When I was shopping for frozen dumplings, I learned a lot about the different types of dumplings that are available. When I hear or read the word “dumpling”, I immediately think of the ones we used to order from our favorite neighborhood Chinese restaurant. They were either soft or crispy wonton wrappers filled with ground pork and vegetables. We would dip them in savory soy sauce or a sweet duck sauce and a little bit of spicy mustard. I can taste them as I write this. They were so good.
Now, you can have dumplings at home with the wide variety of frozen brands. You will find that dumplings go by a many different names. They will either be labeled as dumplings, pot stickers, gyoza, filled wontons, pierogis, or shumai. You might even consider ravioli and tortellini as a type of dumpling. Basically, dumplings are made with a soft wheat flour and water mixture and are filled with either ground meat or seafood, vegetables, cheese, or all three. Gluten free versions often feature a rice flour dough.
Frozen dumplings are extremely convenient and superfast to prepare. You will want a dipping sauce for these one or two bite treats. Dumplings are a great appetizer, snack, or entrée.
Ways to Cook Frozen Dumplings
There are a few different ways to cook frozen dumplings. The most popular might be steaming them. You can also bake them in a 350°F oven. Panfrying in oil gives the dumplings a crispy outer layer. You can also cook frozen dumplings in your air fryer.
When cooking dumplings in an air fryer, I suggest giving them a quick spray or brush of olive oil. Cook at high heat – 390°F. There is no need to defrost the dumplings. Don’t crowd the basket or crisper plate. These work best in a single layer. So, do your bag or box of frozen dumplings in batches, if necessary.
Be mindful that not all air fryers are created equal. Some are larger than others. And, some run a little hotter. You may have to keep an eye on your dumplings the first time you try doing this. Write down the temperature and timing so you are prepared for your next meal featuring air-fried dumplings.
Air Fryer Frozen Dumplings with Easy Dipping Sauce
Go for the Asian style dumplings for this recipe. Start with the dipping sauce. You can just set that aside until the dumplings are ready to serve.
- 1/4 cup + 1 TBS soy sauce, tamari, or liquid aminos
- 2 TBS rice wine vinegar
- 1-1/2 TBS light brown sugar
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
- 1 scallion, green parts sliced thinly
- 1 bag or box of frozen Asian style dumplings or gyoza
- Extra virgin olive oil (spray or liquid)
Total time:20 min – Prep time:7 min – Cook time:13 min – Serves:2 people
1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, and ginger. Top with the scallion slices. Set aside until ready to serve.
2. Preheat your air fryer at 390°F for 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Give the dumplings a light spray or brush of olive oil on all sides. Place them in a single layer in the air fryer basket or on the crisper plate. Cook for 8 minutes.
4. Shake the basket, or flip the dumplings and continue to cook until the exterior is crispy and the filling is warmed through, approximately another 3 to 5 minutes.
5. Place the dumplings on a serving platter or individual plates. Pour the dipping sauce into individual ramekins. Serve while hot with chop sticks.
What to Serve with Dumplings?
You could just eat the air-fried dumplings as a snack all by themselves. I like to pair them with a refreshing salad or slaw. I am particularly fond of an Asian slaw with a variety of vegetables. You can choose the vegetables that you prefer if you aren’t fond of those I have in the recipe here. Just go for approximately 5 cups of veggies and herbs You can make the slaw well ahead of time.
Asian Style Slaw or Salad
- 1 cup shredded savoy cabbage
- 1 cup shaved brussels sprouts or broccoli slaw
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup thinly sliced snap peas
- 3 scallions, sliced on the diagonal
- 3/4 cup packed fresh cilantro or parsley leaves
- 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 2 TBS rice wine vinegar
- 2 TBS honey
- 1 TBS toasted sesame oil
- 1 TBS liquid aminos or tamari
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1 tsp fresh grated or minced ginger
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp red chili flakes (more if desired)
- 3 TBS chopped dry roasted peanuts or cashews
- 1 TBS toasted sesame seeds
Total time: 20 min – Prep time: 20 min – Serves: 4 people
1. Wash (if not already done) and prepare all of your vegetables and herbs. Place them in a large serving bowl and toss together to combine. Set the bowl aside.
2. In a small mixing bowl, add the olive oil, vinegar, honey, sesame oil, tamari, ginger, salt, and chili flakes. Whisk together until well combined.
3. Pour the dressing all over the vegetables and toss to coat evenly. Garnish with nuts, seeds, or both.
4. Serve with your warm dumplings.
Another thing I like to serve with dumplings and a dipping sauce is a variety of steamed or blanched colorful vegetable. If you plan on doing this, you might want to double the dipping sauce recipe. You can always store any extra in the refrigerator for several days.
Cut vegetables into bite size pieces that you can pick up with chopstick. Kids can use their fingers. Try quickly steaming or blanching in boiling, salted water for just a minute. You want to make sure the vegetables still have a bit of a crisp bite or snap and are very colorful. My favorites are:
- Broccoli florets
- Baby carrots
- Green beans
- Red radishes
- Sugar snap peas
- Cauliflower florets
- Tofu cubes (extra firm)
These make for a colorful and healthy array. I squeeze a little lime juice over the top to help retain their color. Then, I drizzle a tiny bit of toasted sesame oil over all and sprinkle with white and black sesame seeds.