How to Cook Frozen Dumplings

The best methods for freezing and cooking frozen dumplings.

7/30/2021 11:00:00 PM

Take your dumplings from freezer to plate in a matter of minutes.

The best methods for freezing and cooking frozen dumplings.

, or using a store-bought brand, you have a hot, tasty snack only a few minutes away.Here are my favorite ways to cook frozen dumplings. All of them start with dumplings straight from the freezer.How to Freeze Fresh DumplingsFirst things first: you need frozen dumplings in order to cook them, right? And while you can buy them from a store (stay tuned for our taste test recommendations), you'll get much better results

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or buying un-cooked fresh or frozen dumplings from a local restaurant (If you have a shop you particularly like, ask, they'll probably sell you uncooked dumplings!).The trick is freezing them individually and storing them in a way that prevents freezer burn.

To freeze, place fresh dumplings on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a large plate dusted with a little flour or cornstarch. Place the entire tray of dumplings into the freezer uncovered and let them rest until fully frozen, about half an hour, then transfer the frozen dumplings to a zipper-lock freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as possible, seal the bag, and store the dumplings for up to two months.

Freezer burn is caused when ice crystals sublimate—that is, they transform directly from ice into water vapor, skipping the water phase entirely. Sublimation can be controlled by limiting the amount of airflow around the dumplings. As standard zipper-lock bags are actually breathable (air can pass very slowly through the plastic), they aren't great for long term freezer storage. It's important that you use a zipper-lock freezer bag, which is made of thicker plastic and designed to prevent freezer burn. Alternatively, use a standard zipper-lock bag followed by a tight wrap in two layers of aluminum foil. This will effectively block air flow to the dumplings.

The Easiest: Steam or BoilBoilingfrozen dumplings is the easiest method, though it's also the most time consuming as you have to wait for a pot of water to come to a boil.To boil dumplings, fill a large pot two-thirds of the way with water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Add as many dumplings as can fit comfortably in a single layer in the pot and cook them until they float. Let them cook an additional two to three minutes. Fish them out with a strainer, drain them, and serve.

Steamingis a much faster method as you only need to bring a few cups of water to a boil instead of an entire pot. Texturally, it'll also leave the skins a little stretchier and firmer. I generally prefer this texture to the softer texture boiling gives. It does require the use of a bamboo steamer insert for

your wok or pot. It's a worthwhile investment if you do any amount of Asian cooking, and they also make great stacking storage devices for potatoes and alliums.Frozen dumplings will stick to the bamboo inside a steamer, so you need to line it first. If you've got some Napa cabbage in the fridge, the leaves make great steamer liners. Alternatively, you can use parchment paper to make a breathable non-stick surface. Once you get the hang of it, you can make one in about the time it takes to bring the water in the wok to steaming-level. Here's how.

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Step 1: Fold in HalfFold a sheet of parchment paper with a length and width of at least the diameter of your steamer in half.Step 2: Fold in Half AgainFold it in half the other direction, creating a rectangle.Step 3: Fold Into a TriangleFold the rectangle into a triangle, making sure that the tip of the new fold lies at the main vertex of the original rectangle (the spot that used to be the center of the full sheet).

Step 4: Continue Folding in HalfFold the triangle in half twice more to create a very long and skinny triangle.Step 5: Trim the Back EndPlace the triangle over your steamer with the tip aligned above the center of the steamer. Trim the far end until the triangle fits neatly inside the steamer.

Step 6: Trim the CenterSnip off the very tip of the triangle.Step 7: Make VentsMake a series of very small triangular cuts along the edges of the large triangle. This will create vent holes when you unfold the parchment in order to allow steam to circulate around the dumplings.

Step 8: Unfold and InsertUnfold the parchment and insert it into the bamboo steamer. It should fit perfectly.Step 9: Add Dumplings and SteamAdd your dumplings, then set the steamer on top of a wok or a saucepan that just fits underneath it filled with about one inch of water. Cover the steamer and bring the water to a hard boil. Steam the dumplings until cooked through, about 10 minutes if going directly from the freezer.

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