I love dumplings.
Not the bready, biscuit-type dumpling one finds with chicken but Chinese dumplings.
Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever had the first kind. I don’t think it’s popular in Scandinavian cooking….
One of the things I miss about the U.S. (there aren’t very many) was being able to get Chinese or Japanese take-out. We couldn’t get it delivered where we lived but I could stop and pick it up on the way home. I always got dumplings.
I’m sure we could get good take-out here – it’s just that it would be over an hour round-trip and, at that point, why bother?
But frozen dumplings are available at the Asian market. Every time I’m there I look at the selection and then realize I don’t know how to cook them and walk on by.
Next time I’m going to know how and I’m going to buy some.
Read on for some great dumpling cooking tips:
Why are fresh restaurant dumplings always better than the frozen version you make at home? Is it possible to create that perfect fresh taste and delightful texture from a frozen dumpling? Or are you doomed to have underwhelming dumplings at home forever?
Good news! If you follow all of the instructions in this article you can create delicious, restaurant-quality dumplings from frozen. It’s true – just read this article on how to cook frozen dumplings and get ready to test, try, and taste the difference.
You’ll never have to deal with less-than-fresh dumplings again. Let’s get cooking!
To make authentic frozen dumplings you will need a few pieces of equipment. If you plan to pan-fry them you’ll need a non-stick pan. This type of pan prevents the dumplings from getting stuck on the bottom of the pan. If you don’t have access to a non-stick pan, you’ll need to make sure the pan is very hot before adding your frozen dumplings.
If you plan to boil the dumplings you’ll need a saucepan or large pasta pot. The size of the pot depends on how many dumplings you plan to make. Be sure there is enough space for the water to cover all the dumplings you’re going to cook.
If you want to steam your dumplings, you’ll need a bamboo steamer and a liner or parchment paper. You can also use a large cabbage leaf as a liner if you prefer.
Ready with your equipment? Let’s review how to pan-fry, boil, and steam dumplings.
How to Cook Frozen Dumplings
As mentioned above you have three options when cooking frozen dumplings – pan-fry, boil, and steam. When you pan-fry dumplings you’ll get a crispier, crunchier outside and a soft center. When you boil dumplings you’ll have a nice soft outside and center.
And if you’re really looking for an authentic dumpling experience, you can try steaming them using a bamboo steamer. Keep reading for details on each cooking method.
To pan-fry frozen dumplings start by putting your non-stick pan on medium-high heat. If you don’t have a non-stick pan, you’ll need to test the temperature of the pan to be sure it’s hot enough that the outside of the dumpling won’t stick.
You can test the temperature by dropping a couple of droplets of water into your hot pan. If the water hisses and spits, your pan is too hot. Turn it down a little bit and test again. If the water bubbles your pan is probably not hot enough. When the water test results in balled droplets of water, you’re ready for the next step.
Add 2 tablespoons of oil into the hot pan. Place your dumplings flat side down into the pan. Don’t let the dumplings overlap because they will not cook evenly. Make sure that every dumpling has some oil underneath it.
Cook the dumplings for about 4 minutes flipping them over if you want to sear all sides. Then, add about 1/2 cup of water and cover for about 10 minutes. You’ll know they are done when the water has evaporated.
You can test for doneness by cutting into the dumpling. The center should be steaming hot and cooked all the way through. If they are not cooked through the center add more water and keep steaming.
If you want to boil your dumplings for soup you’ll need to start with a pot of water over medium-high heat. Once the water is boiling add frozen dumplings. Stir the dumplings into the water so they don’t stick to each other or the sides of the pot.
Allow the water to return to a boil. Add a cup of cold water and allow it to boil again. Repeat this process two more times. Once the has boiled three times, you are ready to eat. You can test the dumplings by gently poking with a fork. The dumpling should be soft through the center.
Although not as common for household preparation, you can steam dumplings from frozen. You’ll get the same soft texture as boiling and the process is much simpler.
If this is your first time using your bamboo steamer consider soaking it in water for a few minutes before you use it. Put the bamboo steamer into a wok or shallow skillet. Fill it with water until the water level comes above the rim of the steamer basket by about a quarter of an inch.
When you place the dumplings in the steamer be sure they have enough room because they will expand a little during cooking. Steam for about 8 to 10 minutes. You’ll have perfectly tender dumplings every time.
How are Frozen Dumplings Made?
Dumplings can be frozen when cooked or uncooked. They are meant to be cooked from frozen, so you should not thaw them first. The ingredients inside the dumpling are typically precooked for safety. You can find more details about the frozen dumplings on the packaging.
Where to Get Frozen Dumplings
Looking to buy delicious frozen dumplings? Want to impress your friends by steaming a batch of xiao long bao? Wait a minute – what is xiao long bao? These Chinese steamed dumplings are usually filled with pork or shrimp and sauce. They are also sometimes referred to as steamed buns.
If you want to know how to buy frozen dumplings consider looking for authentic companies that ship products directly to you. Don’t settle for any brand of frozen dumplings.
Time to Eat the Best Frozen Dumplings You’ve Ever Had
If you’ve spent years wondering, are frozen dumplings good, you probably haven’t been buying the right frozen dumplings or you’ve been cooking them wrong.
Follow the instructions above to cook great dumplings every time. Invest in high-quality dumplings products for the best outcome. Grab your chopsticks and get ready to eat!
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