Dumplings of the World

International Student & Scholar Services is pleased to partner with WHISK and students in the Nutrition, Food Science & Packaging program at SJSU. This blog was written by Shannon Vo, a senior nutrition student and WHISK Ambassador.

Dumplings of the World

Sharing good food with others is a way to bring people together, and there are certain foods that are so universally appealing they transcend geographical and cultural boundaries. One dish that seems to be loved by people across the globe is the dumpling. Practically every country, region, or culture has their own different version of the dish. A dumpling, in the broadest definition, is a dish made with small pieces of dough. These pieces could be either filled or unfilled, sweet or savory, served with or in different sauces, soups, and ingredients, and cooked by a variety of techniques.

Dumplings exist in lots of shapes and forms, throughout different cultures. Image from foodpleasureandhealth.com

There are countless dumpling dishes and recipes that exist; learn about just a few of them and how to make them below. These dumplings come from four different continents.

Chicken and Dumplings

Image from TasteofHome.com

Chicken and dumplings is a dish from North America, perhaps most often associated with the American South, where it is a comfort food. The dumplings here are a dumpling without filling; instead they are round pieces of dough made with flour, that have a soft, fluffy texture. These dumplings are great at soaking up flavor, and are served in a creamy stew with chicken and vegetables cooked tender.

See a chicken and dumplings recipe demonstration from WHISK Ambassador Lyndale Rose Sy here.


Empanadas originated in Spain, then spread to throughout Latin America and the Philippines. This is a dumpling dish

Image from Goya.com

that features a pastry like piece of dough stuffed with a filling, that is then baked or fried. Empanadas can be stuffed with a range of fillings – like meat, vegetables, cheese, seafood, fruit, or a mixture of the above. The specific empanadas demonstrated here are based on the Argentinian ground beef version.

See an empanada recipe demonstration from WHISK Ambassador Shannon Vo here.


Pierogies are eaten throughout most Eastern European countries. They are dumplings made with unleavened dough,

Image from FoodNetwork.com

and are stuffed with fillings like potato, cheese, sauerkraut, or meat. They are either boiled or fried. Pierogies are probably best known in Poland and Ukraine. The Ukrainian version can be seen in the cooking demonstration here.

See a pierogi recipe demonstration from WHISK Ambassador Claire Satterwhite here.


Samosas are a popular street food in India and South Asia. This dish is made with dough wrappers that are either

Image from pureindianfoods.com

baked or deep fried, and are often filled with potatoes and vegetables like onions, peas, or lentils. Samosas have a crispy wrapper and a distinct triangular shape, making this quite a well recognized dumpling.

See a samosa recipe demonstration from WHISK Ambassador Hamed Safi here.

This has only been a short introduction to these dishes that are international treats. Enjoy exploring the wide world of dumplings!

Blog post by Shannon Vo,  senior nutrition student and WHISK Ambassador


1. Davis, Chelsea. 2018 August 10. What Dumplings Look Like Around the World. Retrieved from https://www.insider.com/dumplings-around-the-world-2018-8

2. The History of Dumplings. Retrieved from http://www.kitchenproject.com/history/Dumplings/

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