Monday, May 3, 2010

How to Cook Perfect Fried Dumplings with Frozen Dumplings

What is wrong with frozen food?  According to me there is nothing wrong with frozen food.  It's convenient and keeps food from going off and its much healthier than takeaway.  I always have a few packets of these frozen dumplings in my freezer for snacking or emergency dinner.  

New Varieties

Hakka is the only brand I buy.  They started with four different varieties Pork Dumplings with Chives, Pork Dumplings with Chinese Cabbage, Pork with Bok Choy and Pork with Watercress.  Recently, they have created three new varieties, they are seafood dumplings, Pork, Prawn and Egg dumplings and Enoki Mushroom dumplings (Vegetarian). I can taste the different ingredients in the dumplings yet the combination of the different ingredients really go well together and it is always seasoned well.  I have tried other brands and I find that they put the meat and vegetables in the processor for too long or they put too much flour in the dumplings to bulk it's size up.

My favourite one is the Pork Dumplings with Chinese Cabbage.  However be very cautious if you want to bring this for lunch.  It has this strange almost unpleasant smell when it is cold.  The smell does turn very appetising when it is throughly heated through.  

The secret to cooking this delicious little dumpling is to add a small cup of cold water into the boiling water.

Method 1
 Add the dumpling into boiling water, stir constantly so they don't stick together.  When it boils add a small cup of cold water and wait for it to boil again.    The contrast of hot and cold water will stop the dumplings from over cooking and also gives the dumpling skin a nice texture.  

The dumplings are ready to be pan-fried.  Turn off the fire and scoop the dumpling out onto a plate.  

I find using non stick pan to be the easiest way to pan-fried the dumpling.  Start the fire and pour 1 tablespoon of oil into the pan.  Make sure its really hot before you add the dumplings.  Turn every minute or so until all sides are nicely browned.

OR you can follow the instructions on the label.  It's really easy to read and can be followed easily.  

Method 2
The instruction says not to boil the dumplings beforehand.  The frozen dumplings goes straight into the pan, then add water and cover with lid.  Wait for the water to simmer down and dumpling skin will brown as the water sizzles down.

If your not a fussy eater, then the second method is quicker and you would only have to wash one pan.  However there is a difference in texture between the two methods.  I find with the second method, the crust of the dumplings can be quite chewy and the stuffing is less juicy.  It's complete opposite when the dumplings are boil then pan-fried.  The stuffing are much juicer and the dumpling skin turns out quite crispy.

1.  Never ever defrost the dumplings or they will stick together.
2.  Add a small cup of cold water into the boiling dumpling for better dumpling skin and it won't over cook it.

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