Most of the time, the word dumplings calls to mind a particular type of food. They’re hugely popular in China, South Korea, and Japan. Honestly, all over Asia. But different types of these treats can be found all over the world in types of cuisine that don’t hail from East Asia.
Also called potstickers, jiaozi is the most commonly seen form of Chinese dumplings here in the West. They’re usually stuffed with cabbage, chives, and pork. The dough that they’re wrapped in is usually made from flour and boiling water. The wrappers are fried in a pot without being stirred around. This makes the bottoms of them crispy and is stuck to the pan, which is where the nickname comes from. After that, they are steamed in water long enough to finish cooking the stuffing.
Like jiaozi, shumai is also Chinese dumplings. Unlike their cousins, they are stuffed with other ingredients, such as pork, shrimp, scallions, and ginger. They feature thin, delicate dough wrappers steamed in steamer baskets. You’ll find them at dim sum restaurants, where you can also find xiao long bao or soup dumplings.
Gyoza is the Japanese equivalent of jiaozi. They came from China but found their way to Japan where they are commonly served as appetizers. The next time you’re in a sushi restaurant, you can try some for yourself.
Mandu is similar to jiaozi and gyoza. They’re Korean dumplings, and they can also be used for soup, which is commonly served on New Year’s Day. They are filled with meat, veggies, tofu, and that ubiquitous Korean treat, kimchi. Plus, they are often served with soy sauce, too. It shouldn’t surprise you that a Russian variant of mandu exists, too, called pelmeni. Pelmeni is filled with meat and mushrooms, while the dough is made with flour, water, and egg.
Momo hail from Tibet. They’re similar to jiaozi and have meat and vegetables as their primary fillings. If you like a spicy dumpling, you’re in luck, because momo is served with hot sauce and a savory broth. In Tibet itself, the momos are filled with yak meat. If that ’s too adventurous for you, there are always variants made with ground beef.
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