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Nov 9, 2004 05:59 PM

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.


        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.


            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.


        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.


            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.


              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.