What to Serve with Soup Dumplings
As much as we hate to admit it, one cannot survive on soup dumplings alone. If your mom is anything like ours, she would want you to make sure you’re eating something else with them.
But when deciding what to serve with the best frozen soup dumplings, it’s important to consider the occasion just as much as the other dishes themselves.
First: What’s the Occasion for Eating Soup Dumplings?
There’s no wrong time to eat soup dumplings. If you want to have them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or any other time; more power to you. However, the occasion can help you determine what to serve along with the dumplings—or if you serve anything with them at all.
These are some of the most popular times to have them, according to a recent survey we conducted through email with over 400 of our customers.
One of the O.G. occasions for soup dumplings in Shanghai is to eat them for breakfast or brunch. Although they can be—and are—eaten at any time of the day, the taste is light enough to not make you feel bloated when you’re starting off the day. However, it’s also packed with protein from the meaty filling to keep you going until lunch.
Usually, soup dumplings for breakfast are a standalone dish. Steam up a batch and you’ll be ready to face the day.
Have a full feast in the works to entertain some of your friends? Whether the occasion is someone’s birthday, the Mid-Autumn Festival, Christmas, Lunar New Year, Daylight Savings Time ending, or something else, soup dumplings make a great appetizer as part of a larger meal.
Moments like this definitely call for side dishes and dipping sauces for the soup dumplings as part of your first of multiple courses. They can be a great introductory course to steamed fish, noodles, mapo tofu, garlic green beans, and just about anything else you’d want on a menu to show off your dinner party skills.
Having a late-night snack attack? Soup dumplings are great for those 2 a.m. cravings when you can’t sleep.
However, if you’re trying to go all in on getting drowsy from a good meal, this is a time to break out the sides. When you pair your soup dumplings with the carbs from a pack of your favorite Chinese noodles, you’ll be down for the count in no time.
Whether it’s as lunch or dinner, a vast majority (over 80 percent!) of the people who answered our customer survey said they eat soup dumplings as an entree. It makes sense—they’re substantial enough to fill you up, without making you feel too bloated to move afterward.
Any standalone meal is better with side dishes though. While soup dumplings can be the star of the show, it helps to bring in some supporting players in the form of a few side dishes to make a balanced meal.
What to Eat with Soup Dumplings: Our Favorites
The sky is the limit when it comes to dishes that pair well with soup dumplings. Whether you just want to have them as a standalone meal with your dumpling dipping sauce of choice or with multiple sides, there are endless choices for what to serve with soup dumplings.
Here are just a few of our personal favorites.
This option comes in multiple flavors. Whether you’re going with a more traditionally Chinese smashed cucumber salad, Korean-style cucumber namul, or Japanese-Hawaiian cucumber namasu, it’s hard to go wrong with a fresh veggie like this.
The cucumbers will add a refreshing, vinegary crunch that contrasts beautifully with the delicate, umami-packed flavor of the soup dumplings. Plus, since it’s relatively healthy, your mom can rest assured knowing you’re not skipping out on vegetables.
While there are a few different options available for using green beans as a side dish for soup dumplings, we have an undisputed favorite.
The classic for us is Chinese-style garlic green beans. Most recipes call for flash-frying the beans so their centers retain a nice crunch, without getting too soggy or oily. The garlic will offer a pungent kick, which is another excellent contrast to the rich broth in the soup dumplings.
Looking for a spicy kick? You can also add red pepper flakes to turn up the heat and adjust as much as you might want if you’re a real spice fiend.
We’re purposely being vague here. There are quite literally over 100 different types of Chinese pickles. This is like one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books from the 80s, but with no bad outcomes. It also might make your mom worry less about whether you’re eating healthy, but we make no promises.
Looking for a more traditionally inspired option that will provide a nice, sour contrast to the umami soup dumplings? Pickled mustard greens (酸菜) are a classic because of that.
Some other options include peppers, cabbage, bitter melon, daikon radishes, carrots, turnips, and virtually every other Chinese vegetable you can imagine. Even pickled plums can complement your soup dumplings with a tart, fruity twist.
Getting ready to run a marathon, a half-marathon, or just trying to get through your next distance run without feeling like you’re going to faint without warning? Or maybe you’re just really in the mood for some carbs late one night. We can relate.
Whatever the case may be, soup dumplings and noodles make an excellent pairing. Our Chinese noodles include a Sichuan Dan Dan variety that adds more carbs to the mix, along with even more of your choice of meat and enough tingling-numbing spice to provide contrast.
Got Side Dishes, But No Soup Dumplings?
Let’s fix that. Order frozen soup dumplings online through us in your favorite filling and your favorite dipping sauce, and let the feast begin!