Air Fry Frozen Dumplings For A Crunch That'll Knock Your Socks Off

Although Grandma didn't require fancy gadgets to be an excellent cook, a few are worth making room for in the kitchen. Whether you love crunchy fried foods or need to get dinner on the table quickly, the air fryer has simplified meal prep with delicious results. Use this quick method to turn your frozen dumplings into crunchy delights that will knock your socks off.

Dumplings are readily available at most supermarkets, and come with various fillings to suit every taste. Traditionally, to achieve a crunchy exterior, dumplings are pan-fried and prepared in three stages: seared to brown the outside, steamed in water to cook the inside, and pan-fried until crispy. This method is much simpler, and proves that air fryers are good for more than chicken wings.

Start by preheating your air fryer. There is no need to defrost the dumplings; they are cooked from frozen, which makes this dish a weekday favorite. Lightly coat the dumplings with a neutral-tasting oil like canola. Although it's another dish to wash, it helps to toss the dumplings in a mixing bowl to ensure all the surfaces are coated, since dry patches might not brown. Cook the dumplings in a single layer, an inch apart, until the bottoms are crispy. You'll be amazed at how crispy the outside is, and how juicy the filling gets. Use the time they're in the air fryer to whip up a tasty dipping sauce.

Tips for air-frying dumplings

Whether you're working with mandu, potstickers, wontons, gyoza, or ravioli, air-frying works for all dumpling types. For the best results, ensure the dumplings don't thaw before cooking. Unless your air fryer is enormous, cook them in batches so the edges don't touch. Keep cooked dumplings warm in the oven until serving.

Unfortunately, dumplings can explode if the temperature is too high. There's no need to pierce them like a potato, but keep the temperature below 350 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid having to scrape them off the air fryer. Although not necessary, you can make cleanup easier by lining the basket with parchment paper, which is heat-safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. To prevent it from catching fire, trim the paper to fit the bottom of your basket so it doesn't touch the heating elements. Since it prevents air circulation, some brands sell precut, perforated sheets to ensure even browning. If you aren't using one, flip the dumplings halfway through cooking.

Dumplings are a versatile appetizer, side dish, or main course. They're delicious with soy sauce, or you can quickly mix something more complex. Try adding oyster sauce, minced garlic, rice wine vinegar, and gochugaru to make a spicy dipping sauce. If you want to make them from scratch, check out our recipe for braised short-rib dumplings. We've also shared how to properly fold homemade potstickers. Freeze homemade dumplings on a sheet pan before storing them in a resealable container for up to two months.