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Cooking the Dumplings | Asian Recipes

Cooking the Dumplings

After you've stuffed your Asian-style dumplings - shrimp, pork, or vegetarian - it's time to cook them. Steamed or fried, take your pick.

Steaming produces tender, classic dumplings. Panfrying in a tiny bit of oil adds texture and yields irresistibly crispy pot stickers. Either way, the dumplings will need to be cooked in two batches.

For Steamed Dumplings

1. In a Dutch oven or other large, lidded pan, place a lightly oiled metal steamer, or lettuce leaf–lined bamboo steamer, over an inch of water (make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the steamer).

2. Bring the water to a gentle boil. Arrange half the dumplings on the steamer, spacing them so that they don't touch. Cover the pan or bamboo steamer tightly.

3. Cook vegetable and shrimp dumplings for 5 minutes and pork dumplings for about 8 minutes.

4. Transfer them to a plate and serve immediately, or keep them covered in a warm oven until the remaining dumplings are cooked.

For Pot Stickers

1. Heat 1-1/2 teaspoons peanut (or vegetable) oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Arrange half the dumplings in the skillet and cook, without disturbing, until their sides are golden, about 2 minutes.

3. Add 1/4 cup water and immediately cover the pan, reducing the heat slightly. Cook shrimp and vegetable dumplings for 3 minutes, pork for 5 minutes.

4. Uncover the pan and raise the heat again. Cook off any remaining water, shaking the pan a few times, and continue frying the dumplings until their sides become crispy, about 2 minutes more.

5. Transfer them to a plate and serve immediately, or keep them covered in a warm oven until the remaining dumplings are cooked.

Freezing the extras: To save uncooked dumplings for another meal, arrange them on a cornstarch-dusted baking sheet, spacing them so that they don't touch, and freeze them for at least two hours. They can then be transferred to a freezer bag and kept frozen for up to three months. Steam or panfry dumplings directly from the freezer (do not thaw), adding 2 minutes to the fresh cooking time for each method.

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