Chinese dumplings aren't just an exotic appetizer found in your local dim-sum restaurant. They are also foods that you can purchase frozen at the grocery store or Asian market. Prepare frozen dumplings in a variety of ways, from steaming to microwaving, but most experts in Chinese cooking advocate boiling them. Not only is this a fast method, it keeps the tender dumpling wrappers from becoming hard or sticking together.
The typical Chinese dumpling is filled with pork, but you can choose chicken or even shrimp if you are looking for a lighter option. Choose a reputable brand that you know or that the proprietor, in the case of a small Asian market, recommends. Quality does matter when you choose a dumpling, so resist the temptation to purchase the least expensive brand.
Fill a large saucepan or a stockpot two-thirds full with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add just enough dumplings to allow them all to float to the top in a single layer. Work in batches if you have a lot of dumplings to cook. Wait for the water to return to a boil, and add 1 cup of cold water. When the water boils again, the dumplings should begin to float to the top of the water. This means that they are cooked.
Serve the dumplings with garlic soy sauce, regular soy sauce or a soy-based sauce that is specially prepared for dumplings. Dumplings can be served as a savory appetizer or as a side to a stir-fry dish or plate of fried rice. For an attractive presentation, place the dumplings on a plate of colorful green and red shredded cabbage. The cabbage keeps the dumplings from sticking to each other on the plate and lends a festive touch to the meal.
Quickly deep-fry the dumplings after you boil them to give them a crispy, golden-brown finish. The dumplings are flavorful and moist either way, so consider that frying them adds fat. Pork dumplings are high in fat, with up to 17 grams of fat for three large dumplings, so keep the serving size small. Plan to serve three dumplings for every diner. Don't be surprised if they ask for more, however, because even boiled from frozen, dumplings are one appetizer that almost everyone loves.