How to Reheat Dumplings: All Things Dumpling
Dumplings! The name conjures up images of plump, warm and steamy, generously filled pockets that are comforting, flavorful, and addictively delicious.
So what happens if you buy too many to eat?
We have the answer:
Today we’re going to teach you how to reheat steamed dumplings, give you instructions on how to reheat fried dumplings, and explain how to reheat soup dumplings.
We’ll even help you understand how to reheat frozen dumplings.
We’ll go over the types of dumplings, their fillings, and their wrappers, with a specific focus on reheating them.
Not all dumplings are created equal; some are soft and spongy, some are thin-skinned and delicate, and some are a little heartier with thicker wrappers.
We get it!
We’ll show you how to reheat them, so they’re as delicious the next day they were straight out of the kitchen.
How to Reheat Dumplings: Are Dumplings Even Reheatable?
The short answer is yes, which is excellent news because they’re such a treat.
There are many ways to reheat leftover dumplings, some better than others.
The challenge with dumplings is they’re delicate and can become mushy or fall apart if you don’t handle them carefully.
You want to treat them gently and reheat them without re-cooking them.
You want to breathe freshness and moisture back into them and maintain their subtle flavors.
For this reason, steaming is my first choice for reheating.
The bottom line on reheating dumplings is the method you first used to cook them can be used again.
You can also take a previously boiled dumpling and fry it the second time around to give it a browned, crispy skin.
How to Reheat Dumplings: Dumpling Dossier
While all dumplings are delicious, there is a wide variety, and no two types are the same.
Dumplings can be boiled, steamed, or fried, depending on their wrapper.
So let’s explore the different types and venture into the wonderful world of dumplings!
How to Reheat Soup Dumplings
Shui Jiao Dumplings
These popular dumplings are a staple of Asian cuisine.
Traditionally filled with meat and vegetables like leeks, they are water boiled soup dumplings and have a medium-sturdy wrapper.
Wonton dumplings can be found swimming in the famous Wonton soup that bears their name.
They’re traditionally filled with ground pork and shrimp.
How to reheat soup dumplings like Shui Jiao and WonTon?
These boiled dumplings can stand up to hot water and steam, so here’s what we recommend.
Boiling Water Bath
Get your water to a simmer, but do not boil the dumplings.
You want to use the water to reheat soup dumplings, not to recook them. Leave them in the hot water for no more than 2-3 minutes.
Take your leftover dumplings out of the fridge right away and bring them to room temperature while you’re waiting for your water to boil.
Use a bamboo or metal steamer and let them steam for about 5 minutes over boiling water.
How to Reheat Steamed Dumplings
Xiao Long Bao Dumplings
Shanghai is the birthplace of Xiao Long Bao dumplings.
You’ve probably had these at a Dim Sum restaurant. They’re usually filled with pork and steamed to doneness.
Their wrapper is soft and tender.
Baozi (bao) Chinese Steamed Buns
Originating in northern China, these soft, yeasty, steamed dumplings have ground pork inside, sweet bean paste, or a variety of other fillings.
They are the biggest, softest, and most delicate of the group, with a bread-like texture.
How to Reheat Steamed Dumplings Like Xiao Long Bao and Baozi?
If you steamed them once, you can steam them again.
They can’t be boiled or fried since their skins are too thin and delicate, and the microwave will make their wrappers unpleasantly chewy.
The Baozi would be particularly miserable after the microwave.
How to Reheat Fried Dumplings
Guo Tie Dumplings
Guo tie dumplings, also known as potstickers are pan-fried and typically filled with meat and vegetables.
Their doughy wrapper stands up to the heat of frying, and they hold together well for dipping in soy sauce.
Introduced to Japan in World War II, Gyoza dumplings are pan-fried and sturdy, making them easy to handle.
These yummy dumplings are filled with pork or seafood and are a popular snack in Japan and America.
How to reheat fried dumplings like Guo Tie and Gyoza?
These babies can take the heat and have the sturdiest wrappers.
Since they’ve been browned and fried once, they’re going to hold together better than some others.
A method I like is to start your skillet with a small amount of water in the bottom.
Bring it to a boil, then add the dumplings and cover with a well-fitting lid.
This method will ensure they’re heated evenly.
Once the water has evaporated, add a small amount of oil, and re-fry them briefly. Sesame oil is my first choice for this method.
It’s delicious and smells fantastic.
Make sure your oil is hot, so they don’t soak it up.
Again, step away from the microwave. Since these have a sturdy wrapper already, you’ll end up just eating the filling if you try to microwave them.
The wrapper will be inedible on the edges.
Mandu dumplings from Korea are delicious cooked in a variety of ways ranging from steamed, boiled, pan-fried, or deep-fried.
Filled with ground pork or beef and served with a side of kimchi, these versatile dumplings are perfect for a spicy dipping sauce.
How to reheat dumplings like Mandu?
Whichever method you used to cook them can be used again. You’re not going to reboil them, just dunk them in boiling water for a couple of minutes to reheat them.
If you steamed or boiled them the first time, you can also pan-fry or deep fry them the second time around.
These versatile dumplings can take all kinds of heat.
It depends on what kind of finish you want on the skins.
Steamed or boiled will have that soft, white finish. Pan-fried or deep-fried will have a brown, crispy finish. What are you in the mood for?
Banh Bot Loc Dumplings
This Vietnamese staple dumpling is known as the perfect appetizer for any meal.
Shrimp and pork belly comprise the filling, and they’re wrapped up with a tapioca skin.
How to reheat dumplings like Banh Bot Loc?
These are not good candidates for reheating since they’re best fresh and have a short shelf-life.
Eat them while you can! Invite friends over!
Get the dog involved!
How to Reheat Dumplings: Steaming Methods
If you’re trying to figure out how to reheat steamed dumplings, steaming them again is the best choice.
Steaming is the gentlest way to heat them while preserving their original texture.
The bamboo steamer is the gold standard when it comes to steaming. The bamboo absorbs moisture from the steam and holds it in, making the dumplings moist and tasty.
You can also use a metal steamer basket or metal colander over a pot of boiling water if you don’t have a bamboo steamer.
It will do the job almost as well, as long as you have a secure-fitting lid.
Line the bottom of whatever steamer you choose with parchment paper, leaving room around the edges for the steam to penetrate.
How to Reheat Dumplings: Fry, Fry Again
The best tool if you’re trying to figure out how to reheat fried dumplings like Guo Tie or Gyoza is a big skillet with a thick bottom and a glass lid.
You want your pan to have a thick bottom, so it distributes heat evenly, and the glass lid will let you see what’s going on. Give the dumplings room to spread out, so they’re not crowded.
A method I like is to start your skillet with a small amount of water in the bottom. Bring it to a boil, then add the dumplings and cover with a well-fitting lid.
This method will ensure they’re heated evenly.
If your big skillet doesn’t have a lid, you can use a plate or another pan, but the point is to trap the steam, so the dumplings get heated through.
Once the water has evaporated, add a small amount of oil, and re-fry them briefly. Use fragrant and delicious sesame oil.
A little of this oil goes a long way. You need just enough to dress and coat the dumplings.
How to Reheat Soup Dumplings: Wonton Soup, Round Two?
Taking boiling liquid out of a microwave takes some skill and is not ideal.
A stovetop is much safer since you have room to add the dumplings and are not trying to move boiling liquid out of a microwave.
A burn can ruin your whole day.
A better plan for how to reheat soup dumplings is to use the stove. Get your liquid to a boil then immerse the soup dumplings for a couple of minutes to get them up to temperature.
Make sure to add them to the boiling liquid just long enough to heat them through. You don’t want to boil them again; they’ll disintegrate or become mushy.
What About Frozen Dumplings?
I never knew how to reheat frozen dumplings, and it was a lesson I had to learn the hard way. I assumed they had to be boiled before frying.
I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I ended up with a gooey mess that fell apart in the pan and never made it to the table but instead took a detour straight into the garbage.
Frozen Gyoza can go directly from the freezer to the hot oil in your frying pan.
You want to brown the dumplings on both sides to get some beautiful color on them.
Once they’re browned, add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, and cover with a lid. Let them steam for 2 to 3 minutes, and they’re ready to eat.
How to Reheat Dumplings: Best Tools to Reheat Dumplings
In a word, don’t.
Microwaves are fast, but they are not an appropriate choice for reheating anything doughy.
They won’t dry out in a microwave, and they’ll stay moist, but microwaving changes the texture of the wrapper and makes the food tough and unappetizing.
The more doughy the dumpling (like the Bao), the more you will notice the toughness.
Hardier dumplings like Gyoza are already chewy, and microwaving them will make them almost inedible.
For reheating dumplings of any kind, this isn’t a great choice because the dry heat will remove the moisture and can make the dumplings shriveled and dried out.
An oven might be ok for fried dumplings, but not the other types.
Good “instapots” have a steaming function that would be perfect for reheating all kinds of dumplings. You wouldn’t use it as a pressure cooker, just as a steamer.
This versatile appliance has won me over with its wide range of capabilities.
I recently ordered my first Instant pot, and I’m a convert!
The keep warm function is also an appropriate and a very gentle way of reheating dumplings of all kinds.
Reheating dumplings over low heat in a skillet is an effective reheating method. Cover the bottom of your skillet with a small amount of water.
You can also add a little oil of your choice.
Put the dumplings in and cover with a lid to trap the steam. This is a quick and easy steaming method, but keep an eye on it as the water evaporates.
What Else Can You Do With Leftover Dumplings?
If you somehow ended up with many more dumplings than you can eat, what to do?
I’d suggest making a lovely fresh soup with the leftover steamed or boiled dumplings you have on hand.
This version uses chicken or vegetable broth as a base and lots of fresh veg providing great flavor and crunch.
Even though the dumplings are a day old, you’ll never know it in this healthy soup. They’ll taste fresh.
Another idea is to use the dumplings as a garnish on an Asian themed salad.
Think Chinese chicken salad, but instead of chicken, serve with steamed, boiled, or fried dumplings.
I’d probably use a pair of kitchen shears to cut each dumpling in half and toss with crunchy carrots and cabbage in a sesame-based dressing.
Add fresh cilantro and some crunchy noodles and give your leftover dumplings a new lease on life. I’m salivating just thinking about it.
While we’re thinking of new ideas, how about making potsticker Pad Thai, using dumplings instead of noodles?
The flavors of Pad Thai are universally loved, but you don’t need noodles to make a great dish.
The flavors of soy sauce and salty peanuts are a natural match for dumplings.
This version uses frozen potstickers, which will stand up to lots of handling, but the flavors would be good with almost any of the dumplings on our list.
Here’s a fantastic video that explains the method for making Pad Thai that’s worth a watch, too.
How to Reheat Dumplings: The Verdict
Dumplings are a special treat, and for most of us, not something we can make at home.
It makes sense that when we get a chance to have them, we might order more than we can eat at one time.
Thank goodness they can be reheated!
We’ve given you a lot of information, and now you know the different kinds of dumplings, and where they originated.
So much variety!
Whether they’re Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Vietnamese, they’re all deliciously different!
You’ve learned which dumplings are steamed, which are boiled in soup, and which ones are fried.
You also know the best methods for reheating them, so they maintain their shape, taste, and texture.
You’re up to speed on how to use these delicious things in new ways you may not have considered before, and you now know how to reheat dumplings no matter the variety.
Your Asian Grandma says you’ve just passed Dumpling 101.