How to (properly) Boil Dumplings

Hi!!! Last week was a pretty eventful one. We didn’t go anywhere, but a website asked me to write for them. More importantly, SCHOOL STARTED. Yep, I’m officially a sophomore, ready to tackle AP world and Precalculus. What does that have to do with dumplings?

During the school year, we have a custom of eating dumplings for lunch on either Saturday or Sunday. This is not some traditional or superstitious thing; It’s convenient. They are (relatively) quick to make, quick to eat and cheap. However, they were never good. The dumplings themselves weren’t bad, but something was seriously wrong with our boiling method. They would end up broken and overcooked 😦

The good news is that my mom finally discovered the “perfect” method! Before I get into the steps, here are some VERY important Tips:

  •  Use a soup ladle  not a spatula. Soup ladles are rounded, so they give a gentler push.
  • Use a wok, the high width to depth ration of woks makes it easier to move the dumplings. It also gives each one more room. If you don’t have a wok, use the pot (pans don’t work for obvious reasons) with the highest width to depth ratio.
  • Do NOT go out of the kitchen, or worse, look at technology. Boiling dumplings requires a lot of waiting, which gets boring. However, it’s not enough time to check emails or messages. More importantly, there is no exact timing. It all about observation.
  • When adding water, do it around the edges

Onto the steps:

  1. Boil the water. Nothing fancy. The important part here is to KEEP the dumplings FROZEN. Normally I’m all for fresh foods, but for dumplings, keeping them frozen is the key. Do NOT take them out until the water is at a rolling boil, then drop them in. Letting them thaw will allow the liquid water to soften the skin, which makes them break easily
  2. Push the dumplings IMMEDIATELY after they go in. The dumplings will sink like rocks. If they are not pushed, they will stick to the bottom and break. When pushing use the BACK of the appliance (See the 1st tip). The pushing with the front will put the dumplings in contact with the edge. More breakage.
  3. Wait for the dumplings to float. If they look like they are sticking, give them a slight nudge. Other than that, do NOT touch them.
  4. After step 3 is completed, all a little bit of cold water, just enough so that it stops boiling. By this point, the wrapping is pretty much cooked through, but the filling is raw. Adding water reduces the heat and allows for longer cooking
  5. Wait until the water is at a raging boil. Push if necessary, but otherwise don’t touch them. Then repeat step 4.
  6. Boil for an aditional 2-4 min (depending on the amount and size of the dumplings) then Enjoy!

I hope that guide will allow you to say “No more” to overcooked, soggy dumpling. See you next week!

Sorry about the lack of pictures, The steam kept fogging up my  camera.


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