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How to Know When Dumplings Are Done

Dumplings are a special kind of dish–simple yet soulful, they’re the kind of comfort food that can instantly fill your kitchen with smells that remind you of your grandmother’s cooking. 

However, once you’re a parent yourself, you might feel like you don’t have the time to recapture that perfect taste of creamy chicken and dumpling soup. Thankfully, making dumplings is easier than you think. 

In this article, we’ll explain how to know when dumplings are done, combining your grandmother’s time-honored techniques with modern practicality!

A bowl of potato soup with dumplings.

Dumpling Varieties

Dumplings come in a wide range of forms from a wide range of countries, partially because you can freeze dumplings so easily. Whether you’re cooking the plump, broth-filled pockets of Asian cuisine or the comforting morsels of European stews, each dumpling has unique signs of ‘doneness.’ The key to knowing when your dumplings are done depends on the cooking technique.

Boiled Dumplings

For boiled dumplings, the journey to perfection is straightforward. Typically, they are done when they float to the surface of the boiling water. However, if your dumplings have meat fillings, you may want to wait an extra minute or two to ensure the insides are completely cooked.

Pan-Fried Dumplings

Pan-fried dumplings, such as mouthwatering potstickers, demand a bit more attention. 

When pan-frying dumplings, it’s common to first add a small amount of water to the pan and cover it, creating steam that will cook the dumplings inside and out. Once this water has cooked off, remove the lid, and the dumplings’ bottoms will begin to crisp. A simple peek will tell you if your dumplings are ready to enjoy.

The indicator that these treats are ready is the golden-brown crisp at the bottom of the dumpling. Gently use a spatula to lift the dumpling and check the underside to reveal if they’re ready. 

Steamed Dumplings

Steamed dumplings require a test so simple that the only tool you need is a toothpick! Pierce the dumpling with a toothpick and if it comes out clean, you’re good to go.

Making Modern Dumplings

When you’re a parent with a busy schedule, convenience in the kitchen is a must. Pre-made dumpling wrappers let you save time without sacrificing the authenticity of your cooking. They also allow you to focus on creating the perfect filling and cooking your dumplings just right. 

Modern kitchen gadgets can also be lifesavers when it comes to the time-crunched chef. While steamers and multi-cookers might seem non-traditional, if they help you make a home cooked meal for your family, they’re a tool worth having.

Preparing dumplings can be an escape from the hustle of daily life, bringing you back to leisurely family feasts and rekindling connections over a plate of good food. Dumplings are a beautifully simple dish that can bring up old memories and help you make new ones.

If you want to read more about how to seamlessly bring more home-cooking into your daily life, check out our post on how long homemade chicken soup is good for!

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