Dumplings are a comfort food featured in cuisines around the world. Some are sweet and some are savory, but they all strive to achieve that perfect dough-to-filling ratio. From Chinese potstickers to Argentinian empanadas to Italian gnocchi, chances are, no matter what country you’re in, you’ll be able to find a dumpling that suits your tastebuds.
A well-known dumpling, the Chinese potsticker is pan-fried on one side and steamed in water or broth on the other side. The filling is commonly made from pork, shrimp, and cabbage.
Like other Polish food, pierogis make for a hearty meal. The dumplings can be filled with anything from mashed potatoes, cheese, fried onions, mushrooms, meat, sauerkraut, or spinach.
Empanada is Spanish for “wrapped in bread,” a fitting name for this fried Argentinian dumpling. Bite through the crust and you’ll find a filling of ground beef, hard boiled eggs, olives, onions, paprika, and cumin. But they also come in plenty of other varieties.
Not surprisingly, the Italians managed to turn their dumpling into a popular pasta dish: gnocchi. These mini dumplings are pure potatoes that have been cooked and are then served bathed in sauce with some type of meat or vegetable.
These pan fried dumplings, known as gyoza, are the Japanese version of potstickers. They’re stuffed with pork, cabbage, onion, and carrots, all of which are wrapped in a thin browned dough.
Souskluitjies hail from South Africa and feature a simple dough made from flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and baking powder, which is then drowned in a delicious soupy mixture of cinnamon sugar. They’re best when eaten hot.
Traditional German dumplings — knödel — are not filled with anything, but instead paired with German meats such as schnitzel, sauerbraten, or rouladen.
Samosa are Indian dumplings that have a crispy, flaky, pastry-like shell, but are filled with spiced potatoes and peas, lentils, ground meat, or onions.
An Amish dessert staple across America, apple dumplings are made from cored and peeled apple slices that are baked in dough with cinnamon and sugar. Topping these dumplings off with some vanilla ice cream is a must.
Originating in a Swedish town called Piteå, pitepalts are eaten with lingonberry jam or butter. The dumplings are made from potatoes and barley or wheat flour and stuffed with meat.
The khinkali is a dumpling served in Georgia, filled with spiced pork and beef and eaten with coarse black pepper. The meat mixture goes into the dough raw, so as the dumplings cook, they trap in flavorful juice.
Known as the “Jewish ravioli” and served in Israel, kreplach are commonly eaten in soup and filled with beef or potatoes.
Pelmeni originally come from Serbia, but are found all over Russia. The dumplings are stuffed with meat such as turkey or pork, mushrooms, or cheese.
Kimchi — a side dish made of fermented seasoned cabbage — is a Korean favorite. So much so, that mandu — Korean dumplings — are filled with it. Mandu are one of the only Asian dumplings that have a circular shape.
Czech dumplings with a sweet and fruity taste, svestkove knedily feature dough made from butter, flour and egg, which is then stuffed with fruit (commonly a plum). After the dumpling is cooked, it’s dusted with melted butter and sugar.
Bawan are sold at street markets all over Tawain. The dough, made from corn starch, sweet potato starch, and rice flour is filled with pork, bamboo shoots, and mushrooms, then steamed and deep fried.
Bryndzové Halušky is a heavy and creamy Slovakian dish featuring small potato dumplings in bryndza (Slovakian sheep cheese) and topped with pork fat or bacon.
Banh bot loc are Vietnamese dumplings made from tapioca flour, which develops a chewy texture when cooked. The dumplings are stuffed with pork and shrimp.
Manti prepared the Turkish way features small dumplings filled with beef or lamb, served in a sauce of yogurt, oil, and red pepper flakes or powder.
These steamed dumplings known as momo are found in Nepal and Tibet and can either be stuffed with ground meat or vegetables such as cabbage, spinach, or scallions.
Modak are sweet dumplings served in the Indian state of Maharashtra for the Ganesh festival. The dough is made from rice flour and the dumplings are stuffed with coconut and an unrefined whole cane sugar known as jaggery.