HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

Frozen Pot Stickers?

I'm doing a dinner for friends this weekend with an asian theme and thought that some pot stickers or friend dumplings might be a nice addition. Has anyone tried a frozen brand that they would recommend? Stores I have access to include Safeway, Giant, Trader Joes, Harris Teeter. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Trader Joes are excellent. I just follow the package directions and get great results every time -- way better than takeout!!

    2 Replies
    1. re: jenhen2

      I agree with jenhen2. I like the chicken variety and just follow the package directions to pan fry and then steam. Yum!

      1. re: jenhen2

        I prefer the Thai veggie potstickers. Delish! I like them better pan seared and steamed over deep frying.

        I make a little dipping sauce with soy, fish sauce, green onions, a dash of toasted sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and chili oil/sauce.

      2. Trader Joe's frozen chicken pot stickers/gyoza in the bag with the red and black label. The vegetarian style are not as good - they taste slightly bitter to me (strange).

        If you love pot stickers, you'd probably also like dim sum: the TJ's siu mai in the box are good served with a bit of soy sauce mixed with sugar. The har gow are also good served with a bit of hot oil and soy sauce. What is NOT good is the siu mai/har gow combo box because the siu mai are dyed a bright, nuclear yellow - definitely un-natural. So unlike TJ's too - I dropped a dime on these nasty siu mai and they said they'd look into it as TJ's generally does not offer foods with artificial dyes.

        But back to the pot stickers. Here's how I prepare them. For a quick meal, and I do mean QUICK: take a non-stick pan with a tight cover (this is a dish that demonstrates the advantage of tempered glass pot covers because you can see when the opaque frozen noodles turn cooked noodle looking after about 5 minutes - they are done), place as many pot stickers as you want in the pan. Add enough water to go halfway up the sides of the dumplings. Top with thin sliced napa cabbage. Cook on a medium high flame for a few moments - test by pressing firmly on one dumpling - it should feel firm. The less you cook them, only until the meat is firm, the better the noodle part will be - you don't want to overcook. Drain well. I serve with tamari sprinkled on top.

        1. I buy Wei-Chuan brand at the asian market; they're pretty good, esp the pork & spinach ones. They're pre-steamed, all you have to do is steam/panfry--about 8 minutes (4 minutes saute in oil, 4 minutes steaming w/water) is just right.

          1. asian taste available at an asian supermarket is what we have eaten at my home when my mom started working and couldn't make them from scratch any more. we usually buy the pork and leek ones however, they make you burp up leek, so i advise you to stay away from that if you are having a party...

            also, if you are near a korean supermarket, the korean pot stickers (more flat than crescent shaped) taste almost like home made, the wrapper is extremely thin and not doughy.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mabziegurl

              Is there a brand on these Korean potstickers, or just any that are Korean?

            2. I buy frozen pot stickers at local (Sacramento) asian stores.
              The directions I usually see say boil (frozen) until they float, then another 3 or 4 minutes. I then fry (just a little oil in a nonstick pan w/some seasme oil for flavor) until lightly browned and serve. There is a basic sauce with soy sauce, sugar, a little chopped green onion, etc. ... Actually I like hot chinese mustard with them. It comes in powder form. Just add water to proper consistancy.

              Trader Joes also have a frozen product they call Shrimp Wraps. Comes with a red pepper spicy sweet and sour sauce. All very good and seems very chinese.

              I'm sure you will have a nice meal. Enjoy.

              -Roberto

              1 Reply
              1. re: Roberto

                Mmm, those shrimp wraps are very tasty and elegant.

              2. Thanks Everyone! These are great suggestions! I think I'll get the ones at Trader Joes. For the sauce, I found a recipe on the Food Tv site that calls for 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1/3 rice wine vinegar, 1/3 cup sliced scallions, 1 tsp sesame oil. Sounds like that is about in line with your suggestions!

                These should be the perfect compliment to my meal!

                I'm serving an Asian Cabbage Salad and an Asian Marinated flank steak with white rice. Then I'll also have the pot stickers. Perfect!

                5 Replies
                1. re: DC Gal

                  That sounds like too much vinegar to me. I'd probably use about a tablespoon to 1/3 cup soy. Hot sauce on the side (sriracha, chili bean etc.) is a nice option.

                  1. re: cheryl_h

                    I agree with cheryl h on the vinegar. I'd go with the rest of the recipe as stated but add sambal into the mix. It gives it a nice twang!

                  2. re: DC Gal

                    The TJ's potstickers don't need much salt - and I say this as a salt addict. That's why I noted I just sprinkle with soy sauce. If you want to go with a sour note, I might suggest lemon juice. this is moving toward the Japanese ponzu suce flavor. But a slight touch of sweetness would not be amiss either. I like the scallion idea.

                    1. re: DC Gal

                      How's about some kim chee with the steak and rice - that's definitely what I'd want to eat with it. My local Mollie Stone market sells a mild or hot - I prefer mild with no preservatives.

                      1. re: DC Gal

                        use chinese red wine vinegar for the dumpling sauce and grate fresh ginger in instead of scallion, if going to an asian market.

                      2. Try getting pot stickers withoiut MSG is what I suggest. Trader Joes has some and most oriental markets have a few without it. The taste is more natural unless you like that kind of thing. Try some shrimp, pork, chicken and veggie and see which you like better. Lord knows, they're inexpensive enough.

                        1. For one stop shopping, I get the Trader Joe's peanut sauce with my Trader Joe's potstickers (the pork ones are my favorite). The sauce is simple and tasty and great for dipping.

                          1. Thanks for more great advice. I will definitely check labels for MSG - it gives me an awful headache and the shakes. good advice!

                            1. I love TJ Pot Stickers. I take them out of the freezer and put as many as I want into a bowl of hot water for about a minute or 2 to soften it. Then I pour off the water, add an Asian Dipping Sauce bought from TJ, hot oil and alittle sweet and sour sauce. I microwave for 1.5 to 2 minutes and they come out GREAT.

                              1. I hate to be the one to break the news, but the best of all potstickers, yes the ones at Trader Joe's, are no more. According to my local TJ's in Manhattan Beach, the company that made them has gone out of business. I promptly raced to all three local stores to try to grab whatever was left, but none were. One of the managers says a suggestion has been made to TJ's to start producing their own.

                                I've tried so many frozen brands and nothing measures up to TJ's. It's not the filling (those are obviously great) but the wrapper...perfect thickness, fries and/or steams beautifully and always tender. Most wrappers on other brands are too darn thick and just don't do what I want them to. Oh, well. I didn't even have an empty package left so I could check who the manufacturer was. Does anyone know? Any other recommendations? Personally, I'm going through withdrawals.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: emlyn

                                  No more pot stickers? That's REALLY bad news. I know my TJ's has been out of all pot stickers except for the Pork Gyoza Pot Stickers. I was told that they were getting them in soon. I was planning on going tomorrow to see if they came in. If they don't have them in, then I will buy any and all of the pork ones that they may still have!!!!!!!!!!

                                  1. re: emlyn

                                    On the advice of emlyn, I ran down to my local TJ this morning. They had 19 bags of Pork Pot Stickers there so I took afew and then asked a worker if it was true that the company who made them went out of business. First he told me that they just discontinued the other flavors and only would carry the pork, but later he was nice enough to find me in the store and tell me he had asked the manager who confirmed the fact that the company did indeed close and that most likely they would not be getting more pork pot stickers in. I ran to the frozen section and bought all 19 bags!! Only $48 for 19 bags, not bad. So I came home and made a batch, this time following the directions on the bag and using the sesame oil and chili oil. Wow!! So much better than just microwaving them. And when I put the water in to cook them for another 5 minutes, I threw in a bunch of chopped up cabbage. What an amazing meal. I sure hope Trader Joe's start making their own.

                                    1. re: Angela24k

                                      see this post:
                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/350752

                                      the company that used to produce TJ's potstickers has gone out of business, but they have transferred the recipe to a new company that will produce them.

                                    2. re: emlyn

                                      Do you like shu mei? Pretty much the same, except they are steamed, and easy to put together...

                                    3. The ones you can get off the Schwan's truck aren't too bad. We used to live in Portland and got really hooked on potstickers, but now we're in rural Iowa and no one here even knows what we're talking about. Except the Schwan's man.

                                      There are instructions for how to steam them in the microwave, then pan-fry them, and on the package there's a recipe for a dipping sauce, if chili oil and rice vinegar is insufficient for you. (That's what we prefer; for the chili oil you take some of those red pepper flakes like are in the shakers at Pizza Hut and put them in a jar, then cover them with a couple inches of plain old vegetable oil and leave set for awhile to get the flavor of the peppers throughout the oil.)

                                      1. The ones you can get in an Asian grocery store are vastly better than TJ's, in my experience. I searched online but couldn't find my brand. It's extremely generic-looking, with block letters saying "Pork and Leek" or "Shrimp and Leek," etc. First boil in a deep pot till they float to the surface (verify they aren't stuck to the sides of the pan), drain EXTREMELY well, then pan-fry in oil till crispy. I serve them in a large shallow bowl with a sauce something like you described (or sometimes just a good soy sauce) and garnished liberally with thin-sliced scallions or chives.

                                        1. You can make your own and freeze them until the night of your party. That way you can get exactly the ingredients you want in your potstickers.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: dimsumgirl

                                            And as someone who did this for the first time only six months ago or so, I will add that making your own is much easier than I thought it would be. Not really a big deal at all, and very delicious. (I use store bought wrappers, I'm not talking about making that part, just the filling, stuffing and folding part.)

                                            1. re: Anne H

                                              Agree on making your own. They are much easier to make than people imagine. We do it all of the time. Typically we make a large batch and freeze some for another meal.

                                          2. We have several asian stores around where I am. I'll have to check them out for the pot stickers.

                                            I'm sure making your own using the wrappers in the stores isn't difficult, but it's definately more work and my guess is, more expensive. I seem to remember those wrappers not being cheap.

                                            Wouldn't it be cool if we all lived close enough where we could have a dinner night where everyone makes or brings their own pot stickers!

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Angela24k

                                              Where I buy the wrappers, they are very cheap. The ingredients, not necessarily, depends on what you use. So I don't imagine it is cheaper in the end, and if you have a premade brand you like, no big reason to make your own. But it gives me a kind of satisfaction...

                                              1. re: Anne H

                                                The wrappers that I buy when I make potstickers and siu mai cost about $1.25 for a package of 60-75.

                                              2. re: Angela24k

                                                A pack of wrappers has 50 pieces and most markets sell them for just over $1/pack. The ones you make yourself also taste so much better than the frozen commercial gyoza.

                                              3. Costco has very good frozen potstickers and siu mai. I bought some about 6 months ago and remember thinking they were as good as TJ's.

                                                1. Costco, wow, I have to check that out since I go there.

                                                  I wrote to TJ to ask them about the pot stickers. Below is the response I got.

                                                  Trader Joe's will be looking for a new source for our potstickers . At this time we do not have a definite date as to when we will have these in our stores.

                                                  1. TJ's may look for a new source, but the important question is, will they be as good as the old ones? If they go with a company who supplies some of the other places I've tried, then the answer is NO.

                                                    Thanks for the Costo tip. I've never seen them there, but didn't really look. Much as I hate to brave the place this near Xmas, I'm going to do it today. Two plus weeks with no potstickers...yuck. At least some of you guys were able to find TJ's in your area that still had some leftover stock. Not so in Southern California...maybe a fair tradeoff for the sunshine!

                                                    Happy holidays, all.

                                                    1. Costo brand of potsticker is good, I like their prepared shu mei as well. Good to get when you're crunched for time.

                                                      1. any brand at a korean supermarket, especially the ones w/out kimchi and that cost more than 5 bucks, beat TJs by a mile,
                                                        try getting one that you pan fry, another thatyou can steam, if you look hard you can even find har gow, translucent shrimp dumplings.

                                                        1. the refrigerated potstickers at Costco are much better than the frozen. Good luck with the crowds!

                                                          1. You know, I think potstickers are a really individual preference, like perfume or flowers or music. Each of us is different, different tastes, smells and sounds appeal to us. I like lots of Beethoven, but Mozart makes me cringe. Likewise, I'll take Led Zeppelin over the Beatles anytime. Yes, my age is showing. And flowery perfumes makes me gag, but lots of women like them. Well, potstickers are the same. I haven't made it to Costco yet, I'm still trying to talk myself into it, especially since I can't take my dog Lucy in with me. She resents being left in the car.

                                                            With TJ's potstickers, I used to panfry them in a little olive oil first, get them nice and crispy brown on all three sides, then add the water and steam them for 4 minutes. Then I'd turn off the burner, leave the lid on and let them carmelize; 20 minutes later they were ready to eat, still perfectly warm and yummy and required no sauce at all. They gave me the perfect combination of sturdiness and tenderness in the wrapping that I never found anywhere else. Too many of the other wrappers are tough, too thick and/or pasty somehow. So personal taste, again. Maybe any good Korean grocery potstickers do beat TJ's by a mile, I'll probably never know. And maybe it's the difference between me liking Beethoven and you liking Mozart. I don't mean to get all existential here and certainly never thought to wax poetic over potstickers for God's sake, but Xmas makes you think about the important things in life, no? Happy Holidays and happy hunting to you all. I've just talked myself into Costo while writing this. If I leave now, I might actually go. Lucy will just have to lump it.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: emlyn

                                                              Hi Emily,

                                                              Did you go to Costco's? Did you like their pot stickers?

                                                              I think I actually prefer the Costco's stickers over TJ's now. And now I have 19 bags of TJ's in my freezer! I boiled the Costco ones like the bag says, and threw them in a frying pan for a minute and it gave them the perfect texture. Add alittle TJ Asian Dipping Sauce and wow.
                                                              I brought my dog into Costco's once. They never knew until I checked out and they asked me how I got in with the dog. I had him hanging on my shoulder like a purse in this dog carrying contraption. I would never leave my dog in the car. I have a fear of him being stolen.

                                                            2. I think Costco brand (Panda Brand) is pretty good. I like the chicken over the regular kind.

                                                              1. Hi, Angela:

                                                                Yes, I made it to Costco and will try the stickers today. Unfortunately my dog, Lucy, is a 70 lb sharpei/german shepherd mix. If anything, she'd carry me on her shoulder. She's darn hard to hide, especially since she believes all humans were put on this earth to admire her. She loves to be loved. And is so beautiful, she attracts more attention than I do wherever she goes. She also likes potstickers...I always save a couple of bites of chicken or pork filling for her.

                                                                1. TJ's are back. They're different, of course, and so far I've only seen Shrimp and Vegetable. Curious to hear other tasters notes. My initial reaction is positive. Re: new vegetable ones: They're "fresher," with more cabbage, carrot, and real vegetables (maybe bamboo shoots). The wrapper is more translucent, but still crisps nicely in the pan. I miss the pork ones.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: birddog

                                                                    The new shrimp potstickers are really large and when I tried to eat them they fell apart, dropping little shrimpies all over the place. They tasted okay, but I miss the old kind. I doubt I'll buy them again.

                                                                  2. I recently made potstickers from scratch and they came out great. While I'm not suggesting you do this, I'd like to pass along the cooking instructions, which can be used with any frozen potstickers. This method combines sauteeing and steaming.

                                                                    Add 2 teaspoons oil to 12-inch nonstick skillet and quickly spread oil with paper towel to distribute evenly. Arrange 12 potstickers in skillet. Place skillet over medium-high heat and cook, without moving, until potstickers are golden brown on bottoms, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add 1/2 cup chicken stock to skillet, and cover immediately. Cook, covered, until most of stock is absorbed and wrappers are slightly translucent, about 10 minutes. Uncover skillet and increase heat to medium-high; cook, without stirring, until bottoms are well browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes more. Turn off burner and slide potstickers from skillet onto double layer paper towels, browned side down, to blot excess oil. Transfer to platter and serve immediately. Let skillet cool until just warm, then wipe skillet clean and repeat with remaining potstickers.