Just little pillowy pockets of dough? Oh no, dumplings are so much more than that. Savory or sweet, crunchy or soft, these magnificent stuffed balls of dough will have your mouth watering with just one bite. Dumplings, which stretch across countries and cultures, are one of my favorite foods ever. Join me, as I review 5 of my favorite dumplings from all around the world. Drumroll, please... 

1. Soup Dumplings (China)

Traditionally called Xiaolongbao, these dumplings get their name from the xiaolong, the bamboo steaming basket that they are usually prepared in. The steaming process leaves the dumplings with a soft outer shell. Typically, the dumplings are filled with pork and surrounded by a broth. No sauce is needed because when you bite into them, warm delicious juices seep out of the dumpling, just like soup. Yum. 

2. Pierogi (Eastern Europe)

Described as Polish dough pillows, these dumplings come in a wide variety. They can be filled with savory ingredients, such as farmer’s cheese, potatoes, sauerkraut, mushrooms, and meat. Additionally, they can even be stuffed with fruit to give them a sweeter taste. The options are endless, and I am getting hungry just thinking about them. 

3. Samosa (India)

With a thicker and crunchier shell than other dumplings, the samosa will rock your world. Seriously. Samosas are filled with spices and savory ingredients, like onions, potatoes, beef, or lamb, that will have your tastebuds dancing. They are usually served with a delectable mint chutney to balance the bold flavors inside. Mmmhhmm. 

4. Ravioli (Italy)

Maybe not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of dumplings, but this popular Italian pasta can be considered a dumpling, I promise. Unlike standard dumplings, ravioli is often coated in sauce instead of being dipped. The flavors inside can range from a hearty-tasting mushroom or sausage filling to a sweet and gooey butternut squash with brown butter inside. Anyway you slice it, these pockets of dough will have you begging for more. 

5. Gyoza (Japan)

Saving the best for last, of course. My personal favorite is the gyoza, which is a type of dumpling that originates from Japan. They are prepared using a fry-steam-fry method, which allows the thin outside to crisp up and gives the dumpling a nice crunch. The inside is typically filled with pork, which is warm and oh so flavorful. Gyoza are usually served alongside a sauce made with, rice vinegar, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, green onions, and sesame oil; which I often find myself drinking spoonfuls of long after the dumplings are gone. Yes, it is just that good.

This is just the beginning of the wonderful world of stuffed dough pockets...aka the dumpling. Every culture around the world has its own version. From the Latin American empanada, to the Turkish manti the choices are unlimited, so pick your favorite and dig in! You really can't go wrong with these wonderful pockets of dough.