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Dumpling versatility

Updated on January 4, 2012
Store bought Flat dumplings
Store bought Flat dumplings | Source
Rustic homemade dumplings
Rustic homemade dumplings | Source

I love any recipe or foods that prove themselves to be filling and versatile in the kitchen. Dumplings in my opinion is one of those foods that lend themselves well to any type of satisfying meal, whether they are the main, side or dessert course.

Dumplings are fairly easy and there are a myriad of versions. They can be as simple as flour and water or even more complicated than that but they are never over five ingredients at the most and that is usually only when using them as a part of a dessert recipe.

Dumplings can be eaten by themselves, boiled in salted water until done and enjoyed for themselves, simple and filling.

They can be enjoyed as part of soups as simple as broth based or complicated stews, like peas soup & dumplings, which i grew up eating and craving at different times.

Dumplings can be dense, or fluffy, round or flat, spooned or rolled, rustic or sophisticated, this depends on the recipe chosen and what is typically easiest for the person preparing the meal.

They can be used in a savory meal or in a sugary dessert, giving each a added texture that round out a dish.

Since they can be made with few ingredients, dumplings - from start to finish, they can take less than 10 minutes in the kitchen, and/or can be a quick snack.


1. Basic dumpling

  • all purpose flour
  • salt
  • baking soda
  • water

2. Milk dumpling

The only thing that makes this different of course is the milk you use, buttermilk can also be used.

  • all purpose flour, salt & baking soda OR
  • self rising flour
  • milk

3. Savory dumpling

These dumpling usually have spices added or are added to a spicy dish, so that they take on the strongest flavor or herb added to the dish.

  • all purpose flour
  • salt
  • baking soda
  • thyme
  • white or black pepper
  • water

4. Dessert dumpling

What makes the Dessert dumpling different from the others is the fact that you add sugar and vanilla or some type of flavoring if you wish. These can be used with cooked berries, fruits or apples. The dumpling can be used to replace any pie crust or dough, and biscuit dough.

  • all purpose flour
  • salt
  • baking soda
  • sugar
  • vanilla
  • milk or water

Another option

  • 2/3 c. sifted flour
  • 2 tblsp. sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 tblsp. butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tblsp. milk
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  1. Sift all dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Cut in the butter.
  3. Then mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
  4. Drop dumplings on top of cooking fruit, cover, lower heat and cook until dumpling are done about 15 mins depending on size.

If you are cooking these in a low pan, make sure you line the lid with a sheet of foil, that has been buttered or oiled, or any cloth that can be used in steaming, like cheese cloth.

Quick dessert filling. Cook down your fruit, about 1 quart with 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of water and 1 tsp vanilla or flavoring and voila you have a easy complement to any meal or quick snack.

For an even quicker filling use something out of a can, add some vanilla &/or spice, like cinnamon, throw in a pan with a lid, cook and enjoy - once the dumpling is done and tender, (use a tooth pick or knife to test the center, it needs to come out clean).

Any of these dumplings can be used at anytime especially if you are out of bread and want something doughy, to round out your meal.

Cultural tidbits: in every ethnic group all over the world there is some type of dumpling. In the Bahamas they are known as "dough boys", normally a simple recipe made up of flour, salt and water.

They are popular in the Oriental cuisine and are usually stuffed with vegetables and meat, a savory concoction.

In the Jewish culture there is something known as the 'matzo' ball, which is close enough.

The East Indian, West Indian and in the Caribbean there is a flour based flat bread known as the "roti", it is rolled out flat, but typically it would be used as a savory, since it is served as a complement to a meal.

The Spanish or Hispanics have the tortilla, which most of us are very familiar with because of the taco and flat breads.


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    • Celiegirl profile image

      Celiegirl 6 years ago

      Thanks rjsadowski, i will have to look into the different versions you mention.

      Thanks alocsin, they are one of my favorites as well. Thanks for the vote

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      One of my favorite foods is dumpling. Thanks for highlighting it. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • rjsadowski profile image

      rjsadowski 6 years ago

      I never met a dumpling that I didn't like. You might want to do another hub on the various forms that dumplings can take or the different ingredients such as potatoes or corn meal.