If there's one thing I've learned from growing up in a Chinese family, it's that Chinese people like to eat. Food equals love, and there is no shortage of either. Dumplings are a staple in Chinese cuisine, but all the different types can make ordering at a restaurant a little confusing. Here's a guide to the more common Chinese dumplings to hopefully make your life a little easier.

1. Shui Jiao

This is likely the classic dumpling that you'll get in a Chinese restaurant. They're boiled (the name literally translates to water dumpling) and can be filled with almost anything. Most traditionally, they're filled with a mixture of pork, cabbage, and ginger, but you'll also see ones with shrimp, chicken, or fish. Very similar to zheng jiao, or steamed dumplings.

2. Xiao Long Bao

AKA soup dumplings. Filled with pork and delicious soup, these dumplings are perfect on a chilly winter day. There's a lot of debate over how to eat these steamy dumplings, but I go with the classic poke a hole, slurp the soup, and devour. 

3. Sheng Jian Bao

A fierce competitor to the xiao long bao. These dumplings are steamed on top, but fried on the bottom, leaving you with a perfectly crispy bite. Be careful though- like the xiao long bao, these are filled with soup; take a small bite first or you'll definitely burn yourself!

4. Guo Tie

There are a few versions of this pan-fried dumpling, which are often translated to potstickers. Northerners, like my grandma, make these dumplings long, straight, and open on both ends, but you'll also see these made closed and shaped like a crescent, as pictured (known as jian jiao). Either way, they make for a must-have addition to any meal.

5. Hun Tun

You'll probably see this on the menu as a wonton- get them in a delicious soup with veggies and rice noodles, or served hot and spicy in chili oil (Hong You Chao Shou). Basically, it's a thin wrapper filled with a little bit of pork, leaving you with a cloud-shaped dumpling.

6. Siu Mai

Again, there are so many different variations to siu-mai. You'll find ones made of pork or shrimp or even sticky rice (my favorite. These are definitely a dim-sum classic- order them, you won't be sorry. 

7. Bao Zi

Not exactly a dumpling, but still very popular, delicious, and dumpling-esque. These are usually referred to as buns in English, and surprise surprise, come in many variations. Usually, the dough is light, thick, and fluffy and the inside is juicy and salty. Minced pork, vegetables, and barbecue pork are common fillings.

This guide is definitely not complete; there are still so many other types of dumplings that are equally delicious from Jiu Cai He Zi (think: Chinese calzone) to Dan Jiao (a dumpling with an egg wrapper). And there are even more dumplings to enjoy from other countries also, from Tibetian Momos to Japanese Gyoza. Have fun trying them all!