Updated: 3 days ago
Dumplings those delightful packets of joy, have transcended culinary boundaries. And we propose they are are perfect meal option for athletes, runners, gym goers and executives. Their perfection lies not just in their taste but also in their versatility and, arguably, health benefits. Steamed, boiled, fried, meat-filled, meat-free… from bustling street food stalls to elegant dining tables, dumplings have earned their reputation.
In this article we we will primarily discuss boiled dumplings, because of their slight edge in health (and ease of washing up) compared to fried dumplings. But honestly, enjoy dumplings the way that you want to, as part of the eating practice that suits you best.
Dumpling Talk (in Chinese)
Jiaozi 饺子 Dumpling, the generic term
Shui Jiao 水饺 Boiled dumpling
Guo Tie 锅贴 Fried dumpling aka pot stickers (in Japan, gyoza)
Why We Love Dumplings
Nutrition and Taste One of the key reasons dumplings are beloved is their diverse fillings. Whether with succulent meat or plant based with vegetables or mushrooms, dumplings cater to various dietary preferences and, importantly, tastes.
For the Athlete For those who measure their protein intake, if you are doing strength training or running long, dumplings allow you to be precise with your protein. Our favourite dumplings, bought from a stall, contain approximately 30g of lean pork per dumpling, that’s about 8g of protein.
Boiling vs. Frying While fried dumplings tempt with their crispy texture, boiling is superior in terms of health. Lower in calories and less inflammatory than their fried counterparts, boiled dumplings reduce the intake of unhealthy fats. This cooking method ensures that you savour the goodness of the fillings without compromising your wellbeing.
Frozen Goodness Dumplings can be stored in the freezer, ready to be eaten on demand. Great for any occasion and, boiled in 10 minutes, dumplings are relatively quick and easy to cook after a day in the office or a hard workout session.
An Easy, Nutritious Meal Just add a couple of handfuls of fresh green vegetables, a low salt chicken or vegetable stock cube, some noodles and you have the basis of nutritionally balanced soupy meal that requires little preparation. As this is 1 pot cooking there is very little in the way of washing up.
After a hard workout I know that I can quickly and easily prepare a nutritious, dumpling soup. No fuss and immensely satisfying.
Ginger and Vinegar Dipping Sauce The classic combination of ginger and vinegar dipping sauce to tantalise the taste buds. Ginger possesses anti-inflammatory and digestive properties that support post work-out recovery. Dumplings are also great with chile sauce.
Homemade by Hand. Store bought dumplings are easy, just be mindful of the ingredients. Making dumplings at home is not too difficult, especially if you can buy the skins. Select your own fillings; add vegetables, herbs and spices for flavour and for their antioxidant polyphenols for an added health boost.
Dumplings are more than just a delight to eat; they combine nutrition, creativity and even tradition. With their nutritious fillings, freezability and versatility, combined with cooking techniques that support health, I argue that tasty dumplings are the epitome of a perfect food for the busy person.
Dumplings have a wonderful, Chinese New Year related origin story... learn more here.
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