This might come as a surprize for you, but dumplings is one of the most universal foods in the world. It’s literally hard to name a cuisine where a dish of small (or not so small) pieces of dough stuffed with savory filling does not exist. Let’s take a look at some of examplary dumpling recipes from all over the world.
There are quite a few kinds of Khinkali within Georgian cuisine. Usually stuffed with mutton or pork, steamed and full of delicious broth and shaped like little pouches, these dumplings are served in Georgia both as everyday meals and as a part of any traditional celebration.
Chinese cuisine arguably boasts the largest variety of dumplings and this is another trademark Chinese recipe. These puppies’ size is pretty big. A single piece can make up for a whole meal! Their fluffy dough is made with yeast, which is why the chinese word for ‘bun’ is part of their name. They are extremely popular in mainland China.
Knedliks are typical for many central European cuisines. The dough is made of potatoes and sweet as well as savory fillings are used. Depending on the kind of filling, they can be used in a soup, served with vegetable and cream, or sprinkled with honey or berry jam and powdered sugar.
If you think dumplings cater to mostly those who eat meat, here’s a great variant for vegetarians. This very old Russian recipe filling is made with mushrooms mixed with grains such as buckwheat or rice, and loaded with herbs. Even dough is made with vegetable oil only, and these dumplings are not steamed but are rather baked in an oven or a stove over a low heat for a long time for rich flavor.
This Chinese favorite is stuffed with prawns and pork and is an essential part if China’s celebration traditions where their making is both a ceremony and a kind of art in itself. Made with paper-thin dough and sweet-and-salty filling, these dumplings are often seen at tables throughout the world, set for Chinese New year celebration.
6. MONGOLIAN BUUZ
This authentic Mongolian dish can be found at many households throughout the country as well as in cafes and restaurants, fast food as well as gourmet. Like many Asian dumplings, they are usually steamed and stuffed with a mix of various meats and herbs and are folded in a trademark way which makes them very recognizable.
7. SIBERIAN DUMPLINGS
Made to endure, just like everything in Siberia, these dumplings are usually made in Siberian households by hundreds, frozen and stored away for later. Boiled without defreezing and then served with butter, sour cream and herbs, they are loved throughout Russia.
As their name suggests, these Lithuanian dumplings are big and football-shaped. The dough is made of potatoes, which is a distinction from many dumpling kinds. Curd cheese or minced meat and herbs are usually used for the filling. This hearty, savory dish is usually served with creamy sauces and is beloved of Lithuanian cuisine.
Now, if you think dumplings couldn’t be a dessert, think again. This variety, coming from India, is a popular local sweet dish. Made of sweet rice dough and stuffed with grated coconut and jaggery, these dumplings have a great cultural significance, as they are believed to be the favorite of Ganesha, Indian elephant-god.
These cute envelopes, filled with smoked meat, spinach and other goodies come from Germany where they are traditionally served with broth or with creamy sauce not unlike Italian ravioli. They are often associated with Lent and however, catholics are usually discouraged from eating meat during lent, when it’s stuffed in an envelope, it’s obviously not so obvious.
Another Azeri dish on our list is quite unique. While the dough and the stuffing is pretty universal, the cooking technique is something special. Gyurza is a common name for a Levantine viper. When these dumplings are cooked, a small hole is left in the middle through which hot steam from the boiling broth inside comes out, making a wistling sound not unlike that of these dumplings’ namesake.
Dyushbara is actually the name of a soup made with small meat-stuffed dumplings, mutton broth and plenty of traditional herbs. Native to Azerbaijan, this hearty dish is usually served with wine vinegar and is often used as a hangover cure or a traditional family Sunday meal.
13. KAVA MANTA
This exotic version of dumplings comes from the Uyghurs, a nation in central Asia. They are traditionally made with pumpkin and mutton, the filling is usually chopped instead of being minced. In restaurants you may find these delicious dumplings shaped and rolled like roses, with filling out.
Well, we couldn’t just skip simple good old dumplings, a favourite of many. In many families they are not just a meal, but a beloved family past time, when everyone gets together around a large, four-sprinkles table, pass jokes, bond and make dumplings for a hundred meals to come.
They look more like buns or pirogi than dumplings, and yet they fill out the pre-requisite dumpling check-list of being steamed, filled with meat and veggies and made of dough. This Korean treat comes in a variety of fillings, both meaty and vegetarian and is usually served with one of traditional Korean sauces.
These Armenian dumplings are usually fried and have open sides so that the filling also becomes crisp. Chock-full of herbs and spices, like many things in Armenian cuisine, these dumplings are filled with a variety of meats and onions and served with fresh greens.
17. DIM SUM
Dim sums are one of the most widely known and popular dumplings in the world, mainly due to this dish’s popularity outside of China. Their shape, filling and even dough color greatly varies from place to place, as cooks all over the world use the simple base of thin rice dough and filling for culinary experiment of varying degrees of wildness.
These Japanese fried dumplings filled with meat and seasoned with a regular mix of sake, ginger, garlic and mirin are a favorite takeaway dish in many countries. But they also come at gourmet variety and in Japan the process of their making is an art in itself.
The origin of these dumplings is a small mountain land of Dagestan. They are easily recognized among other kinds of dumplings because of their patented ‘braided’ dough. Cooks in Dagestan use all kinds of meat, including poultry and meat scraps, as well as veggies and eggs for filling.
This is a dish, very common in Ural region of Russia. As their Russian name suggests, they are made so hot and crispy, when you bite into them, they sprinkle you with savory broth, apparently make you look like you have just thoroughly pigged out on a delicious meal.
Mantas are dumplings native to many central Asian cuisines and in many of them they are considered an everyday dish. Depending on seasons or occasions, they are cooked with a variety of fillings, including several kinds of meat, such as veal, venison, mutton, and vegetables. They are usually served with broth and sour cream.
If this dumpling name sounds to you like something Ikea can sell, you are not too far off the mark! This traditional Swedish dish doesn’t look like your regula dumplings, and yet, technically, it is dumplings. Made with potatoes and potato starch, pork and onion filling, this meal is very common for the Southern regions of Sweden.
Finely chopped pork fat, wrapped in pea-flour dough may not sound a very appetizing dumpling recipe to you, but people in Tatarstan and Mordovia region of Russia love these tiny savory bits. They are usually served boiled in any kind of meat broth and seasoned with greens and herbs.
Whenever you go in Korea, you will find kimchi, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are kimchi dumplings. Because this is exactly what Kimchi-Mandu are. You can find many varieties of those, they are extremely popular in Korea. Mixed with minched meat, or stuffed with kimchi only, they are served practically everywhere.
25. THE WONTONS
Another Chinese cuisine favorite. Flavored with ginger and garlic and served with broth and bamboo sprouts, this dish can be found on a menu in almost every Chinese joint all over the world. And of course, no Chinese New Year celebration can happen without all kinds of wontons on the table.
Another entry from China on our list, this dish is universally popular. Stuffed with a mix of meat and mushrooms, these dumplings can come in fried, steamed or boiled varieties and are usually served with vinegar, soy sauce and sesame seeds mix for a dip.
The tiniest dumplings on our list come from Uzbekistan. They are filled with chopped meat and onions and served in broth with steamed veggies. Because of their tiny size, they look extremely attractive but imagine the pains of making them!
These dumplings come from Czech Republic and are everything you would look for in traditional dumplings from almost any cuisine – thin, yeast-free dough, stuffed with a mix of meat and herbs, cooked in several ways, such as boiling or frying, and served with a variety of sauces. They can be kept in a freezer and cooked in a microwave! Many students love this dish for this reason.
Ravioli is the Italian kind of dumplings. they are usually stuffed with something delicious, such as ricotta cheese or rabbit meat, spinach or portabella mushrooms and served with delicious creamy sauces. You can find frozen ravioli almost in every supermarket in Italy.
This traditional Hebrew dish is often served for Rosh Hashanah and consists of dumplings with various fillings, boiled in chicken broth or fried. The fried variant is often chosen for Hanukah table. This dish comes in a variety of fillings, most common ones being potatoes and onions or minced meats, but they can also be stuffed with different kind of cheese.
Byoriks are a dish native to Kalmyk region of Russia. They look like small deep-fried pastries with meat, greens and onions filling. This is a traditional starter for many holiday meals or a snack served to go with beer and other light alcoholic drinks.
32. TURKISH MANTA
This is another contender for the title of the tiniest dumpling on this list. Turkish manta are filled with ground beef or lamb, seasoned with traditional herbs and served with garlicky youghurt dressing.
Vareniks are the Russian variety of dumplings that have any other filling but meat inside. The most popular kinds are vareniks with cottage cheese, mushrooms, potatoes and onions or seasonal berries, especially cherries. They are boiled or fried and served with sour cream and are a regular weekend breakfast meal for many Russian families.
34. UFAK ASH
Translated as ‘little food’, this dish is common with Crimea Tatar peoples. As theire name suggests, they are very tiny. You will easily have six or even seven pieces of of these cute tiny babies fitting in your spoonful. Traditionally, they are stuffed with ground meat and herbs and served with broth and vegetables.
Tortellini is another Italian favorite. It’s not that much different from Ravioli, you will meet recipes out there that use the same ingredients. The biggest different is shape. While ravioli are tiny squares, tortellini look like cute little ears.
This exotic kind of dumplings comes from the mountains of Tibet. So it’s no surprize that their filling is no less exotic. You will usually find them stuffed with a mixture of goat, lamb and even yak and various kind of mountain game. You will find those almost at any table in Tibet.
Dumplings are indeed a universal kind of dish, as you can see! Have you heard of any other dumpling recipes? Sound below!