Can You Freeze Xiao Long Bao? (Soup Dumplings)
Xiao Long Bao is among my favorite Chinese delicacies. However, the complexities involved in preparing Xiao Long Bao have prohibited it from arriving at my dinner table very often. But if you prepare these soup dumplings frequently or buy them fresh from the store, you may want to know, if you can freeze Xiao Long Bao for longer-term storage?
You can freeze Xiao Long Bao. There are a couple of effective methods to freeze both cooked and uncooked Xiao Long Bao. These freezing methods will allow you to conveniently store this Chinese delicacy if you’re making it from scratch or buying it fresh from the store.
While you can freeze Xiao Long Bao, you should keep in mind a few key tips during your preparation. I’ll explore these tips to ensure you get the best product possible from your frozen Xiao Long Bao. Keep reading.
How To Prepare Xiao Long Bao for Freezing
Xiao Long Bao (Xiaolongbao) can be frozen both cooked and uncooked. In fact, there are two ways to freeze these uncooked “small basket buns” depending on how you want to prepare them. First, you can make and freeze just the filling separately.
Can I Freeze the Aspic?
You can freeze the aspic (filling) in a freezer-safe container. This method works and will cut down on your time in the kitchen to make Xiao Long Bao. However, you’ll still have to wrap the filling in the dough before you cook it, which is fairly time-consuming.
Personally, this isn’t my favorite method, but it works.
The second method is to prepare and freeze the wrapped dumpling.
Can I Freeze Uncooked Xiao Long Bao?
You can freeze uncooked wrapped Xiao Long Bao. Freezing the uncooked assembled dumplings will take more time during your prep process. But it will pay off when preparing them to be served.
Freezing assembled uncooked soup dumplings is my preferred method of freezing Xiao Long Bao because I can easily cook the dumplings from frozen in less than 15 minutes. However, you have to be careful to follow the proper freezing procedure. Below are the steps:
- Prepare a baking sheet by adding a layer of flour. This layer of flour will stop your Xiao Long Bao from sticking to the tray after freezing.
- Place your wrapped dumplings on the baking sheet. Be sure to leave some space between each dumpling so they don’t stick together.
- Put the full baking sheet in your freezer. Ensure you lay the tray flat in your freezer so your dumplings don’t shift amongst the tray during the freezing process.
- Transfer the frozen dumplings to a plastic bag. Once you’ve flash frozen your soup dumplings for an hour or so, you’ll want to transfer them to a freezer safe plasic zip-lock bag. Tip: Make sure that the dough wrapping is frozen solid before transfering to the bag so they don’t stick.
Freezing Xiao Long Bao using this method will keep in the freezer for approximately three months.
Can I Freeze Cooked Dumplings?
You can freeze cooked dumplings, but it’s not recommended. Freezing cooked dumplings can harm the structure and taste. If you have a surplus of cooked Xiao Long Bao, consider refrigerating and eating them within the next 3–5 days.
Sure, you can freeze cooked dumplings in a pinch, but it’s best to avoid doing this.
How To Cook Frozen Xiao Long Bao
If you’ve only ever worked with fresh Xiao Long Bao, you may be wondering what the best practices are for cooking frozen Xiao Long Bao. Luckily, the process is simple and quick! Below are the steps:
- Cook frozen Xiao Long Bao. Don’t thaw your dumplings before steaming, which can negatively affect the taste and texture.
- Use Napa Cabbage Leaves to line a bamboo steamer. A bamboo steamer and Napa Cabbage Leaves will give you the most authentic flavor for your dumplings. However, if you don’t have access to these, you can use a metal steamer and small pieces of parchment paper with holes cut in them.
- Preheat your steamer. If you’re using a bamboo steamer, you’ll need to boil about an inch (2.54 cm) of water in a pan or wok. Then place the bamboo steamer in the pan. You don’t need to worry about this if you’re using a metal steamer.
- Place Xiao Long Bao in the steamer. Once you’ve given the steamer a couple of minutes to preheat, you can place your dumplings in the steamer. Give about 1 inch (2.54 cm) of space between each dumpling.
- Let the Xiao Long Bao cook for approximately 10 minutes. Cooking times will vary based on your Xiao Long Bao’s size.
- Allow Xiao Long Bao 1 minute to cool before serving. Enjoy!
This simple cooking process will give you the best end product for your frozen Xiao Long Bao. However, if you don’t want to steam your dumplings, there are other methods you can find to microwave, fry, or bake your Xiao Long Bao from frozen.
Freezing Xiao Long Bao is a fantastic investment of your time to have a delicious quick meal waiting for you in your freezer. Just make sure you remember these three keys to success.
- Leave space between dumplings on a flour-covered baking sheet when freezing.
- Ideally, steam your frozen Xiao Long Bao to cook it.
- Line your steamer with Napa Cabbage Leaves for the best flavor.
As long as you keep in mind the key tips for cooking Xiao Long Bao from frozen, you can ensure perfect dumpling quality for every meal.