Dumplings Vs Dim Sum: What’s The Difference?

Most people are indecisive about which is better between dumplings and dim sum. These two dishes are worth the debate as they are both delicious and satisfying. Dumplings and dim sum may look quite alike and most often some people mix them up.

It is very common for people who are not very conversant with these dishes to confuse them. And for the dumpling lovers and dim sum fans, the debate seems to be endless.

Let’s say, for instance, you are seated at a restaurant and you are between ordering dumplings or dim sum; which one do you go for?

Dumplings and dim sum are both great choices. They are Chinese dishes and may look slightly similar but they differ from each other. Delicious as they both are it may be almost to say one is better than the other.

When it comes to dim sum and dumplings it is always hard to choose between them. And so to enable you to make the right choice in a dilemma such as this were are going to be breaking both of them down.

After reading this article you are certainly going to have an idea of which is better between dumplings and dim sum.

uncooked dumplings
Image by CassieThinking from Pixabay

What’s So Special About Dumplings?

Dumplings are universally loved dishes, you can hardly go to a Chinese restaurant and not find dumplings on the menu. As a sign of love and togetherness, this unique dish is mostly the main course for celebrations, especially during the Chinese Lunar new year.

It is believed that starting a new year with dumplings signifies that the year will be a better one. There is a lot to dumplings that makes them unique and embraced all over the world. A Chinese tradition is that every new year, dumplings with different fillings are served.

And anyone in the family who eats one with a gold coin (a special yellow tinge dumpling signifies the gold coin) in it is bound to be wealthy that year.

Dumplings are very special dishes, they are rich in culture, tradition, and history. In the Chinese culture, they are very much valued and celebrated.

They are made of flour, water, and salt that enclose special filling. The dough can be made of wheat flour or potatoes. Dumplings are very versatile when it comes to their fillings and this is one of the major reasons why people find them interesting. The fillings can be anything depending on your personal choice or mood.

What’s So Special About Dim Sum?

Dim sum when translated means “touch the heart”. They are traditional Cantonese dishes that have also gained popularity across the globe, especially in China. 

Dim sums usually have a semi-translucent or fully transparent outer look. Your dim sum is never complete without the tea. The dim sum must be paired with a special tea. They are slightly a part of dumplings but not all dim sums can qualify as dumplings. 

Just like dumplings, dim sums can be prepared with any kind of flour, such as rice flour, potato starch, and wheat flour. However, the filling is usually neatly chopped and diced to perfection. Dim sums are hardly prepared without filling.

Dim sums are delicious snacks that can be used as a side dish or the main course. Either way, dim sums are relished meals in numerous homes and Chinese restaurants. 

Image: islandworks / Pixabay.

Dumplings Vs Dim Sums

Dumplings are very vibrant in history and Chinese traditions. It is said that having a bite of dumplings with a “gold coin” symbolizes goodwill, prosperity, and fortune in the Chinese lunar new year.

Dumplings are very versatile as seafood, meat, vegetables or sweets can be used to fill them. When it comes to making fillings in dumplings you are allowed to be creative. That is, including fillings is optional. 

Dim sums, on the other hand, must contain fillings. One of the major factors that makes dim sums unique is that they must be paired with tea. The rule for ordering dim sums is that you have to choose from a variety of teas; the tea comes first before the snack (dim sum). They can be made fried, baked, or deep fried.

Below is a table illustrating the features and differences between dim sums and dumplings;

DumplingsDim Sums
Dumplings are popular for their versatility.Dim sums are not as versatile.
You can choose to pair dumplings with stew, soup, or gravy.Dim sums are not complete without their special tea.
Dumplings don’t necessarily have to contain fillings.They must be prepared with finely chopped or diced fillings.
Dumplings are not see-through.Dim sums have semi-transparent or fully transparent features.
Can be deep fried pan fried and steamed.They can also be steamed deep-fried and pan-fried.


Deciding which meal is better between dim sums and dumplings is relatively hard.

Both meals are delicious and quite similar. However, dumplings are largely a part of dim sums but not all dim sums can not be regarded as dumplings.

With the provided information in this article, you can see that dumplings and dim sums are both great choices. You can hardly go wrong with either of them. And when it comes to which is better that would depend on your taste buds and your personal preference.

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