The dumpling has been embraced by nearly every cuisine on earth. There are about as many dumpling recipes as there are blades of grass under the sun, and we all have our favorites. But which dumpling is the world's best?
For the purposes of this deathmatch, we've limited ourselves to stuffed dumplings -- that is, a dough of some kind wrapped around a filling of some kind -- which is why you won't find any matzoh balls, gnocchi, spaetzle or chicken and dumplings here. Also, we struggled with whether or not to include the empanada, but decided that for the purposes of comparison today, empanadas are just too big to be considered a dumpling today. Really, they're almost a hand-pie. Here are the eight amazing dumplings that did make the cut, in no particular order (we're so sorry other dumplings, we love all of you so much):
- Gyoza: Japanese pan-fried dumplings, usually served with ponzu sauce for dipping.
- Ravioli: the ubiquitous Italian dumpling comes in every size, shape and filling you can imagine.
- Pierogi: we've been particularly obsessed with these Polish dumplings lately, usually stuffed with potato, farmer's cheese, meat or sauerkraut.
- Samosa: these deep-fried Indian dumplings are usually highly spiced and piping hot.
- Manti: a Turkish dumpling, usually nickel-sized, stuffed with meat and served with a cooling yogurt sauce.
- Kreplach: we like to think of kreplach as Jewish wantons, often stuffed with potato and onion, and nearly always served in soup.
- Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao): these incredible inventions are a specialty of Shanghai cuisine, and are filled with hot soup and usually a ball of pork and crab, served with a gingery vinegar sauce.
- Siu Mai (or Shumai): these bite-sized, open-top dumplings are a staple of dim sum houses the world over, and can be stuffed with any from shrimp to pork to watercress and beyond.
Here's how the Dumplings Of The World Deathmatch voting will go down:
- Round One voting opens May 7 -- vote right now!
- Wednesday, May 8 at 12:00am Eastern, Round Two begins.
- Thursday, May 9 at 12:00am Eastern, you'll be able to vote in Round Three.
- Friday morning, May 10, we'll announce which cuisine's dumpling wins the crown.
*This is one of those times that we wished we could have more than eight bracket spots. If we missed your favorite stuffed dumpling, don't forget to let us (and everyone else) know in the comments!