How 14 Countries Make Stuffed Dumplings

Dumplings have been popular for thousands of years – find out why with these 14 versions
Xiao Long Bao

Photo Modified: Flickr / Alpha / CC BY-SA 4.0

Xiao Long Bao are Chinese dumplings stuffed with soup.

How 14 Countries Make Stuffed Dumplings

Xiao Long Bao

Photo Modified: Flickr / Alpha / CC BY-SA 4.0

From traditional Chinese pot stickers to Argentinian empanadas, here is a roundup of 14 dumplings across the world to open your mind and expand your palate.

Bolinhas de Carne (Brazil)

Bolinhas de Carne

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These Brazilian dumplings are filled with chicken, beef, or pork, based on the cook’s preference. They are cooked with onion, garlic, and salt and baked until golden-brown. 

Jiānjiǎo (Pot Stickers) (China)

Jiānjiǎo (Pot Stickers) (China)

Photo Modified: Flickr / Yvonne S. / CC BY 4.0

Recipes for pot stickers vary, but these Chinese dumplings are usually made with shredded lettuce, onion, and different meats. Pinching the dough together after folding it over gives the dumplings their shape. They are called pot stickers because their flat bottoms brown in the pan.

Daifuku (Japan)

Daifuku

Photo Modified: Flickr / Quinn Dombrowski / CC BY-SA 4.0

A popular Japanese sweet, daifuku are mochi, or glutinous rice cakes, most often filled with anko, or sweet red bean paste. They come in pastel colors like pale green and pink and are often given as holiday gifts. 

Empanadas (Argentina)

Empanadas

Photo Modified: Flickr / soyculto / CC BY 4.0

Empanadas are popular all over the world, from Latin America to parts of Southeast Asia, but the most popular version in Argentina is often made with beef, red pepper flakes, olives, and cumin. The dumpling can be fried or baked, and fillings are very much informed by region and culture.

Gyoza (Japan)

Gyoza

Photo Modified: Flickr / verygreen / CC BY 4.0

This Japanese dumpling is similar to a Chinese pot sticker, but usually encased in thinner dough. The filling is typically ground pork and cabbage, flavored with soy sauce, and the gyoza can be pan-fried, boiled, or deep-fried

Khinkali (Georgia)

Khinkali

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A traditional Georgian dish, these dumplings are made by twisting the ends of a section of dough to seal it full of spices and meat, usually a mixture of beef and pork. The recipe varies greatly by region; mountainous areas often make khinkali with lamb, and some city versions incorporate chopped parsley.

Mandu (Korea)

Mandu

Photo Modified: Flickr / Joamm Tall CC BY-SA 4.0

These circular Korean dumplings are often filled with a mixture of beef and pork, as well as kimchi, a side dish of fermented vegetables. Popular ingredients in Asian cuisine like bean sprouts, glass noodles, and ginger are also incorporated into the filling.

Manti (Turkey and Central Asia)

Manti

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The debate continues on where this dumpling filled with spiced ground lamb, beef, quail, or chicken originally came from. The Central Asian dish is served with yogurt and topped with garlic, red pepper, or melted butter. 

Momos (Nepal)

Momos

Photo Modified: Flickr / Jana Reifegerste / CC BY-SA 4.0

A popular Nepali, Tibetan, and northern Indian dish, momos are dumplings filled with meat, vegetables, or cheese. Popular fillings include chicken, lamb, and pork, and the dumplings are usually paired with tomato-based sauce or chutney

Pierogis (Poland)

Pierogis

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Widely considered to be Poland’s national dish, pierogis are filled with either meat and onion, potato, sauerkraut, fruit or cheese. Pierogis are often fried in a pan together with onions and butter. 

Ravioli (Italy)

Ravioli

Photo Modified: Flickr / fugzu / CC BY 4.0

One of the best-known types of dumplings hails from Italy, and probably originally from the region of Genoa. Popular fillings include any combination of meat, vegetables, and different types of cheese. Ravioli are typically served with meat sauce, tomato sauce, or simply butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Samosas (India)

Samosas

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These fried triangular dumplings are popular across South and Southeast Asia, as well as in Indian restaurants across the globe. They are often stuffed with spiced potatoes, peas, and onions. 

Svestkove Knedily (Czech Republic)

Svestkove Knedily

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These Czech fruit dumplings can be filled with plums, peaches, apricots, cherries, and more. They are usually covered in melted butter and sugar, and toppings can include crumbled cheese, fried breadcrumbs, or poppy seeds.

Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings) (China)

Xiao Long Bao

Photo Modified: Flickr / Alpha / CC BY-SA 4.0

These are called soup dumplings in America not because they're in soup, but because the soup is in them. The broth inside can be based on chicken, pork, or ham.