When it comes to dumplings, it’s almost impossible to find someone who would dislike these soft, doughy parcels of goodness.
Thanks to Cathay Pacific’s delicious infographic on Dumplings Around the World (see below), we’ve come to realise no matter where in the world your tastebuds feel like going, there’s a dumpling waiting for you. Which begs the question: how many have you tried on the dumpling lover’s ultimate top 10?
Get your dumpling knowledge up to scratch and check out some of the top places to get your dumpling fix in Australia.
Har Gow – Hong Kong
The clear dumplings skin on Har Gows is the perfect window to the shrimp inside just waiting to tease your senses. Rich flavour pour from every bite of this traditional Cantonese delicacy. Keep an eye out on the pleats in each dumpling, tradition dictates 7 to 10. There should be enough meat to break the dumpling up into small bites, so don’t put it in your mouth all at once.
Filling: Shrimp is king
Where to Taste: Citi Zen Restaurant, Adelaide
Dango – Japan
Chewy, sweet and incredibly delicious. This traditional Japanese dessert dumpling is moulded into balls from sweetened rice flour and water. Often served 4 at a time on a skewer and with different variations served in different seasons, there’s no shortage of flavours to try.
Filling: Flavoured rice flour (green tea or red bean are the most popular)
Where to Taste: Chanoma Café, Sydney
Mon Lone Yae Paw – Myanmar
The name means ‘floating on water’ and your mouth will be floating in flavour when you bite into these sweet treats. Often served on banana leaf, these are known as communal foods in Myanmar due to the time intensive and tedious nature of the cooking process. This makes them the perfect social bite for you and your dumpling aficionados.
Filling: Sweet flavours are key with shredded coconut or palm sugar to match the rice flour dough.
Where to Taste: Sun’s Burmese Kitchen, Sydney
Gnocchi – Italy
These soft dough dumplings come in so many styles. Think wheat flour, egg, bread crumbs, cheese and egg for the base with a range of herbs and veggies to add flavour. Eaten as a first course, usually in place of Pasta, don’t be fooled by their simplicity. The flavours are subtle, lasting on the palate and deeply rich.
Filling: As an alternative to pasta, Gnocchi comes to life with ricotta, spinach and pesto.
Where to Taste: Cecconi’s, Melbourne
Momo – Nepal
An iconic feature of Nepalese cuisine, these bite sized dumplings are usually steamed although you may find fried variations. Think succulent flavours that are intensified inside the freshly made dough.
Filling: Traditionally found with ground or minced meat, you’ll also find chopped veggies, cheese and mashed potato popular.
Where to Taste: Momo Station, Melbourne
Potsticker – USA
The Potsticker comes in so many flavours in the Land of the Free but originated in China, with the name meaning ‘stuck on the wok’. These medium sized dumplings are meant to be eaten in 2 or 3 bites and have thick wrappers compared to many of their dumpling cousins. The outside crisps and browns, while keeping the inside fresh and juicy.
Filling: Typically, pork, cabbage, scallions and ginger.
Where to Taste: The Potsticker, Melbourne
Knodel – Germany
Traditional German dumplings. That’s a sentence you don’t hear often, although you should be saying it more once you get stuck in to these hearty Central European delicacies that pair perfectly with rich meats and richer gravy. If you’re looking to get extra German with your dumplings, fill them with plums and apricots and glaze with a touch of melted butter. ‘Das ist gut’
Filling: Bread, potatoes, milk and eggs define the dough with meaty fillings suited. Bacon and gravy are a must.
Where to Taste: Tommy’s Beer Café, Sydney
Xiao Long Bao – China
Chinese dumplings steal the headlines despite the amazing options all around the world, however Xiao Long Baos are truly special. These soup style dumplings start with a gelatinised meat stock that then melts under the heat of steaming, combining with the rich meat filling inside for a mouth-watering dish.
Filling: Pork is keen but minced crab meat and roe options are just as delicious.
Where to Taste: Din Tai Fung, Sydney
Samosa – India
An Indian snack bursting with savoury crunch and bite. The Samosa is also a fantastic vegetarian dumpling option that is both humble and still powerfully flavoured on the palate. When this dish reaches its golden brown colour then it is ready to eat. Often served in chaat, this is a hearty meal that speaks to the soul as much as the stomach.
Filling: Think savoury flavours like spiced potatoes, onions, peas and lentils.
Where to Taste: Malabar, Sydney
Mandu – Korea
A Korean dumpling stuffed with various meats and vegetables, the Mandu is imple in name but anything but when it comes to flavour. Steamed, deep fried, pan-fried or boiled, the variety of this dish lends itself to so many flavour outcomes. For maximum flavour, pair with two types of meat and one seafood. A pork/beef and shrimp Mandu is out of this world.
Filling: Pork is typical, but can be served with kimchi and filled with tofu, green onions, garlic and ginger.
Where to Taste: Maru, Brisbane