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My company is having a potluck. I want to make Chinese dumplings, but the dumplings I make require a bamboo steamer and pot to cook.

I have a steamer that I use at home, but at work, I have no access to a stove top.

What other alternative ways do I have to cook my dumplings?

Should I cook them at home, freeze them and microwave them day of the potluck?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

A couple thoughts... I haven't tried this, but I've heard of people doing it.

The microwave works relatively well to steam things. You could try "steaming" the dumplings in the microwave with a bit of water at the bottom of the dish or better yet, cover with a wet paper towel. You'll probably need to do some experimenting unfortunately. Under "ideal" circumstances, I'd probably prefer proper steaming, but this might work in a pinch. I imagine re-heating them would work well, but if cooking them works to your liking... no sense cooking them twice.

If you have a rice cooker, you could easily rig that up to "steam" as well. Just rig it up as if you were using a pot to steam it. Just make sure it isn't dry....

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I do have a steamer. Sorry, I may not have added enough detail to my question. I will edit. –  Jacob R Dec 15 '10 at 18:43
    
Ahh... so the main question is about getting maximum freshness at the office? –  talon8 Dec 15 '10 at 18:45
    
Yes, that is my overall goal. –  Jacob R Dec 15 '10 at 18:50
2  
I really like the idea of using the rice cooker. I guess a trial run this weekend is in order. –  Jacob R Dec 15 '10 at 22:59
    
I tried using the rice cooker, and it worked out great. I will be bringing it along with me for my potluck. Thanks for the great idea! –  Jacob R Dec 19 '10 at 20:10

We use a vegetable steamer and put lettuce/greens leaves down sometimes so it doesn't stick the the basket.

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boil them, let cool in big plate (make sure they don't stick together), refrigerate or freeze

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I'd steam them at home, then refrigerate them and microwave them the day of the potluck. Alternatively, you could make fried dumplings which might hold up better in terms of texture when you microwave them. Here's the way to make fried dumplings:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat
  2. Place the dumplings in a single layer in the saute pan with the hot oil
  3. Let the dumplings fry for 5 minutes. Don't move the dumplings
  4. After 5 minutes, pour 1/4 cup of water into the pan and cover for 5 more minutes
  5. Uncover the pan and cook until all water has evaporated
  6. Let cool, then refrigerate.
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An electric fry pan will do well for you. If you are doing pot sticker type dumplings, then fry them to brown, then add your liquid to finish the steam and cover.

If they are not pot sticker dumplings, then you can bring liquid to a boil, add the dumplings, and lower the heat to a simmer and steam them.

If you are worried about your dumplings actually sitting in the small amount of liquid on the bottom of your pan, you can add more water and then put your dumplings on a vegetable steamer standing on the bottom of the pot. In that case you will prefer an electric fry pan with a taller lid, but it will still work.

When you are done cooking, turn the heat down to low and the dumplings will stay warm.

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