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What Are the Different Types of Dumplings That Can Be Purchased Today?

Dating back to 1,800 years ago, dumplings are considered the ultimate comfort food.

They’re easy to eat and come in many varieties. Some dumplings can be savory, others sweet, but the fact of the matter is they’re found in almost every corner of the globe.

Here are several different types of dumplings you have to try at least once in your life.

Different Ways to Cook Dumplings

You can cook dumplings three different ways. They’re either steamed, boiled, or fried.

Steamed dumplings are either placed in a steam basket above boiling water or pan-fried. When they are pan-fried the bottoms of the dumpling fry in oil while the insides cook from the steam trapped inside the pan.

Boiled dumplings are cooked either in water or in the soup in which they’ll be served.

Fried dumplings are cooked in fat, often oil, but can also be cooked in lard, butter, or any other type of fat.

Asian Dumplings

Most experts believe dumplings originated in China, so it’s no wonder when we think about dumplings our minds wander towards Asian variations. Here are some different Asian dumplings:

Gyoza

These Japanese dumplings are made with thin wrappers and are pan-fried. 

They’re filled with minced pork and cabbage or a seafood filling. Often gyozas come with a sauce made from a mixture of rice vinegar, soy sauce, and chili oil.

Cha Siu Bao (Pork Buns)

Cha Siu Bao, otherwise known as pork buns, are steamed buns that are often served as a type of dim sum

Cha Siu refers to the pork filling which is often barbecued, and bao refers to the chewy bun. Pork buns can also be baked, and in that case, they’re called cha shao can bao.

Banh Bot Loc

Banh bot loc are Vietnam dumplings made from translucent, tapioca-based wrappers. They are a staple dumpling in a typical Vietnamese appetizer. 

These dumplings are often filled with pork belly and shrimp and served with sweet chili fish sauce. They are also often topped with fried shallots for an extra flavor profile.

Buuz

Buzz are usually filled with ground mutton or ground beef and are the Mongolian version of a steamed dumpling. 

They’re flavored with garlic, onion, and salt, and occasionally filled with cabbage and mashed potatoes. These dumplings are popular during the Mongolian Lunar New Year and called khuushuur when pan-fried.

Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings)

These steamed dumplings are the most famous variety of soup dumplings and are often served in a traditional Chinese brunch. 

They are a round dumpling made from a relatively thick dough. Xiao Long Bao are stuffed with pork and a broth that is solid at room temperature but melts into a liquid when steamed, almost like a soup, hence the name soup dumpling. Try the best soup dumplings for yourself.

Har Gao

Har Gao, pronounced ha gow, is a traditional Cantonese dumpling served in dim sum. 

These dumplings are made from a translucent oval or crescent-shaped wrapper made of wheat flour and tapioca starch. Sometimes called a shrimp bonnet, these dumplings are filled with shrimp chunks, pork fat, bamboo shoots, and scallions, pleated seven to ten times, and then steamed.

Siu Mai

Commonly called shumai, these basket-shaped Chinese dumplings made from a thin wrapper of wheat dough are often served as part of dim sum. 

There are various versions of this dumpling, but they are often filled with shrimp, chicken, or pork along with bean sprouts, green onions, and shredded carrots. 

Wontons

Wontons are Chinese dumplings that are often boiled and served in soup, but can also be deep-fried and served with a dipping sauce or steamed. 

In soup, wontons are boiled with spicy chili oil, scallions, and sesame seeds. These dumplings vary by region and are often filled with pork, but they can also have chicken, crab, shrimp, or vegetables inside.

Jiaozi

Jiaozi are a common type of Chinese dumpling.

These dumplings are crescent-shaped and made from a translucent wrapper made of wheat dough. They are often filled with ground pork, cabbage, and scallions and served with a sauce made of vinegar, sesame oil, and soy sauce.

They can have a different name depending on how you cook them. When steamed they’re called zhēngjiao. They’re called shui jiao when boiled. They’re called guo tie when pan-fried and, in this case, are also known as potstickers.

European Dumplings

Dumplings aren’t only found in Asia’s history though — they were also around in Renaissance Europe. Here are some European inspired dumpling types:

Pierogi

These Polish dumplings made from unleavened dough can have a sweet or savory filling. They’re most commonly filled with cheese, potatoes, onions, minced meat, or fruit. 

Pierogies are first boiled, and then either pan-fried or baked. Savory pierogies are often served with sour cream while sweet ones are often sugared and then served with melted butter.

Pelmeni

Pelmeni, while of Siberian origin, is a ravioli-like dumpling found throughout Russia. 

These dumplings are crescent-shaped and made from unleavened dough that is often stuffed with meat, mushrooms, or cheese. You cook them by boiling them in salted water.

Vareniky

Vareniky is a Ukrainian dumpling similar to the Polish pierogi.

In Ukraine, these dumplings are often eaten with sour cream and filled with fish, like carp or salmon, or meat. Fillings also include cheese, chopped onions, and dill. They are sometimes filled with fruit such as blueberries and cherries along with cottage cheese and sugar and served as a dessert.

Kroppkaka

Kroppkaka is a traditional Swedish potato dumpling.

These dumplings are often stuffed with a mix of bacon and onions seasoned with all-spice and served with sauce and butter. Two popular versions of this dumpling are the Pitepalt, stuffed with minced meat, and Blodpalt, where the dough gets mixed with beef, pig, or reindeer blood.

Kreplach

These dumplings, referred to as the Jewish Ravioli, are an Eastern European dish often served in soup.

These dumplings are often stuffed with a mix of bacon and onions seasoned with all-spice and served with sauce and butter. Two popular versions of this dumpling are the Pitepalt, stuffed with minced meat, and Blodpalt, where the dough gets mixed with beef, pig, or reindeer blood.

Types of Dumplings

Turns out there are many more types of dumplings than you may have ever realized — almost every culture has their own version!

Whether you prepare them sweet or savory, eat them with chopsticks or your hands, or have them for breakfast or dinner, there’s no wrong way to eat a dumpling.

If you liked this article don’t worry, there’s more! Head over to our website to find out about some other tasty treats.

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