Know the Difference Between Dumplings, Dim Sums And Momos?

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Know the Difference Between Dumplings, Dim Sums And Momos? I bet you, You don’t know the Difference exactly

Be Honest! Do you get confused every time someone talks about Dumplings, Momos and Dim Sums? Have you too thought of all of these to be the same thing once? Don’t get conscious. I too used to get a lot confused between all these names and also many more similar ones.

Let me help you in knowing the difference between them all.

Dumplings, dim sums, and momos are popular dishes enjoyed by people all over the world. While they may seem similar at first glance, they each have their own unique characteristics. In this article, we will explore the differences between dumplings, dim sums, and momos, including their definitions, origins, types, and cultural significance.

Dumplings – Definition and Origin

We all must have come across a variety of dumplings when we visit restaurants. There are chicken dumplings, pork dumplings, fish dumplings and vegetarian dumplings too. The dumplings are further divided into steamed, fried, pan-fried and boiled. Dumplings are pieces of dough that are wrapped around a filling. They are generally wheat based with filling and sometimes also without filling too!

Difference Between Dumplings, Dim Sums And Momos?
Difference Between Dumplings, Dim Sums And Momos?

Dumplings are a broad category of dishes that are made by wrapping dough around a filling. They can be found in various cuisines across the globe, but they are particularly popular in Chinese and Asian cuisine. The origins of dumplings can be traced back thousands of years to ancient China, where they were initially prepared as a way to preserve meat.

Types of Dumplings

Chinese Dumplings

Chinese dumplings, also known as jiaozi, are a staple in Chinese cuisine. They are typically made with a thin dough wrapper and filled with a mixture of minced meat (usually pork or beef), vegetables, and seasonings. Chinese dumplings come in various shapes, including crescent-shaped, round, and open-faced.

Asian Dumplings

Apart from Chinese dumplings, Asian cuisine offers a wide range of dumpling varieties. Japanese gyoza, Korean mandu, and Vietnamese banh bao are just a few examples. Asian dumplings may have different fillings and cooking methods compared to Chinese dumplings, but they share the common concept of dough-wrapped fillings.

Dim Sums – Definition and Origin

Dim Sum means ‘touches the heart’ and is never served alone. Dimsums always are accompanied by a beverage like tea. They too are fillings wrapped in the dough but the outer covering is generally semi-transparent or fully transparent. The filling is always diced or chopped finely and also come in sweet variants.

Dim Sum falls more under the exquisite affair of fine dining instead of being a regular thing like momos. The flour of the dough can be any like rice, wheat or even potato starch.

Difference Between Dumplings, Dim Sums And Momos?
Difference Between Dumplings, Dim Sums And Momos?

Dim sum refers to a style of Cantonese cuisine that involves small, bite-sized dishes served in steamer baskets or on small plates. The term “dim sum” translates to “touch the heart” in Cantonese, reflecting the idea of these delicacies satisfying both the palate and the soul. Dim sum originated in the teahouses of Southern China and quickly gained popularity as a morning or afternoon meal.

Types of Dim Sums

Chinese Dim Sums

Chinese dim sums encompass a wide variety of dishes, including steamed buns, dumplings, rolls, and pastries. Some popular dim sum dishes include char siu bao (barbecue pork buns), har gow (shrimp dumplings), and siu mai (pork dumplings). These bite-sized delights are usually served with tea and are enjoyed in a communal setting.

Cantonese Dim Sums

Cantonese dim sums specifically refer to the dim sum dishes originating from the Guangdong province of China, which includes the city of Guangzhou (formerly known as Canton). Cantonese dim sums are known for their delicate flavors, refined presentation, and emphasis on freshness. They are often steamed or deep-fried to perfection.

Momos – Definition and Origin

Difference Between Dumplings, Dim Sums And Momos?
Difference Between Dumplings, Dim Sums And Momos?

Momos are a type of dumpling that originated in the Himalayan regions of Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan. They have gained popularity beyond their places of origin and are now enjoyed in various parts of the world. Momos are typically made with a simple dough wrapper and filled with a mixture of minced meat (such as chicken, pork, or beef), vegetables, and spices.

Types of Momos

Tibetan Momos

Tibetan momos are the most well-known type of momos. They are often filled with a combination of minced meat and vegetables, such as cabbage, onions, and garlic. Tibetan momos are traditionally steamed and served with a spicy dipping sauce.

Nepali Momos

Nepali momos have their own unique variations. They can be found in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, with fillings like paneer (cottage cheese), potatoes, and soybeans. Nepali momos are usually steamed or fried and are served with tomato chutney or spicy achar.

Key Differences Between Dumplings, Dim Sums, and Momos

While dumplings, dim sums, and momos share the common concept of dough-wrapped fillings, there are several key differences that set them apart:

Ingredients and Fillings

Dumplings often feature a mixture of minced meat, vegetables, and seasonings, whereas dim sums and momos can have a broader range of fillings, including seafood, poultry, and vegetarian options. Momos are more likely to incorporate spices and herbs in their fillings, adding a distinct flavor profile.

Cooking Methods

Dumplings are commonly boiled, steamed, or pan-fried. Dim sums are primarily steamed, although some may be deep-fried or baked. Momos are typically steamed or fried, depending on regional preferences.

Shape and Appearance

Dumplings come in various shapes, such as crescent-shaped, round, or open-faced. Dim sums are typically small and delicate, often presented in bite-sized portions. Momos are usually crescent-shaped or pleated and have a characteristic folded appearance.

Cultural Significance

Dumplings hold cultural significance in Chinese cuisine and are often enjoyed during festivals and family gatherings. Dim sums have a long-standing tradition in Cantonese cuisine and are commonly associated with yum cha, a style of brunch or afternoon tea. Momos carry cultural importance in the Himalayan regions and are a symbol of unity and community.

In conclusion, while dumplings, dim sums, and momos share similarities in their concept of dough-wrapped fillings, they have distinct characteristics that make them unique. Whether you’re craving Chinese jiaozi, Cantonese dim sum, or Tibetan momos, each offers a delightful culinary experience that showcases the rich diversity of flavors and traditions.


  1. Are dumplings the same as momos? No, dumplings and momos are similar in concept but have different origins and fillings. Dumplings are a broader category found in various cuisines, while momos specifically refer to the Himalayan-style dumplings.
  2. What is the difference between dim sum and dumplings? Dim sum refers to a style of Cantonese cuisine that includes various small dishes, including dumplings. Dumplings, on the other hand, are a specific type of dish that can be found in different cuisines.
  3. Can dim sums be vegetarian? Yes, dim sums can include vegetarian options. Some popular vegetarian dim sum dishes are steamed vegetable dumplings and stuffed tofu skin rolls.
  4. Which country is famous for momos? Momos are famous in the Himalayan regions, particularly Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan. However, they have gained popularity worldwideand can be found in various countries.
  5. What is the best way to eat momos? Momos are traditionally enjoyed with a dipping sauce, such as tomato chutney or spicy achar. You can either take small bites or savor the entire momo in one go, depending on your preference.


In this article, we explored the fascinating world of dumplings, dim sums, and momos. Each of these culinary delights has its own unique characteristics, origins, and cultural significance.

Whether you’re a fan of Chinese dumplings, Cantonese dim sums, or Himalayan momos, these delicious treats are sure to tantalize your taste buds and offer a delightful dining experience.

So, the next time you come across dumplings, dim sums, or momos on a menu, you’ll have a deeper understanding of their differences and can enjoy them to the fullest!

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