The definition is pretty loose: If you have either something or nothing encased in dough made of anything which is then fried, steamed, boiled, or baked, you have a dumpling. Wontons, ravioli, spätzle, matzoh balls, empanadas, samosas, and mochi all fall under this heading, a veritable United Nations of cooked dough.
The dumplings you’re probably most familiar with come from your local Asian take-out. Chinese steamed or fried wheat dumplings, known as jiaozi, are filled with a mixture of ground pork, ginger, and scallions or chives. If you’re of the Japanese persuasion, gyoza, fried pork dumplings, or shumai, steamed shrimp dumplings are de rigeur. Itching for Korean? Grab an order of kimchi, vegetable and cellophane noodle-packed mandu. That’s right, noodles INSIDE a dumpling.
We’re giving you a 500-foot leash here — locate and consume anything of any ethnicity that one might deem a dumpling, let us know what you picked in the comments below or upload a photo to our Flickr pool. Have a good lunch!