Whether it’s a regular Sunday or Chinese New Year, it’s always the time to eat Chinese dumplings.
Whether it’s the age-old rivalry of pork vs chicken dumplings or the debate over the best shape, dumplings have rightfully become one of the popular Chinese export of all time. But when it comes to finding an authentic Chinese dumpling recipe, where can you look?
We’re going to divulge some of the most popular types of authentic Chinese dumplings available today. Then, we’re going to tell you where to get Chinese dumplings if you’ve got a craving, from recipes and courses to pre-made solutions.
What Types of Chinese Dumplings Are There?
There are hundreds of different types of dumplings available across the world. Their cooking methods and fillings all vary, from Brazilian empanadas and Arabic kibbeh to Russian pelmeni and Polish pierogi.
But everyone knows the best dumplings come from their birthplace, China. China has its own huge list of various dumpling varieties, so we’re going to highlight a couple of the most famous (and delicious) below:
Jiaozi dumplings are one of the most common Chinese dumpling varieties, at least outside of China. They’re renowned for their crescent-moon shape.
Their fillings also vary, but they traditionally come filled with ground pork, scallions, and cabbage, wrapped in wheat dough.
Jiaozi cooking methods can also vary. They can be pan-fried, steamed, or boiled, depending on preference.
Xiao Long Bao or Sheng Jian Bao
These two Chinese dumplings are what you’ll usually hear referred to as Chinese soup dumplings. This is, as you might’ve guessed, thanks to the fact that their insides contain both soup and filling.
The correct way of eating these delicious dumplings is to first bite a hole through the dough, then suck out the soup before devouring the rest of the dumplings. Chinese soup dumplings are typically filled with a pork and shrimp mixture, with the soup created using the fatty parts of the pork.
What Other Types of Chinese Dumplings Are There?
There are also several other Chinese dumplings you’ll likely have heard of or seen sold in America before:
Wontons are almost their own separate section of dumplings since they come in so many varieties. They also help answer the common question; can you put Chinese dumplings in soup?
Of course, wontons are usually found inside of a wonton soup, but you can also add other dumplings to a broth if you’d prefer. Wontons can also be fried, and have a range of different fillings depending on which region of China they originate from.
You’ll likely have heard zongzi referred to as rice dumplings or sticky rice dumplings. As their westernized name suggests these are dumplings made from glutinous rice and sometimes wrapped in bamboo leaves.
Fillings, as you should expect by now, are diverse, ranging from red bean paste to pork or spicy Sichuan peppercorns.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of Chinese dumplings. Some others we’ve not had a chance to mention include har gow (Cantonese dim sum dumplings) and baozi (which you may know from the Pixar short film).
Dumplings have a rich and varied history across China, so ensure you do your research to find which dumpling sounds most enticing to you.
Where Can I Find an Authentic Chinese Dumpling Recipe?
Now you know some varieties, you’re likely asking how to make Chinese dumplings of your own.
So as you can see from the above, the first thing to do when searching for an authentic recipe is to decide on the type of dumpling you want to make. Some of these are much harder than others, such as xiao long bao thanks to its soup contents.
When searching for an authentic recipe, make sure there are clear instructions for both the dough as well as a dumpling filler recipe. If these haven’t been split up, then it’s likely the recipe writer isn’t sure what they’re talking about.
Also, try to ensure that the author of the recipe is actually Chinese or at least well-versed in the cuisine. This can be easier said than done, thanks to the language barrier between Chinese and English.
It might also be a good idea to look for classes on how to cook authentic Chinese dumplings if you’re serious about the art. People spend years perfecting the wrapping and creation of dumplings, both in China and around the world.
Thanks to this fact, there are many authentic, experienced teachers online or locally who hold classes on the topic. Signing up to one of these is the best way to learn, as you’ll have an experienced instructor aiding you each step of the way.
Where to Get Authentic Chinese Dumplings
If cooking your own isn’t your thing, there are a number of ways to get authentic Chinese dumplings in your belly. Search your local area for an authentic Chinese restaurant, preferably one that either has a dim sum menu or specializes in the regional food where your ideal dumpling comes from.
This is the best way to get quality, authentic Chinese dumplings. Or, if you’d rather not leave the home (which is more likely in these current times), there are some solutions.
You can visit Thexcj.com to order xiao long bao delivered locally all across America. XCJ creates authentic soup dumplings in packs of 50 with soupy pork filling and also sells bamboo steamers and handcrafted sauces.
This can be a great way to have your own dumpling evening without going through the hassle of learning to make your own xiao long bao. This is particularly helpful because xiao long bao, as mentioned above, is a notoriously tricky dumpling recipe to master.
Where Can I Find Out More About Authentic Chinese Dumplings?
You should now know some of the many authentic Chinese dumplings from various regions across the country. You should also know how to find an authentic Chinese dumpling recipe.
If you’d like to read more about other food and culinary topics, please ensure you take a look through some of the previous posts on our website.