Most people have an idea what a Chinese dumpling looks and tastes like, but do you know just how diverse these tasty treats can be? Here are just some of the most popular dumpling varieties from all over China for all types of occasions, offering something to please every palate. Steamed dumplings
A light and healthy option, steamed dumplings are the perfect pick-me-up for breakfast and equally enjoyable at all times of the day (or night).
- Shao mai – The classic image of the 'Chinese dumpling,' shao mai may have originated in Mongolia, but it's the white-skinned Hong Kong variety that's best known worldwide, with fillings that vary according to the season.
- Xiaolongbao – Instantly recognisable for their cubed shape, these ubiquitous dumplings are typically filled with pork and a rich broth.
- Momo – Whether you're vegetarian or prefer beef, mutton, pork, chicken or traditional yak meat, any filling goes in these purse-shaped dumplings of Tibetan and Nepalese origin, as long as you don't skip on the fiery sepen dip.
Poached and boiled dumplings offer even more diverse flavour combinations, both savoury and sweet.
- Shui jiao – Literally 'boiled dumpling,' this northern Chinese staple is similar to a wonton without the soup. Just as varied as the flavours available are the different textures that each filling brings.
- Hun tun – Known as wonton in Cantonese, where they feature a plump shrimp filling served in egg noodle soup, the most widespread variety of hun tun is filled with minced pork and bok choy (Chinese cabbage) or watercress.
- Tang yuan – Their name translates as 'soup spheres,' which is an apt description of these sweet dumpling balls. Typically filled with red bean, peanut and black sesame, the recipe is easily adapted to suit local tastes wherever you are in the world – from mango and pineapple fillings to chocolate.
Pan-fried and deep-fried dumplings are a little heavier on the stomach, but can work wonders as comfort food and tasty appetisers.
Mouth-watering dumplings at The Marketplace
- Guo tie – A pan-fried alternative to shui jiao made with a thicker skin, guo tie are traditionally filled with pork and cabbage or leek.
- Fried wonton – Deep-friend wontons dipped in sweet and sour sauce are a favourite appetiser on international Chinese menus.
Next time you're in Gungahlin, head to The Marketplace for the best dumplings in town. Jade Dumpling Noodle House
has a wide selection of dumplings, noodles, stir-fries, curries and other favourite Chinese and Asian dishes, for takeaway or dining in seven days a week.