Dumplings, who doesn’t like these delicately soft, bite-sized pieces of dough wrapped around various delicious fillings? Depending on your preference, they can be filled with meats, fish, prawns, cheese, and vegetables and fried or steamed.
If you have more dumplings than you can consume in one go, what is the best way to preserve them? While they can be stored in the fridge for a day or two, freezers are the best option for long-term storage.
Below you will find some useful tips and tricks on how to cook and freeze dumplings the right way, without sticking to each other or developing freezer burn.
Can You Freeze Dumplings?
These little stuffed parcels made of dough and savory fillings are great for freezing. You can freeze both cooked and freshly made, uncooked dumplings, but you will need to prep them properly before freezing.
Dumplings survive in the freezer remarkably well and remain fresh, provided they are protected from freezer burn and drying out, which are the most common causes of taste and texture changes in frozen foods.
Freezer burn causes dehydration and oxidation and it happens when the air reaches the food. The best way to prevent this is to ensure that your dumplings are not exposed to air.
So, wrap them tightly in a Ziplock freezer bag, freezer-safe plastic container, or wrap them in extra layers of aluminum foil for additional protection. When stored in the freezer, dumplings can last for up to 3 months and still taste fresh.
Dumplings stored in the freezer can last for up to 3 months, and it still tastes fresh just as when they were made.
Freezing dumplings depends on if you bought them from a restaurant or made them yourself at home. For the leftovers brought from the restaurant, make sure to put them in the freezer as soon as you get home. It is best to consume dumplings sitting out for more than 2 hours instead of storing them.
Can You Freeze Homemade Dumplings?
Making your own dumplings at home gives you the opportunity of using the ingredients you want. Your homemade dumplings can be frozen both cooked and uncooked.
There are some preparations required, especially for uncooked dumplings to ensure they last long in the freezer and you don’t end up with a massive frozen clump of dough and filling all stuck together.
Freezing individual pieces of dumplings separately is recommended, as it prevents dumplings from sticking together once frozen. That would also work great for cooked dumplings. You can quick-chill them, separated on the baking tray or sheet, no need to wait for them to cool down. Once frozen, put them in a freezer bag or airtight container.
Check out the step-by-step freezing instructions below.
The Easiest Way To Freeze Dumplings
This method works for both, cooked and uncooked dumplings from varenyky, gnocchi to my absolute favorite Japanese gyoza.
- Take a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper or plastic wrap. For freshly made, uncooked ones you can use flour-dusted baking sheets.
- Place the dumplings on the baking sheet one by one, keep them evenly spaced. Ensure they do not touch each other; otherwise, the dumplings will stick together.
- Put the uncovered baking sheet with dumplings in the freezer and freeze for about two hours, or until fully frozen.
- Once completely frozen, remove the pan from the freezer and transfer the dumplings to a freezer bag or an airtight container.
- Make sure to leave enough space at the top of the bag that allows you to seal it properly. If you are using a container, ensure that the lid is also tightly sealed. This will decrease the chances of freezer burn.
- Get a marker, and label the bag or container with the date of freezing.
If you are like me, when everything must be very neat and organized, this Dumpling Storage Box below will come in very handy.
TAP ON IMAGE TO VIEW PRICE
How Long Can You Freeze Dumplings?
You can freeze dumplings for up to 3 months. Some factors that will affect how long they last in the freezer include the following:
- The ingredients used to make them.
- Method of storage.
- Whether they are bought or homemade.
The vegetables or meat products used can either increase or shorten their shelf life. Dumplings containing vegetables usually last longer, as they tend to freeze well and remain fresher longer in the freezer. Dumplings that use meat, on the other hand, have a slightly shorter shelf life.
It will be challenging to determine how fresh store-bought dumplings are. If they have been in the store’s freezer for a long time, they may not last long as you would want after purchase. Some dumplings may have an expiry date displayed on the packages, and others may not.
Homemade dumplings have the most extended shelf life since you will be using fresh ingredients (I hope). They could last up to 6 months in the freezer.
Should You Cook Dumplings Frozen Or Thawed?
There is no need to defrost dumplings before cooking or reheating them. The ideal way is to cook them frozen, irrespective of the cooking method you intend to employ. As dumplings are sensitive to moisture, thawing them in the fridge might cause them to turn soggy. When cooking from frozen, add a few minutes to the cooking time.
Some chefs recommend that before frozen dumplings are put in the boiling water, you add a dash of salt and a teaspoon of cooking oil to the pot. That would prevent frozen dumplings from sticking and will give them a more attractive appearance.
How Long Do Dumplings Last?
Cooked dumplings last for about 2 hours at room temperature, and uncooked dumplings should not be left out at room temperature for more than 30 minutes. When stored in the fridge, cooked dumplings may last between 3 to 5 days. They should always be stored in an airtight container to prevent them from drying out.
Uncooked dumplings will remain fresh within 1 to 3 days of putting them in the fridge. Ensure to put them in a properly sealed bag or container to prevent bacteria from spreading.
Can You Refreeze Dumplings?
Refreezing dumplings is not recommended. Freezing and refreezing will affect the moisture content of the dumplings and make them soggy or break up while reheating. You also do not want to affect the texture by freezing more than once.
How To Reheat Frozen Dumplings?
When reheating dumplings, you want to make sure that they don’t get undercooked or overcooked. While this may seem hard, it is pretty straightforward.
There are many methods for reheating dumplings, like steaming, frying, shallow frying, deep-frying, microwaving, or even baking them. The technique you choose will depend on how the dumplings were initially cooked.
When reheating previously cooked dumplings, choose a cooking method that was used to cook them initially.
Here are 3 popular ways to reheat dumplings:
Boiling is the most simple and fundamental rehat most foods. All you have to do is to wait for the water to boil and put the dumplings (frozen or unfrozen) in the boiling water. Stir once and leave until they rise to the top.
The bigger the dumplings, the more time will be required to boil them. Usually, it will take 3 to 5 minutes till ready cooked. Using a slotted spoon, remove them from the water and place them on a serving platter.
To boil dumplings,
- Fill two-thirds of a large pot with water.
- Cover and allow to boil over high heat.
- Add as many dumplings that can fit in one layer of the pot comfortably.
- Cook until they float, then cook for two or three additional minutes.
- Remove the dumplings with a skimmer spoon to drain all the water and serve.
Steaming is faster, as only a few cups of boiling water are needed rather than a large pot. You will need a bamboo or metal steamer for your pot to reheat your dumplings with this method.
As frozen dumplings stick to the bamboo in the steamer, you will need to line it. If you have them, Napa cabbage leaves make the perfect liner. Parchment paper is also an excellent alternative to create a non-stick surface. Coat with a thin layer of oil if you are using a metal steamer.
Steps for steaming dumplings:
- Add the frozen dumplings into the steamer basket.
- Fill your pot or pan with about 1 inch of water and allow to boil.
- Place your steamer over the boiling water and cover.
- Steam for between 10 to 15 minutes.
The steaming time depends on the ingredients used for the dumplings. Raw ingredients like meat take a longer time to steam than cooked ingredients.
Steam-frying or the potsticker technique is used for dumplings like gyoza and gow gee. In this method, you fry the dumplings, add water to the pan, and cover to allow the steam. When the water evaporates, you fry the dumplings again; this double frying method adds a signature crispy crust. It is recommended to use a non-stick pan for steam-frying because dumplings tend to stick.
Follow these steps:
- Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a non-stick frying pan over moderate heat.
- Add the dumplings in a single layer and cook until the bottoms turn light brown. This takes about 1 to 2 minutes. It is important to swirl the pan while cooking as it creates an even crust.
- Increase the heat a little, and add enough water to cover the base of the dumplings.
- Cover and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the water evaporates.
- Remove the lid and cook, swirling the pan regularly for about 30 more seconds. It allows the bottom to get extra crispy.
Check Out These Other 5 Easy And Delicious Ways To Cook Frozen Gyoza