Dumpling is a Chinese appetizer that is usually filled with different kinds of meat and vegetables. They can be fried or steamed, depending on your taste. For dumplings, the ingredients used are what determines how long they’ll last. Dumplings that use chicken or pork meat will need to store right away. You can place them in the fridge, but they won’t last very long. If you need to store them longer, the freezer is an option.
So can you freeze dumplings? You definitely can freeze dumplings and they freeze quite well too. Both cooked and uncooked dumplings can be frozen. Before freezing them, you’ll need to prep them properly first so they’ll last in the freezer for a long time.
In this short guide, we’ll go through how to properly freeze dumplings, tips to prepare them for freezing, and how to properly defrost them. If this is what you’re trying to find an answer to, keep reading.
Can You Freeze Dumplings?
Dumplings are one of that food that can be stored in the freezer for later usage. As long as it is used or eaten before it reaches its shelf life, it should taste fresh just like when it was made.
For leftover dumplings you brought from the restaurant, you can freeze them in the freezer. Right after you get home, put them into an airtight container or a sealable plastic bag, and put them in the freezer. If you’ve got dumplings that have been sitting for more than 3 hours, it’s best to consume it than storing them in the freezer.
If you’ve decided to make dumplings at home, you have the option to use any ingredients you want. Homemade dumplings can be frozen cooked or uncooked. For uncooked dumplings, you’ll need to prepare them first or they won’t last that long in the freezer. It’s recommended to flash freeze them first so they won’t stick to each other while it’s frozen.
For cooked dumplings, there’s no preparation needed. After the dumplings are cooked, wait for it to cool down completely first, and then put them into a freezer bag or an airtight container.
How to Freeze Dumplings
You can either freeze dumplings that are cooked or uncooked. Both are easy to prepare and freeze, all within 30 minutes or so. However, for uncooked dumplings, it will require a bit more time since you’ll have to flash freeze them first. Below are the instructions to freeze both types of dumplings:
Freezing Cooked Dumplings
- After the dumplings have been cooked, wait for it to completely cool down first.
- In a freezer bag or an airtight container, gently place the cooked dumplings in.
- For the freezer bag, leave about half an inch of space at the top of the bag. This will allow you to seal the bag and prevent the dumplings from getting damaged.
- Once the freezer bag is filled, before sealing the bag, squeeze out as much air as possible. This will help reduce the chance of freezer burn.
- After that, seal the plastic bag tightly. For an airtight container, make sure to turn the lid until it’s snug.
- Label the bag or container with the date and place them in the freezer.
Freezing Uncooked Dumplings
- On a tray, place a sheet of parchment paper on it.
- Sprinkle flours throughout the entire tray.
- Place the uncooked dumplings onto the tray. Keep them evenly spaced to prevent them from sticking.
- Place the tray of uncooked dumplings into the freezer and flash freeze them for about 2 hours or until it’s completely frozen.
- Once frozen, remove them from the freezer and immediately transfer the dumplings to a freezer bag or an airtight container.
- Fill the plastic bag and leave about half an inch of space at the top so you can seal the bag. For an airtight container, fill the container enough where you can seal the lid tightly.
- Label the bag or container with a date and place it in the freezer.
How Long Can You Freeze Dumplings?
Dumplings stored in the freezer will last 3 to 6 months. Factors that determine their shelf life in the freezer are the ingredients used, how it’s stored, and whether it’s bought or homemade.
As for the ingredients, which vegetables and meat products used can shorten or lengthen their shelf life. Dumplings that use all vegetables as the ingredients will last 6 months or a little longer. Vegetables tend to freeze well and so it’ll stay fresh longer in the freezer. This applies to cooked and uncooked dumplings.
On the other hand, dumplings that use meat as the ingredients tend to have a shorter shelf life than 6 months. Meat such as chicken, pork, or beef will usually be mixed with vegetables and water. When all of these ingredients are mixed, the dumpling tends to get freezer burn quickly once it’s frozen. Therefore, uncooked meat dumplings will last about 2-3 months, while cooked dumplings will last 3-4 months.
Another factor that determines their shelf life is whether it’s bought or homemade. Store-bought dumplings will be difficult to determine how fresh they are. If it’s been sitting in the store freezer for a while, it may not last as long as it should once you buy them. Some dumplings will have an expiry date printed on the package, but some do not.
Homemade dumplings will have the longest shelf life due to the fresh ingredients used. Since you’ll be using only the finest and freshest ingredients, homemade dumplings will last 6 months or even more in the freezer.
How Do You Defrost Dumplings?
To defrost dumplings, remove the entire package of dumplings and place them into the refrigerator overnight.
If you only need a few dumplings, remove the amount you need and place them on a plate. If the frozen dumplings are uncooked and you use chicken as one of the ingredients, place a cling wrapper over it. Raw chicken contains campylobacter bacteria and sometimes with salmonella. This can spread to other foods in the fridge so it’s best to cover it. This goes the same for dumplings that are made from pork and beef as well.
If you need the frozen dumplings much sooner, place the entire content in a bowl of water. Within an hour, it should thaw and you can use them.
Using Frozen Dumplings
Frozen uncooked dumplings can be added to stew and soup with the need for defrosting. Simply remove the number of dumplings from the freezer and put them into the soup while it’s cooking.
For frozen cooked dumplings, you can add to stew and soup as well. However, it’s best to wait until the soup is cooked first before you place the frozen dumplings in it. Otherwise, you’ll overcook the dumplings.
How Long Do Dumplings Last?
At room temperature, cooked dumplings will last for about 2 hours. If it’s hotter than normal, expect them to last for about an hour before it starts going bad.
As for uncooked dumplings, it should never be left at room temperature for longer than 30 minutes. If you’re using chicken or pork as one of the ingredients, it’s best to cook them right away or store them in the fridge or freezer.
In the fridge, cooked dumplings will last for about 3-5 days. Always put them into an airtight container to prevent the dumplings from drying out.
As for uncooked dumplings, they will stay fresh for 1-3 days in the fridge. If you’ve used vegetables as the only ingredients, it may last a little bit longer. For dumplings that use chicken or pork, it will last about a day or so. Also, make sure to put uncooked dumplings in a sealed container or bag to prevent bacteria from spreading.
Can you freeze dumpling wrappers?
Dumpling wrappers can be frozen for several months. You’ll need to wrap them in a layer of plastic first. Then wrap put them inside a freezer bag or an airtight container. It’s recommended to freeze dumpling wrappers in a short stack so you can just pull out what you need.