The Key To Making Homemade Frozen Dumplings To Perfection

On a leisurely Sunday afternoon, you immerse yourself in crafting homemade jiaozi, or delicious Chinese dumplings. Each morsel mirrors your dedication, filled with immaculately marinated pork and shrimp and accentuated with aromatic yellow chives and earthy wood ear mushrooms. You wrap a sizeable batch and find it to be too much for you and the family to enjoy in one sitting, so you freeze the leftovers to enjoy on another day. Carefully, you arrange the dumplings in a ziplock bag and nestle the bag within the recesses of your freezer.

Unfortunately, anticipation turns to dismay weeks later. Retrieving your bag of frozen jiaozi reveals a scene of culinary horror: dumplings scarred with freezer burn, their individual identities lost in a congealed and messy lump. It's a brick of dumplings! Freezing dumplings requires a tactical approach.

The first simple yet crucial step is to freeze them individually. This ensures each dumpling's pristine form remains untouched and prevents them from morphing into an indistinguishable mass during the freezing process. The next step is combatting the dreaded freezer burn, which is the icy bane of frozen foods. Airflow within the freezer is responsible for those icy speckles. The safeguard? Store your food in truly airtight containers or freezer-friendly storage bags with strong seals.

How to properly freeze and store handcrafted dumplings

Let's dive deeper into how to freeze and store your homemade dumplings properly. Start by lining a baking sheet with parchment paper. Once you've wrapped your dumplings, lay them on the prepared baking sheet, ensuring they each have space and aren't touching. You can also dust each with a little all-purpose flour or cornstarch. Then, freeze them for up to an hour, uncovered. 

Choosing the right storage bag is paramount. Opt for bags explicitly designed for freezer storage, which offer thicker linings coupled with superior seals and locks. When transferring the individually frozen dumplings into the freezer bags, press out as much of the air as possible. Each ounce of trapped air contributes to the risk of freezer burn.

For those who prefer containers, ensure they're truly airtight. Remember, the prevention of airflow is the ultimate goal. For an added layer of protection, consider double-bagging or wrapping the primary storage container in aluminum foil. This extra shield not only wards off freezer burn but also guards against any strong odors present in the freezer. In mastering these steps, you ensure that each time you revisit your homemade dumplings, they're not freezer-burned or lumped together. Once cooked, they will be as fresh and delicious as when you first crafted them.