Before you even start doing your dumplingsFirst, think about how you plan to cook them. There are three basic options: steaming, boiling, and steaming. There is also frying or serving with a crispy lace skirt.
While the cooking method depends a lot on your mood and what you crave, it also depends on it the shape of your dumpling. Some methods of cooking depend on certain dumpling characteristics, such as: For example, iron seals to prevent bursting (cooking), flat bottoms that offer room to crisp (fried potstickers), or thicker skins to withstand the pressure of cooking.
The following instructions also apply to fresh or frozen dumplings. In general, I find that store-bought frozen dumplings are better for steaming and frying as their shells are often very thin. Be sure to read the package instructions to review preferred cooking methods. If you are cooking frozen dumplings (store bought or homemade), do not thaw them. Therefore, always cook them from frozen dumplings.
Steaming creates silky, tender dumplings with a skin that is slightly firmer than that of cooked dumplings, but still stretchy. If you are making your own dumpling wrappers, use the hot water batter for this method as it will give you a softer bite. Find a bamboo or other basket steamer that fits over a pot, pot, or wok. My preferred ship is a bamboo steamer – they are cheap to buy and contain a good number of dumplings. The smell of dumplings steaming in bamboo is very nostalgic to me.
Line the steamer with parchment paper or Napa cabbage leaves. If you’re using parchment paper, poke a few holes in it to let the steam through. Fill your pan or saucepan with water that is about 1 inch deep and bring it to a boil. Place the steamer over the boiling water for about 10 to 15 minutes, cover, and steam (this depends on what you have in it – if you have raw ingredients like meat, steam longer while cooked ingredients will steam less Take time). Using store-bought wrappers will make the skin slightly transparent and you can see the colors of the fill inside. Homemade wrappers won’t turn transparent, but they will look plump and puffed up.
Cooked dumplings are wonderfully served alone with chili oil / crispy or black vinegar or as part of a dumpling noodle soup. Wontons, for example, are the epitome of cooked dumplings. Grew up my mother goldfish-shaped wontons were always made with the store-bought, yellow-colored wrappers, now sometimes called “Hong Kong Style Wonton Wrapper. ”
Of all cooking methods, cooking puts the greatest pressure on the dumpling, which can cause it to burst and crumble in the water. I personally have seen a lot of dumpling loss. Most store-bought dumpling wrappers should be able to withstand cooking, but they are fragile. So proceed with caution. The key is to get out as much air as possible. After spooning the filling onto the packaging and flipping it over to seal, squeeze extra air around the filling.
Slightly reducing the cooking temperature can also help – the dumplings should be cooked carefully and not tossed around aggressively.
When making homemade wrappers for boiled dumplings, use cold water (tap water straight from the tap is fine) as this will give you a thicker skin that is better suited to the pressure of the boil.
Frozen dumplings can usually be cooked. However, check the package instructions to make sure they are sturdy enough for this cooking method.
Steam roast (potsticker method)
The steam frying or potsticker method is used for dumplings such as gyoza and gow gee (also known as jiaozi or guo tie). The dumplings are seared on their base to create a golden, crispy bottom and then water is added and covered to steam through. When the water has evaporated, lift the lid and let it boil a moment longer. This double frying method gives potstickers their characteristic crispy crust.