Fried vs Steamed Dumplings: Which One Should You Get?

Dumplings are amongst one of those Asian dishes that are common pretty much around the globe. The fillings can vary but the dumplings are generally available in two types: fried and steamed. So, which one should you get in a fried vs steamed dumplings option?

A lot of the flavor depends on the fillings, but the dumplings being fried or steamed can have a marked effect on the taste as well. Let’s see how that all works out.

Fried VS Steamed Dumplings – The Differences

The Texture And Taste Variation

Fried VS Steamed Dumplings

The most evident and clear change belongs to the texture. Steamed dumplings have that nice and soft texture, though it can be fairly bland in taste. Although in this case, the exterior maintains a good, chewy texture. Fried dumplings get a better taste and feel. 

Frying the dumplings makes them flavorful and crunchy. Besides, the crispiness of the exterior and the frying seem to make the dumplings taste better. 

While the change from frying is most obvious at the exterior, the fillings do see some difference too. For steamed dumplings, the fillings continue to taste soft and smooth. While the fillings in fried dumplings get a slightly chewy texture with hints of oily taste. 

The Preparation And Fillings

Fried Dumplings

Whether steamed or fried, most of the preparation for dumplings follows the same path. The filling usually includes chicken, pork, beef, vegetables, or a combination of these. There are practically countless variations and preparations for the fillings around the world. 

The filling is wrapped in the covering and given their shape. For the next step, the dumplings could be steamed or fried depending on their preparation.

Generally speaking, there is no change or adjustment to the filling for fried and steamed dumplings. The fillings for either can stay the same. It is usually only the method that changes.

When preparing a large batch, it might be easier to cook steamed dumplings rather than fried dumplings.

Interestingly, traditional dumplings are generally steamed, though pan frying is occasionally employed as well. Deep-frying is usually not the way to go for traditional dumplings, though it has become more popular globally.

Is There A Healthier Pick Between Fried And Steamed Dumplings?

As preparation goes, steamed and fried dumplings are pretty much the same. The only difference is that one is fried, while the other is steamed. As such, the steamed version is the healthier one. Fried dumplings, especially deep-fried dumplings can’t really be seen as the healthier choice.

FAQ And Related Questions

Are Dumplings Supposed To Be Steamed Or Fried?

In traditional Chinese cooking, there are three common options for cooking dumplings. These are steamed, boiled, or pan-fried. As such, all these methods are acceptable for making dumplings. Of course, each method has an effect on the texture and taste of the dumpling, but they’re all acceptable ways to cook dumplings.

Another popular method for cooking dumplings came up as they rose to popularity around the globe. This is the deep-fried dumpling. While deep-frying isn’t a traditional method for cooking dumplings, it is fairly popular and many see the deep-fried dumpling as delicious.

Is It Possible To Air Fry Dumplings?

Air fryers have become a popular way to enjoy fried and deep-fried food, without indulging in the high fat content of conventional deep-frying. As with many other foods, it is possible and perfectly acceptable to air fry dumplings.

To do this, start with pre-heating the air fryer to 370F for 4-5 minutes. Place the dumplings in the air fryer tray, spray them with oil, and let them cook for about 5 minutes. After this time, take out the fryer tray, shake it a bit, give the dumplings another spray of oil and put them back in the fryer.

The dumplings should be fried and ready in about 5 more minutes.

What Can I Pair With Dumplings To Eat?

Dumplings are an excellent comfort food, but you might want something more to accompany these as you eat them. Whether it’s a side dish or something more substantial, it might be fun to have something to go about with the dumplings.

You’ll find there are countless options to pick from. After all, dumplings are a very versatile food. Some top choices to consider include Chicken Stir-Fried Noodles, scallion pancakes, black bean dipping sauce, coconut curry dipping sauce, sweet and sour sauce, spring rolls, and a lot more!

Are Dumplings Vegan Friendly?

As a versatile food, dumplings can be made to be suitable to most diet preferences. You can have dumplings friendly to vegan or vegetarian diets. There already are several fillings targeted towards vegans and vegetarians, give them a shot. If you know how to cook, experimenting with your choice of fillings and food might give some surprisingly good results.

While dumplings can (and usually do) include meat in fillings, it isn’t a necessity. It is possible to change or modify the fillings to suit your taste and diet preferences.

Picking The Dumpling You Love

When comparing fried vs steamed dumplings, you’ll find that both of them have remarkably good taste and texture. Both of these are excellent choices for cooking and offer a lot by way of taste and flavor. 

Dumplings are a remarkably versatile food, so you could pair them with quite a few dishes. Also, dumplings can be made in a way that they work with a variety of diet preferences, so if you’re vegan or vegetarian, you should be able to find delicious dumplings suitable for you!

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