Dumplings (and Stuffed Foods) Around the World

 

We explore the myriad filled doughs across the globe, from the ubiquitous Chinese dumplings to the sweet or savory stuffed pastries of the Western Hemisphere.

 

Related To:

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Tara Donne ©2012, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Dough Nuts, Around the Globe

If there's one thing that ties the world together –– and highlights its regional differences –– it's food. As varied as the globe's cuisines are, we are often able to recognize common threads from continent to continent. And one dish that can be found from the Argentinian coastline to the Siberian peninsula is the dumpling (or its close cousin). Whether they're crimped, folded, steamed or fried, we universally seem to love sweet or savory pockets of piping-hot food nested inside all types of dough. 


Click through for a sampling of some of the world's best dumplings.

Japanese Pork Gyoza with Ginger Dipping Sauce

Perhaps most associated with the word "dumpling," these pan-fried, pork-stuffed crescents possess a filling so flavorful you needn't waste time making the dough yourself. Click through to get step-by-step photos for making –– and pleating –– your homemade gyoza.

Get the Recipe: Pork Gyoza with Ginger Dipping Sauce

Pair Them With: Ginger Dipping Sauce

This simple five-ingredient sauce is perfect for pairing with our gyoza recipe and possesses a subtle tang you won't find when using soy sauce alone. It will enhance any Asian-style dumpling recipe made with wonton wrappers –– or add some homemade flavor to your store-bought dumplings.

Get the Recipe: Ginger Dipping Sauce

Danish Stuffed Ebelskivers

These globe-shaped Danish pancakes are made light and fluffy thanks to the whipped egg whites in their batter, and they are perfect for stuffing. They were traditionally filled with apples or applesauce (hence their name, meaning "apple slices"), though today are more often stuffed with a variety of fruit jams. You can go sweet, as we have here, or try using savory combinations like bacon and cheese or caramelized onions and mushrooms. They are as fun to eat as they are to make, once you get the hang of rotating the dumplings in the traditional ebelskiver pan. 

Get the Recipe: Stuffed Ebelskivers

Italian Cheese Ravioli with Marinara Sauce

We simplify the ravioli-making process by rolling out two long rectangular sheets of dough and laying one on top of the other with eight piles of filling spaced out in between. When you cut the ravioli apart, don't worry about creating perfect squares –– these wonderfully sturdy cheese-filled pasta dumplings are slightly oblong.

Get the Recipe: Cheese Ravioli with Marinara Sauce

Pair them With: Marinara Sauce

After taking the time to make the best ravioli you've ever tasted, make sure to top them with a simple, fresh marinara sauce. Once you've had this homemade sauce, you'll never touch the jarred stuff again.

Get the Recipe: Marinara Sauce

Eastern European Spinach Potato Knish

The dough for these traditional Jewish dumplings (their Yiddish name derives from the Russian or Ukrainian words for dumpling) is easy to make in the food processor. It is very resilient, so you can pull and pinch it as much as necessary to wrap it around the generous amount of filling. As far as the filling, don't skimp on the seasoning: There's a lot of potato in these guys and they need the salt.

Get the Recipe: Spinach Potato Knish

Thai Sticky Rice Dumplings

Though these dumplings sound exotic, you can make them without any special equipment: Use a standard steamer insert to cook both the rice (which becomes the dumpling skin) and full dumplings. (They're even more approachable cooked in parchment paper instead of the traditional banana leaves.) The completed lemongrass-, garlic- and ginger-flavored bundles are at once rich with the bevy of Asian flavors and incredibly simple, pleasing for a variety of palates.

Get the Recipe: Thai Sticky Rice Dumplings with Chicken

Russian Chicken Pelmeni

In honor of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, we developed these bite-size dumplings of Siberian origin. The simple recipe –– just flour and egg for the dough, and chicken, onion and garlic for the filling –– is traditionally made in large batches by a group of friends. And we'll happily get behind cooking that is a party unto itself. Serve with your choice of butter, sour cream, white vinegar or dill.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Pelmeni

American Pennsylvania Dutch Apple Dumplings

These Pennsylvania Dutch apple dumplings are nothing short of magical. The apples turn almost custardy inside a crisp, browned biscuit dough wrapping. But it's the smell of the sticky-sweet whiskey-caramel sauce bubbling in your oven –– and cloaking the dumplings –– that makes baking and eating this dessert a transcendent experience.

Get the Recipe: Apple Dumplings

Hawaiian Steamed Beef Buns

If you've ever had Chinese bao, you'll find these buns, modeled after Hawaiian manapua, familiar. They were first brought to the islands by Chinese workers and quickly became quite popular. Traditionally, the puffy yeasted dough was filled with roast pork, but today Hawaiians use a huge variety of fillings. In this version, ground beef is sauteed quickly with soy sauce and hoisin, which pleasantly seeps into the surrounding toothsome dough.

Get the Recipe: Hawaiian Steamed Beef Buns

Argentinian Chicken and Olive Empanadas

Empanadas are hugely popular throughout all of South America, where the wrappers and fillings vary from country to country. These simple, plainer chicken- and olive-stuffed empanadas are one of many native to Argentina — and the perfect canvas for its distinctly flavorful chimichurri.

Get the Recipe: Chicken and Olive Empanadas with Chimichurri Sauce

Pair Them With: Chimichurri Sauce

This super garlicky, herby sauce is Argentina's take on salsa verde. It's a classic partner for chicken and steak, but it also works beautifully with empanadas, fish or anything that could use a kick of pepper and herbs. (If you eat it straight out of the bowl with a spoon, we won't tell.)

Get the Recipe: Chimichurri Sauce

Indian Cauliflower and Potato Samosa

These fat triangles of dough filled with intensely flavored vegetables or meat are popular street snacks in India. Our vegetarian version features the classic combination of cauliflower, potatoes and peas. You can assemble and refrigerate the samosas up to one day in advance and fry them just before eating.

Get the Recipe: Cauliflower and Potato Samosa

Chinese Seafood + Chive Dumplings

Don't let this dumpling's beautiful pleats intimidate you –– Ching shows how, by folding wonton wrappers into a triangle and making a few small folds, you can easily create these seafood-filled bundles.

Get the Recipe: Seafood and Chive Dumplings

Polish Pierogies

These traditional Polish dumplings are stuffed with beef, farmers' cheese and onions, then both boiled and pan-fried, guaranteeing a moist filling and crisp, flavorful exterior. Serve with a heaping spoonful of sour cream.

Trinidadian Pastelles

Similar in ingredients and aesthetic to tamales, Trinidadian pastelles contain a complex beef, pork, olive, raisin and herb mixture within sweetened cornmeal dough. Cook the dumplings in a pot of boiling water, bundled in a banana leaf and foil enclosure.

Get the Recipe: Pastelles

German and Austrian Apricot Dumplings

These delightful fruit-filled dumplings are traditionally consumed as a meal unto themselves, not as dessert, despite their sweetness. Fill the potato-flour dough squares with a whole apricot (pit removed and a brandied sugar cube tucked in its place), and gently boil the bundles. It's the final touch that makes these sunny-centered treats truly extraordinary, though: Roll the cooked balls in pan-fried breadcrumbs and sugar, then drizzle with a brandy-spiked apricot sauce.

Get the Recipe: Wachauer Aprikosenknodel (Apricot Dumplings)

Italian Tortellini

The origin of Italian tortellini is surrounded by lore, including the tale that an innkeeper was so taken with a visiting pope's daughter in the 1400s that he was compelled to make the pasta modeled after her navel. Today, the making of the bellybutton-shaped, cheese-filled dumplings is considered a rite of passage for Italian women.

Get the Recipe: Tortellini

Cuban Papas Rellenas

The Cuban take on Peruvian papas rellenas stuffs the mashed potato balls with picadillo, the complex combination of beef, raisins, olives and a medley of aromatics. They're a great way to use up mashed potatoes, but very much worth making from scratch if you don't have any hanging around.

Get the Recipe: Picadillo-Stuffed Potatoes (Papas Rellenas)

Greek Tyropitakia

These simple Greek phyllo dough pastry triangles are filled with four kinds of cheese, including authentic feta and kasseri, then baked –– the perfect party appetizer.

Get the Recipe: Tyropitakia-Cheese Pies

Italian Arancini

You might think that leftover risotto is worthy of eating all on its own, but you'd be remiss not to turn it into these popular cheese-stuffed, breadcrumb-coated fried rice balls of Italian origin.

Get the Recipe: Arancini

Chinese Steamed Pork and Mushroom Siu Mai

These simple Chinese dumplings are made with wonton wrappers and rustically pinched at the top –– no sophisticated folding techniques required. The pork and shiitake mushroom filling is left exposed, dotted with a signature colorful round fruit or vegetable (here, a goji berry).

Get the Recipe: Steamed Pork and Mushroom "Siu Mai" Dumplings

French Profiteroles

Prepare the dough for these magical little puffs on the stovetop, then pipe them into mounds and bake them until they've become airy balloons. Traditionally they are filled with pastry cream, whipped cream or ice cream, then garnished with powdered sugar or chocolate ganache, but these contain raspberry preserves for a tangy-sweet surprise. Simply pipe the filling of your choice through the small hole in the bottom of the pastry.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Cream Puffs

Italian Panzerotti di Ricotta e Mozzarella

It'd be hard not to love these puffy pockets of cheese-filled dough, which are basically miniature versions of the Italian calzone, prepared with a softer dough and then fried.

Get the Recipe: Panzerotti di Ricotta e Mozzarella

German Kreplach

Kreplach –– a Yiddish word with German origins –– are small dumplings very similar in appearance to tortellini and the Russian pelmeni. The simple flour-and-egg dough is filled with various meats or potatoes (here, wine-braised brisket) and served in chicken soup or as a side dish.

Get the Recipe: Kreplach

Jamaican Dumplings with Plantains

These traditional Jamaican dumplings are served any time of day as a snack or meal accompaniment. When fried, as these are, they are known as johnnycakes. Fill each bundle of dough with a slice of plantain and garnish with salt to bring out its sweetness.

Get the Recipe: Jamaican Dumplings with Plantains

British Beef Pasties with Mint, Ginger and Peas

Reinvent the Cornish pasty — a crimped half-moon pastry filled with beef and root vegetables — by sourcing flavors found in Mexican empanadas and Indian samosas.

Get the Recipe: Beef Pasties with Mint, Ginger and Peas

"Black Bottom Pole Town" Sweet Potato Pierogi with Braised Greens

Bright, zesty flavors like orange and ginger help wake up this sweet potato filling — and your palate.

Get the Recipe: "Black Bottom Pole Town" Sweet Potato Pierogi with Braised Greens

More from:

Kitchen Adventures