15 Delicious Dumplings from Around the World

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xiaolongbao
xiaolongbao by Eason Lai from 上海 (CC BY-SA)

Hot Pockets

A universal comfort during the winter months, dumplings of all sorts can be found in every corner of the globe, whether steamed, fried, boiled, or baked. An added bonus: They can be made or bought in large batches and kept in the freezer for a rainy day. Travel the world with us to find recipes for the usual suspects as well as some lesser-known varieties.

Related: 19 Savory Pies From Around The World

Pierogi
ShyMan/istockphoto

Pierogi (Eastern Europe)

Often filled with mashed potatoes and cheese, and revered for the crispy edges that come from a quick fry in butter before being served, these are a crowd-pleasing dumpling from Eastern Europe. Not to mention, they may be one of the easiest dumplings to make at home. We would be hard-pressed to find someone who could resist a homemade pierogi. (Addicted to spuds? Here are 27 Delicious Ways to Cook Potatoes.)

Recipe: King Arthur Baking Company

A typical serving of a plate of Momo with Sesame Yellow Sauce and Red Ginger Chilli Sauce in Nepal
A typical serving of a plate of Momo with Sesame Yellow Sauce and Red Ginger Chilli Sauce in Nepal by Kushal Goyal (CC BY-SA)

Momo (Southeast Asia)

Hidden behind an unassumingly simple wrapper is a world of flavor heavily influenced by the spices of the Indian subcontinent. These meat-filled steamed dumplings hail from Tibet but can be found everywhere in the neighboring regions. They are often steamed over soup, lending them that extra touch of flavor and aroma.

Recipe: Tasty

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Chicken and Dumplings
wsmahar/istockphoto

Chicken and Dumplings (North America)

This classic can be found in diners and family restaurants across the United States and, so it is said, owes its origins to the Great Depression. Not only will a big pot of chicken and dumplings easily feed a whole family, but it can be stored in the freezer for when the roads ice over and the pantry’s running low.

Recipe: Spend With Pennies

Bánh bột lọc trần containing shrimp, ground pork, and mushrooms
Wikimedia Commons

Bánh Bôt Lọc (Vietnam)

These Vietnamese snacks have a tapioca wrapper that gives them their distinct chewiness. Originating as an emperor’s snack, each dumpling is meticulously wrapped in a banana leaf before it is steamed. (But if that’s not your speed, we’ve got your back.) Bánh bôt lọc are traditionally filled with shrimp and pork, but feel free to experiment!

Recipe: Vicky Pham

Related: The Best Snacks at Trader Joe's

Apple Dumpling
DiAnna Paulk/istockphoto

Amish Apple Dumplings (United States)

Here’s one on the sweeter side of things, and perfect if you are craving pie but can’t be bothered to bake a whole one in these times of social isolation. Hailing from the Pennsylvania Dutch, these dumplings consist of cored apples that are spiced, wrapped in flaky pastry, and baked until golden brown. We suggest a generous dollop of ice cream or vanilla whipped cream.

Recipe: Tastes of Lizzy T

Related: 20 Things You Didn't Know About Apples

Khinkali
KroXi/istockphoto

Khinkali (Georgia)

Khinkali lined up on a plate look like the mountainous regions from which they originate. They are filled with minced meat and a variety of aromatic vegetables. A simple steam makes these a quick and honest dinner. Don’t even think about picking these up with anything other than your fingers or you can prepare to be sneered at by any Georgian onlookers.

Recipe: The World Was Here First

Crab Rangoon
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Crab Rangoon (United States)

An offspring of Chinese American restaurants across the nation, these old-time favorites have a special place in the hearts and palates of many folks. A filling of what is essentially crab dip is wrapped and fried to a crisp, offering a uniquely American, and decadent, late-night snack.

Recipe: Spend With Pennies

Related: Best Chinese Restaurant in Every State

Levantine shishbarak served in yogurt sauce
Levantine shishbarak served in yogurt sauce by Peteravivangel (CC BY-SA)

Shish Barak (Middle East)

The ravioli of the Middle East, these are filled with lamb and spices and served in a creamy yogurt-based sauce. If you are longing for warmer days and a Mediterranean breeze, these shish barak will transport you to a place where the air is laden with spices and the cuisine is a delicate balance of complexity.

Recipe: Fufu’s Kitchen

Related: 15 Spices and Spice Blends That Will Make Almost Any Meal Better

Samosa
viennetta/istockphoto

Samosa (South Asia)

A popular South Asian snack that has been popularized worldwide, samosas offer the crispiest of packages with the most tender of fillings. While the fillings vary depending on region, the most commonly found is the Indian filling of diced potatoes and aromatic spices. They are a comfort food like no other.

Recipe: Cook With Manali

xiaolongbao
xiaolongbao by Eason Lai from 上海 (CC BY-SA)

Wonton (China)

Whether deep fried or boiled in soup, these Chinese dumplings are as varied as China itself. Traditionally filled with meat, they can also be found with seafood or vegetable fillings, and in every shape and size that a square wrapper allows.

Recipe: Serious Eats

Knedlíky
Knedlíky by hikinghillman (CC BY-NC)

Knedlíky (Eastern Europe)

These dumplings are boiled as loaves, sliced, and have the consistency of bread, ready to sop up any extra gravy or juices lingering on one’s plate. Knedlíky are a common sight on any Czech dinner table, accompanying goulash or a juicy piece of meat.

Recipe: Mission Food

Pupusas
DerekNeumeier/istockphoto

Pupusas (El Salvador)

Like a portable, hot-pocket version of a taco, these Salvadoran snacks consist of filling stuffed into a masa package that is griddled until crisp and golden brown. Traditionally filled with cheese, the cook’s cue that they are ready is when the filling oozes out of them and sizzles on the pan. These are equally good with refried beans or plantain, just don’t forget your favorite hot sauce! (If that sounds good, here are 23 Traditional Hispanic Foods Most Americans Don't Know About — but Should.)

Recipe: Bon Appetit

Spinach Ravioli
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Ravioli (Italy)

We’d be remiss not to mention ravioli, but it is hard to do so without all of their brothers and sisters: tortellini, gnocchi, malfatti, agnolotti, cappelletti… You get the gist. Perhaps the thing to do is to binge this charming YouTube channel of Italian grandmothers hand-making ravioli and other pastas.

Recipes: Pasta Grannies

"Kroppkaka" from Blekinge, Sweden. Served with lingonberries and melted butter.
"Kroppkaka" from Blekinge, Sweden. Served with lingonberries and melted butter. by Henrik Sendelbach (CC BY-SA)

Kroppkakor (Sweden)

Kind of like giant gnocchi that are sometimes filled with ham or other meat, kroppkakor hail from the southern regions of Sweden. Easy enough to make, these Swedish dumplings are served with butter and lingonberry jam, so if you’re out of lingonberry jam and don’t want to make the schlep to Ikea, just swap out some leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving in a pinch!

Recipe: Sweden.se

Related: 19 Sauces and Seasonings to Keep Home-Cooked Meals Interesting

Mochi
Aonip/istockphoto

Mochi (Japan)

Chewy, sweet, a simple delight — Mochi are one of those things that feel like a special treat no matter the occasion. While we often see these Japanese dumplings filled with a sweet filling or (even better!) with ice cream, it is not uncommon to fill them or glaze them with something savory.

Recipe: Just One Cookbook

Related: 40 Foods That Americans Are Missing Out On