There is something so satisfying about that first bite of a dumpling. A flavour and texture explosion hits you immediately as you savour the moment. From the chew of the delicate skin to the juicy filling alighting your taste buds, dumplings are a firm favourite in our books.
The quintessential dumpling that first comes to mind is often the variety hailing from China. However, a dumpling in some shape or form can be found in practically every country around the world! In celebration of National Dumpling Day on 26 September, here are ten dumplings to sink your teeth into.
1. Momos, India
Momos are a delicious snack when in India (they’re also found in Nepal and Tibet). Filled with a mixture of ground meat, vegetables or even cheese, the tomato-based dipping sauce has a kick to it to round off the perfect bite of dumpling.
2. Manti, Turkey
Picture a cross section of a manti, filled with a delicate mix of ground lamb and pepper. While it is a simple filling, manti come drizzled with a sumac-spiced, chilli, yoghurt sauce. This combination is incredibly moreish…you won’t be able to stop at one!
3. Cho Muang, Thailand
Cho Muang are almost too gorgeous to eat! Known as the Thai flower dumpling, the dough is naturally dyed and folded to resemble a flower. With such a delicate presentation, it comes as no surprise that cho muang were first created with royal origins. You can find both sweet and savoury varieties in Thailand.
4. Kroppkaka, Sweden
Kroppkaka is a traditional Swedish potato dumpling, stuffed with bacon, onions and spices. They are best eaten with butter and lingonberry sauce for a quintessential Swedish meal. You can even take a kroppkaka one step further! When the potato dough is mixed with barley flour, it turns into a palt. There are some variations to keep an eye out for – like blodpalt, where pig or cow blood is mixed into the dough.
5. Pierogi, Poland
The perfect comfort food in winter, a plate of hearty pierogi hits the spot as a Polish dumpling. The dough is made with wheat flour, filled with potato, sauerkraut and meat, boiled then pan fried. You may also come across a sweet version of pierogi, with a fruit filling and served with cream.
6. Gyoza, Japan
Japanese dumplings are probably the closest in similarities to the Chinese types, but that doesn’t mean we would exclude them from this list! Gyoza tend to have a thinner dumpling skin and are pan-fried to perfection (whereas Chinese dumplings are also boiled or steamed).
7. Ravioli, Italy
Some may argue that ravioli is a pasta, yet the bones of it resemble a dumpling…so why can’t it be both? Regardless of the filling or sauce accompaniment, you can’t go wrong with a traditional plate of ravioli when in Italy.
8. Knödel, Germany
Rolled into a perfect ball, this delightfully squishy potato dumpling is a German favourite. Knödel turns cooked or grated raw potato into the ultimate side dish, whether you are having a sweet or savoury meal. Don’t miss trying it!
9. Rissóis, Portugal
Commonly known as rissoles in the Western world, the origins of rissóis hail from Portugal. Served as a tasty snack or entrée, rissóis are carefully shaped into a half moon, crumbed and deep-fried. A common filling is fish or shrimp with an oozy Béchamel sauce. We’re drooling just thinking about that first bite already!
10. Souskluitjies, South Africa
While most of the dumplings we have mentioned here are savoury, souskluitjies are a sweet dumpling and a much-loved dessert in South Africa. Once boiled, the water that the souskluitjies have been cooked in is mixed with sugar, spices and butter which creates a delicious sauce – hence the Afrikaans translation of ‘sauce dumplings’.