Dumplings are one of the few food items that can claim to be truly international. No matter where you go in the world there are dumplings. Not only that but each region has it’s own take on this super versatile food. They are great as a side dish, standalone meal, snack or any other way you can think of enjoying food. When buying or making dumplings more is better. Storing dumplings whether in the fridge or freezer is a common practice. There are different ways of reheating dumplings once we’ve defined dumplings we can go through them.
There are so many different expressions of the concept of dumplings from all over the world so it is very difficult to narrow down the definition for these delicacies. Dumpling is any recipe that makes use of a dough made from wheat flour, potatoes or bread dough that is wrapped around a filling though there are cases where dumplings are not filled at all. What makes dumplings so versatile is that they can be filled with meat, vegetables, fruit and even sweets. There are also many cooking methods to dumplings which include frying, steaming and baking. Dumplings feature very heavily in Asian, North African and Latin American cuisine though they are truly worldwide.
Dumplings are best stored cooked whether they are going into the refrigerator or freezer. They will keep just fine when stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. If you want to freeze dumplings it’s not as easy as shoving a container full of them in the freezer and retrieving it when you want to eat them. You’ll likely be very disappointed. Use this two-step freezing method instead. It takes more effort but it will guarantee you the best results with your frozen dumplings. The first step is to take a flat tray and place the greaseproof paper on it, the paper is very important. Now lay the dumplings on the tray individually. You can spray the dumplings lightly with cooking oil. The paper and oil are to prevent the dumplings from sticking to each other or the tray. If your dumplings are baked or fried this is not a huge concern for you but with the steamed ones it is paramount. Place the tray in the deep freezer overnight. The next day you can take the dumplings out off the freezer. Remove them from the tray and pack into serving size bags. It’s best to use heavy-duty freezer bags as light bags may tear and leave your dumplings susceptible to freezer burn If you’re not sure how many you eat in a single sitting just remember fewer in a bag are better than more when reheating or thawing because it is not advisable to refreeze thawed food. The effectiveness of your heating method will depend on the initial cooking method of the dumplings.
If your dumplings were initially steamed steaming will be the best way to reheat them. You can also use this method on baked dumplings while fried dumplings may not do as well, they will likely take on too much moisture in steaming. You can choose to steam them straight from frozen or you can thaw them overnight in the freezer before steaming them. Bring water to steaming temperature in your steaming pot. Place the dumplings in the steaming basket. If your basket is metal consider using perforated baking paper as a layer between the dumplings and the basket. Dumplings love to stick to metal and glass. You can easily perforate ordinary baking paper using an origami-like technique. Place the dumplings in the steamer and steam away. If you are steaming thawed dumplings steam for 5 to 10 minutes. As the dumplings are precooked you are only looking to reheat them, check the internal temperature to make sure they reach 70 degrees Celcius. If the dumplings are being reheated straight from the freezer allow twice as much time before checking the temperature.
You can also reheat your dumplings by boiling them in hot water. This method can take a lot away from the dumplings so it is only really effective with dumplings that are initially boiled in cooking. Dumplings made with a potato outer do well in this method while flour/bread dumplings do not do so well. If you’re boiling them straight from the freezer you will need to heat water to boiling point in a pot. Place the dumplings in the boiling water. You should boil them for just 10 minutes to get them to an edible point. If you have thawed the dumplings roughly 5 to 6 minutes should do the trick. Simply remove from the pot and drain.
One of the easiest methods for reheating dumplings is to pan-fry them. Again you want to be careful with this one. It’s great for reheating fried and steamed dumplings. Baked dumplings may not do as well with this method. In your pan heat two tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is hot add the dumplings. If you are using thawed dumplings go ahead and fry them until they are golden brown on the outside or for 5 minutes stirring. Now there’s a departure point for frozen dumplings. Add water to about half the height of the dumplings and cover the pan. Boil until the water evaporates completely and your dumplings are done.
Baking is a very popular method of cooking and reheating dumplings. The method is really simple and works for dumplings initially cooked in any manner. For this easy method, you will have to thaw your dumplings beforehand if they are frozen. Place them on a baking tray, remember dumplings stick to metal so baking paper use is advisable. If the dumplings were previously boiled or steamed it shouldn’t deter you. Spray a little cooking oil over the dumplings. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. You will need just 10 minutes to make them crisp and bring the internal heat to a healthy 70 degrees Celsius.
Of course, there’s always good old microwave heating. Simply place your dumplings in a microwave-safe container and add tablespoon water. Cover the container but allow room for air to escape. You are effectively using it as a steamer. Depending on the power rating of your microwave heat the dumplings for 1 minute. This should be adequate for a 700-watt microwave. If yours is higher than this 45 seconds should be enough. When in doubt remember that with heating food in the microwave it is better to bring it to a higher heat then allow it to cool.
There you have 5 great ways to reheat dumplings. You can bake, boil, fry, steam or simply microwave them. Just remember these instructions are for reheating pre-cooked and frozen dumplings and not uncooked frozen dumplings.