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5 Ways Food Editors Turn Frozen Dumplings Into the Best Dinner

Think beyond steaming and pan-frying.

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images</p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

I am a little embarrassed to admit that I only recently discovered the world of frozen dumplings. For years, my friends and colleagues had sung the praises of Trader Joe's frozen dumplings, and I finally picked some up the other day.

Rather than simply steam or pan-fry the dumplings, I stir-fried them in a hot skillet with sliced bell peppers and scallions, drizzled in some chili crunch and soy sauce, and now can no longer look back. It was so delicious!

Frozen dumplings are a true lifesaver on the busiest nights when you’re at your most tired. They cook in minutes and can be used as a foundation for nearly endless meals. Now that I am a total convert, I checked in with my fellow food editors at Simply Recipes to get inspired and of course, they had no shortage of great ideas for how to enjoy frozen dumplings for dinner.

1. Make a Stir-Fry

Editorial Director Ariel Knutson and I agree that there’s no better way to transform frozen dumplings into dinner than to stir-fry them. Swap them in for the meat, shrimp, or tofu in any of your favorite stir-fry recipes. I pan-fry, cover, and steam them right in the pan or wok. Transfer the cooked dumplings to a plate while you stir-fry the vegetables then add them back to the pan with the sauce before serving.

2. Drop Them Into Soups and Stews

“I love to drop them into Korean stews like kimchi jjigae, budae jjigae, or doenjang jjigae,” says Associate Editorial Director Myo Quinn. “I also keep a bag of frozen dumplings in the freezer at all times to add to ramen,” she adds.

Editorial Assistant Munni Pramanik agrees with Myo’s ramen trick, and it’s her go-to meal when she’s feeling lazy. Drop the dumplings in when there are about three minutes of cooking time left so they thaw and heat up without disintegrating into the soup.

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images</p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

3. Bulk Up a Salad

Senior Editor Laurel Randolph insists on tossing dumplings into salad. “Instead of adding chicken, shrimp, or another standard protein to an Asian-style salad, sometimes I will pan-fry frozen dumplings and add them instead. It's a major upgrade. This works in Chinese-style chicken salad, soba, other noodle-based salads, and more. I love a mix of thinly sliced cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, edamame, and cilantro with a ginger-soy or sesame dressing, and crunchies like cashews and sesame seeds. The dumplings add a warm element with a totally different texture—salads are all about a mix of textures!”

4. Just Add Eggs

If you’ve spent time on TikTok, you may have seen folks caught folks pan-frying frozen dumplings with a slurry of flour, cornstarch, and water to create a beautiful, crispy lattice, or skirt around them. I like to add an egg skirt instead, which lends extra protein and satisfaction to my dumpling dinner.

Whisk two eggs with a pinch of salt in a bowl. Pan-fry the dumplings, pour in 1/4 cup of water and cover to steam for three to four minutes. Carefully pour the beaten eggs around the dumplings and cook, uncovered, for a few minutes more until the eggs are set. Slide or flip onto a plate and garnish with a little chili or sesame oil, soy sauce, and sliced scallions.

5. Simply Eat Them As-Is With Your Favorite Dipping Sauce

"Frozen dumplings are one of my desperation meals, so I tend to make them on nights when I’m so starving, I can’t comprehend any other meal components and just need to stuff my face super fast,” says General Manager Emma Christensen. Boil, pan-fry, microwave, steam, or even air fry them before dunking into chili crisp, soy sauce, sweet and sour, or your dipping sauce of choice.

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.