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Good Frozen Chinese Dumplings in SF?

Does anybody know of a restaurant that sells their dumplings frozen? Doesn't matter what kind, i.e. Shanghai soup dumplings, potstickers, etc. as I love them all. They're so handy to have in the freezer for a quick meal or snack, and the packaged ones from the Asian grocery stores in SF aren't very good.

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  1. there are probably 10 different kinds of frozen dumplings at Asian American Food Co. — 1426 Noriega St near 21st Avenue

    28 Replies
    1. re: Cynsa

      They seem to get some positive reviews on this board. Just tried their "Lamb Dumpling with Vegetable" this past weekend. A bit greasy for me. Flavor seems okay - not a very strong lamb taste, though. They are also know for their XLB. Will try them next week.

      1. re: Cynsa

        I love the dumplings, etc. at Asian American Food Co. My favorites are the pork and shrimp with chive dumplings, pork potstickers, Shanghai wontons, pork bao, and the pork and cabbage dumplings. And they've now started to sell vegetables and thinly sliced meats for hot pots -- haven't tried those yet.

        One other thing that I like about this place is the attention and care that they place on correct freezer temps and cleanliness (I noticed that they received a 100 score from the health dept.)

        1. re: Nancy Berry

          This place sounds great. I will check it out soon.....just googled it and here's the address:

          1426 Noriega Street
          (between 21st Ave & 22nd Ave)
          San Francisco, CA 94122

          Thanks Nancy!

          1. re: Dave MP

            Oops, sorry Cynsa, didn't see that you'd already posted the address :) Thanks for the tip about this place

            Dave MP

          2. re: Cynsa

            More like 20. They have 13 kinds of shui jiao (boiled dumplings) alone. They're more visible as "King of Chinese Dumplings" these days, and even have a useful website listing all their frozen wares and explaining how to cook them. No problem communicating with them in English, either.

            http://kingofchinesedumpling.com/

            1. re: Gary Soup

              And here's the English version of the website:

              http://kingofchinesedumpling.com/engl...

              I'm so glad that they are growing -- the couple who own this place are REALLY nice and their products are very high quality.

              1. re: Nancy Berry

                I know the storefront has been there for a while (at least 20 years) Are the owners new?

                Just to show you how nice they are. I didn't have enough cash with me when I visited them last, they let me walk out without paying! Going back this wknd to pay and buy XLB

                1. re: 美食者

                  The company has been there for 30 Years, according to the website. It doesn't make clear whether it has always been under the same ownership. I only found out about it a year or two ago, thanks to Chowhound.

                  1. re: Gary Soup

                    I believe they went through several changes in ownership during the last five years. The original store sold misc sundry chinese dried goods and the frozen goods were an adjunct to the store. The original owners sold to the people who made the dumplings in the back room. Then the last time I went, which was several months ago, I noticed that the people who run the place now were new and they are much more organized in their sales and marketing of the dumplings and other frozen goods. They're even advertizing in the Chinese newspapers. Now I see here that they even have a website. I think their dumplings are still very good but I kind of missed the innocence and home-cooked feel to the original "on-the-side" selling of their dumplings. I've lost tract of which of the owners, past ones or the current one, make dumplings for sale to restaurants.

                    Margret

                  2. re: 美食者

                    That is unbelievable in this day and age.

                    1. re: 美食者

                      very flavorful XLB but I've not master the art of steaming them without breaking the delicate skin and lose all the juice.

                    2. re: Nancy Berry

                      I am reviving this to say that we bought several types of dumplings from this place on Noriega and were extremely happy with the quality. I especially LOVED the steamed buns stuffed with minced mustard greens/shiitake/tofu. They were absolutely delicious and the proprietor is a sweetheart. He takes immense pride in their goods.

                      1. re: Atomica

                        i have only tried their freshly MADE-that-day dumplings so far. very happy with the outcome. Mr. & Mrs Li, the owners, are very nice people too. cooking instructions are in both English and Chinese on their website.

                        1. re: Atomica

                          We had the potstickers last night; still decent even though they've been tucked away in the freezer (our freezer, that is) for at least a month. I've been slowly working my way through their list; so far everything has been good but the wontons (Shanghai "du huntun" style) were the best so far.

                          A tip: If you want to haul the frozen dumplings across town on Muni (like I do) the big red insulated bags sold at TJ's for $1.99 work well at keeping them frozen hard for several hours.

                          1. re: Gary Soup

                            I am hoping to cook some of the potstickers tonight....do I put them into the wok while still frozen?

                            I haven't really cooked potstickers before and I'm not sure a rounded wok (which is what I have) would be best, although my only main other option is a cast iron pan which might not be good either.

                            I read the website and the instructions are vague (I assume they are meant for frozen dumplings?)....anyway, any advice or any links to cooking frozen potstickers would be appreciated.

                            Thanks
                            Dave MP

                            1. re: Dave MP

                              I just found this chowhound post. I am going to use Vicki's technique, and I'll report back

                              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/277346

                              Dave MP

                              1. re: Dave MP

                                I just finished my dinner of pork and cabbage potstickers from King of Chinese Dumplings and they were fantastic. Here is how I made them - got this technique from the homecooking board:

                                I took a medium non-stick pan and put in 3/4 inches of water, and 1 tablespoon of oil. I covered this and boiled it....once it was boiling, I put in the potsickers, flat side down. I put in 7 of them. Then I covered the pan for exactly 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, I uncovered the pan and kept it boiling on high until all of the water evaporated (this took about 14 mins)....once it evaporated, I turned the heat down a bit and let them fry for about 2 mins until i could see the bottoms browning. Then I took them off the pan with a spatula - they didn't stick at all.

                                i really like this filling; I found these way better than the boiled shrimp/pork dumplings that I've already tried from this place (this *could* be because they're fried :) ) The dough was perfect, I am really excited to know how to make these potstickers in such an easy and great way. Looking forward to trying the chicken and veggie ones too.

                                Dave MP

                          2. re: Atomica

                            I too have bought from this location before, last time I went was probably over 2 years ago. Today was a very rare occasion where I had to run an errand in the sunset area and wanted to stop by to pick up some dumplings.

                            I have no idea if this is a new incarnation of the store or not, but noticed that the dumplings offerings definitely have expanded as Gary mentioned.

                            The most offbeat shui jiao offering was the four seasons beans with pork, but decided not to try that or the pork and celery.

                            Stuck with the basics, one bag of chive and pork, and one bag of napa cabbage and pork. Cooked half the bag of the former earlier tonight, with my custom dipping sauce of garlic slices + soy sauce and several dashes of white pepper. This really hit the spot, perfect comfort food, and surpassed so many restaurant dumplings by far and makes Tong Dumpling Pot in SJ totally forgettable (to be polite). A bag of 22 for around the $6 to $7 mark, is a super bargain, considering a plate of 10 fresh in house made at a restaurant costs that much or close to it. A shame this place is quite a drive for me now, so I'll have to settle for Everyday Beijing in San Mateo or if I'm in the San Jose area, Hana restaurant (Japanese style Chinese but dumpling chef is from somewhere near the Sichuan area according to the owner).

                          3. re: Nancy Berry

                            Are all the varieties signed in English or should I bring a print out from the website as a cheat sheet? Thanks very much for the guidance.

                            1. re: bernalgirl

                              in the store, there is a list in English right on the first freezer. and Mr. Li speaks fluent English so he can help you with your selection as well.

                              1. re: azngrilla

                                When I've been there, it's always been Ms. Li (Lily) and she speaks excellent English too.

                                1. re: Gary Soup

                                  Thank you both, I'm looking forward to my first visit, mini cooler in hand, this Friday.

                                  1. re: bernalgirl

                                    if you like sweet red bean paste items, i just popped some red bean cakes in the oven from AAFC and out came a delicious sweet treat. flaky shell and not overly sweet red bean filling. wow!

                                    1. re: azngrilla

                                      They also make a more savory shredded lobok cake with a flaky shell (luobosi bing). Lily, the wife, is in charge of the pastries and the other "Shanghai Dim Dum." According to the web site, she claims to have been in charge of the cooks that worked for the Shanghai City Government making treats for visiting VIP's (or something like that).

                                      1. re: azngrilla

                                        i recently served a group of hungry high school kids dumplings from AAFC and everyone loved them! instead of boiling them i steamed them to retain more flavor (same method as XLB). they turned out fine. dessert was the red bean cake. a fine reward for a bunch of kids fasting for 30 hours to raise funds and awareness for African famine relief.

                                      2. re: bernalgirl

                                        Just wanted to echo for all the praise for this place. Mr. Li couldn't have been nicer, and the dumplings are delicious.

                                        I thought the wrapper on the boiled pork and chive dumpling looked a bit thick and gummy, but it was quite tender and the filling very flavorful. We got an assortment, still working through them, but already looking forward to our next visit.

                                        I inadvertently left my cooler on my garage floor and was delighted to find that Mr. Li sells the the TJs freezer bags Gary Soup recommends, same price as at TJs ($1.99) and so much easier than my boxy little soft-sided cooler.

                            2. re: Cynsa

                              Do they sell their dumplings anywhere else, either under their own name or another brand? If not, time for a pilgrimmage to the Sunset.

                            3. Shanghai Dumpling King, Balboa & 34th Ave., sells their boiled pork and chive dumplings frozen (unboiled, of course).

                              1. don't know of any in SF, but I'd love to know of some too!
                                Otherwise, my sources are:
                                1) Queen House, Mtn View on Castro
                                2) Grace Garden, Burlingame--best selection of frozen dumplings here!
                                3) Marina Foods (supermarket) in Cupertino has handmade frozen dumplings in their frozen food section. taste as good as a restaurant's!

                                1. thanks for all the info...the "Kingdom of Dumplings" is not too far from where i live, so i'm really really hoping that they're dumplings are good! my pet peeve is all the doughy dumplings out there that have thick skins, and fillings where you can't taste the ingredients! i'll make a trip over there this weekend...they said they're open 7 days, 8:30-6:30!

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: rcinsf

                                    good choice. bring cash. wrappers are made on the spot, i.e. home made. fillings are firm, hence more meat than vegies

                                    1. re: الشره

                                      They do have some with all-veggie fillings, it's useful to know as well. The staff is fluent and forthcoming enough to query as to whether they are really, truly vegetarian and/or vegan, I would also add.

                                      Love your screen name, by the way. Babylon translator (the free version) says it means "voracious", is that correct?

                                    2. re: rcinsf

                                      uh dumplings are supposed to have thick skins. esp the ones with handmade skins.
                                      japanese gyoza tend to be thin skinned.

                                      1. re: nianfong

                                        I would love to stop by Asian American Food Co tomorrow to pick up some dumplings, anyone know if they're open on Sundays?

                                        1. re: honu

                                          I think in one of these posts it says 7 days a week.

                                          1. re: wally

                                            Oh yes you're right, I just missed that! I will have to go in tomorrow and get some chive and pork dumplings.