Dumplings are a delicious and versatile food that can be steamed, pan-fried, boiled, or baked. But when time is short, microwaving frozen dumplings provides a fast, fuss-free way to enjoy these tasty treats. Whether you’re cooking potstickers, gyoza, shumai, wontons, or any other variety, microwaving is a great option for speedy dumpling gratification.
Here’s a quick answer: Place 6-12 frozen dumplings and 1-2 Tbsp water in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover lightly with a plate or paper towel. Microwave on high 3-5 minutes until steaming hot, adjusting time as needed. Allow to rest 1 minute before serving.
Benefits of Microwaving Frozen Dumplings
Microwaving frozen dumplings has several advantages:
- Fast cooking times – Depending on microwave wattage and dumpling type, most dumplings can be ready to eat in 3-5 minutes direct from the freezer. No need to wait for water to boil or oil to heat up.
- Minimal preparation – Simply place the frozen dumplings and a bit of water in a microwave-safe container, cover, and zap. Easy peasy!
- Versatile serving – Microwaved dumplings can be enjoyed on their own, added to soups or noodle dishes, or pan-fried after microwaving for extra crispiness. Lots of options!
- Few dishes to wash – With minimal prep, there’s minimal cleanup too. The microwave and a plate or bowl are all you need.
So if you’re feeling hungry for dumplings but short on time, keep reading to learn how to microwave frozen dumplings perfectly every time.
Microwaving Instructions for Common Dumpling Types
Most dumpling packages provide microwave instructions, but cooking times can vary based on dumpling size, filling, and microwave wattage. Here are some general guidelines for common dumpling varieties:
|Dumpling Type||Cook Time (700W)||Notes|
|Potstickers||3-4 minutes||Add 1-2 Tbsp water|
|Wontons||2-3 minutes||Add 1-2 Tbsp water|
|Gyoza||3-4 minutes||Add 1-2 Tbsp water|
|Shumai||3-4 minutes||Add 1-2 Tbsp water|
|Soup dumplings||3 minutes||Cover with wet paper towels|
For best results:
- Start with less time – It’s easy to add more cook time but impossible to reverse overcooking. Start with the low end of the time range and add 30 seconds to 1 minute as needed.
- Use a microwave-safe container – A bowl, mug, or small dish works well. Glass or ceramic materials work best.
- Add a bit of water – This creates steam to cook the dumplings. About 1-2 tablespoons of water is perfect for 8-12 dumplings.
- Cover lightly – Use a microwave-safe plate or paper towel. You want the steam to circulate but not escape.
- Allow to rest – Let dumplings sit 1-2 minutes after cooking so the filling can finish heating through.
Follow these tips for tender dumplings every time you microwave from frozen.
Microwaving Soup Dumplings Requires Special Care
Xiaolongbao, also known as soup dumplings, require extra special handling when microwaving frozen. The soup inside can easily explode if heated too quickly. Here is a safe microwaving method:
- Place 4-6 frozen soup dumplings in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Run paper towels under water until soaked through.
- Cover the dumplings completely with the wet paper towels.
- Microwave on high for 3 minutes. The wet towels create a gentle steam environment.
- Carefully remove the hot bowl from the microwave. Allow to rest 1 minute before serving.
The moist heat from the paper towels allows the dumpling skins to soften and the soup to warm through without boiling over or exploding. Enjoy the savory soup inside these special dumplings.
Handy Serving Suggestions
Once your frozen dumplings are piping hot out of the microwave, you’ll want to put together a quick serving suggestion to enhance their flavor. Here are some easy ideas:
- Soy vinegar dipping sauce – Mix 3 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tsp sesame oil, and chopped scallions.
- Hot chili oil – Drizzle with store-bought or homemade chili oil.
- Soup – Drop cooked dumplings into chicken, miso, egg drop, or hot and sour soup.
- Sautéed greens – Toss microwaved dumplings with sautéed bok choy, spinach, or other greens.
- Ramen topper – Pile microwaved dumplings on top of a bowl of instant or fresh ramen.
With a dipping sauce, crunchy garnish, or tasty additions, your microwaved dumplings will satisfy any craving.
FAQs About Microwaving Frozen Dumplings
Can you microwave dumplings without water?
It’s best to add a small amount of water to create steam and prevent the dumpling skins from drying out in the microwave. The water helps cook the dumplings through evenly.
Why do my microwaved dumplings turn hard?
Overcooking is the most likely culprit for tough dumplings. Try reducing cook time by 30 seconds to 1 minute next time. Proper steam from the water and covered cooking also helps prevent hardness.
How long do microwaved dumplings last?
For food safety, it’s best to consume microwaved dumplings within 3 days if storing leftovers in the refrigerator. Reheat thoroughly before serving again. Frozen dumplings can be stored for 3-6 months in the freezer.
Can you microwave and pan fry dumplings?
Yes! For extra crispy dumplings, you can microwave them first to cook through, then drain and pan fry until browned and crispy. Just be sure to dry the dumplings well before frying to prevent splattering.
Satisfy Your Dumpling Craving in Minutes
Microwaving makes enjoying frozen dumplings fast and convenient any night of the week. With the right technique, you can produce steamed-tender dumplings ready to eat in just minutes. Experiment with different fillings and dipping sauces to satisfy your cravings. And enjoy the quick cleanup of this easy microwave cooking method.