East and South Asian Dumplings

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East and South Asian Dumplings


Thanks to Chinese dumpling culture’s influence, dumplings have lots of their variations throughout the world, especially East and South Asia. Each country’s dumplings have their own highlights and unique features. Let’s get to know them.


Mandu are the Korean dumplings. They come in many styles; the boiled ones are called mulmandu while the steamed ones are jjinmandu and the pan-fried ones are gunmandu. Mandu’s stuffing can be made from various ingredients, ranging from pork or beef to fish or kimchi.


Gyoza is the Japanese version of the pan-fried dumplings. They have a much thinner dough skin and a stronger garlic flavor pork stuffing, though. Gyoza can be found at ramen shops and even Chinese restaurants.

The best Gyoza are steamed then pan-fried in specially-made cast iron pans. The starches washed off from the dumplings form a lacy crust on the pan bottom. This layer can be lifted; it fuses the dumplings on a solid base and is deliciously crispy.


Momo are the dumplings of Tibet and Nepal. They are thicker, breadier, and heartier compared to Chinese dumplings. Momo’s filling is made of meats such as beef and yak, seasoned with black or Sichuan peppercorns. Another difference between momo and their Chinese counterpart is that they rarely use vegetables in the stuffing for juiciness or complex flavor.

Momo are cooked by steaming or frying. They are served with chili sauce or a tomato-based hot sauce. Sometimes, there is chicken broth coming along.

Thai-style Rice Dumplings

Thai people make their dumplings from fresh steamed rice noodles and sweet fried shallots. The dumplings are quite chewy and are stuffed with various sweet and savory fillings.


Samosas are dumplings from Middle East and South Asia, especially India. Samosas stuffing contain vegetables such as lentils or potatoes, or ground beef or lamb. They are spiced heavily and then deep-fried or pan-fried. When served, these savory pastry-like dumplings come with a variety of chutneys and dipping sauces.


Gujia is the sweet Indian dumplings. They are crescent- shaped dumplings stuffed with different types of fruits and coconut or khoya (a ricotta-like dairy product that is sweet and crumbly).


Modak is another sweet dumplings from India. Their shape is round and look like a purse. They have a gluey rice flour dough with the stuffing made of coconut and jaggery sugar.


Beyond Potstickers: Around the World in Dumplings https://www.seriouseats.com/2015/03/dumpling-types-around-the-world.html Accessed January 29, 2019