Get A Taste Of Dumplings From Around The World - Right Here In Singapore
STORY: Annette Tan
26 September 2022
It’s World Dumpling Day (26 Sep), so well, any excuse to talk about or eat dumplings, right? We decided this marked a good occasion to list the many versions of dumplings from around the world that are available in Singapore. Grab your chopsticks and forks – you’re about to start craving dumplings.
Inspired by the Chinese jiaozi, gyoza were created by the Japanese after the Second World War and have stuck to their pots since (geddit?). Similar to jiaozi, gyoza are a touch more delicate (they are Japanese, after all), and contain more finely minced pork and veggies like cabbage. They are mostly pan-fried and served as a side dish.
Wash your gyoza down with sake at The Gyoza Bar along Boat Quay, or enjoy broth-filled gyoza at Keisuke Gyoza King (think of them as the maximalist’s answer to xiao long bao). For cheap and cheerful gyoza, head to Gyoza no Ohsho at Cuppage Plaza.
Hong You Chao Shou
Of course there are plenty of Chinese dumplings to speak of, including xiao long bao, siew mai, jiaozi and wantan. But Singaporeans love a good Sichuan delicacy, so let’s talk about hong you chao shou (chilli oil dumplings). They are essentially boiled wuntun or jiaozi tossed in a tasty, vinegar-laced chill oil.
For Muslim-friendly versions, head to DumPrince Dumpling House or Tang Tea House. We also like the version at Shanghai La Mian Xiao Long Bao at #01.56 Alexandra Food Village and Zhong Guo La Mian Xiao Long Bao at Chinatown Complex Market and Food Centre.
Depending on whom you ask, momos originated in Tibet or Nepal. By the 1960s, these thick-skinned dumplings made their way across India, settling in places like Darjeeling, Dharamsala, Sikkim and Delhi. Today, they are available all across the country and still a staple in Nepal and Tibet. Most Nepalese will tell you that when you can’t decide what to order at a Nepalese restaurant, just ask for the momos first and decide on everything else later.
In Tibet, the traditional momo filling is yak, though vegetarian versions are abundant now too. Made of flour and water, the dough also encases paneer in India, while khoa – which contains milk solids and sugar – is a popular dessert momo in the Kathmandu Valley.
In Singapore, try Tangra-style momos at Fifth Season; Nepalese momos at Everest Kitchen; Bhutanese momos (on the dinner menu) at Como Cuisine; and Delhi-style momos from home-based business KC’s Momo.
Traditional Russian dumplings with dough made from flour, water, eggs and salt, pelmeni are typically stuffed with ground chicken, pork, turkey or beef. Shaped like wantan and tortellini, they are served with sour cream, mayonnaise, dill, red onions or vinegar and sometimes spiked with horseradish or tomatoes, depending on the region the pelmeni are from.
Borscht Restaurant has a plethora of pelmeni, stuffed with things like potato and bacon or sauerkraut, salmon, beef and chicken. They even come in variously coloured skins.
Savoury dumplings usually filled with potatoes, onions and cheese, Polish pierogies are dumplings that will fill your bellies easily. Get your fix from Dumpling Darlings, which as its name implies, serves all sorts of dumplings from Spicy Sichuan to dessert dumplings filled with amaretto, cream cheese and poached pears. You can even buy frozen pierogis online to cook at home.
Speaking of frozen dumplings, we are loving the wide range of Korean mandu in supermarkets and on Lazada these days. Our favourite: Olbaan Spicy Jjamppong Mandu, which we picked up from FairPrice. Essentially, mandu is the traditional term for Korean dumplings, which look a lot like jiaozi or gyoza. The classic fillings for mandu are pork, tofu, garlic chives and ginger. Try the plant-based kimchi mandu at The Boneless Kitchen or the fried mandu at Kim Dae Mun.