The 8 Best Dumplings from Around the World… and the Worst!

Dumplings; they are a mysterious and diverse food. They come large & small, fried & boiled, sweet & savory. The only thing they have in common is that they are little pockets of joy. Filling wrapped in small pouches of dough… who knew it would taste so good.

Here is a list of our favorites dumplings from all over the globe.



Pierogi dumpling

#1 Pierogi

These Polish pockets of food heaven are a tasty treat. Usually semicircular in shape, the most common variety comes boiled. Typical fillings include potato, sauerkraut, meat, cheese, and fruits and the pastry is quite thick. The variety of flavors is what makes them so much fun, and the topping of sour cream just adds an extra layer.



Gyoza dumpling

#2 Gyoza

These have to be my favorite dumpling, but I am a huge fan of Japanese food. Thin crispy fried pastry encompassing a delicious variety of fillings, dipped in soy or chili sauce… what isn’t to love.  The most common recipe is a mixture of pork, cabbage, Asian chives sesame oil, and/or garlic, and/or ginger. The taste is amazing. Plus, you get the added bonus of using chopsticks!



Manti dumplings

#3 Manti

These disputably Turkish dumplings a treat to behold. Usually containing spicy beef or lamb, these dumplings are steamed or boiled. Sounds pretty ordinary so far… But then they are covered in garlic butter, yogurt and Aleppo pepper. They look a treat and they taste it too.



Toasted Ravioli

#4 Toasted Ravioli

Ravioli? That’s a pasta! Well not in the eyes of Mickey Garagiola of Missouri. He invented the toasted ravioli in the 1940’s when he accidentally dropped some ravioli in the fryer. He salvaged them with a sprinkling of Parmesan and served them to his friends, whom loved these golden pillows of joy. They were later dubbed toasted because in the words of Mickey; “You didn’t want to use ‘fat fried’ and you didn’t want to use ‘greasy fried.



Dimsum dumplings

#5 Dim Sum

These small Asian bite size balls of heaven are a never ending resource in China. You simply sit in your seat and they keep giving them out, along with unlimited tea! This tradition of Yum Cha is the tastiest tradition I know. Simply sit back and enjoy a never ending bamboo basket of dumplings.




#6 Empanadas

Now we are upping our game, no more tiny dumplings that you eat hundreds of (literally). Empanadas are the big boys of the dumpling world. These dumplings are about twice the size of your ordinary dumpling and originate from Spain. Traditionally stuffed with ground beef, cheese & huitlacoche, although they have developed to have a range of fillings. You can find these dumplings across the world and each country has its own twist on the empanada.



Gnochi pasta

#7 Gnocchi

Believe it or not, Gnocchi is a dumpling! You may think it is pasta but oh no, this meets all the technical criteria for a dumpling. These tiny soft Italian dumplings are usually served exactly the same as a pasta. Usually made from semolina, wheat flour, egg, cheese and potato these little dough balls can be covered in sauce or simply have a few herbs sprinkled over them. They are a delicious alternative to pasta!



Clootie dumpling

#8 Clootie Dumpling

And what would you like for dessert after all of those dumplings? Well another dumpling of course! This humongous sweet dumpling is stuffed with fruit and topped with treacle. It is huge. The ingredients are mixed in to the dough, the dumpling is boiled for 2 hours, it is dried before a fire. Only the Scots could invent this mammoth dessert, they even named their leading governmental party after this giant dumpling dessert.



They were the best, and this is the worst…


Eng Dump

#0 The English Dumpling.

Only the English would think to just grab a ball of dough and throw it into boiling water – no flavor, no imagination, no taste… just a ball of soggy boiled dough. True, they do put it into a stew… but it’s the stew that has flavor not the dumpling. The first person to make them probably just slipped and did it by accident. Why it caught on I will never know.



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Author: Tom Yemm

Hi, I'm Tom. I like hummus, circus skills and reading fantasy novels. Now go read my blogs!

2 thoughts

  1. English dumplings are often flavoured – but on the whole you are right! DimSum is defo my favourite from your list, although you did miss out indian dumplings – sweet and savoury ones are all delicious!

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