Updated: Aug 18
Much like doughnuts and pancakes, dumplings are universal food. A pocket of dough filled with savory or sweet filling, fried in oil and yes you are good to have finest and crunchy bite. There are different types of dumplings are present around the world. Some are simple while others are complex, but indeed they are adaptable, therefore dumplings have become taste staples in several countries.
Chinese dumplings are universe unto themselves. It is difficult for westerns to navigate because so many types of Chinese dumplings are known by its different names. These names add into the confusion as every name has different spellings. However in general these dumplings are classified into two broad categories: crescent or GAO shaped dumplings. Within these categories there are endless variations, depending on the type of filling used, type of wrapper and technique of cooking.
These are the most common type of Chinese dumplings. Crescent shaped dumpling formed with opaque wrapper made up of jiaozi and wheat. It is usually filled with cabbage, ground pork, scallions and served with dipping sauce consist of vinegar, sesame oil and soy sauce.
Jiaozi refer to this type of dumpling, but it can be also refer as shui jiao if it is boiled, zheng jiao if steamed and jian jiao or guo tie if pan fried. Last but not the least the name with which it is commonly known, that is pot stickers.
Siu Mai is round basket shaped, open topped dumpling made up of thin wrapper of wheat dough. It is counted among the most stylish Chinese dumplings; therefore its variations are easily available throughout China as well as other regions of Asia. But if we talk about traditional siu Mai, it is made with the shrimp and ground pork filling along with other exotic ingredients like green onions, mushroom and ginger.
Siu Mai are prepared with orange dot of carrot or fish roe and steamed in bamboo steamer basket.
It is crescent shaped or oval shaped dumpling made with translucent wrapper of tapioca starch and wheat, filled with the stuffing of pork fat, shrimp and bamboo shoots. It is commonly served steamed; it is characteristically shaped to feature 7 to 10 pleats on the exterior. The blend of starches present in the wrapper is formulated to produce tender and stretchy yet smooth consistency. When the pork fat liquefies in steamer, it gives dumpling a firm and properly cooked yet juicy bite.
This dumpling is also known as soup dumpling, Xiao Long Bao is purse shaped round dumpling commonly made with relatively thick wheat wrapper which is crimped on the top. Albeit it is a soup dumpling but it doesn’t mean that it is actually filled with soup. Rather it is filled with chopped and properly cooked pork and plenty of collagen rich pork trimmings. When this dumpling is put in the steamer for steaming, the collagen melts and converts into the liquefied gelatin form which for savory broth. Like Siu Mai, Har GAO and Xiao Long Bao can be served regularly as the part of the traditional Chinese Dim Sum Brunch.
This form of dumpling is closely related to Xian Long Bao. Further here similar filling of seafood and pork is used along with jellified broth which liquefies when it is heated. In this dumpling dough is kept slightly thicker than Xiao long bao. Later it is garnished with chopped scallions and sesame oil. Apart from other dumplings, its preparation method is also different; it is cooked in a skillet partially filled with water. This water steam the dumplings as it evaporate, it gives bottom of the dumplings a crunchy and golden brown texture. Aside from the traditional pork, you can use the filling that contains shrimp, crab or chicken.
Bao Zi is the category of the dumpling that you can relate with a bun. This dumpling is made with thick dough of wheat to accomplish the required look. In general the common version of Bao Zi are barbecued pork filled buns which are also known as char siu bao. However there are other variations of Bao Zi including tangbaozi which almost taste similar to Xian Long Bao and Sheng Jiang Bao filled with broth that can be consumed through straw. Doushabao is filled with sweet red bean paste and Naihuangbao filled with yellow custard which is sweet in nature. There are some non-traditional variation too including glazed mushroom, pineapple, tofu, bulgogo beef and curried chicken.
If you want to experience another generic category of Chinese dumplings which can be prepared with all types of fillings, then you have to taste Wontons. It can be cooked by steaming, boiling or frying, but typical wonton is prepared using square sheet of dough made up of wheat dough, water and egg quite similar to Italian ravioli but its thinner version. A scoop of filling placed on the center of the square and dough sealed in some manner either by crimping or folding, even tying bundle up with chive soot. Shrimp and Ground Pork is typical filling, but with all Chinese dumpling authentic and nontraditional variation are present depending on the region. Boiled Wontons are highly popular and are served in rich soup or broth. While Japanese ground beef wontons are fried.
Here we have shared some of the most amazing and popular types of Chinese dumplings along with its traditional and nontraditional variation. However the cooking method of every dumpling is relatively same but if you want to give it a twist then you can modify its stuffing. Little modification is appreciated, as it induces different taste in original dish. So no matter you are living in any corner if want to try different types of Chinese dumplings then you can take reference of this post. We have concise recipe in an interesting manner so that you don’t afraid from experimenting. Follow us for more exciting and tasty dumpling recipes.