Fried vs Steamed Dumplings: Which is Better?

Fried vs Steamed Dumplings
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Dumplings come from Southeast Asia, with varieties in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.

They are a staple food and have spread all over the world due to their versatility and flavor. You can fill your dumplings with whatever you desire, whether it’s chicken, pork, or veggies, and you can have your dumplings steamed or fried.

However, which one is better? People have their opinions and we’ll be looking into the key differences between steamed and fried dumplings.

Fried vs Steamed Dumplings: What’s the Difference?

Steamed dumplings and fried dumplings are made almost exactly the same way. It starts with a dumpling dough, usually made from flour or water, kneaded and rolled out, and a filling.

The filling completely depends on the dumpling.

In China, the most popular filling is pork and scallions but you can also fill dumplings with beef, chicken, or vegetables, giving options to everyone.

Once the dumplings are filled and pressed together, they need to be cooked and they can either be prepared steamed or fried. 

Steamed dumplings just go in a steamer for 10 to 15 minutes, making the dumpling softer and chewy, and shiny looking.

Fried dumplings, on the other hand, are made in a frying pan with oil on the bottom. The dumplings are placed on the oil and a bit of water is added to the pan before covering for about 10 minutes.

Frying dumplings give one side of your dumpling a crispy exterior, which is a great contrast of texture to the soft filling inside. They are also called potstickers, but when you go to a restaurant you can usually ask for your dumplings steamed or fried depending on your preference.

Essentially, the difference between steamed and fried dumplings is the exterior, whether you like the exterior crispy or soft.

Fried vs Steamed Dumplings: Comparison Chart

Differences Steamed dumplings Fried dumplings
Fillings Can be any filling: pork, beef, chicken or vegetables Can be any filling: pork, beef, chicken or vegetables
Texture Soft and chewy  Soft, but crispy on the outside
Flavor Bland on the outside More flavor on the outside

Are Fried Dumplings Or Steamed Dumplings Better?

Deciding whether fried or steamed dumplings are better is completely up to you and your preference.

Many people say fried dumplings are tastier because they are fried in oil and have a crispy and flavorful exterior which gives them something extra.

However, steamed dumplings are the more common way of preparing Chinese dumplings. They are usually made in a steamer or can be made in a pan with water as well.

Steamed dumplings are also deemed the healthier option. Therefore many people opt for steamed dumplings when ordering them. 

Steamed dumplings and fried dumplings can have the same fillings, and theta is prepared in bulk and made to order. Therefore, whether you decide to steam or fry your dumplings will not affect the filling you add to them. 

If you’re making a large number of dumplings, steamed might be easier to make.

Just buy a large steamer and will not need to worry about burning the bottom of the dumplings. Fried dumplings, on the other hand, should be watched to prevent the bottom from getting too crispy.

What’s The Difference Between Pan-Fried And Steamed Dumplings?

The key difference between pan-fried and steamed dumplings is how they are cooked and how that affects the texture of the outside.

Steamed dumplings are made in a steamer. Therefore, they have a soft and chewy exterior. They are the most traditional kind of Chinese dumplings.

Fried dumplings are made in a frying pan and are fried in oil and steamed at the same time. This gives the outside a crispy, flavorful exterior and makes them more popular with many people.

But many opt for steamed dumplings as a healthier option, since they are not made in oil.

Are Chinese Dumplings Fried Or Steamed?

Chinese dumplings can be both fried or steamed, and fried dumplings can sometimes be referred to as potstickers.

Traditionally, Chinese dumplings are usually steamed. However, you can also order them fried at restaurants, depending on your preference. 

Fried and steamed dumplings have the same fillings, so the only difference is the exterior. If you prefer a crispier exterior, opt for fried dumplings. However, if you prefer a soft and chewier exterior, you might want to go for steamed dumplings.

Can You Deep Fry Dumplings?

Traditionally, Chinese dumplings are not deep-fried but either pan-fried or steamed.

However, as dumplings have gained popularity over the world, people have experimented with them. Some American restaurants do have deep-fried dumplings, but this is not traditional and is not recommended. 

Pan-frying dumplings is the easiest way to go and will yield you a crispy, yet still, soft dumpling, whereas deep-frying the dumpling will give you a very crispy exterior. The dumpling will be a lot oilier and this is not necessary to do when making dumplings at home.

Dumpling

What Can You Put In Your Dumplings?

When filling your own dumplings, the possibilities are endless.

Popularly, Chinese dumplings are filled with pork and scallions. However, they can also be filled with shrimp, chicken, beef, and veggies.

They can be made vegan as well, as the dough for dumplings is usually vegan.

Other popular fillings include mushrooms, chicken, and tofu, and you can make your own filling depending on what ingredients you like and what flavors you want.

It is very important to have small pieces of veggies and ground meat in the filling, and only add about a teaspoon of filling to your dumplings so that they don’t spill out.

Can You Make Your Own Dumpling Dough?

Yes, you can make your own dumpling dough.

It consists of water and flour, mixed together and kneaded to form a smooth dough. Leave it to rest for about 30 minutes and make sure to roll it thin for your dumplings. 

Although dumpling dough is easy to make, it can be time-consuming if you want to make a lot of dumplings. You can also buy dumpling wrappers at the supermarket in the frozen section.

Frozen dumpling wrappers can last a long time in the freezer. Thus, you can prepare dumplings whenever you want. You can also buy pre-cut wrappers which save you time to cut the shape of the dumplings.

Whether you prefer your dumplings fried or steamed is entirely up to you. If you’re unsure, you can try making both. So, steam half, then fry the other half to see which one you like better.

As you can notice, the possibilities are endless when it comes to dumplings. They make a perfect appetizer, side, or main dish. 

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