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frozen potstickers/gyoza?

  • h

What are the good brands? I get to the Berkeley Bowl most often, but once in a while I make it to Oakland Chinatown (in which case I imagine I'll head straight to Shan Dong, but correct me if there's an even better alternative there). Thanks!

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  1. Trader Joe's carries 3 types - pork, shrimp & veggie.
    I have only had the pork, which I think are pretty good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DavidT

      Don't forget about the chicken, too! I've tried them all but the veggie, and I like the shrimp gyoza best. It's a different brand than the chicken or pork dumplings and costs a little more, but is adequate for a quick lunch. I imagine an Asian market w/ their own selection may have better ones. If you have the time, steaming them in a tiered steamer tastes much better than boiling or microwaving IMO. Good quick dipping sauce: 1 part soy, 1 part balsamic, pinch of 5-spice & cayenne, dash of sesame oil.

    2. f
      Fred McGriff

      Costco has the large bag made by Ling Ling.

      1. You probably can't beat Shandong's hand-made frozen ones in that neck of the woods. You might also try the Asian market freezer cases. There are a few brands out there. There's one brand, I think it's called the "Dumpling King" (or something like that) which is not bad. I'm not a fan of Costco's house brand (cute panda or no) and TJ's are eccentric, IMHO.

        Link: http://eatingchinese.org

        4 Replies
        1. re: Gary Soup

          I keep the TJs pork potstickers in the house for a quick snack. They are tasty, and although they're not totally authentic, they also don't have MSG and are lower in fat than those sold at the Asian markets.

          Unfortunately, my spot tries of the various brands in the Asian markets haven't made enough of an impression for me to recommend one.

          1. re: bernalgirl

            I suppose it depends on what the OP is looking for. To me, "No MSG" is a red flag, and a bit of fat is an essential ingredient. But then, I don't approach jiaozi as a health food.

            Link: http://eatingchinese.org/

            1. re: Gary Soup

              But if you really want the good stuff, do you buy frozen? Have you encountered a brand where the flavor was worth the extras? I guess I see the convenience type as a different order of food... but could be convinced otherwise if pointed to a really good brand.

              Thought I'd tried the Wei Chuan, btw, but that label doesn't look familiar. Perhaps I'll be converted...

              1. re: bernalgirl

                Other than frozen, the only options are eating jiaozi in restaurants or making them at home. Once made, they have essentially no shelf life. When my wife makes them, the ones that aren't plopped into boilng water go immediately into the freezer.

                One hedge is to have a good vinegar for dipping. For me, that would be "Chinkiang" vinegar (it has a yellow label) from Zhenjiang.

                Link: http://eatingchinese.org/

        2. Some months ago the Chronicle did a comparison tasting of vegetarian potstickers. The #1 choice was Safeway Select (!). They rated sufficiently high to make it into the "Hall of Fame" or whatever they call their top picks.

          I bought a bag -- they were quite good (just boiled them, or microwaved). Then I tried the "potsticker" method -- used oil, added water, cooked according to the package directions -- they were delicious and perfectly browned and juicy.

          So a high recommendation for the veg potstickers. But I've not tried the other versions.

          1. m
            Melanie Wong

            Bear in mind that Shan Dong's are dumplings for boiling, not potstickers.

            Here's a link to tanspace's and Peter Yee's rec for Wei Chuan brand of boiled dumplings at Ranch 99. I haven't tried them but if it's good enough for both of them, that's golden in my book.

            Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

            3 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              If you're like me and need an image to remember what to buy, here's a link. Yum yum.

              Link: http://www.weichuanusa.com/a_product_...

              1. re: Missy P.

                Thanks for finding the product pictures on the web! It's hard to describe them since Wei Chuan makes several different lines of dumplings as you can see from the web page, as well as tons of other stuff.

                The ones I like best are the "High-End Dumpling Series" shown on the website. There's also the "Shandong series" but I didn't find them to be any closer to real Shandong dumplings in terms of flavor. The shape/skin is closer to handmade than the High-End series, but the flavor is not as good (I think it was too greasy).

                Most of the other brands that I've tried from the Chinese grocery stores were not as good - some have bad wrappers, some have bad fillings, some even had tough tendons in the meat filling, a big no-no.

                As for frozen potstickers, I have not tried any Chinese brands since I prefer them to be "open-ended" and fresh from the wok. But I have tried the Japanese style Gyoza from Ajinomoto and it was pretty good. I've also enjoyed some of the Korean potstickers, mainly the kimchi flavor.


              2. re: Melanie Wong

                About that recipe you posted a while back...can it be done? Can they be frozen raw?

                I'd love to be able to eat just a few as a snack rather than having to make an event out of the consuming several dozen at once.

              3. After our last Chowdown at Shanghai around the corner from Shan Dong some of us purchase frozen xlb's, dumpling and potstickers from them.

                I only got the dumplings and xlb's they were very good. Did not get any potstickers but they should be good.

                Will have to try next time. The reason we did not pick any potstickers is I have this false impression that I can make our own. Xlb's and dumpling are hard for me to make.

                1. Personally I favor ones made by a restaurant. If you like the potstickers served at a specific resto, ask them if they sell them in packages.

                  1. Got some at Shan Dong and some at Shanghai. Thanks!

                    A disturbing/amusing aside--we ate at Yo Ho today. Had made a reservation and initially were so pleased that we could skip ahead of the throngs and that they had been holding a table all the way in back for us. Then observed that we were right beside the tank where they throw the dead "live" fish. Two big ones were being tossed about in a morbid ballet by the bubbles from the filter, occasionally being picked at by their more fortunate (?) brethren.

                    The dim sum was great though.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: heidipie

                      Please let us know which is better. If they are good then I can stop making them in the future.

                      Hope they are both good.

                    2. I hope this post isn't too late but I found that the best frozen pot stickers I've found is at this little grocery store on Noriega Street in the Sunset, San Francisco. The name of the place escapes me. It's around 21st Ave/22nd Ave. (Across the street on the next block from Lotus Restaurant; next to a beauty salon). This lady makes them in the back and sell them from their large freezer. This is as close to home make as you can get from a store. I use their water dumplings as pot stickers since I prefer the thinner wrappers. My kids prefer their pot stickers because they like dough ;0). There are multiple types of fillings, eg, chicken and spinach, pork with cabbage, leek with pork, vegetarian, etc. They also have a number of small eats too, eg, Joong, wontons, XLB, etc. I don't live in the City and when I go, I stock up!! (6-8 bags) I think the dumplings and pot stickers are their strong suit. I've had their XLB and the ones from Oakland's Shanghai Restaurant beat these hands down. The other small eats are ok.

                      Just as an aside, I know a guy whose wife works in a factory which makes the commercial pot sticker/dumplings, and he refuses to eat them. He mumbled something about sanitation. I couldn't get more info. In a pinch, our family still eats the ones from the supermarkers but .....there's alway that question in the back of my mind.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Margret
                        ChowFun (derek)

                        I agree, and I also don't remember its' name, but it is mid-block on the North side of Noriega....I got 4 different kinds, and also the XLB's...I can't compare them with the ones at Ranch 99 however...It would be great if someone would though!

                        1. re: ChowFun (derek)

                          I can't imagine anything from Ranch 99 would come close to this. However, like I posted before, the XLB here are only acceptable, with a rather thick wrapper and decent soup. The frozen ones from Oakland's Shanghai and the ones from Southland Taste(Tainan Restaurant) in the Cuperino Center off of Wolfe Road are the best. There is another branch of Tainan in Milpitas (218 Barber Court) but I've not seen the frozen XLB offered at the Milpitas branch. Like another poster might have mentioned earlier, I think restaurant XLBs are almost always superior to the commercial ones. BUT! The water dumplings at the Noriega Store is great!


                          1. re: try this

                            Thanks...I needed the reminder, yet again ;0)