Who doesn’t love dumplings? We’ve been making and eating them for centuries. The process of wrapping meat or vegetables in the dough has been done all over the world in one form or another. With basic ingredients and simple techniques, the perfect dumpling is within your grasp. You’ll not only impress your dinner guests but maybe even yourself. Below are some different types of dumplings from around the world. See if any light a spark and get you cooking.
Traditional Ways to Cook Dumplings
Boiled: You can boil soup, broth or water and add your dumplings to boil them. If you use soup or stock, it will intensify the flavor. You can also use bullion.
Steamed: Steamed dumplings can be set in a basket over boiling water, or they can be “pan-fried,” meaning their bottoms are seared in oil, but their insides are cooked by a small amount of water trapped in a lidded pan.
Fried: You can use fats such as lard, butter, margarine or oil to fry your dumplings. Different spices and oils are used all around the world to add a distinctive flavor and texture. The Chinese even have a special name for them: potstickers. These were often stuffed with the small remnants scraped from the pots of other dishes, hence the term “potsticker”
Types of Dough
Flour-Based: Most dumplings are simply made of wheat flour and water, which is what made them so popular throughout history. You will often also see buckwheat and tapioca being used for dumpling dough.
Vegetable Based: You may also choose to stuff your dumplings with vegetables. Sweet potatoes, squash, and regular potatoes can be used as the starch component of your dumplings.
Bread-Based: Use your leftover bread as a base for your dough. Dumplings such as German knödel are made with leftover bread.
Fat & Dairy Base: If you’re trying to go for a more tender dumplings, your base should consist of fat and dairy. This includes items such as cream, eggs, butter, or cheese.
Dumpling Recipes From Around the World
Cha Siu Bao (Pork Buns)
These buns are steamed and are traditionally served as dim sum. The dough considered light but chewy. Barbequed pork is a common filling.
Gnocci are dumplings made with either potato or flour and egg. Depending upon the region where the recipe came from, this pasta can be very different. It is common for cooks to use ricotta and spinach or brown butter with a hint of sage.
Har Gow is typically a steamed dumpling that is packed with shrimp. You often see them served with dim sum.
Origin: South Africa
Often steamed, these South African dumplings are Gluten-Free and Vegan-friendly!
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