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Frozen dumplings?

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I'm not sure if this is the right board but I'm wondering if any CH has a recommendation for a good brand of frozen dumplings. I'd like to have some on hand for soups, snacks etc. I recently bought the "Kimbo" brand at 99 Ranch and found them to be tasteless. There wasnothing to them. I realize the fresh ones are incomparable but not always easily accessible. There has to be some brands better than Kimbo. Also would like to know what brands of instant noodle/ramen bowls people prefer. I know there have been posts in the past regarding this subject but I didn't write down any brand names. I appreciate any ideas.

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  1. Actually the better alternative is to buy them direct from the restaurants. You get a higher quality product for a good price. Hopefully other Hounds can tell you which of the San Gabriel Valley dumpling restaurants you should be buying from as many, though not all will sell them frozen uncooked.

    1. We've become semi-addicted to the Ling Ling brand at Costco (SoCal anyway). We've tried preparing them several ways but settled on boiling, then coating with light oil and broiling. When you boil them they plump up to about 30% larger than their frozen size. My wife loves them dipped in Ponzu and I prefer the sauce that comes in the bag. Yum!!!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Midlife

        I also like the Ling Ling potstickers but I recently had a weird experience with them. I opened a new bag and it looked like the inside of the dumplings had turned a brownish-gray. Usually I can't really see the filling through the wrapper when they're frozen. The bag also smelled a little funky. Out of curiosity, I cooked a few so that I could cut them open and the inside looked fine, no accounting for the funky brownish color on the outside. This bag was frozen the entire time it was in my possession and was not old. Is it possible they went bad? Have you ever had this happen Midlife (or anyone else)?

        Otherwise, I've always enjoyed the chicken and vegetable Ling Ling dumplings.

        1. re: abeane

          Never had that happen, but I'm not sure I would've eaten them myself.

          I'm thinking the responses to this topic are a real example of what Chowhound is all about. Someone asks about a frozen food product and even instant noodles (supermarket stuff) but gets a bunch of responses about where to get the REAL THING. I hope, for their sake, the OP lives near someof those sources.

          This post is making me wish I still worked in Pasadena or Monrovia. It's been 10 years now but the SG Valley was wonderfully close compared with San Clemente, where I am now. Oh, well..........

        2. re: Midlife

          To simplify your steps, just oil the pan, arrange your frozen dumplings fat-side-down in a single layer, then almost cover everything with water. Turn your stove to max and cook until all the water cooks off and the bottom browns. You can grab a large plate and flip them over all in one mass for a nice presentation, as well.

          Simple, relatively quick, and minimal clean-up!

          1. re: huaqiao

            Always do mine in a steamer. Shoot some "spray grease" all over the floor of the upper part (that's if it's metal, like mine), cover it with your dumplings. Bring about an inch or so of water to a boil in the lower pan, put on the top pan (covered, of course) and steam for about twelve minutes. We have these for breakfast along with scrambled eggs (fun to eat with chopsticks!). I make a dipping sauce with equal parts Tamari and the thicker black Chinese soy sauce, some sweet hot chile sauce and grated ginger. Gyoza and/or mandu, shu mai, har gao, miniature pork bao are our favorites. 99 Ranch is okay, but I find more variety at the Arcadia Supermarket on Duarte, around the corner from Din Tai Fung, or the San Gabriel Superstore at SG Blvd. and Valley.

            San Gabriel Superstore
            1635 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

        3. I recently enjoyed a visit to Luscious Dumplings in San Gabriel. In my post, someone brought up the issue of frozen dumplings. According to seriously knowledgeable poster Ipsedixit, most, if not all of these dumpling shops sell at least some of their dumplings frozen in plastic bags. Ipse has serious Chowdar - I wouldn't be surprised to see him post sometime soon on this thread. Here's the thread that I originally posted about a month ago:


          If you're anywhere within reasonable distance of the San Gabriel Valley, that's where I would head to. I already mentioned Luscious Dumplings, but Dumplings 10053 and 101 Noodle Express are great places for dumplings as well.

          Another "dumpling" you might consider is xiao long bao. Assuming Ipsedixit finds your post, he will expand on the misnomer given to this soup "dumpling." Whatever the case, it might be worth asking around at places like Mei Long Village, Dragon Mark and J&J in San Gabriel as well. Here's a recent post by exceptional poster Thi N. where he poetically expands on the subject:


          1 Reply
          1. re: bulavinaka

            Yeah, most places like Luscious Dumplings, 10053, Mandarin Deli, Dumpling House and Dumpling Master, etc. will all sell you frozen dumplings.

            The key is -- esp. if you want to buy in large quantities -- is to call a few days ahead of time so that they can prep them for you.

            It may be a tad more expensive to order them from a restaurant, but they'll beat anything you'll find off the grocery store shelves.

          2. I'm quite fond of the frozen dumplings from Ma Ma's Kitchen on New Ave. between Valley Blvd. and the 10 Fwy. They've got several types and all of them have been among the best frozen dumplings I've found. Even their frozen XLB are reasonably good when I just don't feel like driving out there for a quick lunch or something.

            1 Reply
            1. re: estone888

              Great SGV treasures are revealed on this board so regularly - it makes me consider moving out to this area. But I'd probably be 50 pounds more overweight than I already am. Thanks for the tip!

            2. If you're in OC, Anna's Mondu on GG Blvd. between Brookhurst and Magnolia will sell you frozen dumplings, and they're very good.

              1. There are a couple of ladies selling huge, delicious homemade meat, clear noodle and chive-filled Korean mandu near the cellphone guy in Glendale H.K. Market. Buy a bag, fry 'em, steam 'em or make Mandukuk. Mmm. Hey, gyoza, mandu, "potstickers" are getting pretty expensive. H.K. is on Pacific just south of Glenoaks. Me? I'm usually sitting out front near the Coke machine or else I'm across the street at Paris Baguette blogging and tweeting. So there.

                1. Don't forget Mama's Lu Dumplings at 153 E. Garvey in Monterey Park. They got started selling frozen dumplings out of their house and had to open a restaurant to satisfy the demand.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Chandavkl

                    Went there for dinner tonight and every 5 minutes someone was coming in to buy bags of frozen dumplings to go. Think they were packaged 50 to a bag and the prices were $9-$13 a bag. They have so much frozen dumpling business they have a big deep freeze right behind the register.

                    Mama's Lu Dumpling House
                    153 E Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91755

                    1. re: monku

                      Yes, they make the best thin-skin wontons.

                      I also like Qingdao Bread Food's fish dumplings.

                      1. re: fdb

                        for me, Qingdao bread food's best dumpling is the "Lu jiaozi" (?) which are somewhere between pan fried (jian jiao) and baked, = browned in a pan. Really good.

                  2. For a store-brand, Ajinomoto sold at Japanese markets (Mitsuwa) are great potstickers. They are the variety that says no oil required. They basically are frozen with a layer of fat or oil on the bottom, follow the directions and you have crispy and carmelized brown postickers, yummm!

                    1. if you are talking about potsticker type dumplings, you might find this interesting
                      sf chronicle did a taste-off of various frozen brands, including some done at asian reataurants, or sold at 99 ranch or similar type markets. the winner--trader joe's!

                      1. anyone know if 101 noodle express sells frozen dumplings?? i'm having ppl over tomorrow for dumplings and need large quantities. thank you neta for posting this cuz i was gonna post it soon. ;)

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: lakeshow318

                          Love there stuff, please post if you find out. Wish they sold those beef rolls frozen and that they held up, don't think they would hold up.

                          1. re: lakeshow318

                            they sell frozen - 50 per order. And of course, food to go. YOu can just steam or quickly parboil their regular dumplings to reheat. But just to heat.

                            1. re: Jerome

                              thanks, i just called them and ordered my 200 dumplings. ;) they were very nice and spoke surprisingly good english.

                              1. re: lakeshow318

                                So, what did you order and how much were they?

                          2. Hwang Hae Do specializes in mandoo, the Korean dumplings. They have a white freezer just to the left of the door as you enter and normally have at least a couple of types ready to go in bags.

                            429 N. Western (just north of Beverly Blvd.)

                            1. I know it was mentioned as the taste-test winner a couple of posts up, but for convenience and value, you can't beat the one-pound bags of frozen gyoza type potstickers sold in the freezer case at Trader Joe's for just a few bucks. They come in pork, shrimp, and chicken flavors. They can be fried and steamed like potstickers, but they can also be boiled in broth or even microwaved and they come out ok. Yep, I sometimes do the homemade kind where I lovingly chop the garlic, grate tons of ginger, and mix with pork and beef and carrot and scallion and all sorts of other stuff and painstakingly form the little packets with storebought skins -- after frying and steaming and saucing you can barely tell the difference, and the homemade ones actually turn out to be considerably more expensive.

                              1. At 99 Ranch, my preference is the Wei Chuan brand of frozen pork mini buns along with my homemade dipping sauce. For instant noodles, I like the IndoMie brand, especially their "chicken flavor," supplemented with fresh mixed chopped veggies.

                                1. I'm also a Ling-Ling fan.

                                  I once had an ongoing contact with the company when I was trying to get my local Von's to carry them. They sent me a large bottle of their dipping sauce which was great.

                                  To my knowledge, all Von's carry them now. I do the classic browning on bottom, then steaming and the always turn out great.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                    Hi Silverlake, after browning the pot stickers, add a pinch of flour to the water to steam the pot stickers. The flour adds an extra crispy glaze to the bottom of the pot stickers.

                                    1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                      I enjoyed the Ling Ling, but found the occasional piece of gristle annoying. Try the Gyoza brand potsticker you get at Mitsuwa. And for that matter - go for the chicken. I didn't particularly like the taste of the shrimp.

                                      Seven of these makes a good snack - and only 190 calories.

                                    2. Thanks for all tghe great info. I'm ashamed to say that I do live in the San Gabriel Valley but wasn't aware that I could purchase these little gems frozen from the so many great restaurants. I am going to try all these recommendations (not all at once tho' I probably could!!)

                                      1. i got the frozen dumplings at dean sin world and they were amazing

                                        Dean Sin World
                                        306 N Garfield Ave # 2, Monterey Park, CA

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: echoparkdirt

                                          this, how did it take so many posts to get here?

                                          50 pack for 15 bucks or so.

                                          1. re: ns1

                                            echoparkdirt, good to hear. I recently bought a bag of XLB at Dean Sin World - 50 for $14.

                                            Dean Sin World
                                            306 N Garfield Ave # 2, Monterey Park, CA

                                            1. re: ns1

                                              i paid $13.50 for a pack of 50 xlb at mama lu a few weeks ago.

                                              1. re: ns1

                                                I only paid $10 for a bag of 50 leek and pork dumplings this past Sunday.

                                            2. DTF sells frozen dumplings. My friend bought them last weekend and said as long as you have a steamer and some cabbage leaves they come out beautifully. If you live in the area this would be a great option.

                                              9 Replies
                                              1. re: js76wisco

                                                Ahem ... DTF sells frozen Xiao Long Bao. Not, ahem, dumplings.

                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  The ol' Xiao Long Bao, dumpling issue :-) Concur ipse.

                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                    Does DTF sell frozen versions of their real dumplings, as opposed to the XLB, a.k.a. over there as juicy dumplings?

                                                    1. re: Chandavkl

                                                      Don't believe so, but never asked.

                                                    2. re: ipsedixit

                                                      are we defining only jiaozi as dumplings?
                                                      do har gow count? i coudl never figure this out...

                                                      1. re: Jerome

                                                        Some of us are so crass and ignorant as to refer to any food item consisting of a boiled or steamed dough of any sort enwrapping an edible core of any sort (or in some cases no core at all, just more dough) as a "dumpling". I count myself among these benighted souls. Anyone finding fault with that is perfectly free to do so, as I am perfectly free to ignore their objections.

                                                        XLB falls within my definition of a dumpling, and frankly I don't give a hoot whether its original makers called it that or not, or whether anyone else does. It's a ball of dough with stuff inside: end of story. Same with shu mai, har gow, gyoza etcetera.

                                                        The one departure from the above definition is the English and European baked dumpling, most especially the apple dumpling. But it's the Asian varieties we're mostly concerning ourselves with here.

                                                        1. re: Will Owen

                                                          as well, simple flour and water and egg dough, boiled in small bits are called dumplings, niblets, etc.

                                                          1. re: Jerome

                                                            Yes; chicken and dumplings is made with what amount to boiled biscuits (the kind I make), biscuit-dough strips cooked like noodles (common in the Carolinas), or just shreds of egg noodle. But all are referred to as dumplings. And all quite happily edible.

                                                            1. re: Will Owen

                                                              and to stay chinese oriented, not that different from shanxi style noodles - the knife cut (daoshao mian) and the cat's ears (mao erduo). or spaetzle.

                                                  2. from the korean grocery stores, i like the morningwell brand. pretty much any of them have been good.