5 Ways Food Editors Turn Frozen Dumplings Into Perfect Dinners


I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I recently discovered the world of frozen dumplings. For years, my friends and colleagues have been singing the praises of Trader Joe's frozen dumplings, and I finally picked some up the other day.

Instead of steaming or pan-frying the dumplings, I fried them in a hot pan with chopped black pepper and scallions, drizzled some chili crunch and soy sauce, and now there's no looking back. It was so delicious!

Frozen fritters are a real lifesaver on the busiest of nights when you're most tired. They cook in minutes and can be used as the base for almost endless meals. Now that I'm completely converted, I checked in on Simply Recipes to get inspired by my fellow food editors and, of course, they have great recipes on how to enjoy frozen fritters for dinner. There was no shortage of ideas.

1. Make the stir fry

Editorial Director Ariel Knutson and I agree that there's no better way to turn frozen fritters into dinner than to give them a stir. Substitute any of your favorite stir-fry recipes for meat, shrimp, or tofu. I pan fry them in a pan or wok, cover and steam. Transfer the cooked dumplings to a plate while you roast the vegetables then add them to the pan with the sauce before serving.

2. Add them to soups and stews.

“I like to put them in Korean stews like kimchi jji, bode jji, or doenjing jji,” says associate editorial director Mio Quinn. “I always keep a bag of frozen dumplings in the freezer to add to ramen,” she adds.

Editorial assistant Muni Pramanak agrees with Mayo's ramen trick, and it's her go-to meal when she's feeling lazy. When there are about three minutes left to cook, drop the dumplings in so they melt and heat through the soup without splattering.

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3. Bulk a salad.

Senior editor Laurel Randolph insists on putting dumplings in salads. “Instead of adding chicken, shrimp, or some other standard protein to an Asian-style salad, sometimes I pan-fry frozen dumplings and add them. It's a major upgrade. This is Chinese-style chicken. Works in salads, soba, other noodle-based salads, etc. I like shredded cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, edamame, and cayenne with a ginger soy or sesame dressing, and crunchies like cashews and sesame seeds. Dumplings add a warm element with a completely different texture—salads are all about the combination of textures!

4. Just add the eggs.

If you've spent any time on TikTok, you've seen people pan-fry with flour, cornstarch, and water slurry to create a beautiful, crisp lattice, or skirt. I like to add egg skirt instead, which adds extra protein and satisfaction to my dumpling dinners.

Beat two eggs in a bowl with a pinch of salt. Pan fry the dumplings, add 1/4 cup of water and steam covered for three to four minutes. Carefully pour the beaten eggs around the dumplings and cook for a few more minutes until the eggs are set. Slide or flip onto a plate and garnish with a little chili or sesame oil, soy sauce and chopped scallions.

5. Just eat them as is with your favorite dipping sauce.

“Frozen fritters are one of my frustration foods,” says general manager Emma Christensen, “so I tend to make them on nights when I'm super hungry, can't fathom any of the other ingredients and just You need to fill your face very quickly,” says general manager Emma Christensen. Boil, pan fry, microwave, steam, or air fry them before dipping them in chili crisps, soy sauce, sweet and sour, or your favorite dipping sauce.


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