Happy Friday! We’re here to make it even happier with our mini-series, The Weekend Has Landed. All month long, we’re sharing ideas to help you make the most of those precious 50-something hours, whether you want to plan a last-minute getaway or get cozy at home making lasagna. (Or, heck, take the lasagna on your getaway. There are no rules.)
As of this writing, I'm still stuffed with dumplings (guotie, or Chinese fried dumplings, and jiaozi, boiled ones, to be exact) from dinner...last night. They were from a neighborhood favorite, Vanessa's, where you can find me once a week, pretty much every week.
And for good reason: I love dumplings of any variety—from pierogies to ravioli, gyoza to samosas. They're cheap and cheerful, packed with flavor (thanks, multiple condiments and dipping sauces!), and comforting as heck. I especially love dumplings because I love snacks and small bites, especially when they can add up to become a main meal.
For some reason, making dumplings at home has never really occurred to me, but it's actually the perfect weekend project. It's a time investment, sure, but so are those sweet rolls I made some weekends ago, and that crostata. And there's a huge upside: At home, I can put just about whatever I want in them, steam or fry them exactly to my preference, and freeze them for whenever a dumpling craving hits (they'll probably run out soon). Best of all, dumpling-pleating seems like possibly the most therapeutic kitchen task imaginable, and I could always use a little chill.
So here are 14 dumpling recipes to dive into—headfirst!—this weekend. Happy pleating!
Our SVP Brand, Suzanne D'Amato, interviewed practically her whole family tree to reverse-engineer her Babcia's potato–cheese pierogi recipe. And boy, are we glad she did. Try these boiled or pan-fried in butter, and topped with more butter and cool sour cream.
These spicy and sweet fried dumplings are a head-scratcher—in a good way. They're filled with a paste of nutty sesame seeds, chile, jaggery (a type of natural cane sugar), and salt, and deep-fried till they're golden brown and puffed up. The fried dough exterior gets even crispier as it cools, an important incentive if you're anything like impatient ol' me (RIP roof of mouth).
Speaking of the burnt roof of my mouth, these shrimp and chicken consommé soup dumplings are another extremely tasty culprit—and also a pretty special project. Community member and recipe developer Kenny Lao even teaches a whole class on how to make these little babies! Luckily for us, Kenny breaks down the whole process here.
These knishes are part onion-y mashed potatoes, part everything bagel, and entirely delicious. Definitely freeze some, unbaked, for a rainy day (or, you know, tomorrow).
These pork pot stickers, the "gold standard of dumplings," come from a legendary cook and beloved grandmother known as Popo. While Popo was known to make about 100 at a time, the recipe here makes 50 (but nobody's saying you can't double it).
Ravioli-like pockets of harissa-spiced ground lamb are boiled, then topped with a cooling yogurt sauce, Aleppo pepper-infused butter, and dried mint (try saying that three times fast). Sending thanks to Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine, who gave us Shish Barak.
If you've never had a pasty (pronounced like "nasty," though they're instead extremely "tasty"), they're a type of hand pie originating in Britain. This collard, cheese, and chorizo version has our name all over it (and is adaptable for vegetarians, if that's how you roll).
Here's another lamb dumpling recipe hailing from the Middle East—but with a twist. Here, the filling is stuffed into wonton wrappers, and served with a zingy grated cucumber and rice vinegar dipping sauce that's slightly reminiscent of East Asian flavors.
Pork, shiitake mushrooms, and scallions are pretty epic foods on their own. But combine them all together and stuff them in tender gyoza wrappers? We'll be back with you soon, as soon as we've finished making our batch. (PS: This one's great to make with kids, who can lend their tiny hands to the pleating party!)
Oh, hi, hello, didn't see you there. Was too busy drooling over these herby burrata-stuffed ravioli, served in a umami-rich Parmesan broth, aka all that is holy in this world. These are great to make ahead—tackle the broth, the pasta, the filling, and the garnish either all at once or over the course of the weekend—and eat well for a while after that.
These Southeast Asian-inspired curry puffs are basically a handheld spicy chicken (or turkey) potpie—but they're also deep-fried, and I've never met a fried food I didn't like.
Puff pastry dough comes to the rescue! In these flaky samosas, it's the perfect, snuggly blanket around a curried-potato filling. My mom used to make a very similar dish growing up, and now I officially have no excuse to ask her to make it when I go home and visit.
Ravioli (technically casunziei, a similar Northern Italian dish), we meet again—missed ya! These beet-filled pasta pillows are pretty in pink and topped with a luscious pat of butter and a sprinkling of poppy seeds. You can use store-bought wonton wrappers if you're not looking to make your own fresh pasta (but if you're me, you're always looking to make your own fresh pasta).
We've reached the end, and with another Grandma hit, no less! These Argentine classics are stuffed primarily with spiced beef, and punchy accents like green olives, raisins, and spring onions play a supporting role. A tender beef-fat dough encases the filling, baking up to be super flaky and delicious. Make sure you blow on them extra carefully before you eat.
What are your favorite weekend cooking projects? Dumplings or not, let us know in the comments!