This Trick Gives Store-Bought Dumplings and Potstickers Crispy, Lacy Bottoms

published Sep 24, 2021
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Home Made Chinese Food Dumplings, In A Simple And Comfortable Home Atmosphere
Credit: Stocksy/ChaoShu Li

Dumplings with crispy bottoms are absolutely delicious; that lacy layer provides a welcome contrast to the tender wrappers and fillings. But for most dumplings, particularly the store-bought ones that make the perfect emergency freezer meal, you won’t get that crunchy bottom naturally — you have to employ a trick to make it happen. 

A recent TikTok post shows a super-simplified way to make sure you always have a crispy skirt on your dumplings. As the video shows using Trader Joe’s gyoza, all you need to do is put a little oil in a nonstick pan, add the dumplings, add a little water, and cover to let the tops steam for a minute. Then you add what the video calls the “secret ingredient”: a slurry of flour and water, which gives it a nice, crispy bottom. In the comments, the poster specifies that they used 2 teaspoons flour to 1/4 cup water. Other versions use cornstarch or a mix of cornstarch and flour to the same effect.

Andrea Nguyen, author of Asian Dumplings, has a post on her blog detailing how this all works and what makes what she calls the “dumpling skirt” happen. She suggests taking it even further by using rice flour in the slurry, and also gives a key tip for serving your dumplings: Always plate them skirt side-up so that they stay crispy as long as possible. In another post she offers this suggestion: Dip the dumpling bottoms in cornstarch before frying, then let the water added during cooking create the skirt.

The trick is hardly new — this is just one version that shows how easy it is to do with store-bought dumplings. Fresh homemade dumplings often have extra loose flour still attached and, when water is added to the pan, it creates a slurry on its own, resulting in a crispy layer. If you’re craving that same crunch from your frozen dumplings, then give this method a try.