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Dumplings vs. Wontons: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on December 17, 2023
Dumplings are a broad category of dough-wrapped fillings, while wontons are a specific type of Chinese dumpling with a distinct wrapper and filling.

Key Differences

Dumplings are a universal food, found in many cultures around the world, made from dough and filled with a variety of ingredients. Wontons, originating from China, are a specific type of dumpling known for their thin, square wrappers and traditionally pork-based fillings.
The dough for dumplings varies widely, from thick and chewy to light and airy, depending on the cultural recipe. Wontons use a thinner, more delicate wrapper, often made of eggs and flour, resulting in a silkier texture.
Dumplings come in numerous shapes, such as crescents or spheres, and can be boiled, steamed, or fried. Wontons have a distinct shape, often resembling a flower or a small parcel, and are commonly boiled or added to soups.
Dumplings are significant in various cultures, often symbolizing prosperity or family unity. Wontons hold a special place in Chinese cuisine, especially during festivals and family gatherings.
There are countless varieties of dumplings globally, each with unique fillings and preparation methods. Wontons, while traditionally Chinese, have also been adapted into various regional cuisines, incorporating local flavors.

Comparison Chart



Wrapper Texture

Varies (thick to thin)
Thin and silky

Common Fillings

Meat, vegetables, cheese
Primarily pork and vegetables

Cooking Methods

Boiled, steamed, fried
Boiled, often in soups

Cultural Significance

Symbolic in many cultures
Significant in Chinese festivals

Shape Variations

Wide variety
Typically flower-like or parcels

Dumplings and Wontons Definitions


A versatile dish, often steamed or boiled.
She made steamed dumplings for the potluck.


A type of Chinese dumpling with a thin wrapper.
I ordered pork wontons from the Chinese restaurant.


A comfort food in many cultures.
Nothing beats homemade dumplings on a cold day.


A festival food symbolizing good fortune.
We made wontons for the Lunar New Year celebration.


Small dough balls in soups or stews.
He added dumplings to the chicken soup for extra heartiness.


Often served in broth or soup.
The wonton soup is her favorite appetizer.


A traditional food for festive occasions.
We prepare dumplings every New Year's Eve.


Filled with seasoned meat and vegetables.
These wontons have a delicious shrimp and cabbage filling.


Dough parcels filled with meat or vegetables.
For dinner, we had chicken and vegetable dumplings.


Known for their delicate and smooth texture.
The silky texture of these wontons is incredible.


A piece of dough, sometimes filled, that is cooked in liquid such as water or soup.


Plural of wonton


Sweetened dough wrapped around fruit, such as an apple, baked and served as a dessert.


(Informal) A short, chubby creature.


Plural of dumpling


Small balls or strips of boiled or steamed dough


What makes wontons unique?

Wontons are a type of Chinese dumpling with thin, silky wrappers and specific fillings like pork.

Are wontons always served in soup?

While commonly served in soup, wontons can also be fried or steamed.

What are dumplings?

Dumplings are dough parcels filled with various ingredients like meat, vegetables, or cheese.

What dough is used for dumplings?

Dumpling dough varies, from wheat-based to rice or potato flour.

Can dumplings be vegetarian?

Yes, there are many vegetarian dumpling options.

What's the traditional filling for wontons?

Traditionally, wontons are filled with seasoned pork and vegetables.

Are dumplings eaten worldwide?

Yes, variations of dumplings are found in many global cuisines.

Can dumplings be a main dish?

Yes, dumplings can be a filling main dish, especially when paired with sides.

How are dumplings cooked?

Dumplings can be boiled, steamed, or fried.

How long do wontons take to cook?

Wontons typically cook in a few minutes when boiled or steamed.

Do wontons have a symbolic meaning?

Yes, they often symbolize wealth and are popular in Chinese festivals.

Can wontons be frozen for later use?

Yes, wontons can be frozen and cooked directly from frozen.

What's a good side dish for wontons?

Steamed vegetables or rice complement wontons well.

What's the difference in texture between dumplings and wontons?

Dumplings can have various textures, while wontons typically have a thin, delicate texture.

Are wontons easy to make at home?

Making wontons can be simple with practice, especially using pre-made wrappers.

What sauces are served with dumplings?

Dumplings are often served with soy sauce, vinegar, or chili oil.

Can dumplings be part of a healthy diet?

Yes, especially when filled with vegetables and steamed.

Are dumplings gluten-free?

Gluten-free dumpling options are available, using alternative flours.

Are wontons popular outside of China?

Yes, wontons have become popular in various cuisines worldwide.

What are some popular dumpling varieties?

Popular varieties include potstickers, pierogi, and gyoza.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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