Dumplings come in all shapes and sizes, from the wonderful wonton to the ravishing ravioli. In some cultures, these palatable parcels have great historic meaning and come with their own special purpose. Here are some dumpling dishes fit for the ups and downs of modern life.
11 Oct 2021 - 4:16 PM  UPDATED 7 Oct 2021 - 3:21 PM

--- The Cook Up with Adam Liaw airs weeknights on SBS Food at 7.00pm and 10.00pm, or stream it free on SBS On Demand. Catch the Dumplings episode on Friday, 15 October. ---


You're feeling unwell: Wonton soup

In Shanghai, wontons form part of what might be the city’s favourite breakfast. A light broth (sometimes just the starchy water the wontons have been cooked in) is flavoured with a little sesame oil, spring onion and pepper, and acts as a soup to hold delicious wontons filled with pork and green vegetables. Its warm broth - as well as any added fat and spice - makes this an ideal remedy for when you're feeling under the weather.

Shanghai-style wonton soup

You want to celebrate: Shui jiao (basic boiled dumplings)

These dumplings are little parcels of minced meat and vegetable wrapped in a thin piece of dough. They can be round or crescent-shaped, boiled, steamed or fried, and are one of the major foods prepared for the Chinese New Year. Their shape resembles gold ingots, which symbolises wealth. This recipe makes quite a large quantity of pork dumplings, but they can be frozen for those cheeky late-night snacks. 

You want something meat-free: Spinach and water chestnut dumplings

One of the most versatile foods in Hong Kong, this vegan and vegetarian friendly steamed dumpling recipe is great for when you're after something light and full of texture.

You need a lil' comfort: Sujebi (Korean potato and dumpling soup)

This Korean dish is a soft and chewy hand-torn noodle potato soup that is both comforting and wholesome. The broth is rich in umami flavour, and chef Billy Law calls it the 'minestrone of Korea'.

You want the perfect Friday night in: Spinach and ricotta ravioli with passata

Ravioli is an Italian dumpling, and it's typically stuffed with ricotta, meat, cheese, and vegetables. The filling is then sealed in dough and served with a delicious tomato or cream-based pasta sauce. In ancient Italy, these tiny dumplings were served every Friday - making this Rachel Khoo recipe the perfect dish to wrap the week.

You're feeling lonely: Manti (Turkish dumplings)

In Turkish culture, this dish typically needs many hands. Teamwork is definitely a must if you are planning to make manti for a large group of guests, so invite your mates over and tackle it together. They say a sign of a good manti is how small they are, and while Shane Delia's manti are bigger than a traditional dumpling, they're still just as delicious!

Interpretations of manti can vary, but they're usually served with yoghurt, dried mint and red pepper.

You want to surprise and delight: Xiao Long Bao (Soup dumplings)

This dumpling's story begins in Nanxiang, Shanghai over nearly 150 years ago. It is believed that restauranteur Huang Mingxian wanted to create a dumpling that would surprise and delight his guests. It's usually filled with pork and aspic (meat stock set to jelly). When it cooks, the aspic melts, forming a 'soup' within the dumpling. With this recipe, the soup comes from the melted bone marrow.


These Sardinian deep-fried dumplings are filled with ricotta, sultanas and lemon and smothered in warm honey. They're just divine.

Sticky rice dumplings (chapssaltteok)

These are sweet and chewy rice cakes filled with red bean paste. Typically served as a sweet bite with tea when you have guests and they also make the perfect little gift for friends and family.

Sweet mung bean dumplings (khanom tua paep)

A Thai sweet made for special occasions and religious ceremonies, khanom tua paep can also be eaten for breakfast or as a morning snack.

Prawn dumplings with egg noodles

This is a really simple recipe that I always make in large batches and freeze in individual portions along with the dumplings. It makes a fantastic quick dinner when I get home late from work and am starving hungry.

Breakfast dumplings

Give the classic bacon and eggs a fusion twist by wrapping crispy pancetta and scrambled eggs in wonton pastry for a delicious steamed breakfast.