In western countries, dumplings are most commonly associated with China.
No matter what Chinese restaurant you go to, chances are they have more types of dumplings in the menu.
The truth is dumplings are common all over Asia and they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes – plus, fillings are just as diversified.
But then, dumplings could be a staple food in many other cuisines too – such as South America or perhaps Africa.
Each part of the world has a different name for dumplings, but the concept is the same.
Now, what should you know about this food and what to dumplings taste like?
What are Dumplings?
Dumplings are based on dough and they have different types of fillings on the inside – simple as that.
The dough is standard and only includes water, salt and flour, nothing else.
But then, the flour can make the difference.
For instance, most dumplings are based on classic wheat flour.
But then, in China, local chefs rely on a cocktail of tapioca starch and wheat.
Unless you eat dumplings on a daily basis, you would not be able to tell the difference though.
Now, things change when it comes to the actual fillings.
Just like the bao bun – another common and similar food in Asian cuisines, dumplings can range widely in taste due to the fillings.
You can opt for something sweet, for example.
However, most people associate dumplings with salty aromas.
They are rich in savor and can be enhanced with different sauces.
What Do Dumplings Taste Like?
Figuring out what dumplings taste like is difficult because there are lots of choices out there.
For instance, a dumpling filled with beef is obviously different from a dumpling filled with jam.
Different types of dumplings are unique.
All in all, they usually go in two categories – sweet or salty.
Salty dumplings are more popular, as most people have them filled with different types of meats or vegetables.
In this case, the taste is often enhanced with soy sauce, yet other types of sauces are also accepted.
Saltiness is often enhanced with a bit of spiciness too.
In fact, many types of dumplings have a slightly spicy flavor, even if it is not too obvious.
The taste is not the only element making dumplings so popular all over the world though, but also the texture.
When fried properly, their sides get a bit crispy, which feels great with the soft middle.
That being said, the way you prepare dumplings will also affect the taste – both directly and indirectly.
For example, the fried variety will have a more intense flavor.
On the other hand, boiled or steamed dumplings are milder in flavor and taste.
Obviously, the way you cook them will also affect the texture – frying them will give them that unique crispy texture on the sides.
Now that you know what to expect, how do you prepare dumplings?
How to Prepare and Cook Dumplings?
Based on the info available on SteveHacks, there are lots of different ways to prepare dumplings, as well as a plethora of recipes to mix them in.
The dough is usually homemade, yet you can also buy it in commerce – fillings are already included then and there are not too many options for you to change.
So, your preferences dictate the final result.
In terms of fillings, you can get something sweet or salty.
Feel free to use your imagination – there are no limits whatsoever.
Different cuisines have dumplings in different flavors.
Pork, chicken and beef are just some of the most popular choices.
Then, you also have shrimp or lamb.
Vegetarians can use carrots or perhaps a mix of spinach and ricotta.
Interested in something sweet? Use fruits instead.
Now, in terms of cooking dumplings, you have more options.
Steaming or boiling them is the clean way – it is healthier, but also not as flavorful as other options.
On the other hand, pan or deep frying dumplings will give you a different texture because the exterior gets a bit crispy.
Plus, oily dumplings simply taste better, yet they are a bit unhealthy.
The filling and sauce – if any – will make the difference, so you may not always be able to tell how they were cooked.
As a short final conclusion, there is no such thing as a general taste or aroma for dumplings.
You get dough and you fill it up with whatever you want – this is what determines the taste.
It could be sweet, but it may also be salty based on vegetables, meat or seafood – totally up to you.
The good news is you can eat dumplings as a main or simply use them as side dishes for other meals.
In the second case, the filling must be picked with the main dish in mind.