Dumplings of the World, Unite!

Whether steamed, boiled, fried, or filled, almost every nation has at least one variation of these irresistible doughy morsels. It’s time for a global tour.

By Rachel Grozanick January 25, 2016 Published in the February 2016 issue of Portland Monthly

It’s nearly required that the word “dumpling” be uttered with a sigh of longing. Steamed, boiled, fried, filled, swimming in broth—almost every country has at least one variation of these irresistible morsels. Go devour them all.

0216 hum bao hkcafe rb0eck

Hum Bao at H.K. Cafe


A balance of sweet and savory, the onion-soy-sugar tang of char siu barbecue pork tucked inside these classic dim sum puffs is bold enough to resonate through the dough’s marshmallow-fluffiness.

0216 empanadas que bacano c8qyya

Empanadas Qué Bacano


This cheery Portland Mercado cart relies on the traditional corn dough of Colombia for its crispy-shelled empanadas, which give way with a satisfying crunch before melting into cumin-spiced beef and potato heaven. 

0216 pelmeni kachka n4rhhu

Pelmeni at Kachka


These teeny boiled dumplings, nearly bursting with spiced beef, pork, and veal, are similar to Italian tortellini. Kachka’s Bonnie Morales uses a special mold called a pelmenitsa to craft 8,500+ per week.

0216 pierogi grandpas cafe xwpfw6

Pierogi at Grandpa's Café


This “members only” café serves Polish half-moons of boiled perfection stuffed with sauerkraut and mushrooms, meat, or—our fave—mashed potatoes and farmer’s cheese. One-day club memberships are $1. Seriously.

0216 knedliky grandpas cafe wh4bmf

Knedlíky at Tábor

Czech Republic

The only nonfilled dumpling on our list doesn’t need any innards. Smear the light, springy, steamed dough rounds with porcini garlic gravy or heap ’em with caraway-infused sauerkraut.

0216 mandu spring restaurant m3avki

Mandu at Spring Restaurant


Essentially the offspring of an egg roll and a pierogi, Beaverton’s Spring packs its mandu with tender pork and cabbage alongside a bright soy-chile sauce that’s
perfect for dunking. 503-641-3670

Show Comments