Dumplings, Jiaozi, Xiao Long Bao, Har Gow, Siu Mai, Bao Zi, Wontons… for an outsider, it can get confusing. But regardless of the style, be sure to try them!
A bamboo steamer with freshly made dumplings just arrived at our table. It’s inevitable; as soon as the lid is up, the air fills with steam while our mouths begin to water. But watch out! This also means the dumplings that we’re about to enjoy are extremely hot.
A journey into Chinese culture is not complete without trying out traditional dumplings. Depending on the region, this popular dish has many variants, flavors, and folding methods. This is why they’re called in so many ways: Jiaozi, Xiao Long Bao, Har Gow, Siu Mai, Bao Zi, Wontons… For an outsider, it can get confusing. But regardless of the style, be sure to try them. Unlike those from other countries, Chinese dumplings also present a larger variation in terms of fillings. They can be sweet or savory and are usually filled with meat, fish, vegetables, or sweets. Some other particular characteristics include their strong seasoning and thicker skin. Whether boiled, steamed, fried, or in soup, be sure to try them out when visiting China.
P.S. Not going to China soon? Dumplings are already so popular around the world that you could even find them around the corner! They are probably just as tasty, and always a good idea.
A version of this article appears in print, in Issue 0 of Álula Magazine, with the headline: “Dumplings, Dumplings.”