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Are Dumplings Good the Next Day? An In-Depth Guide…

Everyone loves dumplings. But, are dumplings good the next day that’s a very interesting question.

With a warm, moist texture and a variety of flavorful fillings, these little stuffed par- cels are the ultimate comfort food. They’re also seriously moorish.

So moorish in fact, that most people make (or order) far too many at once.

Now, whilst we’re no strangers to reheating leftovers for a delicious next day snack, it’s worth issuing a few words of caution when it comes to warming up up these tasty little filled parcels:

are dumplings good the next day

Overheating dumplings or using the wrong technique can quickly ruin them, leav- ing you with a chewy, dry disappointment.

With that in mind, we’ve put together an in-depth guide for reheating your dumplings so they’ll taste just as good as the night before, or straight from your freezer.

Everyone loves dumplings.

With a warm, moist texture and a variety of flavorful fillings, these little stuffed par- cels are the ultimate comfort food. They’re also seriously moorish.

So moorish in fact, that most people make (or order) far too many at once.

Now, whilst we’re no strangers to reheating leftovers for a delicious next day snack, it’s worth issuing a few words of caution when it comes to warming up up these tasty little filled parcels:

Overheating dumplings or using the wrong technique can quickly ruin them, leav- ing you with a chewy, dry disappointment.

With that in mind, we’ve put together an in-depth guide for reheating your dumplings so they’ll taste just as good as the night before, or straight from your freezer.

Reheating Dumplings Can Be a Challenge:

The problem with dumplings is that they tend to be fairly delicate. They also have a very unique consistency that’s often destroyed by reheating.

The aim of the reheating game is to try and lock in the moist, light texture without either making them wet and mushy, or dry and chewy.

To get perfect results, you’re going to need to start with the right tools.

Reheating Dumplings: Tools of the Trade.

Microwave:

Microwaves are the staple kitchen appliance for reheating leftovers. In this case however, they’re best avoided.

In theory, microwaves can be used to steam food, and there are all kinds of hacks for keeping microwaved meals moist. Unfortunately for doughy foods like dump- lings, microwaving changes the texture, making them chewy, rubbery and almost inedible.

In short: Don’t even bother!

Convection Oven:

So how about whacking the dumplings in the oven on a low heat?

Nope.

Convection ovens tend to produce a very dry heat, so the dumplings will shrivel and harden. With that being said, if you’re reheating fried dumplings with a high oil content, you might just get away with it.

Verdict: Avoid in 90% of situations.

What Convection Ovens to use:

Instant Pot:

Have you been converted to the wonders of the Instant Pot yet? If you haven’t, just go ahead and order one right now! They really do revolutionize your cooking workflow.

Back to the dumplings: Instant Pots usually have a steam function. This entails put- ting a small amount of water in the main pot, then suspending food over the boil- ing water on a specially designed basket. This is an absolutely perfect way of re- heating dumplings, because you get all the advantages of moist steam, without the rubbery texture.

Verdict: Perfect for steamed dumplings. (Just remember not to pressure cook them!)

What instant pot to use:

The Best Method for Reheating Dumplings: The Hob.

Steamed Dumplings:

If your dumplings are the soft, doughy type, using steam is the best method for re- heating them.

If you love Asian-style cooking, you almost certainly use a bamboo steamer already for rice and vegetable dishes.

Simply pop the dumplings in the bamboo steaming basket, fill a pan with a small amount of water and wait for the steam to gently warm them up. The bamboo steaming basket should do a great job of holding in the moisture, much like an in- stant pot.

If you don’t have a bamboo steamer, you can create a makeshift steamer using silver foil molded over the top of the pan.

Fried Dumplings:

To reheat dumplings that were originally deep-fried, you’re going to need a frying pan with a heavy base.

Add a little water, wait for it to boil, then gently place the dumplings in the pan until they warm up. You can also cover the pan to speed things up and achieve a more even heat.

If your dumplings are quite oily and crispy, you can avoid the steaming process altogether and simply dry-fry them using low heat.

Soup Dumplings:

If your dumplings are destined to end up in a hot soup, then reheating is a breeze: Simply warm the soup slowly on the hob, and when it’s nearly up to temperature, gently (using tongs) lower each dumpling into the hot liquid.

Don’t cut corners by throwing the dumplings in the cold soup and reheating the whole thing in one go. The result will be a nasty, disintegrating mess.

Full video on how you reheat dumplings (every method)

Frozen Dumplings

OK, so far we’ve really only concentrated on take-away leftover dumplings. But does our advice also apply to store-bought or home made “raw” dumplings?

You bet!

Whether you’ve made your own dumplings and frozen them for convenience, or simply bought a pack from the frozen food aisle, the methods of cooking are pretty similar to those of reheating leftovers:

  • Heat a pan with a little sesame or groundnut oil.
  • Get it hot. Allow the oil to shimmer.
  • Carefully place the dumplings in the oil, straight from the freezer. No need to defrost. (Be extremely careful of spitting, hot oil)
  • Once browned on each side, add a little warm water and gently simmer until cooked through.

Most frozen dumplings (or the type you’d make yourself at home) tend to be the sturdier Japanese-style Gyoza dumpling. More delicate types will need gentle steaming straight from the freezer.

are dumplings good the next day

Dumplings Around the World.

OK, so now you know the best methods for reheating the different varieties of dumplings, let’s take a quick tour around South East Asia to illustrate the different types of dumpling that we’re most familiar with in the West and how they differ when it come to reheating:

Wonton Dumplings:

Wonton dumplings are probably the most familiar type of Chinese dumpling in the West. Traditionally filled with pork or chicken, they can be found bobbing around in the soup of the same name. Wonton is usually boiled, so don’t hold up well to frying, and should never be reheated in the microwave. For best results, keep them separate from the soup until it’s nearly ready to serve.

Chinese Steamed Buns:

“Cha shao bao” are usually seen in Dim Sum restaurants. They’re soft, bread-like and yeasty and are a steamed “long” dumpling with a ground pork or paste filling.

Steamed buns can’t really be boiled, and they’re the worst dumpling of the bunch for the microwave. They need to be “re-steamed” by hovering them over gently boiling water using a bamboo steamer or metal grill.

are dumplings good the next day

Japanese Dumplings:

Japanese Gyoza style dumplings are usually pan or deep fried and therefore take really well to reheating on the hob in a little sesame seed oil.

Gyoza dumplings stand up to heat exceedingly well, but that doesn’t mean you should attempt to reheat in the oven or a microwave, where they’ll turn absolutely rock hard in minutes.

Korean Dumplings:

Korean “Mandu” dumplings come in all shapes and sizes. They’re also cooked in a variety of ways: Boiling, deep-frying, steaming and pan-frying.

As you’ve probably figured out by now, the best approach to reheating any dump- ling is to use the method that it was cooked with in the first instance.

With that being said, don’t have your dumplings sitting in a pan of boiling water for minutes on end. They will quickly become sloppy and disintegrate.

are dumplings good the next day

Vietnamese Dumplings:

Filled with shrimp or tiny slithers of pork belly, Vietnamese Banh Bot Loc dump- lings are usually served as a starter.

Banh Bot Loc fillings are wrapped up with a tapioca blanket and are then gently boiled until cooked. They’re more like freshly filled pasta inconsistency and don’t take well at all to any form of reheating, where they will either fall apart or quickly shrivel into hard, starchy lumps.

How Else Can You Use Leftover Dumplings?

Now we’ve covered the dumpling reheating process, we’re left with a final conun- drum: What to eat with your tasty reheated parcels?

We wouldn’t blame you for scoffing them straight from the pan, but honestly, that seems like a bit of waste when you could use them to spice up a quick weekday dinner into something special:

Soup:

Going back to the Instant Pot, this kitchen gadget makes it simple to whip up a rich, hearty soup in around 15 minutes. Once you’re done, simply blend it into the right consistency then add in your cold dumplings at the end, and continue to gently heat until they’re warmed through.

Spicy vegetable broths work really well with pork or chicken filled dumplings, especially if you add some salty or sour Sichuan flavors.

are dumplings good the next day

Stir Fry:

A stir fry is a quick and healthy way to whip up a tasty weekday dinner, and you can have your dumplings gently steaming on the hob at the same time.

The great thing about having leftover dumplings is that you can leave out the noodles or rice, and pack in a bigger fresh vegetable hit instead.

Salad:

Chopped (or whole) dumplings tossed into a fresh salad can taste wonderful. It’s also a great way of sampling different Asian flavors that you wouldn’t normally associate with salad vegetables: Peanut, soy sauce, sharp rice wine vinegar. There are hundreds of Chinese and East Asian dressing recipes that will pair beautifully with crunchy cabbage and carrot-based salad.

are dumplings good the next day

So There You Have it…

Whether they’re Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese or Korean, dumplings are a flavor- ful and comforting accompaniment to a wide variety of meals.

Now you know exactly how to reheat dumplings, why not try your hand at whipping up a quick and tasty Asian inspired meal and put your leftovers to good use?



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