Did you know that there are over 3,814 distinct cultures in the world? Within each culture, they have their own practices and food.
What’s interesting to note is no matter where you look, almost every location has its own version of the dumpling. Considering that all you need is a doughy wrapper and some scrumptious fillings, it’s no surprise why practically all ethnicities have their own unique treat.
Have we got you thinking about the types of dumplings around the world? Then you’ll want to keep reading! Below, we’ll discuss 9 that’ll tantalize your tastebuds.
Let’s start off with the dumpling most people should recognize. This is also known as the potsticker, or gyoza in Japanese.
These are made with thin dough wrappers and filling that consists of ground meat, veggies, soy sauce, and ginger.
You can boil them to eat them as normal dumplings. Or you can pan-fry them to make them into potstickers/gyoza.
Either way, you can either eat them plain, in clear broth (when boiled), or dip them in soy sauce.
Xiao Long Bao
Xiao long bao is another type of Chinese dumpling. However, it looks completely different from the jiaozi.
While the jiaozi looks almost like a crescent moon, the xiao long bao is pleated towards the middle so it almost looks like a giant Hershey’s Kiss. However, the wrapper and fillings are quite similar.
The main difference is that you steam this type of dumpling. You can either make them fresh or steam them from frozen, such as those from The XCJ. And like with the jiaozi, you can eat them plain or dress them up a little with soy sauce.
If you’ve been to dim sum before, then you’ve probably had this type of Chinese dumpling before.
Just like with the xiao long bao, it doesn’t have the same shape as the jiaozi. It has a squat cylindrical shape, and what’s unique about it is that the wrapper doesn’t go all the way around it. Instead, it covers everything but the top bit.
Inside, it’s filled with ground pork, chicken, or shrimp. You’ll also find shredded carrots, scallions, and bean sprouts. And often, it’s topped with some beautiful roe.
Let’s now move over to Europe and take a look at French dumplings. It used to be considered a garnish, but today, it’s eaten as its own meal.
Quenelles are a bit bigger than their Chinese counterparts. The outside consists of eggs, flour, cream, and breadcrumbs. Then, it’s stuffed with ground meat, vegetables, poultry, or fish.
They’re then poached in water; or if you want more flavor, you can poach them in stock.
The original quenelle was made with pike and is served with a crayfish sauce.
Pennsylvania Dutch Dumplings
Now, let’s look in our own backyard. Pennsylvania Dutch dumplings come from the Amish, who are of German descent. So technically, this type of dumpling comes from Germany.
This type of dumpling is a bit different because there’s actually nothing wrapped into the dough. Instead, everything’s mixed together and formed into a ball.
There are several different types of Pennsylvania Dutch dumplings: potato and liver for savory, and apple and peach for sweet.
For the savory dumplings, you’ll need eggs, sliced bread (or breadcrumbs), onions, and flour for the liver dumplings. Like with the quenelle, after all the ingredients are mixed together, you’d roll the dough into balls and boil them until done.
The sweet dumplings are made in a similar fashion but with milk too.
Let’s now move south of the border to Mexico. Mexican dumplings are also a bit bigger than their Chinese counterparts.
On the outside, you have dough, which envelops chicken, beef, pork, fish, or cheese. You’ll often also find carrots, potatoes, and/or corn inside.
Once you’ve wrapped the empanadas, they’re then brushed with an egg wash and baked until golden brown.
Now, let’s take a look at the Indian dumpling! This delicious dumpling is a deep-fried treat, which explains why it’s so addicting.
It’s shaped in a triangle with a crispy wrapper. And inside, you’ll find a spicy filling with peas. Usually, it’s chicken or lamb, but there’s also the vegetarian option of potato.
Whichever one you choose, either eat it on its own or dip it in ketchup or mint chutney.
Wait a second: isn’t tortellini a type of pasta? Well, it technically is, but then again, it also fulfills the requirements for being a dumpling.
You have a thin pasta wrapper, and inside, you’ve got a tasty filling that consists of various things, such as meat, cheese, mushrooms, spinach, or even seafood.
Once the tortellini are wrapped up, you boil them until they’re done. You can then eat them on their own, put some pasta sauce and cheese on top, or even put them in a broth to sip on.
Khinkali come from Georgia, and no, not the state; the country! These dumplings are actually very similar in size and shape to the xiao long bao.
Inside, you’ll find ground meat that’s been perked up with plenty of spices and herbs, as well as garlic and onion. They’re then boiled until done and served with freshly ground black pepper.
Try These Types of Dumplings Around the World
Now that you’ve learned all about the types of dumplings around the world, which one appeals to you most?
Take this newfound knowledge and embark on a culinary adventure. While so many cultures have made wrappers and stuffed them with tasty fillings, each one is so unique that it’s worth it to try them all!
For more about food, make sure you check out the rest of our blog now! You might want to try Southern Chicken and Dumplings from my mother’s recipe.