Foodways

Our Quest To Build A Great Global Dumpling List

Khinkali dumplings hail from Georgia and Azerbaijan. i i

Khinkali dumplings hail from Georgia and Azerbaijan. Rubber Slippers In Italy/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Rubber Slippers In Italy/Flickr
Khinkali dumplings hail from Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Khinkali dumplings hail from Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Rubber Slippers In Italy/Flickr

As we reported on Monday, one of the dumpling's most impressive qualities — and a reason it warrants an entire week of stories from NPR — is its near global reach. From Warsaw to Wuhan to Washington, D.C., cooks have transformed ordinary lumps of dough into delightful little packages with hidden surprises inside.

While the dumpling world has its global superstars — the pot sticker and the tortellini among them — many dumplings are known only regionally. And we'd argue that it's these lesser-known varieties, like the Cherokee grape dumpling and the Russian pelmeni, that best exemplify the true universality of the dumpling. And so here we've tried to classify the world's dumplings by region, method of cooking, filling and size to give you a sense of just how many diverse forms this humble little food can take.

Will everyone agree that all of these deserve the name dumpling? No. As our dumpling expert panel demonstrated, there's some fudge room in the definition. That's why we've called some of these dumplings "disputable."

Is this an exhaustive list of the world's dumplings? No. We're told by Chinese food expert Fuschia Dunlop that there are restaurants in China that serve as many as 300 different kinds of dumplings — which means this list is only scratching the surface of the dumplings Asia alone has to offer.

But since we found no great list of the world's dumplings on the Internet, we decided to start our own. And we need your help. We want to add more dumplings to this list, especially from underrepresented parts of the world. So please send us information about the dumplings we're missing — and a photo, too, if you've got one — so we can add it to our list. Email them to us at thesalt@npr.org.

We'll add them and release an update to this list sometime in September. Together, we may just be able to create the greatest list of dumplings the Internet has ever known.

  • All Dumplings
  • Americas
  • Asia
  • Eastern Europe
  • Europe
  • Corn
  • Potato
  • Rice
  • Wheat
  • No Filling
  • Fruit
  • Meat
  • Vegetarian
  • Baked
  • Boiled
  • Fried
  • Soup
  • Steamed

Indisputable Dumplings

Photo of Apple dumpling

Apple dumpling

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: apple
  • How It's Cooked: baked
  • Where It's From: U.S.
  • Fun Facts: beloved by the Amish

Photo: Fuzzy Gerdes/Flickr

Photo of Buuz

Buuz

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: lamb or beef
  • How It's Cooked: steamed
  • Where It's From: Mongolia
  • Fun Facts: considered a complete meal

Photo: istolethetv/Flickr

Photo of Chicken and dumpling

Chicken and dumpling

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: nothing
  • Size: ranges from grape to golf ball
  • How It's Cooked: slow cooked, usually in chicken broth
  • Where It's From: American South

Photo: Julia Frost/Flickr

Chuchvara

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: lamb or beef
  • How It's Cooked: boiled or in soup
  • Where It's From: Russia, Uzbekistan
Photo of Grape dumpling

Grape dumpling

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: nothing
  • Size: 2 inches
  • How It's Cooked: boiled
  • Where It's From: Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw Indian Country
  • Fun Facts: simmered in grape juice

Photo: Brianne Smith/Flickr

Photo of Guo tie

Guo tie

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: pork with bok choy, leeks or cabbage
  • How It's Cooked: pan fried, boiled or steamed
  • Where It's From: China
  • Fun Facts: also known as the pot sticker

Photo: joysity/Flickr

Photo of Gyoza

Gyoza

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: meats and vegetables
  • How It's Cooked: fried or boiled
  • Where It's From: Japan
  • Fun Facts: Japanese version of the pot sticker

Photo: Hajime Nakano/Flickr

Photo of Har gow

Har gow

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: shrimp
  • How It's Cooked: steamed
  • Where It's From: China
  • Fun Facts: has transculent wrappers

Photo: Daniel Y. Go/Flickr

Photo of Khinkali

Khinkali

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: lamb, beef or pork
  • How It's Cooked: boiled
  • Where It's From: Georgia, Azerbaijan
  • Fun Facts: these are soup dumplings

Photo: Rubber Slippers In Italy/Flickr

Photo of Kreplach

Kreplach

  • Dough: potato and wheat
  • Filling: potato, cheese
  • How It's Cooked: boiled
  • Where It's From: Germany; Jewish culture, typically
  • Fun Facts: derived from the Old High German kreplo, meaning grape

Photo: Emily Barney/Flickr

Kroppkaka

  • Dough: potato
  • Filling: onions and pork or bacon
  • How It's Cooked: boiled
  • Where It's From: Sweden
  • Fun Facts: eaten with lingonberries
Photo of Mandu

Mandu

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: various meats
  • How It's Cooked: fried, boiled or steamed
  • Where It's From: Korea

Photo: Chloe Lim/Flickr

Photo of Manti

Manti

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: beef or lamb
  • Size: triangular ravioli
  • How It's Cooked: boiled
  • Where It's From: Turkey, Central Asia
  • Fun Facts: served with yogurt sauce

Photo: thebittenword.com/Flickr

Photo of Maultasche

Maultasche

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: minced meat, smoked meat, spinach, bread crumbs and onions, herbs
  • Size: 3-5 inch square or rectangle
  • How It's Cooked: boiled
  • Where It's From: Swabia, Germany
  • Fun Facts: genuine maultasche can be produced only in the German states of Baden-Wurtemburg and Bavaria

Photo: Steph Swain/Flickr

Photo of Momo

Momo

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: potato, chicken, yak and beef
  • How It's Cooked: steamed
  • Where It's From: Mongolia, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan
  • Fun Facts: Himalayan dumpling

Photo: Kirti Poddar/Flickr

Photo of Pelmeni

Pelmeni

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: beef and pork
  • How It's Cooked: boiled
  • Where It's From: Russia, Central Asia
  • Fun Facts: originated in Siberia

Photo: Mika Meskanen/Flickr

Photo of Pierogi

Pierogi

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: potato, sauerkraut, meat, cheese, fruit
  • Size: 1/2 palm-sized
  • How It's Cooked: boiled or pan fried
  • Where It's From: Poland, eastern Europe, Russia

Photo: Alexander Baxevanis/Flickr

Photo of Ravioli

Ravioli

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: can be dairy, meat or veggie based
  • Size: varies
  • How It's Cooked: boiled
  • Where It's From: Italy

Photo: Ryan McDonough/Flickr

Sadza

  • Dough: corn
  • Filling: nothing
  • How It's Cooked: boiled
  • Where It's From: Zimbabwe
  • Fun Facts: one of many versions of the African corn dumpling
Photo of Sheng jian

Sheng jian

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: pork and broth
  • Size: golf ball
  • How It's Cooked: pan fried
  • Where It's From: China
  • Fun Facts: usually eaten for breakfast

Photo: Gary Stevens/Flickr

Photo of Tangyuan

Tangyuan

  • Dough: rice
  • Filling: can be sweet -- such as sesame paste, powdered peanuts and sugar -- or savory, such as pork with green onion
  • How It's Cooked: boiled
  • Where It's From: China

Photo: kattebelletje/Flickr

Photo of Tortellini

Tortellini

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: meat, vegetables and/or cheese
  • Size: silver dollar
  • How It's Cooked: boiled
  • Where It's From: Italy

Photo: Inspire Kelly/Flickr

Photo of Uszka

Uszka

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: mushrooms
  • How It's Cooked: boiled
  • Where It's From: Poland
  • Fun Facts: often served in beet soup and as a Christmas dish

Photo: Hannah Donovan/Flickr

Photo of Varenyky

Varenyky

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: potato and mushroom
  • How It's Cooked: boiled
  • Where It's From: Ukraine

Photo: katesheets/Flickr

Photo of Wonton

Wonton

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: pork or shrimp and greens
  • Size: golf ball
  • How It's Cooked: served in soup and/or fried
  • Where It's From: China

Photo: esimpraim/Flickr

Photo of Xiao long bao

Xiao long bao

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: pork and crab
  • Size: 3/4 of a golf ball
  • How It's Cooked: steamed
  • Where It's From: China, especially Shanghai and Wuxi
  • Fun Facts: filled with soup

Photo: Yusuke Kawasaki/Flickr

Photo of Zheng jiao

Zheng jiao

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: minced meat and vegetables
  • How It's Cooked: steamed
  • Where It's From: China
  • Fun Facts: cooked in bamboo containers

Photo: Gary Stevens/Flickr

Disputable Dumplings

Photo of Bao

Bao

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: pork
  • How It's Cooked: steamed
  • Where It's From: China
  • Fun Facts: bao means bun

Photo: kattebelletje/Flickr

Photo of Clootie

Clootie

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: raisins, currants
  • How It's Cooked: boiled
  • Where It's From: Scotland
  • Fun Facts: like a fruitcake or British pudding

Photo: Lezzles/Flickr

Photo of Empanada

Empanada

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: beef, pork, chicken or vegetables and spices
  • Size: half-moon shape, 3-8 inches in length
  • How It's Cooked: baked or fried
  • Where It's From: throughout Latin America
  • Fun Facts: name is derived from the Spanish word empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread

Photo: Javier Lastras/Flickr

Photo of Kachori

Kachori

  • Dough: wheat
  • Filling: lentils and spices
  • How It's Cooked: fried
  • Where It's From: India

Photo: puzzlement/Flickr

Photo of Manjū

Manjū

  • Dough: rice
  • Filling: beans and other sweet pastes
  • How It's Cooked: steamed or baked
  • Where It's From: Japan
  • Fun Facts: can be filled with lima bean paste

Photo: Melisa Goh/NPR

Photo of Samosa

Samosa

  • Dough: chickpea and wheat
  • Filling: potato, onions, peas, lentils or ground lamb
  • How It's Cooked: fried
  • Where It's From: South Asia

Photo: mtsn/Flickr

Photo of Tamale

Tamale

  • Dough: corn
  • Filling: beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, vegetables, cheese or sweet fillings like raisins
  • Size: varies
  • How It's Cooked: steamed
  • Where It's From: Mexico, Central America, Caribbean
  • Fun Facts: wrapped in a husk or leaf

Photo: World to Table/Flickr

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