Difference between Dumpling and Wonton

Dumplings are edible balls of dough, prepared from flour, bread or potatoes, which are cooked by baking, deep frying or steaming. Dumplings can be empty inside, or stuffed with chopped and sautéed vegetables, minced meat or seafood, as per personal preferences. A wonton is a somewhat similar dish, and this consists of a thin dough wrapper  which is stuffed with some sort of filling.

Both these food items are common recipes in most cultures, and many people cannot differentiate between the two because of the similarities between these two dishes, such as the fact that they can both be either savoury or sweet. The basic difference between wontons and dumplings is that the former are always filled with some filling of vegetables and/or meat, while the latter can be made and cooked either stuffed or empty inside. On the basis of this, it can be said that wontons are one of the several types of dumplings. Another distinguishing factor between the two is that the dough wrapper used for making dumplings is thicker than the wrapper used for wontons.


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    The dumpling is a famous Chinese dish consisting of cooked balls of dough - these are usually prepared from flour, but you can also use bread, potatoes, or any vegetables of your choice to make the dough. In Chinese cuisine, there is a large variety of dumplings, like the Siew Mai, the Pork Bun, Har Kao, etc.

    The simplest recipe for dumpling dough requires flour, baking powder, salt and milk or water. To make basic dumplings, sift together two cups of flour, 4 teaspoons of baking powder and ½ a teaspoon of salt into a large bowl. Add one cup of milk or water to the dry ingredients, and mix well with a hand whisk to make a batter that can be dropped from a spoon. Drop a couple of tablespoons of this paste into a boiling stew one by one, and allow these dumplings to cook in a covered pot for 10 to 15 minutes. Garnish the finished stew with freshly chopped parsley, and serve hot.

    Stuffed and unstuffed dumplings differ from each other on the basis of the ingredients used and the preparation of the dough. The dough for stuffed dumplings is mostly made from a single ingredient, be it flour, potatoes or anything else. However, when making the dough for empty dumplings, ingredients such as minced vegetables and/or meat can be mixed in with the dough, which is then rolled into small balls. Stuffed dumplings are usually eaten as a dish by themselves, while empty dumplings are mostly served in soups and stews.

    Image courtesy: lisa-cat.blogspot.com

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    The wonton is a variation of dumplings, which is made by filling a square and thin dough wrapper with a small amount of filling, usually minced meat seasoned with salt and pepper. The stuffed wontons are then deep fried (which is the most popular method for cooking them), but you can also boil, steam, or bake them, in addition to adding them to simmering broths and soups.

    Image courtesy: gfcookingclub.com

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