This Is The Best Way To Cook Frozen Dumplings

According to History, dumplings are a universal food almost every culture has some variation of. They claim that some of the first filled dumpling recipes come from China, and are said to have been made during the Han Dynasty. Legend has it that Zhang Zhongjian created the first dumplings to cure his fellow villagers of frostbite by wrapping mutton, herbs, and chili in dough formed to resemble their afflicted ears.

Unlike many other foods, dumplings do not degrade in quality when frozen, according to Serious Eats, and are nearly indistinguishable from fresh-made dumplings if cooked properly. This makes them the perfect food to either batch cook or buy in bulk, which saves you money (and trips to the grocery store). 

There are three possible ways to cook frozen dumplings, depending on what style of dumpling you would like. These methods work well for all types of dumplings, and that you should cook them straight from the freezer and never thaw your dumplings beforehand. In general, frozen dumplings will last for up to two months in the freezer if kept in an airtight, freezer-safe container.

Steam-fry your frozen dumplings for crispy bottoms and evenly cooked interiors

Serious Eats claims the steam-fry method produces the best results when cooking frozen dumplings. This preparation involves you first pan-frying your dumplings, and then adding some water and covering the pan with a lid to steam and finish cooking them. Preparing your dumplings in this fashion will give them the classic crispy, brown bottoms you get from fried dumplings at a restaurant. Lifehacker agrees, stating that the steam-fry method allows the dumpling bottoms to crisp up while keeping the rest of the dumpling moist and evenly cooked. They claim cooking your dumplings in this way will take about 20 minutes, start to finish.

The Serious Eats article offers two alternative methods, which produce slightly different results. The absolute fastest preparation is to use a microwave first to cook the dumplings and then finish them up in a pan. This should take about five minutes total. The easiest preparation they list as boiling or steaming. Boiling frozen dumplings is very hands-off, and is a great choice if you are planning on adding your dumplings to soup. Steaming requires you to own a bamboo steamer and make a liner for said steamer with parchment paper. This is an easy enough process, but will probably take a few tries before you are able to replicate it quickly. You can also line your steamer with cabbage leaves if you have extra lying around.