This month, we're talking about quick meals, and the time-consuming dumpling might not seem to fit the bill. But if you assemble dumplings on the weekend or a quiet evening, by the time that busy weeknight rolls around, you can have a super fast, filling meal in minutes. Asian dumplings – known as jiaozi in Chinese, gyoza in Japanese, and mandu in Korean – are some of our favorite foods when we don't have time or energy to cook a meal from scratch. An hour or two of assembly can yield mountains of dumplings to freeze for later, and then it's a snap to steam or fry them whenever hunger strikes. Filled with vegetables and meat or tofu, dumplings can be filling standalone meals or side dishes. We also like adding them to soups.
We've rounded up some recipes for inspiration, but once you've made them once or twice, you might find yourself improvising with the ingredients you like and have on hand. Some of these recipes include instructions for making your own wrappers. You can always use store-bought pot sticker or gyoza wrappers, too.
To freeze, assemble the dumplings and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes and then transfer to a freezer bag or container.
Emily Ho is a writer, recipe developer, and educator. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. Emily is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and the international Food Swap Network.
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