Ukrainian Sweet Varenyky Recipe for Dumplings with Summer Berries and Sour Cream. Best dumpling recipes. Copyright © 2022 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Best Dumpling Recipes for Potstickers, Pelmeni, Pierogi, Vareniki, Wontons and More

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This collection of our best dumpling recipes spans from Asia to Europe, savoury to sweet, and include potstickers, pelmeni, pierogi, vareniki, wontons, and more. It’s hard to beat homemade dumplings – you can season the fillings as you like and serve them with your favourite condiments. We’ll keep adding recipes to dumplings here as we publish them.

Our compilation of best dumpling recipes includes recipes for both sweet and savoury dumplings, from China and Cambodia to Russia and Ukraine. We’ve got recipes for the pelmeni and vareniki I learnt to make with my baboushka as a child to the crunchy potstickers we ate on first trip to China and the rustic dumplings from Cambodia we love.

Dumplings have been filling stomachs for at least 1,700 years. That’s how old the world’s oldest dumplings were when discovered by archaeologists in an ancient tomb in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region. Well-preserved, the wheat-flour dumplings looked pretty much like dumplings do today, crescent-shaped and stuffed with meat.

Dumplings come in myriad forms, the filling, folding, shape, and pleating, or no pleating, distinguishing one dumpling from the next. Boiled, steamed and fried, dumplings are cooked all over China and in countries in Asia, Europe and beyond where the Chinese travelled, traded and settled, and Chinese diaspora communities formed.

As regular readers know, I identify as a dumpling-lover. Where some cooks think of rolling out dough and folding scores of dumplings as hard work, for me it’s all-at-once therapeutic and nostalgic, providing an opportunity for me to recall family rituals and traditions of dumpling-making (and eating!) from the past. And it’s also fun, especially when done with loved-ones.

Before I share our best dumpling recipes, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-supported. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes, please consider supporting Grantourismo. One way is to make a donation to our epic original Cambodian cookbook and culinary history on Patreon.

Or you could buy something from our Grantourismo store such as gifts for foodies designed with Terence’s photography. Another way to support the site is by using our links to book accommodation, rent a car, buy travel insurance, book a tour on Get Your Guide.

We might earn a small commission from your purchases of cookbooks and ingredients on sites such as Amazon, and we have plenty of inspiration here in our round-ups of James Beard award-winning cookbooks, cookbooks by Australian chefs, classic cookbooks for serious cooks, cookbooks for culinary travellersgifts for Asian food lovers, picnic lovers and travellers who love photography. Now let’s share our best dumpling recipes.

Best Dumpling Recipes From Asia to Europe, Savoury to Sweet, From Potstickers to Pelmeni

Just a few tips to making dumplings before I share our best dumpling recipes. You’ll need a few things to make your dumpling-making easier.

We use a big 11.5 litre stock pot to boil dumplings such as pelmeni and vareniki, to get a good rolling boil and give the dumplings lots of space. The dumplings move about the water quite a bit, so it’s easier to tell when they’ve properly risen to the surface when they’re in a big pot.

A slotted spoon is super-handy for scooping out cooked dumplings as you don’t want to drain them because you need to keep reusing the water. We pop a couple of casserole pots with lids in the oven to keep the cooked pelmeni warm while we’re boiling the other batches.

Sometimes we’ll freeze uncooked dumplings, dusted with flour, and plastic zip-lock bags are super-handy for doing that.

Easy Chive and Pork Dumplings Recipe for the Cambodian-Chinese Take on Jiaozi

This easy chive and pork dumplings recipe makes the Cambodian-Chinese version of jiaozi, the delicious dumplings found right across China. Here in Cambodia, chive and pork dumplings are crescent-shaped, rustic, with thick dough, and no fancy pleating.

Cambodian-Chinese dumplings are typically packed with chives and a little ground pork mince. We’ve tweaked the traditional recipe, adding scallions and garlic to the mix, and used fatty pork mince, so they’re more flavourful and juicier. They’re so delish and easily one of our best dumpling recipes.

Dip them in chilli oil or a do-it-yourself sauce of chilli, soy and vinegar. We have a recipe for homemade Sichuan red chilli oil here and if you don’t want to make it yourself, this is a good one to buy Sichuan-style chilli oil.

Easy Chive and Pork Dumplings Recipe for the Cambodian-Chinese Take on Jiaozi

Russian Pelmeni Recipe for Russian Dumplings Just Like My Baboushka Used to Make

This pelmeni recipe makes the dumplings my baboushka, my mum, and her baboushka made, stuffed with savoury pork and beef mince that are boiled and served with sour cream and fresh dill.

One of my best dumpling recipes, made in big batches, they were shared at family meals, as one of an array of dishes that included savoury piroshki (Russian hand pies), stuffed cabbage rolls, beetroot potato salad, and Russian kotleti (chicken meat patties). Home-cooked Russian comfort food at its best.

Dumplings recipes first appeared in Domostroi: Rules for Russian Households in the Time of Ivan the Terrible, published way back in 1552 during the Novgorod Republic. Originally part of Kievan Rus, its citizens were Slavic (today’s Russians, Belarussians and Ukraines), Baltic and Finnic, influenced by Viking-Varangian and Byzantine cultures.

One theory is that Russian pelmeni came from China via Siberia, another from the Byzantine capital Constantinople, present-day Istanbul, home to Turkish manti. The earliest Ottoman manti recipe, in a 15th century cookbook is for lamb-stuffed dumplings that resemble pelmeni except they’re doused in yoghurt not sour cream.

Russian Pelmeni Recipe for Russian Dumplings Just Like My Baboushka Used to Make

Dumpling Soup Recipe for Siberian Pelmeni Soup with Fresh Dill and Sour Cream

This recipe for Siberian pelmeni soup makes Russian dumplings in the Siberian style and it’s another of my best dumpling recipes. Petite pelmeni stuffed with savoury ground beef, minced pork and fried onion, served in a buttery broth with cracked pepper, sour cream, and fresh fragrant dill.

As a child, I knew three things about Siberia – it was the coldest place on earth, it was home to horrific gulags where dissidents were exiled and forced into back-breaking work until it killed them, and it was the reason my great-grandmother never smiled.

Home to a fifth of Russia’s population, it’s the largest region, sprawling from the Urals in the west to the Pacific in the east, Arctic in the north and Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China in the south.

Before freezers, Siberians buried pelmeni in the snow and carried them in saddlebags to boil over an open fire. I often wonder if Cossacks returning to Russia after capturing the Siberian-Tatar capital in 1581 carried the frozen Siberian dumplings with them.

Dumpling Soup Recipe for Siberian Pelmeni Soup with Fresh Dill and Sour Cream

Russian Potato Vareniki Recipe for Mash and Caramelised Onion Filled Dumplings

Okay, this traditional Russian potato vareniki recipe is perhaps the best of our best dumpling recipes. It’s my favourite dumpling anyway! It makes half-moon shaped Russian dumplings filled with mashed potato and caramelised onion that are eaten with sour cream and fresh dill.

Vareniki – or varenyky for Ukrainians, as this is another dish beloved not only by Russians, but Ukrainians, where they’re thought to have originated – have been made in Russia for many centuries.

My grandmother’s family were from a village near Odessa, so she cooked both Russian and Ukrainian dishes, many of which are indistinguishable from each other, as, despite national identities and borders, the people share the same ethnicity, culture and history.

Baboushka served her dumplings swimming in butter in casserole pots. Dishes of dill pickles were always on the table as sour gherkins cut through the fat, while a classic garden salad lightened up the heartiest meal.

Russian Potato Vareniki Recipe for Mash and Caramelised Onion Filled Dumplings

Cabbage Dumplings Recipe for Russian-Ukrainian Vareniki with a Rich Cabbage Filling

My cabbage dumplings recipe makes Russian-Ukrainian vareniki stuffed with a rich filling of braised cabbage, onion, carrot, bacon, and spices and it’s another of our best dumpling recipes.

Once cooked, they’re garnished with fresh fragrant dill and eaten with sour cream. While you could tuck into a plate on their own, vareniki, like pelmeni, are usually served as one of an array of dishes shared family-style.

These cabbage dumplings are one of my favourite cabbage recipes. The stuffing is this braised cabbage recipe, which can be eaten on its own as a side – it’s fantastic with sausages, roast chicken, chops and the like.

I recommend using a mandoline for shredding the cabbage if you have one, otherwise your sharpest knife will work. Salting the cabbage first will soften it faster, although when it comes to frying and braising the cabbage, low and slow is best for a richer taste and deeper flavours.

Cabbage Dumplings Recipe for Russian-Ukrainian Vareniki with a Rich Cabbage Filling

Pan Fried Dumplings Recipe for Your Russian and Ukrainian Pelmeni and Vareniki Leftovers

Leftovers from family meals and my grandparents’ house were always sent home with us in casserole pots. My baboushka seemed to have an endless supply of the things!

This fried dumplings recipe for boiled Russian and Ukrainian pelmeni and vareniki leftovers shows you how to make the most of the dumplings, by frying them up with bacon, onion and garlic, and serving them with fresh dill and sour cream.

Sure, you could stick your leftover vareniki and pelmeni in casserole pots and reheat them in the oven or even microwave them, but then they’d just be reheated leftovers. You went to so much trouble to make these delicious dumplings, why not take an extra ten minutes and do something a little bit special to truly enjoy them?

Pan Fried Dumplings Recipe for Your Russian and Ukrainian Pelmeni and Vareniki Leftovers

Easy Homemade Pot Stickers Recipe for Crispy Chinese Fried Dumplings

Our easy pot stickers recipe makes crispy Chinese fried dumplings with homemade wrappers and a savoury ground chicken and vegetable filling. First fried until crunchy then quickly steamed in the wok, they’re super-easy to make and you can’t beat homemade.

These pot stickers are also versatile. You could fill them with minced pork or any kind of minced meat, mince and vegetables or just vegetables. Fry them one side or both sides, even skip the steaming.

The homemade wrappers are a cinch to prepare and it’s hard to beat homemade dough when it comes to pot stickers – or any Chinese dumplings, or any dumplings, for that matter – however, you could use store-bought wrappers if you’re short on time. It’s easily another of the best dumpling recipes.

Interestingly, the term ‘pot sticker’ was invented by the Chinese authors of the first systematic English language Chinese cookbook, How to Cook and Eat in Chinese, published in 1945. Written by Chao Yang Buwei and her Harvard-educated linguist husband Chao Yuenren, the cookbook provided an entertaining intro to Chinese food and Chinese foodways.

Homemade Pot Stickers Recipe for Crispy Chinese Fried Dumplings with Chicken and Vegetables

Sichuan Style Wonton Recipe for That Sichuan Red Chilli Oil You Made

This Sichuan style wonton recipe is made for that batch of homemade Sichuan red chilli oil you prepared. Easy to make, these spicy Sichuanese wontons have a pork filling that’s so perfectly seasoned you could eat them on your own. But why would you want to do that when you can generously douse them in chilli oil?

These wontons are really very easy to make and while they are a meal on their own, you could serve these up with some dan dan noodles, kung pao chicken, and mapo tofu, and have a proper Sichuanese feast.

We use a Dutch Oven on low heat with some Sichuan red chilli oil in there to keep the cooked wontons warm while the others cook. Giving them a gentle stir with a soft silicone spatula or giving the Dutch Oven a gentle shake keeps the wontons from sticking to each other and sticking to the oven.

Sichuan Style Wonton Recipe for That Sichuan Red Chilli Oil You Made

Ukrainian Sweet Varenyky Recipe for Dumplings with Summer Berries and Sour Cream

This Ukrainian sweet varenyky recipe with summer berries and sour cream makes delicious boiled dumplings filled with farmers cheese and berries served with a sweet sauce of raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and red currants, and sour cream, and it’s another of our best dumpling recipes. And another one of my favourites!

Also eaten in Russia, where they’re called vareniki, and in Poland called pierogi, varenyky are thought to have originated in Ukraine. You can make this Ukrainian sweet varenyky recipe with fresh summer berries and sour cream with fresh spring fruits such as cherries, strawberries, blueberries, and mulberries.

You can also use frozen summer berries, which are fantastic for this sweet varenyky recipe as you’re going to stew the summer fruits for a few minutes to create a sweet syrupy fruit sauce to drizzle on the dumplings.

Ukrainian Sweet Varenyky Recipe for Dumplings with Summer Berries and Sour Cream

If you’re a dumpling lover, do bookmark this page as we’ll be adding more recipes over coming weeks. Please do let us know if you make any of our best dumplings recipes in the comments below as we’d love to get your feedback and hear how our recipes turned out for you.


Lara Dunston Patreon


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A travel and food writer who has experienced over 70 countries and written for The Guardian, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Feast, Delicious, National Geographic Traveller, Conde Nast Traveller, Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia, DestinAsian, TIME, CNN, The Independent, The Telegraph, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, AFAR, Wanderlust, International Traveller, Get Lost, Four Seasons Magazine, Fah Thai, Sawasdee, and more, as well as authored more than 40 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, DK, Footprint, Rough Guides, Fodors, Thomas Cook, and AA Guides.

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