Dumplings: Types Of Cooked Dough Around Delicious Fillings

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Dumplings are a food that consists of small pieces of dough, either cooked alone or wrapped around a filling.

They can be based on flour, potatoes, or bread and may include meat, fish, vegetables, or sweets. They may be cooked by boiling, steaming, simmering, frying, or baking.

They may have a filling, or there may be other ingredients mixed into the dough. Dumplings may be sweet or savory.

Different types of dumplings

They can be eaten by themselves, in soups or stews, with gravy, or in any other way.

While some dumplings resemble solid water-boiled doughs, such as gnocchi, others, such as wontons or ravioli, feature a dough wrapping around a filling.

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Different types of dumplings

There are many types of dumplings, and each one is unique in that the fillings are different, the thickness of the dough varies, and they’re cooked differently. In many Western restaurants, dumplings are called potstickers.

Let’s take a look at the most famous dumplings in Asia and America.

Shiu jiao or jiaozi

closeup of shiu jiao or jiao zi

This is a water-boiled dumpling usually stuffed with meat like ground beef, chicken, pork, or lamb, or leeks and onion for a vegetarian version.

The dumpling is long with ruffled edges, similar to gyoza. In fact, the gyoza is inspired by this popular Chinese dumpling!

The dumplings are usually steamed or boiled only.

Banh bot loc

A plate of banh bot loc with sauce

These are the most popular Vietnamese dumplings and are eaten as appetizers before meals. The dumplings are unique because the fillings are wrapped in tapioca.

Usually, banh bot loc is filled with shrimp and pork belly, and is dipped in sweet chili sauce.


a plate of gyoza

Traditional Japanese gyoza dumplings are filled with minced pork or shrimp and vegetables like cabbage and green onion.

The steamed and pan-fried dumplings made of wheat flour dough are molded into half-moons with ruffled edges.


6 mandu dumplings in an open bamboo steamer

These are popular Korean dumplings that are cooked in various ways.

They can be steamed, boiled, pan-fried, and even deep-fried. The most common fillings are minced pork and beef.

Each dumpling has a round boat shape and is served with a spicy dipping sauce and kimchi.


a bowl of wonton soup

Wonton dumplings have a flat shape and they’re added to wonton soup. They’re a Chinese dumpling and wonton wrappers are usually stuffed with shrimp, shrimp paste, or a combination of minced pork and shrimp.

The dumplings are either steamed or deep-fried to add lots of crunch to soups. You can also eat them with chili sauce.

Also check out this Pancit molo recipe (Chinese-influenced Filipino wonton soup)

Xiao long bao

an open bamboo steamer with xiao long bao

These are big Chinese dumplings with a dome shape and perfectly shaped edges. You’ll find these dumplings as a staple of dim sum.

They’re healthy steamed dumplings commonly filled with soup and pork. These dumplings are also called “steamed buns” because they have thicker dough wrappers.

Guo tie

an open bamboo steamer with guo tie

Guo tie is very popular in American restaurants. These dumplings are pan-fried potstickers mainly served as appetizers.

They have a gyoza-like half-moon shape, except the shape isn’t as defined and is a bit thicker. The common fillings for these dumplings are ground meat (pork, chicken, or beef) and vegetables.

The potstickers are served with soy sauce.

What does “dumpling” mean?

The word “dumpling” is derived from the Old English word “dume”, which means “lump” or “piece”. Dumplings are small, bite-sized pieces of food that are typically boiled or steamed. Dumplings are often served as a side dish, but they can also be eaten as a main course.

What do dumplings taste like?

Dumplings can be made with a variety of different ingredients, so they can taste quite different from one another. However, most dumplings have a soft and doughy texture. Dumplings that are made with flour, water, and baking soda often have a slightly chewy texture. Dumplings that are made with potatoes or sweet potatoes tend to be softer.

How to eat dumplings

Dumplings can be eaten plain, or they can be dipped in sauces or gravy. Dumplings are often served with a dipping sauce on the side. Common dipping sauces for dumplings include soy sauce, vinegar, and chili oil.

What’s the origin of dumplings?

Dumplings are thought to have originated in China, and they are a staple of Chinese cuisine. However, dumplings are also popular in many other parts of the world, including Japan, Korea, Russia, and even the United States.

Historians most often attribute the invention to the Chinese doctor Zhang Zhongjing. It was during the Eastern Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD) that the winter was particularly harsh, and Zhang had many patients with frostbitten ears.

The “ear-like” dumplings were inspired by this affliction, both to look like the ears and to be a hearty and warm dish that could serve as a whole meal in the winter months.

In China, dumplings are often eaten during the Chinese New Year. They are also a popular food for celebrating the winter solstice. Dumplings are typically made with pork, cabbage, and ginger. However, there are many other variations of dumplings, and they can be made with a variety of different ingredients.

What’s the difference between dumplings and momos?

Momos are a type of dumpling that originates from Tibet. They are typically made with ground meat, vegetables, and spices, and they are wrapped in a dough made from flour and water. Momos can be steamed, boiled, or fried.

What’s the difference between dumplings and dim sum?

Dim sum is a Cantonese dish that consists of small, bite-sized pieces of food. It is typically served as a snack or appetizer. Dim sum can include dumplings, but it can also include other items such as steamed buns and fried noodles.

Dumplings can be seasoned with a variety of different sauces and spices. Common seasonings for dumplings include soy sauce, vinegar, chili oil, and sesame oil. Dumplings can also be dipped in sauces or gravy.

Where to eat dumplings?

Dumplings are a popular dish in many parts of the world, so they can be found in restaurants that serve Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and American cuisine. Dumplings are also a popular street food, and they can be found at food carts and markets in many cities.

Are dumplings healthy?

Dumplings are generally considered to be a healthy food. They are low in calories and fat, and they can be made with a variety of different ingredients, including vegetables, meat, and tofu. However, dumplings that are fried or served in rich sauces may not be as healthy.


So there you have it! Dumplings are small, bite-sized pieces of food that are typically boiled or steamed. They can be made with a variety of different ingredients, and they are often served as a side dish or main course.

Try any of these dumplings and you’ll feel an overwhelming sensation of heartiness and fulfilment.

Also read: gyoza vs dumplings, how they differ

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Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.