You’re Making Your Frozen Dumplings Wrong

Do you want your frozen dumplings to look like this?  The way they do at your favorite Chinese Restaurant?  Or, in my case, the way my mom made them when I was growing up?

Vegetarian DumplingsFrozen Dumplings

PUT DOWN THE PACKAGE DIRECTIONS.  Do not stick them in a skillet, douse with water and cover to make “potstickers.”  Because you’re going to make a mushy, half-frozen mess.

Now, pay attention.  This is my mom’s frozen dumplings recipe.

Veggie Dumplings

Step 1: Stop laughing.  I know you’re making fun of me for giving you a recipe for frozen food.

Step 2: Boil the dumplings.  There’s a specific way of doing so – check out the directions below.  Eat some of them hot outa the pot, if you must, but save the rest to cool in the fridge overnight.

Step 3: Have patience, because this frozen dinner takes 2 days to make.  The next morning, the dumplings will be completely dry/cold, which makes them the perfect texture/temperature for frying.
Veggie DumplingsVeggie Dumplings

Step 4: Brown them on all sides, deglazing with a shot of soy sauce at the end.  This is crucial; not only will the liquid pick up all the yummy bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, but the dumplings will sop up all that flavor…

Vegetarian Dumplings

…making it completely unnecessary to do any dipping.  Leaving you free to pop one after another into your mouth, without fear of spilling on your new couch.  Or your old dog.


FYI the frozen dumplings I’m using in this recipe are actually Korean – and vegetarian!  You want to make sure the package you buy has nice, thick skins.

The Best Frozen Dumplings. Ever.


  • Package of Thick-Skinned Frozen Dumplings from your local Asian Food Market (I bought veggie, but recommend meat)
  • Soy Sauce
  • Vegetable Oil


  1. Fill a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Insert the entire package of frozen dumplings. When they come to a roiling boil, add 1/2 cup of water. Repeat 2 more times for veggie dumplings, 3 for meat.
  2. When the dumplings are cooked through, remove with a large slotted spoon onto several plates. Allow to cool at room temperature, then cover with saran wrap and place in fridge overnight.
  3. The next day, heat a few tablespoons vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Place the cold dumplings in the hot oil until brown on each side. Once you've flipped the dumplings onto their final side, add a tablespoon of soy sauce on top of everything. Finish browning and serve hot.


7 thoughts on “You’re Making Your Frozen Dumplings Wrong

  1. Courtney of Savor Good

    Sounds. so. good!! Would never have thought of this. Our dumplings of choice recently (and most convenient to buy) are the Trader Joe’s pork ones.

  2. Courtney of Savor Good

    Well, the TJs ones tend not to stick in the pan the way the ones from the Korean or 99 Ranch market would.

  3. joyosmanski

    This is brilliant. And restores a bit of dignity to the fact that I’m eating frozen food out of a box. : )

  4. Viola

    It’s funny, I do follow the directions when I make frozen dumplings but when I make pierogi (you can buy cold, cooked pierogi by the dozen at the Polish markets in Chicago) I always reheat them with this method! Why do I do it differently? They’re both dumplings! I like the bit with the cooked in soy sauce, too. Great idea.

  5. Stephanie

    Oh yes! I’m doing this right from now on… I have leek dumplings from the Korean market and this has changed my life. Thank you for showing me the way!

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