How to Cook Dumplings

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How to Cook Dumplings

The lowly dumpling may not mean much for some people, but it is a very important part of Chinese and fusion cuisine. Dumplings are filling, delicious items that you can serve as part of a meal, or stand alone as a snack. Here are some ways that you can prepare and cook dumplings.

Dumpling Wrappers

Dumplings are small bite-sized fillings molded and wrapped with an edible wrapper. Most dumplings are served as part of dimsum, although you may also use dumplings for soups or even stews. The kind of dumpling that you’re making depends on the ingredients you use, but how you’ll cook the dumpling greatly depends on the kind of wrapper you use.

  • Kind of flour. Most wrappers in dumplings are made from rice flour, although some dumpling wrappers can be made from wheat or flour made from other grains. Rice flour is often used because of its neutral flavor, which complements many fillings used for dimsum.
  • Thickness of wrapping. The thickness of the wrapping defines the way you can cook the dumpling. Thicker wrappings can withstand higher heat and longer cooking hours, which makes them excellent for frying. Thinner wrappings are used for steaming and for soups.

Dumpling Fillings

cooking dumplingsYou can fill a dumpling with practically any ingredient. Fillings for dumplings can be divided into two broad categories:

  • Savory dumplings. Most people associate dumplings with meat-based fillings like pork, beef, and seafood. The fillings for savory dumplings are usually pounded instead of ground, to preserve the texture and tenderize the filling. Most savory dumplings are served with savory dips like chili, soy sauce, or spicy or sour dips that cut the savory taste.
  • Sweet dumplings. Some dumplings may be served as dessert items. Dried fruit, sticky rice, and other sweet items may be placed in dumpling wrapping and served as dessert or for snacks. They are usually served with a sweet sauce.

Cooking Methods

There are many ways to cook dumplings, either as standalone dishes or as complements and ingredients to other meals and dishes:

  • Steaming is perfect for dumplings because it keeps the fillings moist, while at the same time getting the rawness out of the wrapper. Dumplings are usually steamed in a bamboo steamer.
  • Frying is great for dumplings in a thick wrapping. Fried dumplings are usually filled with precooked filling to avoid overcooking.
  • Boiling. Some dumplings like wontons are usually added to soups to give body and flavor. The filling may already serve as the meat ingredient, while the wrapper dissolves to provide volume and thickness for the soup.
  • Potstickers. A potsticker is a steamed dumpling fried in a small amount of oil and a bit of soup. The potsticker has a unique texture and flavor because of the way it is cooked.
Dumplings are an excellent dish to be served at any time of the day. With these tips, you can cook and eat dumplings to your heart’s content. If you’re interested in reading this article, you’ll surely enjoy reading how to make temaki sushi.

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