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How To Reheat Soup Dumplings – I Test 3 Methods [Pics]

Have you ordered too many soup dumplings and don’t want to let them go to waste?

Well, as you know, soup dumplings (otherwise knows as Xiao Long Bao) are notoriously tricky to reheat because they’re delicate and can puncture or tear easily.

So, what can you do to reignite their mouth-watering flavor without losing the delicious soup inside?

I decided to find out by trying the three most commonly recommended ways to reheat soup dumplings.

You’ll be surprised at just how effective one method is and which method you should avoid at all costs.

A note on my experiment

Our local dumpling house provided the soup dumplings (I don’t have the culinary skill to prepare these delicate treats myself).

For this test, I tried out three different methods to reheat my Xiao Long Bao.

  • Steaming (best results)
  • Microwave (not great)
  • Boiling water (worst result)

The difficulty with reheating soup dumplings is that they are incredibly fragile. 

If you aren’t careful, the dough wrapping breaks apart, and you’re left with a dumpling with no soup.

Follow my instructions below to make sure that doesn’t happen!

Top tip: always move dumplings with a spatula, don’t pick them up from the top because this can cause the filling to fall out the bottom.

Reheating soup dumplings by steaming

Set up the steamer and bring the water to a boil. Line the steamer basket with some cabbage, lettuce, or parchment paper to prevent the dumplings from sticking to the basket. Place the dumplings in the steamer and steam for 2-3 minutes. When ready, the dumplings will be pliable and plump.

You can use both bamboo and metal steamers. 

If you don’t have a steamer, you can create a quick makeshift one using a pot, some foil, and a plate (I explain exactly how below).

How to reheat soup dumplings by steaming:

  1. Set up the steamer (metal, bamboo, or makeshift*) and bring the water to a boil.
  2. Line the steamer basket with cabbage or lettuce leaves (parchment paper is also suitable).
  3. Place the dumplings on the lining in the steamer and steam for 2 minutes.
  4. Check that the dumplings are hot. When ready, the dumplings should be slightly puffed out.
  5. Remove the dumplings from the steamer and serve immediately.

*To make a makeshift steamer: fill a pot with ½ an inch of water and place three equally sized balls of aluminum foil on the bottom. Rest a plate on the balls and then bring the water to a boil. Put the dumplings on the plate and cover the pot with a lid. 

If you’re using parchment paper as the lining, I recommend cutting small circles for each dumpling. That way, lots of steam can still get through.

The soup returns to its gelatinous form when cooled down and melts while you’re reheating the dumplings. 

The melting soup causes the wrapper to puff up a bit. 

When you see this happening, it’s an indication that the dumplings are ready.

My verdict

Although my dumplings weren’t perfect, the steamer produced the best result with delicious-tasting fillings and (most of) the wrappings intact.

This is the method I would recommend.

Reheating soup dumplings in the microwave

Place the dumplings on a microwave-proof dish and cover them with a damp paper towel. Using medium power (50%), microwave the dumplings in 10-second intervals until they’re hot. When heated through, remove from the microwave and allow the dumplings to rest for 60 seconds before serving.

How to reheat soup dumplings in the microwave:

  1. Place the dumplings on a microwave-proof dish.
  2. Cover the dumplings with a damp paper towel.
  3. Using medium power (50%), microwave them in 10-second intervals until hot.
  4. When heated through, remove from the microwave and allow the dumplings to rest for 60 seconds.
  5. Serve hot, being careful to poke a hole in the wrapping to allow steam to escape before eating them.

The damp paper towel creates steam in the microwave with the aim of re-moisturizing dry dumplings. 

Because the dumplings are so delicate, they will overcook quickly in a full power microwave. 

Using 50% power gives you more control over how hot the dumplings get.

My verdict

Despite my best efforts, the microwave was just too harsh for the thin, delicate dough.

My dumplings were a little dry and hard on top. 

While the bottoms ended up being mushy with a slightly pasty texture.

If I was in a rush, I’d use the microwave, but otherwise, my first choice would be to use the steamer.

Reheating soup dumplings in boiling water

Boil some water in a pan or large pot (enough so you can submerge the dumplings). Using a slotted spoon or a wire basket, dip the dumplings into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove the dumplings from the boiling water and allow them to drain before serving hot.

How to reheat soup dumplings in boiling water:

  1. Boil enough water to fully submerge the dumplings in a pan or large pot.
  2. Place the dumplings in the boiling water using a slotted wooden spoon or metal draining spoon, holding them there for a maximum of 30 seconds.
  3. Remove the dumplings from the boiling water and allow them to drain.
  4. Serve hot.

Warning: any toppings you may have on the dumplings, like sesame seeds or chili, will be washed off.

Be extra careful not to pierce the dumpling’s wrapping because the soup will leak out into the water and be lost for good.

My verdict

I don’t recommend this method.

The dumpling skins became water-logged, and I ended up with a mushy and watery result.

One of the dumplings also split, which was very sad.

Also, you can only heat one dumpling at a time in the spoon, which becomes tedious and time-consuming.

How to store soup dumplings

To store leftover soup dumplings, allow them to cool to room temperature and carefully place them in a parchment-paper-lined airtight container. Don’t let the dumplings touch. Cooked dumplings will last 1-2 days in the refrigerator. Raw soup dumplings will last a maximum of an hour in the fridge.

Leftover soup dumplings are much easier to handle when they’re cool because the soup becomes more jelly-like.

Don’t try to move them when they’re still hot because chances are they’ll split (I learned this the hard way).

Another reason to let the dumplings cool before storing them is to prevent condensation from building up in the container. Too much condensation will leave you with soggy wrappers.

The parchment paper ensures none of the dumplings stick to the container.

Note: soup dumplings are always best served fresh, so try to avoid storing them if you can.

Storing uncooked soup dumplings isn’t recommended because the outer edge of the dough will dry out very quickly, and the filling will cause the inside of the wrapper to become soggy.

Freezing is an option for uncooked dumplings, but not a great one.

Can you freeze soup dumplings?

You can freeze uncooked soup dumplings, but it will leave them much more susceptible to splitting upon cooking so it’s not really recommended. You can’t freeze cooked soup dumplings because they will turn to mush when you reheat them.

You can buy frozen soup dumplings in the grocery store because the dumpling dough contains stabilizers that prevent it from splitting during heating.

If you still want to freeze your raw soup dumplings, here’s how.

How to freeze soup dumplings:

  1. Cover a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Position your dumplings on the baking tray so that they don’t touch each other.
  3. Place the tray of dumplings in the coldest sector of your freezer (rear center).
  4. Wait until the dumplings are frozen (1-2 hours) before removing them and then sealing them in a freezer bag.
  5. Label the freezer bag with the date of freezing.
  6. Remove all the air from the freezer bag before placing the dumplings back in the freezer for a maximum of 2-3 months.

Removing the air from the bag goes a long way to preventing freezer burn.

To remove the air, I suck it out with a straw or dunk the freezer bag in a bowl of water to force the air out.

Freezing the dumplings in the coldest part of the freezer helps ensure that the ice crystals that form are as small as possible. 

Small ice crystals do far less damage to the microscopic structures of food.

How to reheat frozen soup dumplings

The best way to reheat frozen soup dumplings is in the steamer. Line a steamer with cabbage, lettuce or parchment paper and bring the water to a boil. Place the dumplings in the steamer and heat for 6-8 minutes. Steam more dumplings than you need because a few are likely to split.

Don’t thaw the soup dumplings because the wrappers will become too delicate.

The BEST Way To Reheat Soup Dumplings

Have you ordered too many soup dumplings and don’t want to let them go to waste?
Well, as you know, soup dumplings are notoriously tricky to reheat, as they’re delicate and can puncture or tear easily.
So, what can you do to reignite their mouth-watering flavor without losing the delicious soup inside?
I decided to find out by trying the three most commonly recommended ways to reheat soup dumplings.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 min
Cook Time 4 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 1 person
Calories 124 kcal

Equipment

Steamer
Parchment paper

Ingredients
 

  • 1 portion soup dumplings

Instructions
 

  • Set up a steamer (metal, bamboo, or makeshift*) and bring the water to a boil.
  • Line the steamer basket with cabbage or lettuce leaves (parchment paper is also suitable).
  • Place the dumplings on the lining in the steamer and steam for 2 minutes.
  • Check that the dumplings are hot. When ready, the dumplings should be slightly puffed out.
  • Remove the dumplings from the steamer and serve immediately.

Notes

*To make a makeshift steamer: fill a pot with ½ an inch of water and place three equally sized balls of aluminum foil on the bottom. Rest a plate on the balls and then bring the water to a boil. Put the dumplings on the plate and cover the pot with a lid. 
If you’re using parchment paper as the lining, I recommend cutting small circles for each dumpling. That way, lots of steam can still get through.
The soup returns to its gelatinous form when cooled down and melts while you’re reheating the dumplings. 
The melting soup causes the wrapper to puff up a bit. 
When you see this happening, it’s an indication that the dumplings are ready.

Nutrition

Serving: 100gCalories: 124kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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