The Liquor Cabinet

Dumplings to share plus BYO beer: 3 top pairings to try

Beer and dumplings are a perfect pairing. Whether wontons or potstickers are your weapons of choice, here are the brews to do it right.

We’ve shown you where to find great-tasting dumplings across Sydney and Melbourne at our fave BYO restaurants, now here’s an even better idea – a night in with BYO beer and everyone’s favourite dumplings. You don’t need to master the art of folding wontons or gyoza yourself with so many tasty options available for pick up, delivery or ready to cook from the frozen food section. When it comes to finding the perfect drink pairing for dumplings, you can’t go wrong with an ice-cold beer. Here are our top 3 beer and dumpling pairings for your next dumpling night in.

What you’ll need for dumpling night

The dumplings: There’s something for everyone in the world of dumplings. With the sheer variety of Chinese dumplings on offer, you’re sure to find one that caters to your taste preferences and dietaries – prawn hargow, prawn wontons, pork potstickers, xiaolongbao, or the likes of jiaozi, wontons or shumai. They’re pretty easy to get your hands on – grab them pre-cooked from your local Chinese takeaway, or head to the frozen section at Coles to steam or boil at home. There are plenty of different ways to cook them too, depending on what you like and how much time you have. One of the easiest is to throw them into a bamboo steamer (available at most Asian grocery stores) or embrace the potsticker method, a part-fry, part-steam combo which requires just a pan and a splash of water.



On the table: Don’t forget to dress the table – it makes all the difference when it comes to creating an unforgettable dumplings and beer night (for all the right reasons). Lean in to the Chinese theme and gather yourself some plateware from your local Asian grocer. Don’t forget chopsticks to serve, and some shallow dishes for the likes of steamed greens. Now it’s time for the condiments. Throw little dishes of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and chilli oil on the table for dipping – the holy trinity of condiments for any dumpling night. If you’ve cooked your dumplings in a bamboo steamer, serve them in that too – it not only looks impressive, but it also helps keep them warm while you eat.

The best way to pair beer and dumplings

Seafood dumplings with Japanese beer Seafood pairs well with crisp, fresh flavours, which is why Japanese beer should be the first thing you reach for when it comes to seafood dumplings. If your dumplings of choice involve the likes of ginger prawn dumplings or prawn hargow (or similar), sip on a bottle of Sapporo. Famous for its refreshing taste and refined bitterness (promising a clean finish), the Japanese lager is on point with seafood.


Pork dumplings with Aussie ale Heartier dumpling fillings like pork require a drink that levels up. If you’ve picked up pork & chive dumplings, Shanghai pork dumplings (or similar) on your way home, look for a balanced ale to go with them. A beer like Bentspoke Bent Straightforward Ale is (as its name suggests) a straightforward session beer that will cut through the rich flavours of the pork, with a hint of sweetness to complement the meat.



Veggie dumplings with mid-strength lager If you’ve ordered in vegetarian or picked up veggie dumplings or vegan dim sims, you’ll want to stick to an equally light beer combination. A mid-strength beer on the side will help prevent the flavours of the veg being overpowered. Try Travla Mid Strength Lager, a beer with a light body, mild fruitiness and a subtle bitterness. It’s also ‘better for you’ at just 89 calories and ultra low carbs.

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