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Dumplings are a magical type of food that can be steamed, boiled or fried, they are commonly filled with meat, seafood, or vegetables. They go with anything, from soups to rice to have them dipped in soy sauce or black vinegar, they really are a delightful treat. Dumplings are made for warm hearty meals, especially on colder days, dunked in soup and slurped with an occasional bite of the meaty dumpling. And if you’re wondering what to eat with your dumplings then you can either choose a traditional Chinese side dish like black bean sauce or perhaps you’d prefer a Thai style dipping sauce, let’s explore the varieties of delicious sides that will have your mouth watering in no time.

What Are Dumplings?

Dumplings are soft balls of dough that are boiled, fried or steamed, sometimes the dough is rolled out to be contain fillings, or it can be formed into a mound and cooked as it is. Originating from China there are many ways to eat these little treasures, they can be eaten in a broth, and if you’d like, check out our article on what to serve with chicken and dumpling .

Boiled dumplings can be thoroughly cooked in water or directly in a soup or stew in which they’ll be served.

Steamed dumplings can be set in a basket over boiling water, or they can be pan-fried by having their bottoms heated in oil, whilst they’re internally cooked with a small amount of water in a lidded pan.

Fried dumplings can be cooked in oil, lard or any type of fat.

Types Of Dumpling Fillings

If you’re wondering what makes a great dumpling filling, make sure that there is a nice balance between the main ingredients, a great combination of flavours, and a moist juicy texture that will have you slurping your dumplings like a starved human.

Dumplings can be filled with nothing to whatever you like, the most common types of fillings include minced meat or vegetables, sweet fillings like fruit, or sweetened cheese, or you could have no fillings in your dumplings like gnocchi.

What Kind Of Dough Is Used For Dumplings?

The most basic kind of dough used to make dumplings is made of wheat flour, and water but naturally there is more than one way to make dumpling dough.

The other types of flour that can be used to make dumplings are buckwheat, millet, and tapioca. The starch component of the dumplings can be included with vegetables like potatoes, sweet potato or squash. Some dumplings like German knödel are made with leftover bread. Adding eggs, cream, butter, or cheese tends to produce a richer, and more tender dumpling dough, perfect for adding to soups.

How To Make Chinese Chicken Dumplings

Before we talk about what delicious sides can be served with dumplings, lets talk about the creation process of these delightful little treasures.

To make the Chinese dumpling filling mix: 150g of minced chicken, 1 teaspoon of finely chopped lemongrass, 1/2 teaspoon of finely grated ginger, 1 cup of finely chopped cabbage, 1 chopped spring onion, chopped coriander leaves, 1 teaspoon of chicken stock powder, 2 teaspoons of cornflour, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon of sweet chilli sauce.

Then wet an edge of a dumpling wrapper, place a teaspoon of the dumpling mixture in the middle pf the dough, and fold it in half to form a semi-circle. Crimp the seal with your fingers to form pleats, then stand the dumpling on a tray lined with baking paper.

Steam the dumplings over boiling water for 10-12 minutes or until they are tender and the filling has cooked. Let them cool down for a couple minutes then serve these delightful dumplings with your favourite side dish, or dipping sauce.

What Goes Good With Dumplings?

If you’re wondering what to have with Chinese dumplings, the short answer would be absolutely anything! They’re amazing on their own, dunked in sauces, dashed on top of noodles, or simply eaten as part of an Asian feast.

You can smother these delightful packages in chilli oil, or dunk them in sweet chilli sauce for a sweet and tingly contrast to the soft and chewy textured dumpling.

You can serve Chinese dumplings with udon noodles in a stir fry sauce, with some vegetables for a yummy meal.

Here are some other delicious ideas on what you can eat with dumplings:

  • Vegetable Stir-Fry
  • Fried Rice
  • Fried Green Beans
  • Fresh Spring Rolls
  • Hot and Sour Soup
  • Egg Drop Soup
  • Char Siu Roasted Aubergine
  • Chinese Broccoli
  • Kimchi
  • Chicken Stir-Fried Noodles
  • Quinoa Cabbage Salad
  • Green Bean Salad
  • Thai-Style Dipping Sauce
  • Black Bean Dipping Sauce
  • Creamy Ginger Soy Dipping Sauce
  • Coconut Curry Dipping Sauce
  • Plantain Dumpling Soup
  • Mochi
  • Ube
  • Fried Sesame Balls

Vegetable Stir Fry

This is an easy dish to make with the perfect crunch to go with the soft textures of your dumplings, especially if your dumplings are filled with meats, these will be the perfect companion.

Just add some carrots, red peppers, and baby sweetcorn; stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add some courgette and sugar snap peas and stir-fry for another 3 minutes. Toss the vegetables using a wooden spatula, keep them moving then add some water, hoisin and soy sauce then cook over high heat for another 2 minutes till the vegetables are cooked but not too soft.

Serve with some Chinese dumplings, and your favourite sauce for a delightful meal.

Fried Rice

Rice is commonly paired with most rich and sauce based meals in Asian cuisine. But for dumplings fried rice is the best option, with all the wonderful flavours, from either meat or vegetables depending on what your dumplings are filled with, will make the perfect contrasting side dish.

If you’ve filled your dumplings with meat, then this simple fried rice is for you: Scramble some eggs in a large sauté pan, breaking them into small pieces, then transfer the eggs to a separate plate and set them aside.

Put the pan back onto the heat and sauté some onions, carrots, peas and garlic until soft and cooked through. Push the vegetables to one corner of the pan and melt some butter on the space remaining, add cooked rice, soy sauce and oyster sauce then stir to combine with the vegetables, and continue to sauté the rice stirring every 15 to 20 seconds or so for 3 minutes, or until the rice and vegetables start to brown slightly.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in some green onions, sesame oil and scrambled eggs, taste the rice and season with salt and pepper and soy sauce if you feel like its needed.

Serve this with your dumplings for a beautiful combination of textures that will surely have your tummy bouncing with joy.

Fried Green Beans

These vibrant beans taste plain all on their own, but what if we added some garlic Sichuan sauce? With its wonderful combination of sweet and salty flavours, it holds the perfect formula for transforming plain old green beans into a delectable side dish.

This is also a perfect sauce to have with chicken wings, fried chicken and chicken strips.

To make Sichuan sauce, mix garlic, ginger, red pepper, chilli garlic sauce, sugar, and soy sauce in a pan. Bring this mixture to a near boil, then in a separate container dissolve some corn starch in water and add this mixture to the pan and stir until the sauce thickens beautifully.

Coat your fried green beans in this sauce and enjoy this delightful side dish with your dumplings, the Sichuan sauce provides the perfect flavours to both the green beans and the dumplings, the contrast of textures making it a yummy treat, that you and your family will simply adore.

Fresh Spring Rolls

These rolls are a perfect Asian side dish to have with dumplings, loaded with heaps of flavour. It is a combination of minced meat, carrots, cucumbers and other vegetables wrapped in rice paper. Dip these in a creamy peanut sauce for a tsunami of flavours, that will make a scrumptious meal when eaten together with dumplings.

Hot and Sour Soup

Soup is a huge part of Asian cuisine, and there are lots of delicious varieties, for the Chinese in particular soup acts as a connection to all other dishes making it a complete meal.

Hot and sour soup is one of the most traditional soups and is a thin broth filled with spicy and sour flavours, that comes with a contrast of soft tofu, crunchy vegetables and dried, chewy shiitake mushrooms.

You can just dunk your dumplings as they are, into this hot and sour soup, bring a loaded spoonful of soup to your lips and slurp away!

Egg Drop Soup

The star of this soup is the wonderful egg, the flavours are enhanced with cloves, star anise, ginger, sesame oil, and other Asian spices. It is called egg drop soup, because a raw egg is literally dropped into the soup right before its done cooking.

You can give the soup a little whirl to break apart the egg, giving your soup beautiful swirls of white and yellow.

To make this soup begin by making a quick mixture of corn starch and stock, this will help dissolve the corn starch so that it doesn’t clump when you add it to the soup, and set it aside so that its ready for you to use when you need it.

Place chicken stock, ginger, soy sauce, green onions, mushrooms and white pepper in to a pot and bring it to a boil, stir in the corn starch and set the heat to low and let it simmer, then drop in some beaten eggs and start to stir it slowly, creating beautiful swirls in the soup.

Garnish with some chopped onions, and dunk in your dumplings for a delectable meal that will surely impress your guests at a dinner party.

Char Siu Roasted Aubergine

Char Siu is a traditional Asian cooking style that’s commonly used to flavour pork, it gives the meat that wonderful combination of sweet and savoury but we’re gonna use the same technique for the beautiful aubergine.

For this side dish you’re going to make a marinade out of soy sauce, oyster sauce, honey, hoisin sauce, five spice powder, and rice vinegar. Place sliced aubergine in the marinade and let it sit for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place the aubergine slices on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.

Roast the aubergine for 30-40 minutes, turning them occasionally until they’re nice and tender.

Serve this with dumplings and let your mouth enjoy the different textures as you take a bite of each scrumptious dish.

Chinese Broccoli

Although this looks nothing like a broccoli, Gai Lan or Chinese broccoli is quite tasty, with its mildly bitter sweet flavours, the stems can be eaten as well, the added crunch to the softness of the dumplings is the perfect contrasting texture for your meal.

To make this side dish trim the ends of the Chinese broccoli and cut the stalks in half to separate the thick stems from the leaves.

Add one inch of water to a large pot and let it start to simmer on medium heat, layer the stems at the bottom of the pot and place the leaves on top of the stems. The stems need to be closer to the bottom of the stems, because whilst we love how tough and crunchy their textures are, we still need it to cook. After about 3 minutes check that the stems can be pierced quite easily with a knife.

Drain the water and place the Chinese broccoli – leaves and stems – in a plate. Return the pan to the stove and add some olive oil, ginger, garlic and chilli pepper, then turn the heat to medium-low and let it simmer.

Stir in some miso paste, soy sauce, and sesame oil, and cook for another 15 seconds. Add Chinese broccoli in a pan give it all a quick stir, then plate it up with a generous helping of meat filled dumplings.

Kimchi

This wonderful Korean side dish, bursting with contrasting spicy and sour flavours is just a perfect side to have with dumplings, whether they have been filled with vegetables, meat or seafood this will make a delicious meal for you and your family.

The Korean classic dish is made by fermenting cabbage, and carrot in a tangy, spicy sauce, that will have you clicking your tongue in heavy appreciation.

Chicken Stir-Fried Noodles

This scrumptious side dish is a perfect meal to have with your dumplings especially if you’re hosting a weekend dinner party. A delicious dish that you and your guests will most certainly love.

If you are a great lover of chicken, then this dish is perfect for you, the chicken is marinated in oyster sauce, soy sauce, white pepper, sesame oil, Shaoxing wine, and Worcestershire sauce. Pan-fry the chicken to bring out the natural juices of the chicken which will add a rich taste to the noodles.

Quinoa Cabbage Salad

If you’re on the lookout for a healthy side dish to pair with your dumplings then you may wish to consider this delicious quinoa cabbage salad. This salad is packed with proteins and can even be eaten as a stand-alone dish.

To make this side dish combine cooked quinoa, chopped red cabbage, chopped white cabbage, shredded carrots, chopped fresh parsley, chopped walnuts, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Pour some vinaigrette over the salad and toss well, and serve this at room temperature, or cold for dinner, its crunchy texture making it the perfect side dish with your dumplings.

Green Bean Salad

A wonderful way to enjoy your greens with some dumplings by having this delicious green bean salad to take huge bites out of every now and then. Made with juicy tomatoes, and crumbly cheese, crunchy green beans and crispy onions. What’s even better about this salad is that you can choose to add some chicken or tuna to make it taste even more spectacular.

Thai-Style Dipping Sauce

Let’s move on to the fantabulous dipping sauces that we can use to dunk our thick bellied dumplings into. This Thai-style dipping sauce is deliciously irresistible with hints of spice, and lots of sweet and tangy flavours perfect to have with meat and egg rolls and of course dumplings.

This sauce is made up of key components like red pepper flakes, fresh ginger roots, distilled white vinegar, turbinado sugar, and diced fresh cilantro. You can even add a bit of sriracha to make it a little spicier – only if that’s your thing.

Black Bean Dipping Sauce

If you love Chinese cuisine, then this is the sauce for you, black bean sauce can be eaten with dumplings, steamed foods, and can be added to dishes that you intend to grill, fry or bake. What an efficient sauce!

The basic ingredients needed to make this sauce are fermented black beans, minced white onion, dried chilli peppers, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, and ginger.

Use this as a dunking sauce for your dumplings and you’ll love every bite.

Creamy Ginger Soy Dipping Sauce

A creamy sauce to add to your list of Asian cuisine that you must most definitely try is this creamy ginger soy dipping sauce that is beautifully sweetened with honey and perfect for your dumplings to be dunked in.

With the right amounts of mayonnaise, soy sauce, honey and ginger to make this amazingly delectable sauce.

Coconut Curry Dipping Sauce

Another creative sauce to use as a dip for your dumplings is this coconut curry sauce, with its rich blend of flavours consisting of: lime, curry, coconut milk, and yogurt to end with a creamy delicious sauce to have with your thick meaty dumplings.

Plantain Dumpling Soup

Plantain dumpling soup is made with plantain balls stuffed with meat or vegetables and served in a beef broth. The broth consists of bell peppers, chopped cilantro, oregano, achiote, carrots, garlic, onion, tomatoes, yuca, corn, cabbage leaves and cumin.

For the beef filling you’ll need cooked peas, boiled eggs, raisins, peanut butter, diced tomato, salt, and pepper for the beef filling . This is a scrumptious soup that will compliment your dumplings perfectly.

Mochi

A Japanese treat of round buns made of soft and chewy rice, and stuffed with a sweet filling like red bean paste, ice cream or strawberry crème. It’s cold, sweet and chewy and an absolute delight to have with your meal.

Ube

This beautifully purple, thick and creamy delightful treat is a Filipino dessert made from sweet mashed potatoes or yams. It is injected with coconut milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk.

Fried Sesame Balls

A common snack in Vietnamese and China are these fried sesame balls, much like mochi they are made with rice and stuffed with a sweet filling like mung bean paste. It is then deep-fried and coated with sesame seeds, what a delectable treat!

So What Can You Eat With Dumplings?

You can make a variety of delectable side dishes from soups and rice to stir-fried vegetables. Whatever you choose to fill your dumplings with, they can be dunked in a sweet and savoury sauce, or eaten alongside a plate of egg-fried rice. You can stick with the Asian theme and create some delightful treats that are enjoyed amongst Chinese, Korean and Japanese cuisine.

FAQ’s

What Sides Go Well With Dumplings?

There is a variety of mouth-watering side dishes to have with your dumplings such as vegetable stir-fry, fried rice, fried green beans, fresh spring rolls, hot and sour soup, egg drop soup, char Siu roasted aubergine, Chinese broccoli, kimchi, chicken stir-fried noodles, Quinoa cabbage salad, green bean salad, Thai-style dipping sauce, black bean dipping sauce, creamy ginger-soy dipping sauce, coconut curry dipping sauce, plantain dumpling sauce, mochi, ube, fried sesame balls.

What Meal Are Dumplings Usually Served At?

Dumplings are usually eaten with a tasty soup, which can range from a simple broth to a bowl filled with stringy noodles sat in a wonderful spicy broth amongst some veggies or seafood.

What Do You Eat With Dumplings For Dinner?

You can have anything you like with your dumplings, if you’re hosting a gathering the most common thing to have with dumplings for dinner would be some soup, fried rice, stir-fried noodles you can even have a delightful dessert to have after your meal like mochi, or fried sesame balls.

What Do You Eat With Gyoza Dumplings?

Gyoza dumplings are commonly enjoyed with: A vegetable stir fry, fried rice, fried green beans, fresh spring rolls, egg drop soup, Potsticker rice noodle bowl, kimchi and hot and sour soup.