Legend has it that Chinese dumplings were first created not by a chef or a home cook, but by a pharmacologist and physician, called Zhang Zhongjian. During the Han Dynasty, which began in 206 BCE, one bitter winter led many villagers to develop frostbite injuries around their ears. Zhongjian noticed this, and in a bid to cure their ills, he allegedly cooked meat with herbs (which are used widely in traditional Chinese medicine), and then wrapped them up in dough scraps, before folding them to look like ears.

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It’s unknown if Zhongjian’s recipe actually helped to heal any of the villager’s frostbitten skin, but it’s likely the food—now known as dumplings—went down as a treat, because it’s still popular today. And not just in China, but around the world.

Here’s everything you need to know about dumplings, including how to get your hands on vegan versions and how to make them yourself.

What are dumplings?

Dumplings are a very simple food. Just like Zhongjian’s alleged first creation, in Asian cuisine, they usually consist of dough (often just made with flour, water, and salt), which is then folded around a wide variety of ingredients. They can be sweet or savory, and while many choose seafood or meat to fill their dumplings, they are just as delicious with simple vegetables or tofu. Dumplings are not always cooked in the same way; depending on the type of texture you’re after, they can be fried, steamed, or boiled.

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Types of dumplings

The world is filled with many, many different types of dumplings. Shui Jiao dumplings, for example, are popular across Asia, and they’re usually boiled. In a dim sum restaurant, however, you’ll often find Xiaolongbao dumplings. These are usually packed with pork (although, these days, you can find many varieties on menus) and are served in a steaming basket made with bamboo.

Pan-fried dumplings are another option, and, in northern China, where they originated, they are usually called guotie dumplings. But in the US, you’ll often hear them referred to as “potstickers” (so-called because when they are fried, they stick to the side of the pot, or, more often, the wok). Wonton dumplings are usually served in soup, while gyoza dumplings, another popular option in the US, originated in Japan, and are similar to potstickers.

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But while Asian varieties are incredibly popular, dumplings are not exclusive to the east. Traditional Polish dumplings, for example, are called pierogi. In Italy, there’s ravioli. And in Germany, kartoffelklöße refers to potato dumplings. In Britain, dumplings are usually made with suet dough and served with stew.

Are dumplings vegan?

While many different cultures and countries serve dumplings, here, we will focus on the much-loved Asian varieties. And good news, because the dough is usually just made with flour, water, and salt, it’s easy to make them vegan. The key is in the filling.

Pork, shrimp, and beef, for example, are popular fillings, but because they are all animal products, they are (of course) not vegan. That said, vegetarian meat (often labeled as mock meat) has been served across Asia for centuries, which means that it’s possible to find vegan meat dumplings on restaurant menus. Other common vegan dumpling fillings include carrots, onions, mushrooms, ginger, cabbage, tofu, and garlic.

Brands that make vegan dumplings

It’s easier than ever to stock up your fridge, freezer, or pantry with vegan dumplings, so the next time a craving hits, you’re ready to go. Here are some of our favorite options.


1 Nasoya

Available from major grocery store chains like Kroger and Walmart, the tofu brand Nasoya offers a few different tasty, vegan dumplings. Depending on your personal preference, the brand offers a Thai Basil option, as well as Korean Barbeque. There’s also the simple (but just as delicious) Tofu Vegetable Dumplings.

VegNews.VeganDumplingsPotstickers.OmniFoodsOmni Foods


After launching its vegan luncheon meat in the US, OmniFoods has rolled out a number of plant-based frozen foods stateside, including potstickers. These juicy, savory dumplings are filled with the brand’s pork grounds plus cabbage and wood ear mushrooms. Enjoy as an appetizer or main dish. 
Find it here

VegNews.Dumplings.SoboFoodsSobo Foods

3Sobo Foods

California-based Sobo Foods aims to recreate the traditional flavors of dumplings with plant-based ingredients. The brand currently offers three types of vegan dumplings: “Pork” & Chive, Curry & Potato, and Kimchi & Mushroom. Beyond delicious flavors, Sobo dumplings boast up to nine times more protein and seven times more fiber than the average frozen dumplings, according to the brand.
Find it here

VegNews.DumplingsPotstickers.FeelGoodFoodsFeel Good Foods

4Feel Good Foods

Stuffed with carrots, onions, cabbage, and mushrooms, these gluten-free potstickers are made from a rice flour blend. Each box includes tamari dipping sauce for even more added flavor. 
Find it here

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5 Dina’s Dumpling

If you’ve got an event coming up, Dina’s Dumpling’s food truck is guaranteed to keep all of your guests well-fed and satisfied. But you don’t have to throw a party to enjoy its dumpling delights. Those who live near Pasadena, CA can also order Dina’s Dumpling for delivery. Try the Frozen Vegan Dumplings, which are packed with purple and green cabbage, wood ear and shiitake mushrooms, and organic tofu.

VegNews.vegandumplings.kingsdumplingKing’s Dumplings

6 King’s Dumplings

Described by Good Rebel Vegan as “chewy little pillows of deliciousness,” these savory dumplings are packed with vegetables, such as bok choy, carrots, and mushrooms, but they also feature vegan ground beef. So, if you grew up loving meaty dumplings, this is the choice for you. For optimal taste, serve with hoisin sauce for dipping.

VegNews.vegandumpling.dumplingdaughterDumpling Daughter


7 Dumpling Daughter

Nadia Liu Spellman grew up on dumplings. According to the founder and CEO of Dumpling Daughter, both her mother and grandmother were keen home cooks, and their best, most comforting recipes always involved dumplings. Spellman is now an expert on dumplings, and she loves them so much, she made them her career.

If you live near Cambridge, Weston, or Brookline in Massachusetts, you can pop in and enjoy the Dumpling Daughter experience firsthand. But if you don’t live nearby, you don’t have to miss out. The chain’s online store offers several vegan options. If you’re catering for a few, you could try the Vegan’s Dream selection, which comes complete with Mixed Vegetable Buns, Mixed Vegetable Dumplings, and Spicy Sweet Soy.


8 Mooshu

Based in Ottawa, Canada, Mooshu’s main thing is tasty ice cream (you have to try the vegan Dalgona & Coffee). But its delicious vegan frozen dumplings are also available to order online. Depending on your individual preference, there are a few different options to try, including cabbage & shiitake, curried sweet potato, and spicy cumin and lentil.

Vegan dumpling restaurants

Want the full restaurant experience? All of these eateries in New York and Los Angeles offer delicious vegan dumplings. Once you’ve tried them, you’ll be totally obsessed.

VegNews.Dumplings.BeyondSushiBeyond Sushi

1Beyond Sushi

New York, NY

As the name implies, Beyond Sushi serves more than just sushi. The all-vegan restaurant, which boasts two locations, also offers dumplings with three distinct fillings: Five Spice Chick’n, Ginger “Beef,” and Shiitake Truffle. Come with a large party and sample all three.

Find it here

VegNews.Dumplings.DinTaiFungDin Tai Fung

2Din Tai Fung

Multiple locations

With locations across five states (California, New York, Washington, Oregon, and Nevada), Din Tai Fung’s vegan menu is sure to satisfy. The emerald green vegan dumplings come filled with baby bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, bean curd, glass noodles, wood ear mushrooms, and jicama. For something with a little more kick, the Vegan Spicy Wontons are sure to please. 

Find it here

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3Third Kingdom

New York, NY

This vegan, mushroom-focused restaurant first opened as &Beer, a pop-up concept by Overthrow Hospitality. Now, Third Kingdom has expanded on the pop-ups initial offerings with a menu the spans from ramen to grits and, of course, dumplings. At Third Kingdom, the Lion’s Mane dumplings—complete with micro cilantro and daikon sauce—are meant to be savored. 

Find it here

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4 Inomomi Vegan

Los Angeles, CA

Pop-up Inomoni is a must-try for all southern California foodies. Its dumpling menu goes above and beyond the standard veggie-filled dumplings (although these certainly have their place). Try Vegan Crystal Shrimp dumplings, or if you’re feeling really adventurous, give the Crispy Lobster-less Cheeze Wontons a taste. You won’t regret it.

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5 Vegan Glory

Los Angeles, CA

You can order a delicious banquet from Thai-Asian restaurant Vegan Glory. The Veggie Dumplings are, of course, a must. For something a little meatier, don’t miss the Impossible Dumplings. But treat yourself to a mouthwatering vegan feast by accompanying them with Chicken Satay, Spring Rolls, and the restaurant’s signature Glory Noodle.

VegNews.vegandumplings.vegetariandimsumhouseVegetarian Dim Sum House

6 Vegetarian Dim Sum House

New York, NY

Shark fin is a Chinese delicacy, but due to its impact on shark populations, the real thing has been heavily criticized. Instead, partake in tradition without the actual animal, by ordering Vegetarian Dim Sum House’s shark fin dumplings. But if that’s not your style, the eatery also offers a mock shrimp filling, as well as spinach and watercress.


7Spicy Moon

New York, NY

Spicy Moon has three locations, in the East Village, West Village, and the Bowery. Everything on the menu is animal-free, and its best-sellers include its handmade steamed vegetable dumplings and its wonton in chili oil. The mapo tofu is also a must-try.

VegNews.vegandumpling.dumplingman (1)@dumplingmannyc/Instagram

8 Dumpling Man

New York, NY

With fresh, authentic ingredients, Dumpling Man is, arguably, one of the city’s best eateries to visit when a dumpling craving hits. Its Veggie Dumplings are filled with a blend of wheat protein and soft and firm tofu, as well as mushrooms, sesame oil, jicama, and bok choy.

How to make vegan dumplings

When it comes to making dumplings from home, you have a couple of options. You can make life really easy for yourself by buying dumpling wrappers from the store. Or, if you’ve got the time, the energy, and the desire, you can make the dough from home. After that, all you need to do is choose your filling. Stir-fried vegetables are a classic, or you could add vegan meat (Omnipork is a great choice!). After that, fold in the filling and cook. For more guidance, we’ve gathered these vegan dumpling recipes for you to try.

Vegan dumpling recipes

WC.vegnews.siumaiLGHannah Kaminsky

1 Vegan Chicken Dumplings

Cook up some of these delicious dim-sum dumplings with your favorite vegan chicken. For that authentic Chinese takeout flavor, add five-spice and hoisin sauce. These plant-based chicken dumplings are simple, yet incredibly tasty.
Get the recipe

VegNews.vegandumplings.goodoldvegan@chez.jorge/Good Old Vegan

2 Pan-Fried Dumplings

Potstickers are always a crowd-pleaser. If you’re hosting guests, fill these tasty parcels up with meaty TVP, shiitake mushrooms, and plenty of shredded cabbage. They taste just like regular pork and vegetable dumplings!
Get the recipe

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3 Dumplings With Spicy Dipping Sauce

If you love your dumplings with a touch of heat on the side, make this flavorful dipping sauce with chili flakes and ground Sichuan pepper. It’s so good, soon you’ll be serving it on the side of everything you cook.
Get the recipe

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4 Vegan Pork and Cabbage Dumplings

While dumplings can contain many different fillings, pork is one of the most traditional. Stick to the original with this vegan pork and cabbage dumpling recipe, which, again, uses TVP.
Get the recipe

VegNews.vegandumplings.rabbitsnadwolvesRabbits and Wolves

5 Sesame Tofu Dumplings

For extra crunch, add nutritious sesame seeds to your dumplings. They complement crumbled tofu and delicious green onions perfectly. And don’t forget the sweet chili dip!
Get the recipe

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