If you’re seeking proper comfort food, you can’t go far wrong with dumplings. And the good news is there are many types across the world for you to discover: the Polish have pierogi, Russians have pelmeni, the Chinese have wontons, and so on. Here, we’ve listed our favourite variations, along with a recipe from either the cookery team or a professional chef.
After, check out the olive podcast where we learn about pierogi dumplings, as well as more dumpling recipes.
Dumplings from around the world
Polish dumplings: pierogi
Pierogi are considered Poland’s most famous dumplings. This pierogi recipe comes from Polish writer Zuza Zak’s book, Pierogi (£18, Quadrille). “Traditionally, pierogi are half-moon shaped, either boiled with butter and soured cream on top or boiled, then fried, with some crispy fried onions (and sometimes bacon bits). Nowadays, we are becoming more creative with pierogi and experimenting with various fillings and toppings,” she says.
This traditional pierogi ruskie recipe has a classic caramelised onion, twaróg curd cheese and potato filling.
Turkish dumplings: manti
Manti can be found in authentic Turkish restaurants and are traditionally eaten at the table with family. In Turkey they are typically filled with minced lamb or beef, then boiled and served with a tangy garlic and yogurt sauce. They are often topped with dried mint or sumac, and melted (and/or flavoured) butter, as well as dried chilli flakes or aleppo peppers.
This manti recipe comes from Marylebone restaurant Yosma. This is a classic recipe but at Yosma the chefs have also been known to make them with lobster, aubergine and chicken.
Japanese dumplings: gyoza
Though they have become a popular dish in Japan, gyoza, also known as potstickers, originate from China where they are called jiaozi (see below). Classic gyoza are usually filled with ground pork. Our recipe below for pork gyoza is served with a zingy homemade dipping sauce made of soy sauce, Japanese rice vinegar, sesame oil and red chilli.
Chinese (Shanghai) dumplings: sheng jian bao
A signature Shanghai dish, these Chinese soup dumplings consist of a pork, and sometimes prawn, filling encased in a thin, chewy dough, crisped on the bottom and pleated at the top. The dumplings are served with chilli oil and black vinegar.
Considered the bigger, more rustic sibling of xiao long bao (smaller soup dumplings), the sheng jian bao, is now really popular in Chinatown. In our recipe, dumplings are filled with pork mince, shiitake mushrooms, spring onions and ginger.
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Chinese dumplings: wonton
Wonton are quintessential Chinese dumplings, with a minced meat filling and thin flour wrapping. Due to its popularity and scale, the wonton varies in folding techniques and cooking method across all of China. This wonton soup recipe below, featuring pork wontons and a hot and sour broth, epitomises Sichuan cooking – spicy, sour and packed full of umami.
Chinese dumplings: jiaozi
One of the major dishes eaten during Chinese New Year, jiaozi are a thinly rolled piece of dough which typically contain a ground meat or vegetable filling. The most popular folding technique for this dumpling is the pinched-edge fold, which gives the dumpling a crescent shape.
Jiaozi can be boiled, steamed, pan-fried or deep-fried, and are traditionally served with a black vinegar dip, such as this recipe below by London restaurant Baozilnn. In this recipe, jiaozi are filled with chicken mince and spring onions, and topped with crushed garlic, spring onions and sesame seeds.
English dumplings: dumplings
Although they vary slightly across the regions, English dumplings are typically made from baking powder, plain four and suet, most commonly dropped into a warming soup, stew or casserole. In this recipe, dumplings are flavoured with parsley for a herby twist, then nestled into the top of a hearty beef stew.
Italian dumplings: gnudi
Gnudi are small, pillowy dumplings originating from Italy. They are different from gnocchi as they’re made from ricotta cheese, rather than potato, resulting in a lighter, pillowy texture. Ricotta cheese is typically combined with spinach to make gnudi, such as in our recipe below.
Russian dumplings: pelmeni
These light, moreish Siberian dumplings are thinner than pierogi (Polish dumplings), filled with pork and/or beef and served with soured cream. The recipe below sees pelmeni filled with pork, beef, onion, garlic and parsley.
Nepalese dumplings: momos
Regarded as the unofficial national dish of Nepal, these dumplings are usually served with a spicy tomato dipping sauce. Buff momos (made of water buffalo meat) are a popular Nepalese dish.