16 types of dumplings from all over Asia you should try!

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Go tumbling over these dumplings!

Over 1,800 years ago, a healer named Zhang Zhongjing created tiny dough-wrappers filled with lamb, chilli, and herbs to relieve his neighbours from illness.

Since then, dumplings traveled with merchants along the Silk Road and throughout history. Over time, multiple versions of this humble food were created. Here are some of the dumpling filling ideas that have since sprouted here in Asia that you should try!

16 Must-try Dumpling Filling Ideas!

1. Guo Tie

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Looking for great dumpling filling ideas? Try this meaty, spice-filled dumpling. | image: shutterstock

Also known as potstickers or peking ravioli, these juicy pan-fried and steamed dumplings is pure delight!

Guo tie are usually stuffed with ground pork, ginger, garlic, rice wine, and sesame oil. They also have flat, crispy bottoms, resembling that of Japan’s Gyoza.

2. Nepalese Momo

These fat-steamed dumplings filled with ground chicken, red onion, scallions, cilantro, garlic, ginger, turmeric, red chilli pepper, Garam Masala, ghee, and olive oil are a very popular snack also found in Tibet and Bhutan. Best enjoyed with chutney!

3. Gyoza

These are Japanese potstickers which are half-moon-shaped stuffed with minced pork, cabbage, shiitake mushroom, scallions, garlic, and dashes of sugar and ginger are pan-fried, so they have crispy bottoms.

Dip it in a concoction of rice vinegar, soy sauce, and chilli oil for more flavour!

4. Mandu

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A dumpling with kimchi! Doesn’t that sound delightful? Korea’s wide array of dumplings include jjin mandu, steamed dumplings, and mul mandu, which are boiled dumplings stuffed with pork and scallions, and vegetarian varieties, with tofu and mushrooms.

5. Banh Nam

These are Vietnamese flat-rice flour dumplings consisting of minced pork, garlic and mushrooms are seasoned with pepper and spices. Then, they are wrapped in banana leaves before steaming. This one reminds me of the Filipino native dish tamales.

6. Xiao Long Bao

Also known as Shanghai-style soup dumplings, these steamed dumplings come with ground pork, mushrooms, ginger, garlic and also, a meat-based soup that bursts with flavour with every bite. No wonder it is one of the best dumpling ideas that you should try!

7. Siu Mai

Siu mai are dumplings which are open at the top, with pinched and pleated sides. Typical fillings of this dim sum include ground pork, shrimp, or sharks fin, minced bean sprouts, shredded carrots, and scallions.

It can be enjoyed with dipping sauces of rice wine, soy sauce, or even fish roe toppings.

8. Wonton

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Wontons, which you can find in Chinese restaurants worldwide, is typically consist of ground pork, garlic, and minced cabbage.

You can have them boiled with chicken broth or deep-fried till they are crisp.

9. Manti

These folded and boiled dumplings with ground beef or lamb fillings are topped with a yogurt garlicky sauce flecked with sumac, a dark-red citrusy spice is commonly eaten in Turkey, where it is readily available in various restaurants.

10. Kreplach

These Jewish ravioli have either ground beef, chopped chicken livers, or potatoes as the filling. Some prepare it with chicken soup, while others may deep-fry in oil.

Most of the time people prepare Kreplach on religious holidays like Yom Kippur and Purim in Israel.

11. Har Gow

One of the simplest yet a crowd-favorite dumpling!

This shrimp dumpling comes with a filling of bamboo shoot or pork fat, shrimp, corn flour, salt, pepper, and sesame oil.

To make the wrapper, you will need to combine tapioca flour, wheat, salt, and hot water. Steam this small pocket of joy and have delightful bites of shrimp goodness!

12. Siopao

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Also known as baozi or steamed buns, Siopao is a popular snack in the Philippines.

To begin with, these are fluffy, hot, white steam buns that usually come in two flavors: Asado (sweet, slow-cooked pulled pork filling) and Bola-bola (seasoned pork meatball filling). There are also special versions where you might even get a salted egg and chorizo bilbao on the side.

13. Dango

Dango dumplings are tiny Japanese sweets that consist of rich, traditional ingredients, like red bean paste and sticky rice. This delightful dumpling is best enjoyed with a cup of green tea.

Though this is a delicacy served during festivals, you can make them at home as most ingredients are readily available at any Japanese grocery stores!

14. Samosa

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Deep-fried triangular packets of mashed potato, seasoned with spices such as red chilli, cumin seeds, and garam masala powder will surely make your mouth water.

Easily one of the most delicious dumpling filling ideas ever, this tiny native Indian delicacy can pack a punch! The samosa or sambusa tastes great with chutney.

15. Empanada

Its name comes from the verb empanar or “to wrap or coat in bread”.

Chicken empanada, one of the fillings, is a mix of small chicken cuts (preferably the breast part), potato, onion, raisin, carrot, peas, and garlic.

Even though the Empanada has Spanish origins, it is a firm favourite among Filipinos.

16. Vegan dumplings

Let’s not forget those who are vegan! Although, this is one of the dumpling filling ideas to try even if you’re not vegan.

Vegan dumplings are mainly comprised of onions, mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, chives, garlic, a bit of tofu, sesame oil, soy sauce, and potato starch.

Basically, you can put just about any veggie into a dumpling. In fact, vegan dumplings may well be one of the healthiest and most cost-effective dumplings ever!

Dumplings are warm, healthy, and convenient food that you can eat on-the-go, order in a restaurant or pack for your kid’s snack. It is simple yet versatile!

Enjoy making these tiny bundles of joy with your family and make it yours by putting your own spin on the delicious  dumpling filling ideas above. Those Silk Road Merchants with their dumplings surely traveled a long way!

Read also: 79 Asian street foods for the wandering foodie