I am sure that when you hear about dumplings, you first think of Asian cuisine. Well, you will not be wrong to think this way; while dumplings might have originated from the Asian continent, their fame has spread to almost all corners of the world.
They are exciting, fun, and delicious, and the fantastic thing is that they can be used in a versatile way. You could use them as appetizers, side dishes, main course, or snacks.
For example, dumplings are made from homemade dumpling dough, and the filling could be vegetables, ground meat, or pork.
History of Dumplings
The history of dumplings can be traced as far back as 1800 years ago in China. They are attributed to a healer named Zhang, who first prepared it for the people.
He used dough wrappers and filled them with herbs, land, and chili. Then, he served these dumplings in a flavorful and delicious broth.
He gave this warm and comforting food to the sick who came to him for healing, and most of them loved it. They even believed that it made them get well quicker. So dumplings have become an essential part of Chinese culture and celebrations like the New year.
Apart from China, where dumplings are identified with happiness, there are different dumplings recipes in different cultures around the world.
What are Chinese Dumplings called?
The name for dumplings varies in China depending on the different Chinese dialects and the ingredients used to make these dumplings. Some of the names include jiaozi, Shui Jiao, Guo tie, Zheng Jiao, Har Gow, shumai, hun dun, and xiao long bao.
You might be wondering what these names mean and how these types of dumplings differ from each other. The list below will explain these different dumplings, provide recipes that can help you prepare them.
You can try these delicious dumplings:
Types of Asian Dumplings
Xiao Long Bao
Central Asian Manti
Types of European Dumplings
Types of Dumplings from the Americas
Chicken and Dumplings
Types of Asian Dumplings
Although these dumplings are eaten throughout the year, they are mostly prepared and eaten during the Chinese New Year celebrations. These Jiaozi dumplings are usually made with either meat or vegetables, wrapped with a thin dough.
These dumplings taste better and fresher when you make them at home than when you purchase them from the store. This recipe gives you a step-by-step procedure on how to prepare these delicious dumplings.
The truth is that once you taste them, you might not go back. You can even prepare a lot of them and freeze them, and you can cook them whenever you want. You can steam, fry, or boil your jiaozi. The ingredients for this recipe include ground pork, Napa cabbage, soy sauce, oyster sauce, dumpling wrappers, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, ground white pepper, and egg.
Xiao Long Bao is one of the most delicate Chinese dumplings, and it requires patience and carefulness. These are soup dumplings filled with warm umami soup and savory meat filling. The skin of the dumpling is very delicate, making it one of the less prepared dumplings.
This delicacy is sometimes referred to as Shanghai soup dumplings, and that is because it is associated with the city of Shangai. Each dumpling is made with a thin dumpling paper and pleated with many folds. The plain pork filling is the traditional filling, but you will find modern recipes using vegetables, any type of meat, and seafood.
You might be wondering what trick is used to insert the liquid into the dumplings. Well, the secret is by creating a rich pork jelly using collagen or gelatin-rich pork neck bones and skin. The jelly is in solid form, and this allows you to fold it into the filling comfortably.
This jelly returns to its liquid form when you steam the dumplings, thereby forming the delicious soup. It is not an easy recipe to prepare, but it is worth the time and effort.
Shui Jiao is water dumplings that you boil and serve in a broth; they are also known as Sui Kow. This dumpling has a crescent shape resembling the appearance of a first-quarter moon. The dumplings are light and soft, and they sit atop a sweet and dark soya sauce with a small amount of chili.
This sauce has a unique flavor with an extra punch, thanks to the many ingredients used in preparing this sauce. These dumplings are mostly eaten in the evening as a snack, and you will find them being sold at street vendors.
But nothing beats making yours at home where you can enjoy it while it is fresh, and you get to use other ingredients you prefer.
Guo tie is a dumpling popular in most Asian countries; it is translated into English as potstickers. They are called potstickers because of the method of preparation; they are fried in a pan. These dumplings are braised in a bit of liquid in a pan, and the bottom part of the dumplings stick to the pan.
These dumplings are delicious, crispy, and they have an exquisite flavor. The dough for this dumpling is prepared with just flour and warm water. It is elastic, making the modeling of the dough easy and less stressful.
You can be flexible with the fillings for this dumpling; you can use meat, or vegetables, or whatever enhances the taste of the dumplings. The bottom part of the dumplings usually has a golden brown appearance.
Har Gow is a traditional Chinese prawn dumpling, and they are served in dim sum. The dumplings have a shrimp filling, and they are wrapped with a translucent wrapper. They are delicious, and the shrimps are soft and plumpy, making them a favorite among many people.
One thing to notice is that it is better to eat these shrimp dumplings immediately after you prepare them. It is not advisable to keep them to reheat; later, the shrimp filling might go bad.
Also, it is necessary to cover the dough balls with a damp paper towel when assembling the dumplings; this will prevent the dough from drying out. This dumpling is popularly served during breakfast.
Shumai is a traditional Chinese dumpling from Hohhot and is usually served as a dim sum snack. This dumpling is usually steamed, with ground pork and minced onion fillings wrapped in a wonton wrapper. They are also usually topped with green pea.
Sometimes you will find other fillings like shiitake mushrooms and chopped shrimp. Apart from the Chinese version, you will also find some Japanese and Southeast Asian versions of this dish. These dumplings are very easy to make, and they taste better when you make them at home.
Mandu refers to Korean dumplings, and they are made with savory fillings and thin wrapping papers. These dumplings are delicious, and they are easy to make, especially when you use store-bought wrappers.
You can steam, boil, or pan fry these dumplings, and it is nice to try different cooking methods to spice things up. The fantastic thing is that these dumplings are very versatile, and you can use various ingredients.
You can use meat or veggies fillings, and the seasoning spices things up, giving the dumplings excellent flavor. This recipe gives you many options on how to prepare your Korean mandu dumplings.
Manti dumplings are a core part of Central Asian cuisine. These dumplings are chewy and dense, and they are filled with a simple filling usually comprising onions and meat mixture. The traditional way to cook these dumplings is by steaming them, but you will find some recipes that require you to boil or fry.
You will find some tweaking to the way these dumplings are prepared, depending on the region. One example is that there is no one way of folding these dumplings, each family or region have their own style.
The traditional method of preparation uses a level steamer known as Mantavarka. This level steamer can accommodate a lot of dumplings that can feed a large number of people. Therefore, these dumplings will be perfect during celebrations when you are hosting a large number of persons.
Dushbara is a dish that originates from Azerbaijani, and it is made up of dumplings cooked in lamb soup. Making this dish is time-consuming because you have to make the dumplings in small sizes. So, if you are ready for a challenge, you could try it out.
The dumplings are traditionally filled with ground lamb meat, but you can substitute this with beef. Typical ingredients for this dumpling include ground lamb, flour, herbs, onion, salt, tomatoes, and black pepper.
This delicious and creamy dumpling dish is of Indian origin. Malai stands for cream, and Kofta means fried balls. This dish is made up of fried potato balls which are dipped in a creamy sauce. It is a perfect dish for vegetarians, and it is served during festivities and celebrations.
This dumpling meal is a popular paneer recipe, and you can decide to make this creamy curry white or add other ingredients to make it brown or red with ingredients like tomatoes or spices. This vegetarian meal is tasty and can appeal to you even if you are not on a vegetarian diet.
You can serve these dumplings and the creamy sauce with chapatis, jeera rice, naan, and pulao. Making this dish can be pretty demanding, so you can save it for those special occasions where you can impress your friends and family.
Zongzi is a dumpling made with sticky rice, and they are popular during the Dragon Boat Festival. The dumplings are made with glutinous rice, and you can stuff them with different fillings and wrap them in bamboo or reed leaves.
You can cook this rice by boiling or steaming, and the flavors for the dumplings vary depending on what region you are in China. This dish is also known as sticky rice dumplings, and you can serve them with sugar or syrup. Most people serve this for breakfast during the festival celebration.
These dumplings are delicious, and they are soft and chewy; you might even get addicted to them. One other ingredient for these dumplings is red bean paste. It adds an extra pleasant flavor and lovely texture to the sticky rice.
These sweet dumplings originate from India, and they are prepared during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. This festival is incomplete if you do not offer these sweet dumplings to Lord Ganesha. The outer part of the dumplings can be made with rice or wheat flour mixed with maida or khava flour.
You can stuff the dumplings with grated coconut and jaggery mixture. One of the tips you should know is that it is better to use fine rice, specifically meant to make modak. You can use the regular rice flour, but it won’t taste as pleasant as the dumplings made with fine rice flour.
This Tibetan momo dumplings are so popular and versatile that almost every Tibetan family has its own recipe. These dumplings can be made with meat or vegetarian fillings, and you can also fry, steam, or boil them in soup.
These momo dumplings are delicious and juicy. You can shape these dumplings to be round or as a half-moon. If you are planning a trip to Tibet, you should taste one f these on your arrival, or you can just make these from the comfort of your kitchen.
Gyoza is a Japanese version of Chinese potstickers; they are smaller and have thinner skin. These dumping are crispy, and they have a rich garlic flavor which is an advantage for those who love garlicky meals.
Gyoza can be boiled, pan-fried, or deep-fried. The boiled gyoza are traditionally served in a light broth, and they are less popular. Pan-fried gyoza are the most popular you will find in most restaurants, the dough has a mixture of cornstarch and water, and they are fried in a hot skillet. They are soft and juicy, and also crispy as well.
The deep-fried version is deliciously crispy and is hard to find unless you go to a Gyoza restaurant or Chinese restaurant. This version has a slight doughy texture while also being crispy. You can serve these dumplings with gyoza sauce which has a pleasant umami flavor.
Types of European Dumplings
These amazing dumplings are also known as little ears, and they are of polish origin. These dumplings are cooked in a broth and have savory fillings, and they mostly serve during Christmas eve. These dumplings have a mixture of onions and mushrooms.
The dumplings are soft and delicate ad they have a buttery flavor. So if you have Polish friends, you can invite them over during Christmas eve and prepare these dumplings for them, and they will be impressed.
These small steamed dumplings are the national food of Mongolia, and they are popularly served during the Mongolian New Year. They are traditionally filled with mutton or beef, and they are usually served on their own. You can also serve them as appetizers or as a dessert.
The meat for the filing is usually seasoned with fresh herbs, garlic, salt, and onions. These dumplings are unique because of their opening at the top, and they are eaten with hands. These dumplings are traditionally served with fried beans, salads, and dipping sauces.
Some people pair these dumplings with beverages like vodka and tea. Buuz dumplings are simply steamed dumplings, and they are easy for you to prepare. These dumplings are usually made in large quantities to be enjoyed with friends and family during the New year celebration.
Knodel in German stands for dumplings, and there are a variety of German dumpling recipes. The most popular dumplings are called Semmelknodel, and they are made from bread rolls that are a day old.
The bread rolls are soaked in warm milk, seasoned with a pinch of nutmeg, parsley, and onion. These dumplings are tender, moist, and savory, and they are irresistible.
Other varieties of Knodel include Brezelknodel that are made with pretzels instead of bread rolls.
Germknodel is made with a yeasted dough, and you fill it with plum jam. Speckknodel contains tiny pieces of bacon in the dumplings. The other variety is Kartoffelknodel, and it is made with mashed potatoes and potato starch.
You can serve these Knodel dumplings as side dishes to accompany hearty meals like roast pork, gravy, braised meat, and lentils.
Kreplach is small meat-filled dumplings served in soup, and you can serve them as appetizers or as side dishes. You can serve them fried, or you can serve them in a chicken soup. These dumplings are popularly prepared during the Jewish Purim feast.
The dough is made with water, flour, and eggs, and you need to roll it out thin. If this is too much work for you, you can use wonton sheets or frozen dough sheets. The dough is traditionally rolled into a triangle shape.
Varenyky are Ukrainian stuffed dumplings known by some as Pierogi. They have the shape of a half-moon, and the fillings for this dumplings are versatile. You can fill them with meat, vegetables, cheese, and fruits.
During Christmas Eve, the fillings for these dumplings include potatoes and cabbages. These dumplings are easy to make and only require a handful of ingredients. All you need is potatoes, flour, eggs, and onions.
Ukrainian Varenyky has slight differences from Polish Pierogi; Pierogi is denser and bigger than Varenyky. Another significant difference is that sour cream is a necessary ingredient for Varenyky, but it is optional for Polish pierogi.
These dumplings require a reasonable amount of time, and they are fun to make when you are in the company of others. You can serve these dumplings as a side dish, or you can serve them for dessert.
Tortellini dumpling has the shape of a rosebud, and it is an Italian dumpling. These dumplings are traditionally stuffed with cheese, vegetables, and meat. These dumplings are delicious, and they serve as comfort food on a lovely evening.
This recipe uses butternut squash and ricotta cheese for the filling; these ingredients give the dumplings a lovely and pleasant flavor. It is also a perfect vegetarian dish and very healthy if you are avoiding meat.
Adding seasonings like garlic and pine nuts helps to compliment the flavor of the butternut squash. You can top these dumplings with a nutty sage brown and creamy butter sauce. If you want some umami flavor, you can also top the dumplings with some parmesan cheese.
Ravioli is another Italian dumpling, and it is a small square-shaped pasta filled with spinach, cheese, and meat. These ravioli dumplings are boiled in water, and you can serve them with grated cheese, melted butter, or any other dumpling sauce of your choice.
This recipe has ricotta cheese, and squash and they are creamy and delicious. They are also crispy and easy to make more than you think. You can make the fresh pasta dough with just three ingredients: flour, olive oil, and water.
These Italian dumplings are made with potatoes, wheat flour, semolina, breadcrumbs, and sometimes cheese and eggs. These dumplings are best enjoyed when you use fresh ingredients and prepare them by yourself at home.
These gnocchi dumplings are perfect for dinner on a chilly evening, and you can serve them as the main dish. You can make the pasta afresh in your kitchen, or if you do not have the time, you can buy store-bought gnocchi pasta.
Gnudi dumplings are the closest to gnocchi dumplings but without potatoes. They are delicious, comforting, light, and cheesy. These dumplings are made with cheese and spinach, and they are lighter and less chewy.
The base for this dumpling is ricotta cheese, the eggs hold everything together, and you can add some parmesan cheese to give flavor to the mixture. Spinach gives the dumplings a nice texture and also increases the health value of the dish.
One helpful tip to consider before making these dumplings is that you need to drain the spinach and ricotta cheese of all moisture. This will make it easier for you to roll and form the mixture into little balls. Then, you can serve these dumplings with any simple sauce.
Khinkali dumpling is one of the national dishes of Georgia; these dumplings are unique because of the twisted knobs of dough. They are traditionally stuffed with spices and meat, but there are also different fillings for these dumplings.
The most popular fillings are beef and pork, but other filling ingredients like lamb filling, potato, cheese, and mushrooms will also be found. These dumplings are delicious and flavorful, and they look like soup dumplings as well.
These dumplings will be the perfect option to serve when hosting a dinner party; they are a crowd favorite. These dumplings are similar to Chinese soup dumplings, but the dough is thicker, and you boil them instead of steaming them.
Kroppkaka is a boiled potato dumpling with a Swedish origin. There are many recipes for this dish, but the common ingredients include potatoes, with fillings like bacon, allspice, fried onion, and white pepper.
The dumplings are boiled in water until they cook perfectly. You can serve these dumplings with simple sauces like melted butter, sour cream, and lingonberry jam.
Pierogi are dumplings made with unleavened dough, with sweet and savory fillings, and they are cooked in boiling water before they are pan-fried. Although these dumplings are easy to make, they do not take much time to cook.
The dough for these dumplings requires only four ingredients, water, flour, salt, and vegetable oil. Two of the most used filling for pierogies are mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese. In addition, you can toss your pierogies with onions and melted butter to give them a better flavor and aroma.
Types of Dumplings from the Americas
Matzo balls are dumplings made from matzo meal, and they are traditionally served with chicken soup. These dumplings are delicious, flavorful, and hearty, and it is the perfect comfort food for a cold night. These matzo balls have different textures depending on the recipe that you follow.
Some of the dumplings are soft, dense, fluffy, and firm. You will need many ingredients to prepare these dumplings, but they are worth the time because of their rich flavor. You can prepare this warm, delicious meal on those nights when you have a cold and look for something comforting.
Chapalele is Chilean dumplings made with wheat flour and boiled potatoes. These dumplings are also known as Chilean potato bread, and they have both sweet and savory versions depending on the recipe you use.
These dumplings are flavorful and delicious, and they are a suitable replacement for bread. You only need few ingredients to prepare these dumplings, and maybe you already have most of them in your kitchen. The ingredients include potatoes, butter, flour, greaves, salt, and eggs.
Pantrucas is another delicious dumplings from Chile, and the dough is made with flour, water, and a bit of oil. The dough is divided into irregular sizes, and they are added to any beef stock or vegetable soup. This soup dumplings are delicious, flavorful, and cold for cold days.
Chicken and dumplings are a popular American dish consisting of two essential ingredients, chicken and dumplings made from flour. There are many recipes for this dish; the spices and other ingredients added to the chicken and dumplings might vary from place to place.
You begin by cooking the chicken in water to get a chicken broth. Then, you use this broth for cooking the dumplings and adding other ingredients. The dumplings are made with a mixture of milk and flour, and then they are divided into tiny shapes.
You can add any seasoning and ingredient of your choice to enhance the flavor of the soup. For example, some recipes require you to add butter to the chicken broth to have a gravy-like consistency. In addition, you can add vegetables like onions, celery, and parsley to give some complexity of flavor to the dish.
If you are looking for a sweet dumpling recipe for dessert, you might want to try out this delicious recipe. Apple dumplings are a traditional dessert recipe; it is a pastry filled with apples, raisins, and cinnamon. They are classic comfort food and a crowd-pleaser, and they are perfect when hosting friends and family.
These apple dumplings are pretty easy to make at home. All you need is to wash and core your apples, stuff them with cinnamon sugar and butter, then wrap them in your pastry. Then put them in the oven and bake them until they become golden brown.
You can serve these dumplings with a drizzle of sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it is mind-blowing, and you will impress your guests.
Poutine Rapee is an Acadian dumpling; they are made with potatoes which are stuffed with pork. You need two types of potatoes for these dumplings, mashed and grated potatoes. It takes a long time to cook these dumplings. So they are traditionally reserved for big celebrations.
The potatoes have a bland flavor, and they have greyish color. The pork is salted, and you can serve these dumplings with molasses, sprinkled pepper, and white sugar. Poutine Rapee dumplings are commonly served during Christmas celebrations, so you can add this recipe to your Christmas plans.
Crab Rangoon is a big thing in Chinese-American cuisine. These dumplings are also known as Chinese wonton, crab rangoon puffs, and crab puffs. This delicious appetizer comprises crab meat, cream cheese, and seasonings, all wrapped in a wonton.
These dumplings are popularly served at parties as appetizers in anticipation of the main meal. These dumplings are delicious and flavorful, all thanks to the seasoning ingredients included in the filling. Although you will find many variations of these dumplings, there is no standard recipe.
But the typical ingredients you will find in crab rangoons are crab meat, cream cheese, green onions, or scallions. Some recipes exclude crab meat to make room for those who have allergies to shellfish. Also, most recipes require deep-frying, but you will find some recipes that insist on baking to cut back on the grease.
How do I store dumplings?
If you have made your dumpling pockets, but you have not cooked them, you can refrigerate them. You will need to freeze them on cornstarch and then put them into plastic wraps or freezer bags. When you are ready to cook them, add more cook time to the recipe, you are using to account for the cold start.
What can I serve with Dumplings?
The perfect accompaniment for dumplings will depend on how you serve them. The most common things you can serve them with include soup, stew, dipping sauce, or you can decide to be classy and serve them with a glass of wine.
Can I make Gluten-free dumplings?
You will find that most dumplings are made with wheat flour, but you can make gluten-free dumplings to cater to your health needs. In addition, you can make your dumpling wrappers with rice flour, tapioca flour, buckwheat flour.
What Are the common Dumpling fillings?
There are different fillings to spice up your dumplings and make it a more exciting experience. If you have a sweet tooth or want to keep things healthy, you can use sweet fillings like sweetened cheese, nuts, and fruits.
To keep things a little bit more traditional, you can use soup fillings. The soup broth is solid at room temperature, making it easier for you to work with, and it turns to liquid when you steam the dumplings. Another type of fillings you could use are meat, seafood, or vegetables.
What are the different ways of Cooking Dumplings?
Dumplings are versatile because they are many ways to prepare them; you can boil, steam, or fry them. Fried dumplings can b cooked in any fats like butter, oil, and lard. You can also build dumplings in water or directly in the soup and stew you wish to serve them with.
As for steamed dumplings, you can set them in a basket over boiling water. Another way of steaming them is by searing the bottom part of the dumplings in oil, while you can cook the fillings with a small amount of water trapped in a lidded pan.
These are the different types of dumplings that you can find around the world. They are delicious, flavorful, and perfect for a warm meal on a cold night. Of course, some recipes are more demanding than others, but they are worth the stress.
Also, in case you are inspired and decide to try one of these out, the recipes are there to guide you to achieve great results. Of course, you might not get perfect results at first, but you will get better at it as you keep trying.