In the mood for Chinese food? Skip the takeout menu and make air fryer dumplings instead!
Dumplings, gyoza, potstickers – whatever you want to call them, one thing’s for sure: these bite-sized treats are insanely addictive.
Crispy wonton wrappers are stuffed with ground meat and vegetables and dipped in a sweet and savory sauce. I’m already drooling!
While nothing beats freshly made dumplings, frozen ones make a good alternative, too.
They’re 10 times easier to prepare, especially if you’re working with an air fryer.
Don’t let your busy schedule get in the way of a fantastic meal.
Air fry some frozen dumplings and in about 10 minutes, dinner is served.
Air Fryer Dumplings
There are several ways you can cook frozen dumplings. You can heat them up in the oven or pan-fry them in oil.
If you don’t mind soggy skins, you can steam or boil them in water.
To me, though, the best way to cook dumplings is to air fry them.
It’s the best way to get those crispy golden skins without the effort and the excess oil.
With the air fryer, you’ll simply throw the frozen dumplings in the basket and let it do its thing.
The best part? You won’t need to thaw the dumplings beforehand! They’ll cook beautifully even when frozen.
How Do I Cook Frozen Dumplings?
Start by placing the dumplings in the air fryer basket.
Arrange them in a single layer and make sure they’re not stacked or overlapping. They need space to cook!
Next, spray the dumplings with oil. This is the key to those crispy skins. I like using either canola or olive oil.
Air fry the dumplings at 380 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 minutes, then shake the basket or flip the dumplings over.
If they’re looking dry, spray them with more oil.
Cook the dumplings for 2 to 6 more minutes, or until the skins are golden brown.
Remove from the basket and let them cool for 2 minutes before serving.
Tips for the Best Dumplings
- Do not overcrowd the air fryer basket. Air fryers cook food by producing and circulating hot air throughout the basket. If there’s not enough space, the food won’t cook properly.
- Don’t stack the dumplings over one another for evenly-cooked dumplings. Cook in batches if needed.
- Don’t forget to spray the dumplings with oil to get those nice and crispy skins. The oil also keeps the dumplings moist. Without it, the dumplings will be tough and dry.
- This recipe works with frozen dumplings, so there’s no need to thaw them first.
- You also need not preheat the air fryer before cooking. If you choose to preheat your air fryer, you’ll have to adjust the cooking time.
- Air fryers are created differently. If you’re cooking dumplings for the first time, do a test run with 1 to 2 pieces. Cook the remaining dumplings once you get the temperature and duration down.
- Remember to flip the dumplings over or shake the basket after 8 minutes to cook both sides.
- Keep a close eye on the dumplings especially towards the end to avoid burning.
- To reheat dumplings, air fry them for 2 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- These dumplings taste great on their own, but even better with a dipping sauce. Combine grated ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and lemon juice for a flavor-packed dip. You can add sugar for a touch of sweetness.
How Long Do You Cook Dumplings in an Air Fryer?
It depends on the size, thickness, filling, and dumpling wrapper. The intensity of your air fryer is also another factor.
Some air fryers run hotter than others, but on average, it takes about 10 to 14 minutes at 380 degrees Fahrenheit to cook dumplings.
Since there are various factors affecting the cooking time, be sure to monitor the dumplings especially at the latter part of cooking.
Other Names for Dumplings
They’re called dumplings in general, but they also go by many names, depending on where you’re from.
Here in the United States, we refer to them as potstickers. The Polish and Italians know them as pierogi.
They’re called gyoza in Japan and siomai in the Philippines.
In China is where things get a little confusing.
The Chinese have an extensive array of dumplings with varied fillings, wrappers, and cooking methods.
Now, I won’t pretend to be an expert, but here’s what I know.
Chinese dumplings are mainly divided into two: the crescent-shaped gao and the round bao.
Among the most popular Chinese dumplings include the soup-filled xiao long bao and my personal favorite, the shrimp-filled har gao.
Fun Facts About Dumplings
According to Chinese legend, the first dumpling was created by physician Zhang Zhongjing during the 3rd century.
He made ear-shaped dumplings filled with lamb and herbs and fed them to villagers who suffered from frostbitten ears.
Dumplings were cooked by peasants as a way to stretch their limited supply of meat.
By stuffing it into a flour-based dough, the meat became more filling.
Dumplings are meant to be eaten in one bite.
That’s the only way to enjoy the full dumpling experience, from the crispy and chewy to the tender and flavorful filling.
While they’re often confused for one another, dim sum and dumplings are not exactly the same.
Dim sum refers to a variety of small Cantonese dishes eaten for breakfast and lunch.
That said, all dumplings are dim sums, but not all dim sums are dumplings.
Common Chinese dim sum includes chicken skin, beef balls, and pork ribs.
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