If you grew up eating Asian food you know perfectly what the different types of dumplings are. We all know Dumplings have a chokehold over the whole of Asia. But did you know that dumplings are also part of various other Non-Asian Cuisine?
What are dumplings?
Dumplings are defined differently depending on who you ask, simply a dumpling is just a blob of bite-sized dough, independent of its content (filled or not) or method of preparation (whether steamed, fried, boiled, or baked).
It is a large category of food made up of bits of dough wrapped around a filling or sometimes just dough. Bread, flour, buckwheat, or potatoes are used to make the dough. And is stuffed with meat, fish, tofu, cheese, vegetables, fruits, or desserts. Dumplings are featured in many international cuisines. And it can be made in a variety of ways, including baking, boiling, frying, simmering, or steaming.
Origin of Dumplings
Let’s start from the very beginning. Dumplings have been around for so long and are seen in so many different cultures. So, it’s difficult to pinpoint their specific origins. But most experts believe that dumplings originated from China by a Chinese medicine practitioner named Zhang Zhongjing. According to the legends, it was the winter season. As a result, many people were experiencing ill effects from the cold. Zhongjing took mutton, herbs, and chilis and wrapped them in the dough, then steamed them to bind everything together and to cook them properly. This steamed warm food helped people to keep the cold away and also helped in improving blood circulation and preventing frostbite.
History of Dumplings
The first known recipes for dumplings appear in Apicius, a Roman cookery text. It was a simple recipe that involves boiling. The first use of the term “dumpling” can be found in an English text from 1600, where it was noted that the word was perhaps of German origin. Dumplings, like bread, are thought to have evolved independently in many cuisines. They were most likely designed to stretch a little bit of meat to serve a larger number of people. And today, dumplings are definitely one of the most popular dishes. The name varies from place to place. But the love for the simple dish remains intact throughout.
Types of Dumplings in different countries
Dumplings, like pancakes and doughnuts, are essentially ubiquitous meals. Dumplings are diverse, and the many distinct varieties of dumplings can range in form, filling type, and cooking process. So, let’s have a look at various types of dumplings that people enjoy around the world.
1. Types of dumplings: Jiaozi
Jiaozi are Chinese dumplings that are eaten in China and various other East Asian Countries. The dumplings, which are commonly fashioned like boat-shaped silver ingots, an old Chinese coinage, are emblematic of success and fortune. Due to this reason in some provinces, it is customary to stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve to enjoy jiaozi. Jiaozi are traditionally made with a ground beef and/or vegetable mixture wrapped in a thinly rolled piece of dough and sealed by pressing the edges together. Jiaozi can be boiled, steamed, pan-fried, or deep-fried and is served with black vinegar and sesame oil dip and also with soup.
Mandu is dumplings in Korea. It was an important part of Korean Royal Court Cuisine. So now, it is a very popular dish throughout Korea. If the dumplings are grilled or fried, they are called gun-mandu. Similarly, when steamed, jjin-mandu, and when boiled, mul-mandu. It is made up of a wheat-flour-based dough wrapper filled with a combination of vegetables, meat, and tofu. Because of the increasing popularity of Korean Cuisine, Mandu is also getting recognization lately.
Klöße is also known as knödel. It originated from Central and Eastern Europe. The klöße is particularly popular in Austrian, German, and Czech cuisines. It was historically from these regions that this dumpling spread across Europe, appearing in the various versions. It exists in either savory or sweet forms and can include varieties both with and without fillings. Klöße is often consumed as a side dish rather than a meal on its own, but can also be served as a dessert (dough wrapped around a whole fruit – usually plum – before being boiled and sprinkled with sugar accompanied by curd cheese), or even meatballs in soup.
Amadombolo is traditionally South African dumplings. They’re created using either cake flour, mealie meal, water, yeast, salt, and sugar, or a mixture of maize flour, salt, water, and baking powder. The dry ingredients are sorted into a bowl, and the dough is kneaded with water before being formed into dumplings. The dumplings are usually put to a variety of stews, and the stew and dumplings are best served with pap on the side.
5. Types of dumplings: Momo
Momo is a type of dumpling dish that originated in Tibet and Nepal. It is very popular among South Asian Countries. It is usually steamed and contains minced chicken, beef, or other forms of meat or vegetables. Other varieties include fried Momo, Kothey(pan-fried) Momo, Jhol(soup) Momo, Open Momo, etc. In Tibet, momo is typically eaten with a chili-garlic sauce and pickled daikon. Tomato-based chutneys, sesame, peanut, or soybean-based sauces are popular dipping sauces in Nepal. Sauces (locally known as chutney/achaar) can be thick or thin in consistency, depending on the cuisine, and are often prepared with tomato or peanut and soybean as the foundation component.
6. Xiaolongbao – Soup Dumplings
Xiaolongbao is another popular Chinese dumpling. It looks cute and fluffy and has hot soup inside. Xiaolongbao derives its name from the xiaolong bamboo steaming basket in which it’s traditionally cooked. It is popularly also called Soup Dumpling. In addition to the standard components, the filling contains a small piece of aspic (a savory jelly), which melts when cooked to provide the flavorful broth the dumpling is known for. Rather than the fold and side pinch procedure used to produce regular dumplings, xiaolongbao dough is typically twisted and pinched at the top to keep the soup in.
Gyōza is a Japanese pan-fried dumpling. It has a very thin wrapper. Because of this, the bottom is crispy and the top is soft. Japanese gyōza always have ground pork as the base. Gyōza is stuffed with cabbage, chives, and garlic and seasoned with sake, soy sauce, sesame oil, and a bit of salt and pepper in addition to the pork. It is served with Ramen and also with various other Japanese dishes.
8. Banh Bot Loc- Vietnamese Dumplings
Banh Bot Loc is Vietnamese pork and shrimp dumpling that is made with tapioca flour and filled with pork belly and shrimp. This dumpling is almost transparent and has a chewy texture. They’re served with a fish-based dipping sauce, either wrapped in banana leaves and steamed or boiled. For an additional blast of flavor, these dumplings are frequently topped with fried shallots.
9. Types of dumplings: Modak
Modak is very popular in India and other few South Asian Countries. It’s rice flour and khoya dumpling in the form of a teardrop. It may be steamed or fried and is loaded with coconut and jaggery or sugar. Modaks are traditionally served hot with ghee during the Ganesh festival in August. This is one of the few sweet dumplings available.
10. Types of dumplings: Yomari
Yomari is a molasses-stuffed Nepalese rice flour dumpling with a delicious taste. It’s shaped into a triangle (or teardrop) form and steamed before being served hot. During the month of Poush, the dessert is very popular. The dish’s name is derived from the terms ya, which means “to enjoy,” and mari, which means “delicacy.”
Khinkali are excellent soup-filled Georgian dumplings that are similar to the renowned Chinese Xiaolongbao but differ significantly in how they are served and consumed. Khinkalis (usually filled with ground beef) are designed to be cooked, mildly seasoned with ground pepper, and eaten by hand while grasping the thick stem. The stems are traditionally left uneaten so you can keep track of your dumpling count.
12. Thung Thong
Thung thong is crispy Thai dumplings stuffed with water chestnuts, green onions, mushrooms, and minced pork or chicken. They’re also known as gold purses or golden bags. The filler components are sautéed first with soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and sugar. Thung thong is supplemented with a fragrant paste prepared with garlic, peppercorns, and coriander roots or stems in addition to the primary filling. These delicious dumplings are cooked till golden brown and served with sweet chili sauce on the side.
The popularity of different types of dumplings
Let’s be honest here, the dumplings are everything. The dumpling – soft and fluffy, light and delicate, and filled to bursting in whatever guise – has gone from comfort food to cult status and deservingly so. They are everywhere at the moment and the love for this bite-sized bundle of joy will keep increasing. The variation in the fillings, shape, size, and method of preparation makes dumplings even more fun and helps to keep them in demand year-round.
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