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li3wei1

pot stickers from frozen

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li3wei1

I've been making 饺子 for years, and we're recently learned how delicious they are fried rather than steamed. The last batch, I froze half of them. Now I'm wondering how to cook them. Defrost first? in the microwave? or throw them in the pan frozen? Any advice?

 

Then, I'll be needing some tips on making my own 饺子皮 (I've been using storebought, but the store is a long way away). Plenty of recipes on the net, and they look simple, but if someone's actually done it and has any tips, I'd appreciate them.

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889

If they're not defrosted first, then you run the risk of guotie burned on the outside and cold on the inside.

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lechuan

Sorry, a bit off topic, but when I first saw your thread post, I thought you were looking for these:

 

post-30432-0-04950400-1467125884_thumb.jpg

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Alex_Hart

Adding to Roddy's comment! My partner makes gazillions of 饺子 whenever she visits me at school, so I often lived off her frozen dumplings for weeks at a time. I have never defrosted them and I don't see any reason to do so. Isn't it unhygienic or something anyway? Can't comment on microwave.

 

For frying frozen homemade dumplings (with homemade 饺子皮,I've never had any success cooking store bought 饺子 this way. They always stick or fall apart): 

  1. Preheat the pan with an oil of your choice (non-stick works best since at least some of the skins almost always stick, but I generally use a very well seasoned cast iron skillet for its superior browning ability)
  2. add frozen dumplings, leaving some room between them (they will stick), and continuously 'wiggle' (or swirl) the pan so as to prevent the dumplings from staying in one place (this will cause them to stick). This swirling is less important if you're using a non-stick, but is really pivotal if using cast iron.
  3. Fry until browned on the bottom.
  4. Add water so as to cover the bottoms of the jiaozi and cover the pan with a lid. My cast iron has no lid, so I just throw a towel over it and try not to set the house on fire. Hard to say how much water, really depends on the pan. You're going to aim for around 10 minutes of steaming at this point, so it might take some practice to see how much water is necessary. If you seem to run out of water in much less than 10 minutes (say 5), then add more water. My partner expresses outrage if I guesstimate and add water halfway (the skins! The skins! You're making them tough! They'll be ruined! Why are you so incompetent! I told you we should steam them!), but I have noticed little difference.
  5. After about 10 minutes, or whenever done (maybe add one extra as your 'test' jiaozi, like you might do for boiling eggs, because I've had jiaozi done in 5 minutes and jiaozi that were still slightly frozen after 15 minutes), remove the lid and allow the water to evaporate. Swirl or wiggle the pan continuously as the water level diminishes. This is the #1 time where my jiaozi risk utter devastation due to stick bottoms. Even after preparing thousands of 饺子, I generally lose at least one at this point. No, it doesn't matter if House of Cards is at a super awesome point. If you step away, you risk a dozen bottomless jiaozi. 
  6. Pick your dipping sauce. 

In terms of making 饺子皮,I think the art is really in the kneading as with bread. Might take some practice to get the perfect feel for kneading, but the actual ingredients are usually pretty simple. My girlfriend has never even measured (which provokes a deep anxiety in me  :wall ).

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889

Well, I've had jiaozi (and chunjuanr) in restaurants that were hot on the outside and cold inside, and it was clear that's because they hadn't been defrosted first. Indeed, once when I complained the chef brought out the hapless assistant cook who'd screwed up to explain what'd happened. Again, that may be more a problem in restaurants than at home, since restaurants usually fry at far higher temperatures than home cooking.

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Alex_Hart

The steaming should fully cook the jiaozi's internals, unless there is too little water or, as you say, it's cooked at too high of a temperature. I've never had them frozen in the inside when made at home, though; my biggest problem is the outside being too soggy, and therefore sticking. 

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li3wei1

Thanks for your help, everyone. I had them tonight, and steamed the first batch a bit over 5 minutes. My daughter did the second batch, more initial browning, less steaming, they were also fine, maybe a bit crunchy. These were veggie-filled, so with meat I might take more care to steam longer.

 

Another question: if I make my own skins, can they be stored before filling, and if so how?

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Alex_Hart

I would be nervous about doing so overly far in advance. I'm quite fond of baking yeast breads, and tend to take the timing seriously for preparing a dough. My partner says she would feel OK about leaving dough for jiaozi in the "bottom part of the fridge" for about a day before risking it becoming sticky. I would say even less than this, though perhaps the dough for jiaozi is more forgiving than for a baguette! 

EDIT: But neither she nor I are much experienced in storing the dough so perhaps somebody else can give you a better answer! Abcd is our resident chef, I'm surprised he hasn't chimed in!

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abcdefg

Apologies for the delay --

 

I kept quiet because I don't make jiaozi at home. I've tried frying ones that were left over from a restaurant meal. Sticking is the problem, and I have not mastered it. One of those things that looks simple and easy when someone else is in charge, but actually requires a good bit of attention and skill.

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