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11 Things Everyone Should Know About Dumplings

Eating, cooking, and enjoying.

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BuzzFeed Life spoke to Dan Hong, executive chef at Sydney's Mr Wong, and Dendy Harjanto, Australasian director of Din Tai Fung, to find out everything you need to know about dumplings.

(But first, be warned: You may feel the overwhelming urge to get yourself some pork, chive, prawn, or veggie-filled goodies as soon as you finish reading.)

1. The best way to eat a dumpling is in one bite.

"Dumplings are designed to be consumed in one mouthful, as it's the best way to enjoy the combination of the meat filling and the very thin and springy flour wrapper," says Harjanto.
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"Dumplings are designed to be consumed in one mouthful, as it's the best way to enjoy the combination of the meat filling and the very thin and springy flour wrapper," says Harjanto.

2. If you can't use chopsticks, eat your dumplings with your fingers.

Avoid using a fork at all costs, as piercing the dumpling will compromise the flavour.
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Avoid using a fork at all costs, as piercing the dumpling will compromise the flavour.

3. Mix two parts vinegar with one part soy sauce for the perfect dumpling sauce.

"Add young ginger slices too," says Harjanto. Chili oil is also a great addition when available.
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"Add young ginger slices too," says Harjanto. Chili oil is also a great addition when available.

4. Dumplings are just one element of dim sum.

"Dim sum doesn't just include dumplings. It's also braised dishes like pork ribs, chicken feet, and beef balls. It's actually small tapas-style dishes that are eaten in Cantonese restaurants at lunchtime," says Hong.
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"Dim sum doesn't just include dumplings. It's also braised dishes like pork ribs, chicken feet, and beef balls. It's actually small tapas-style dishes that are eaten in Cantonese restaurants at lunchtime," says Hong.

5. Xiao long bao dumplings are different from others as they contain broth.

They originated in the Jiangnan region of China and are prepared in bamboo steaming baskets called xiao long, hence the name.
Din Tai Fung

They originated in the Jiangnan region of China and are prepared in bamboo steaming baskets called xiao long, hence the name.

6. When eating xiao long bao or a dumpling with a ~soupy~ interior, opt for chopsticks and a spoon.

"As soon as the dumplings arrive at your table, lift one from the steamer basket onto a soup spoon," says Harjanto. "Next, tear the skin of the dumpling by pressing the chopsticks from the side of the dumpling onto the spoon. The broth will ooze out onto the spoon. Sip the soup then enjoy the dumpling in one mouthful."
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"As soon as the dumplings arrive at your table, lift one from the steamer basket onto a soup spoon," says Harjanto. "Next, tear the skin of the dumpling by pressing the chopsticks from the side of the dumpling onto the spoon. The broth will ooze out onto the spoon. Sip the soup then enjoy the dumpling in one mouthful."

7. You can tell whether your dumpling was cooked fresh or frozen by looking at the skin.

"The skin of a freshly made dumpling is springy and light," says Harjanto. "Frozen ones tend to be soggy."
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"The skin of a freshly made dumpling is springy and light," says Harjanto. "Frozen ones tend to be soggy."

8. When making dumplings at home, try to keep your packages small.

This makes them less likely to tear.
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This makes them less likely to tear.

9. When pan-frying your own dumplings, timing and ratios are your best friends.

"Carefully place dumplings one by one in a hot nonstick pan with a little oil. Add enough water to cover the bottom third of the dumplings. Next, put a tight-fitting lid on top. The dumplings are ready when all the water has evaporated and the bottoms of the dumplings are nicely brown and crispy," says Hong.
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"Carefully place dumplings one by one in a hot nonstick pan with a little oil. Add enough water to cover the bottom third of the dumplings. Next, put a tight-fitting lid on top. The dumplings are ready when all the water has evaporated and the bottoms of the dumplings are nicely brown and crispy," says Hong.

10. When cooking wontons, choose to boil or deep-fry.

"When boiling, literally just bring your water to boil and throw in the dumplings," says Hong. "Alternatively, fry dumplings in oil heated to 180 degrees Celsius until they're crispy and golden on the outside."
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"When boiling, literally just bring your water to boil and throw in the dumplings," says Hong. "Alternatively, fry dumplings in oil heated to 180 degrees Celsius until they're crispy and golden on the outside."

11. There is no limit to the amount of dumplings that can - and should - be consumed in one sitting.

"I can eat over 20. One time in Shanghai, I ate over 40 xiao long bao," says Hong.
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"I can eat over 20. One time in Shanghai, I ate over 40 xiao long bao," says Hong.