How to cook frozen dumplings

I’d like to introduce you to one of my (many) favorite things about China…


Seriously, I love them. And all their yummy fillings.

If I’d started this blog AFTER I moved to China, I probably would have named it “Country Fried Dumpling” because the truth is, I haven’t had one egg roll since I’ve been here. Apparently they aren’t really common in Northern China. Really. I wouldn’t even know where to get one.

I recently decided I’d like to try to find a way to make the dumplings at home so I wouldn’t have to wait until we go out to get them.

So I found these frozen dumplings at the store.

But like most things in China, I ran into a few problems.

Problem 1:

The whole “language” thing rears its ugly head again. I read a few characters, but apparently not enough. Dumplings come with all kinds of fillings. Pork, beef, shrimp, egg, cabbage, leek. And many combinations of these, too.

So yeah, how do you choose which package to buy?

Can you tell me?

Because I don’t know.

Me? I just figure I’ve liked most dumplings I’ve tried and just pick up the one easiest to reach. Great way to pick out dinner, don’t you think?

Problem 2:

How to cook them.

Here are the directions:

Can’t read those either. I can read numbers and time in Chinese. But apparently they give cooking directions differently in China because I couldn’t pick out amounts or cooking time from the characters in that list.

See. These are the little things you don’t think about when you move to a foreign country. You would think buying dinner and cooking it are the same in any country, right? But everything is more difficult in China.

Luckily, you have me to figure it out for you.

So what to do?

As usual. I JGI. Just google it. The answer to most of the questions in life.

Turned up this link to where there are directions to steam, pan fry, and boil frozen dumplings.

I chose to steam mine so I could try out my bamboo steamer.

It’s a pretty easy process.

Of course, I didn’t look up the directions for how to cook frozen dumplings until after I’d started cooking mine. If you know me, that doesn’t come as a surprise. I often do things backwards. So I forgot to oil the steamer to keep them from sticking. doh! Luckily, they didn’t stick too bad. I will do that next time though.

After you oil it, load the steamer with about 8 to 10 frozen dumplings

Or 20-25 if you’re Chinese and plan on eating that many for dinner. True story. Summer told me that was the normal count per person if you’re cooking only dumplings for dinner.

Put on the lid and place it in the pan with water.

I put about a half inch of water in the bottom of the pan.

And per the directions from the link, I left it boiling on high for about 8 minutes.

While it’s boiling, make your dipping sauce.

You gotta have dipping sauce with dumplings.

I use equal amounts of soy sauce and dark vinegar with a little chili sauce to give it a kick. You could also toss in some chopped garlic or ginger. Just try different combos until you figure out what you like.

Check out the cute little sauce cups I bought in Beijing.

They’re shaped like dumplings!

And don’t forget the chopsticks.

You can’t eat dumplings without chopsticks.

You just can’t.

And there you have it… Dumplings for dinner!

Still don’t really know what flavor they were. Meat and something. Tasted good though.

Guessing works out sometimes.


4 thoughts on “How to cook frozen dumplings

    • It happens so often here that I didn’t even realize that would be funny. Now that I think about it, it guess it is a little odd… Just not if you live in China. I guess you just get used to not knowing what you’re eating. Haha.

  1. A word of caution………….be very careful about the surprise thing.
    China is rampant with food problems. Thousands have died and many more very sick because of tainted food strange additives in everything from baby formula to deep frying oil that is collected out of the gutters and resold to resturants and the street vender cookers.