World’s tastiest dumplings
Where in the world are the best dumplings? It’s time you took a culinary world tour.
There’s one comfort food that seldom cops a bad rap. They typically come in numbers, a battalion of the small yet powerful. They’re nimble and adaptable, have no qualms to change, and carry distinctive characteristics that reveal all but their deepest loyalty to their environment.
They are the beloved dumplings – humble pieces of soft dough, guarding a reward of delicate culinary delight. Boasting a definition that is versatile and non-discriminating, these miniature parcels have travelled far and wide, only to settle as various sweet and savoury incarnations across the globe.
So, where in the world makes the tastiest dumplings?
Hong Kong – Har Gow
A yum cha favourite and hallmark of Hong Kong cuisine. Steamed in a bamboo basket, and served as a family of four, each har gow comes with a faultless portion of sweet prawns, wrapped in a translucent shell.
China – Xiao Long Bao
Originated from Shanghai, these soup-filled pork dumplings are best eaten when fresh out of the steamer. How to eat it? Step 1, bathe it in vinegar; step 2, take a small bite from the top to slurp (some of) the hot soup; step 3, plop it whole into your mouth.
Japan – Dango
A sweet dumpling made from rice flour, and best enjoyed with a cup of hot green tea to cut through the sugar. You can buy them as a skewer of three or four and eat them as-is, or glazed with a topping of your choice: red bean paste, sesame seeds, or a syrup made from soy sauce, sugar and starch.
Korea – Mandu
The popular version of mandu comes with a kimchi and meat stuffing, and can be steamed, boiled, pan-fried, or deep-fried. A quick, affordable snack for the afternoon slump, or enjoyed as an entrée or full-sized winter warmer when added to a bowl of beef and rice cake soup.
Myanmar – Mont lone yay paw
A sticky sugary dumpling is eaten at special occasions and festivals, such as the Lunar New Year. Made of glutinous rice flour, locals would typically fill them with palm sugar, and finish with a good sprinkle of fresh or desiccated coconut.
Nepal – Momo
A tasty example of the Tibetan diaspora making its mark in Nepal, these steamed traditional delicacies are stuffed with a mixture of ground meat and vegetables. Often paired with a tomato and chilli chutney, and eaten as a snack or meal.
India – Samosa
Deep fried until crispy and golden on the outside, and jam-packed with spiced potatoes, onions, lentils and peas. A local go-to street food favourite, they are enjoyed at breakfast or as a post-lunch treat.
Germany – Knödel
Knödel are made of flour, bread and potatoes, and loaded with a variety of meats or vegetables. Boiled in a winter stew or soup, they make the heartiest additions to a Sunday roast, along with a good dousing of gravy.
Italy – Gnocchi
Delicate nuggets of potato and flour, best served in a coat of tomato or cream sauce. The dough is rolled out, cut into bite-size pieces, and pressed with a fork to make ridges that effectively catch the sauce. Enjoyed as an alternative for main course pasta.
USA – Potstickers
An arguably bastardised version of the Chinese dumpling, but a reigning crowd favourite nonetheless. The dough tends to be thicker, size slightly larger (3-4 bites), and the outer layer made crispy from the perfect marriage of oil meets frypan.