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Think of dumplings, with their protective outer shell, as your personal league of eager lunchtime warriors. They're ready to hold whatever you put in them; they can be packed into close quarters; they're easily microwaved; and they can be served over a bed of rice or in a bowl of broth.
And the best part? They freeze incredibly well, so you can make batches weeks (even months) in advance.
How to do it:
If you have a freezer at work, bring a gallon-sized zipper bag of fully cooked dumplings (choose from one of the recipes below or invent your own!) along with a jar of homemade dipping sauce or soy sauce.
When it's time for lunch, remove however many dumplings you'd like to eat and leave them out on a plate for 10 to 15 minutes (this, according to Andrea Nguyen, author of Asian Dumplings, will ensure even cooking). Then, cover with a damp paper towel and microwave in 30-second intervals until fully reheated, roughly 2 to 3 minutes, depending on how many dumplings you are reheating. Eat them with soup or rice, or on their own.
Here are 6 dumplings recipes to choose from next week's lunch:
And if you want to improvise...
What's your favorite make-ahead freezer lunch? Tell us in the comments below!