Dumplings, also known as Momos, are perfectly sized pieces of joy, embellished with the best sauces, and are made to fit inside your mouth in one bite. As you chew further, you feel the juicy ingredients, and this savoury feeling is to die for.
Let’s admit that it’s not easy to make them from scratch. And since none of us can compromise with the taste, the food industry blessed us with their magical creation – frozen dumplings. To savour them, you should know how to make them. So, Let’s learn how to cook frozen dumplings.
This article has incorporated all the fantastic techniques, from deep frying and steam frying frozen dumplings to comparatively healthier methods like boiling and steaming.
1. Popularity of Frozen Dumplings
Although dumplings are indigenous to Asia, their popularity has increased manifolds. From China, dumplings have travelled to various places, and each mile has added its magic to it, resulting in vivid variants of dumplings.
Some of the prominent examples are Vietnamese Banh Bot Loc, Brazilian Coxinhas, Turkish Manti, Indian Modak, and Japanese Gyoza.
Indubitably, our lives have paced up, and in this race, there’s almost no time left to curate these little pockets of flavour. The traditional process of making them is time-consuming. But fret not! Frozen dumplings are a halt for all the foodies across the globe.
On top of that, the Pandemic has brought a massive change in people’s lifestyles, and the frozen food industry has been escalating with leaps and bounds. As per the reports of the American Frozen Food Institute, the American frozen food industry made $65.8 Billion in 2020 in retail sales, jumped to $72.2 Billion in 2022. Similar trends were noticed in other countries.
2. Lay the Groundwork
We know you’re eager to learn about the process of cooking the frozen dumplings, but it’s equally important to do the initial preparation. This will eventually give you an exotic cooking experience. Let’s learn!
2.1 Thawing the Frozen Dumplings
You’ll notice a layer of frost as you unpack the frozen morsels. It’s always advisable to defrost them before putting them into a pan, steamer, or oven. Some chefs prefer to leave them at room temperature for half an hour, while others prefer to put them in a microwave for a few minutes.
Ensure to follow this step. Otherwise, your dumpling’s cover might disintegrate during cooking. Be careful, don’t overthink it. Now, let’s learn ways to cook frozen dumplings.
2.2 Congregate the Tools
Depending on your procedure, you’d require some essential kitchen tools. You’ll need a pan/ pot/ skillet/ steamer/ oven/ microwave, some basic spices and oil. Don’t worry! You might not have to employ all of them. Just trust the process and read the article further to get clarity.
Here’s the guide to cook your frozen dumplings. Let’s know them all.
3. Pan Frying – Most Celebrated Method
After you’ve defrosted the dumplings, take a nonstick pan and place it on medium heat. Keep your hand safe from the pan and sense the heat to check if it’s hot. Further, add two tablespoons of oil. You can choose vegetable oil, mustard oil, sesame oil, etc.
Now, lift the dumplings and place them uniformly on the pan. Each morsel should receive the love of oil. The next step is to pour in some water to reach ½ up the sides of the dumplings. As you’ll run, you’ll hear a sizzling sound.
Cover the lid and shallow fry it until the bottom appears golden brown. Cook for 10 minutes or until the water evaporates. Once it’s done, turn off the stove and let it rest for 2-4 minutes. Remove them, plate them well, and you’re all set to savour them
3.2 Things to be Mindful About
It’s necessary to use the correct pan in this method. Do not choose a lightweight or sticky pan; it might stick your dumplings to the bottom.
Make sure to operate at the correct temperature to avoid sticking. Heat your pan and drizzle a few droplets of water on it. If the water droplets make a hissing noise and convert to vapour rapidly, that indicates an overheated pan. If water droplets sit and start bubbling on the pan, that means you need to raise the temperature.
A perfectly heated pan will let the water droplets stay in a single ball and roll. I hope this trick was helpful and you’re learning how to cook frozen dumplings.
4. Steaming: A Healthier Way to Make Dumplings
If you prefer dumplings with tender skin and a juicy feeling, opt for steam-frozen dumplings. This cooking method is pretty simple. Take a steamer, pour in some water, and bring it to a boil. You may substitute a steamer with a pot, vessel, or bamboo steamer.
Grease the steamer tray, and do not forget to cover it with parchment paper. Layer your frozen dumplings on it and place it on the steamer. Put on the lid and let the dumplings receive the steam for 10-15 minutes. Serve your picturesque dumplings and eat them all.
4.1 Basic Rules While Steaming
Here are a few basic rules for steaming frozen dumplings. Do not forget to oil your steamer tray slightly. After you’ve greased it, place the parchment paper with holes. You can substitute the parchment paper with cabbage leaves or any other vegetable leaf. If you’re cooking on a pot, you can use a dish instead of a steamer tray.
5. Boiling: The Easiest Way
This method is a cakewalk; even a 10-year-old can employ this method. Here’s a catch. You don’t have to defrost your dumplings before boiling. Just pour some water into a large pot or similar vessel and cook it on medium-high heat. Put your momos into boiling water and let them swim for 5-8 minutes. Give it a nice stir so they do not stick to each other.
Once they’re cooked, drain the remaining water, and your boiled dumplings are ready.
5.1 Boil to Make Soupy Dumplings
Many prefer to boil their dumplings in a soup. Prepare a soup base in your unique style. Add your favourite veggies like tomatoes, corn, or meat. Season it well, and finally, fabricate your soup with dumplings. Bring it to a boil and enjoy this yummy recipe. Isn’t it the easiest cooking method?
6. Deep Frying to Make Golden Dumplings
If you love fried food, you can try deep frying to make golden dumplings. However, the deep-fried dumplings are a high-calorie dish owing to the process of deep frying. Still, it is a popular method to cook dumplings.
Heat a pot of oil at 320- 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to defrost your dumplings before frying them. Carefully add them to the hot oil and see them getting an excellent golden shade. Drain them out, and let the tissue absorb the excess oil. Serve these crispy dumplings with your favourite dipping sauce.
7. Microwave Method
Are you feeling too lazy to cook? Dont worry. Your microwave will come to your rescue. Place frozen dumplings in a microwave-safe bowl or any other microwave-safe container and add enough water to cover the dumplings in half.
Cover it with a microwave-safe plate and microwave it for 5-7 minutes till the dumplings are cooked. Drain the remaining water, and your soft-shelled pockets are ready to be eaten.
You can go a step further and shallow fry dumplings on a frying pan. Heat vegetable or any other high-heat oil in a nonstick pan and sizzle your dumplings in moderate heat. You can also swirl them to get golden brown dumplings.
Remember, you can choose not to defrost your dumplings before employing this method. However, partially thawing for 10 minutes is still advisable.
You might have heard this famous saying – “An apple a day keeps a doctor away.” Dumplings fanatics have been known to come up with their version- “A momo a day keeps the sadness away.” Jokes aside! You should consume these at a limit so that your stomach enjoys it in an absolute sense.
These were some of the most famous ways to cook your frozen dumplings. Employ them correctly, and your home-cooked dumplings will be indistinguishable and equally satisfying as restaurant varieties.
Experiment with the taste and enjoy this delicious innovation. Frozen dumplings are indeed a blessing for us to enjoy our favourite dumplings without visiting a Chinese restaurant. Enjoy the yummy dumplings within minutes of thawing frozen dumplings. So, cook your frozen dumplings today. Happy eating!