Advice on freezing potstickers?
I just used my new bamboo steamer for the first time, making potstickers. Yum. (And thanks to everyone for advice about how to keep them from sticking, etc.!)
Homemade potstickers are so much better than store-bought, but they are a fair amount of work. I'd like to experiment with making a double batch and freezing some, so I could have them when I don't have lots of time but want something special.
Do I just put them raw into the freezer? Today I made some with ground chicken, and some with cream cheese and crab meat. Can I freeze cream cheese? Do I cook the meat ones first, or freeze them raw?
Do I need to do anything to prevent the wrappers from drying out in the freezer? (Other than probably not leave them in the freezer for a really long time.)
And I assume that I cook them the way I would store-bought frozen ones?
Thanks for any help!
Yes, what a difference homemade potstickers are! I freeze meat filled ones without cooking them in a ziplock freezer bag. When ready to serve, I cook them in the pan WITHOUT defrosting.
Not sure about the cream cheese. I would guess it would be okay.
I don't have a particularly good solution to the problem I'm about to raise, but perhaps someone else can chip in.
The problem I've found when I freeze raw homemade potstickers is that they freeze into a giant mass that later splinters when you try to separate the individual dumplings.
The dumplings cannot be touching one another when you freeze them. But I can't think of a particularly practical way to make sure they don't.
And yes, you would then proceed to cook them just as you would any storebought frozen ones, i.e. steaming or boiling.
I usually make huge batches of various kinds of dumplings for the freezer, and the first time I did something like this, with egg rolls, they all stuck together for me, too. The problem is raw dough, a little moisture from the filling, and you have flour paste. So, common enough mistake when you're starting out with dumplings.
Now I make them, set them out on cookie sheets (raw) so they aren't touching, and set the cookie sheets in the freezer. When the potstickers, eggrolls or whatever, are frozen, it's safe to put them into a big ziploc bag or other freezer container - the dough is hard and will not stick together. Then you just pull out however many you want and cook them.
If you're going to steam them, I would thaw them, again, not touching. If you're going to do the fry then pot steam*, you can cook them direct from the freezer.
I've frozen Crab Rangoon-style dumplings without a problem, although I usually let them thaw on a plate (no touching) in the fridge for an hour or so because I worry about how the frozen cream cheese will react to getting hit with the extreme heat of hot oil.
*Heat oil in a saute pan. When it's hot, put in the dumplings flat side down. Let them get a little browned on the bottom, a few minutes, then add maybe a half cup of water and cover the pan. The steam produced will finish cooking them through in just another few minutes, don't add too much water or they can get mushy, or leave them until the water is completely evaporated or they will stick to the pan.
anne, yes you can freeze them easily. lay them out on a cookie sheet w/ rim; freeze solid; pour into freezer bag, seal, and put this bag into another plastic bag and seal. you didn't ASK for a dressing recipe, but in my business, here is the recipe we use to accompany pork and leek dumplings and shrimp wontons(poached). this lasts forever in the frig.
1⁄2 C 2C Vegetable Oil
1/3C 1 1/3C Red Wine Vinegar
2T 1⁄2 C Sesame Oil
2T 1⁄2 C Light Soy Sauce (Chinese ‘Superior’ brand or Kikkoman are best)
2T 1⁄2 C Dark Soy Sauce “”””
1T 1/4 C Chinese Chili Paste
1 1⁄2 T 6T Sugar
1T 1/4 C Minced Peeled Ginger
1 clove 2 tsp Minced Garlic
1⁄2 tsp 2 tsp Kosher Salt (kosher salt is much milder than table salt. I use it exclusively, for everything.)
Combine all ingredients except oils in cuisinart. With machine running,drizzle in oils. This marinade lasts FOREVER in the refrig. And comes in very handy for doctoring up Chinese take-out, or putting on a chicken or beef or pasta salad or other things.
Use approx. 2 cups vinaigrette for lightly coating 100 peking raviolis. Marinate 6-24 hrs. before serving. Good idea to add some blanched broccoli florets and blanched sliced carrots, and sliced red pepper a few hours ahead or just before serving.
Serve with toothpicks and empty ramekin for used toothpicks.
Flavor is better if you let come to room temp before serving. If you like a crunchy exterior,you can also marinate them 6-24 hours, remove them from the marinade,remove any vegetables, and sear the ravs. in a HOT, lightly oiled non-stick skillet, turned down to med high flame. (I speed up this process by searing them a few minutes (until browned)with another pan weighting them down, and then turning them over with tongs, and searing their second side, weighted .
These marinated ravs last a good week in the refrig. Any accompanying vegs., however,will go bad after 2 or 3 days.
re: toodie jane
I have a small freezer too, but freeze in batches on a cutting board.
While I'm freezing the first batch, the rest wait in Tupperware in the fridge. Once frozen (DIY IQF <lol>), I put them in a freezer bag.
RE: freezer burn, use a straw to suck as much air out of the bag as possible.
As OC says, freeze on a large cookie sheet. I usually line the cookie sheet with parchment, lightly sprayed with baking spray to be sure they won't stick. Once frozen they can be stored in standard freezer bags. Be sure they are sealed well or the wrappers will dry out. I've never kept these more than a couple of months at most in the freezer.
When you're ready to cook, use them frozen or they will be soggy and burst through the wrappers. Most dumplings freeze well this way, but I have no experience with cream cheese fillings.
the cream cheese and crab are like crab rangoon, and will freeze just fine. they taste better fried than steamed though.
I use a toaster-oven sized pan to freeze things like this in my absurdly small and overstuffed freezer. ;)