Fried vs. Steamed Dumplings

Dumplings are among the most delicious foods in Southeast Asia. You can find different varieties in Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and China.

A common discussion between food lovers is one of fried vs. steamed dumplings. Both versions of this dish are popular, and people tend to prefer one over the other.

Here’s why these two methods of preparing dumplings are the subject of rivalries within the culinary world.

The Difference


Fried and steamed dumplings are prepared using similar techniques and ingredients. The process starts with a simple dumpling dough and the filling. The type of stuffing depends on the dumpling; you’ll notice differences depending on the region.

For example, the most popular filling in China is pork and scallions, while in other parts of Southeast Asia, the stuffing can be chicken, beef, or all-vegetable.

While you can see some differences in the filling, the fundamental factor that divides so many dumpling lovers is how they will be cooked. Once the dough packets are filled and pressed together, they must be steamed or fried.

The first type goes in the steamer for 15 minutes, making the dumpling shiny, chewy, and soft. On the other hand, the fried varieties are cooked in an oil-filled pan. The fried dumpling provides a crispy exterior that offers a delicious contrast of texture to the filling softness.

This is the main difference between steamed and fried: the exterior. Some people believe a soft exterior is the authentic way of making a dumpling, while others prefer a more robust dough flavor and believe the fried one is the tastiest.

Final Thoughts

In terms of fried vs. steamed dumplings, there’s no real answer as to which is the perfect dumpling. Both methods are delicious, and it will all depend on your preference. Everyone has different tastes when it comes to food.

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