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Mar 20, 2009 12:42 PM

Frozen dumplings?

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.