I love dumplings. There I said it. What's not to love about them, right? Fried, steamed, boiled, soupy, sweet, savoury - each and every style is delicious and a meal in itself. Almost each country has a version of some form of dumpling. Southeast Asia to Europe, South America to India; the flour, water and oil batter (usually with some regional changes) is celebrated with stuffings of all different sorts. As we all know that food binds people together, why not a dumpling or its far-reaching cousin, right? We let you travel around the world, one dumpling at a time!
Gyoza from Japan
When we think of dumplings, the Gyoza definitely comes to mind. This dumpling from Japan is pan-friend and are meat stuffed little pockets of heaven. The thin wrappers are stuffed with ground meat (usually pork), chives, cabbage, ginger, soy, sesame oil among others. Some think of the gyoza as pot stickers but unlike the latter, these are smaller and more delicate. First, the bottom of the gyoza is pan fried till nice and brown, then the top part is steamed. The dumplings are then served with a dipping sauce made of soy, ginger and vinegar. The Chinese cousin of the Gyoza is the Jiaozi.
Momos from Tibet and Nepal
Very popular in India, the humble momo is now being served with various kinds of stuffings, including chocolate! The momo is a small steamed bun with meat or vegetable stuffing with its origins in Tibet and Nepal, popular in the Indian regions like Ladakh, Darjeeling and Sikkim. Today, the momo has taken over India and can be found in high-end restaurants and roadside stalls. Traditionally, in the mountain regions where it originated, yak or buffalo meat would be used as stuffing but in India, elaborate vegetarian options are also served. Don't forget the hot and spicy tomato-chilly chutney or the 'momo sauce' served on the side!
When in Poland, don't forget to try these delicious small dumplings. Sweet or savoury, they will leave you wanting more. Once the stuffing is wrapped in uneven dough, the pierogis are boiled till cooked through, then served with a topping that can range from melted butter, sour cream to chives etc. The stuffing can range from meat to cheese, potato to fruit. Did you know it's Poland's most-beloved dish?
Who can not go to Italy and not eat ravioli, correct? The dough sheet is spread out long and thin. Another rectangular sheet is laid on top, while small portions of fillings are spaced out. The fillings can range from cheese to spinach and mushrooms, tomato to shrimp, or anything under the sun. The pockets are cut out, then boiled till they start floating (that's how you know they are done), and then served with a sauce. Marinara is most common but my favourite is burnt butter with sage and garlic!
Empanadas from Spain
The humble empanada is very popular in Spain, Portugal and South America. Originally from Galicia, these little flaky pastries are mouthwatering and deelish. The little pocket is made by folding the dough around the stuffing which can range from meat, seafood, vegetables to even fruits. They are then deep fried or baked till the crust is flaky. They are wildly popular and a perfect snack when hungry!
What an empanada is to Spain is the samosa to India. The dough usually has a filling of potatoes, peas, spices; then its sealed in and deep fried in hot oil. The piping hot fried snack is best enjoyed in the rains with chai and gossip on the the side!