Truck Bite of the Week: Turkey Momos from Bini's Kitchen
Our weekly bite explores the city's food trucks, one at a time, highlighting our favorite mobile dishes and snacks.
The Truck: Bini's Kitchen
The Cuisine: Nepalese
Specialty Items: Spiced curries, dumplings, and soups
Worth the Wait in Line? At peak time, a total six minutes from the end of the line to food in hand.
Having a great meal at a food truck rally involves patience.
It's easy to get lured to the first delicious thing you see, only to find something even more interesting and elusive around the corner. Do a menu-scouting walk around first, and you will usually find a surprise or two. A new dish, vendor, or in rare cases a whole new kind of cuisine may pop-up, like Bini's Kitchen that specializes in Nepalese food.
See also: How S.F. Food Vendors Prepare For an Event Like Outside Lands
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Hailing from Kathmandu, Nepal, chef Binita Pradhan brings her spice-laced cuisine that blends Chinese, Tibetan, and Indian flavors is wonderfully unique and comforting. Pradhan's Momos ($6 for eight; turkey or veggie) come drenched in a tomato-cilantro sauce that is more towards Indian than Mexican. Never having been particularly excited about turkey, I went for an order of half of each. As much as I enjoyed the mix of tofu and minced vegetables, the juicy ground turkey filled dumplings blew me away.
The dumpling skins aren't super-thin -- they have a good amount of chew and a texture that falls somewhere in between a potsticker and ravioli. The skin gives it a homey flavor, but also creates a seal that locks in the juices of meat that is typically dry. The filling gets mixed with a blend of spices that Pradhan roasts and grinds by hand, with many of the spices coming directly from Nepal.
For Pradhan, cooking is an extension of her heritage and connects her to her mother, who was in the kitchen preparing food for the royal families in Nepal. Many of those recipes were passed down to Pradhan and find their way into her stand. For her, it's a way to honor her mother's legacy. For us, it's the discovery of a whole new part of the world. One juicy bite at a time.