>> Dumpling is a broad classification for a dish that consists of small pieces of dough, wrapped around a filling. The dough can be based on bread, flour, or potatoes, and may be filled with meat, vegetables, seafoods or sweets. They may be cooked by boiling, frying, simmering, or steaming.
The Dumpling (jiaozi 饺子) is a common Chinese dumpling which generally consists of minced meat and finely chopped vegetables wrapped into a piece of dough skin. The skin can be either thin and elastic or thicker. Popular meat fillings include ground meat (usually pork, but can instead be beef or chicken), shrimp, and even fish. Popular mixtures include pork with Chinese cabbage, pork with garlic chives, pork and shrimp with vegetables, pork with spring onion, garlic chives with scrambled eggs. Filling mixtures vary depending on personal tastes and region. Jiaozi are usually boiled, steamed or fried.
If dumplings are laid flatly on a pan, first steamed with a lid on and with a thin layer of water, then fried in oil after the water has been evaporated, they are called guotie (锅贴, sometimes called “Panfried Dumpling”), as the Maillard reaction occurring on the bottom of the dumplings makes the skin crispy and brown. The same dumplings are called jiaozi if they are just steamed.
The wonton (云吞、馄饨) is another kind of dumpling. It is typically boiled in a light broth or soup and made with a meatier filling. The skin wrapping for wontons is different—thinner and less elastic—than that used for jiaozi. Wontons are more popular in Southern China (Shanghai, Guangdong, Hong Kong etc.) whereas in Northern China, jiaozi are more popular. Jiaozi, wonton and potstickers are all wrapped differently.
Other types of dumplings would be Steamed har gow (shrimp dumplings), dim sum, soup dumplings, commonly referred to as xiaolongbao (小笼包).