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Dumplings to cook at home?

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Stellar D Aug 2, 2009 01:40 PM

Since Super 88 in Allston seems to have things only occasionally... does anyone have an Asian market they can recommend that sells frozen pork dumplings? Like a big bag of them that I can store in my freezer and pull a few out to steam when the mood hits.

  1. b
    bakerboyz Aug 2, 2009 02:11 PM

    I know that this is likely to be total blasphemy and subject me to overwhelming ridicule, however, that said, I am a huge fan of a fairly new product at Trader Joe's: Mini Cilantro Pork Dumplings. I find the little suckers to be delicious and addicting!

    3 Replies
    1. re: bakerboyz
      z
      Zatan Aug 2, 2009 02:34 PM

      The TJ's dumplings (also the gyoza) are certainly better than some of the factory made crappy ones you can buy from the freezers in the Chinese markets (I'm often very scared of the meat they must use in them, less so of the TJ's ones though that's an uninformed feeling).

      That said, the ones at Wang's in Somerville are really good and I know you can find many many posts on others in the area. Some recent threads there if you do a search.

      Don't forget the Pelmeni you can find in many of the area Russian/East European markets, they can be good too (I've stuck with the meat ones, but there are interesting options like cherry, sauerkraut, potato. cheese...).

      1. re: Zatan
        peregrine Aug 2, 2009 04:08 PM

        Baza has a very good selection of frozen pelmeni (ravioli size) and manti (larger) with a variety of fillings. I prefer the manti because of the greater proportion of filling to wrapper.

        They also have their own fruit and cheese blintzes (in blini/crepes) as well as packages of blini if you wish to make your own fillings.

        1. re: peregrine
          BobB Aug 3, 2009 12:23 PM

          Just up the street from Super 88 in Allston is Berezka, which also has excellent pelmeni. They're in the freezer case just to your right as you walk in the door.

          A tip: Get the ones that are folded to a kind of fortune-cookie shape, not the ones that look like round flat ravioli. The latter have inferior quality filling and also tend to fall apart.

          -----
          Berezka International Food Str
          1215 Commonwealth Ave, Allston, MA

    2. galangatron Aug 2, 2009 02:23 PM

      super 88 usually has frozen dumplings. they might not have the particular brand you're looking for but they almost always have frozen dumplings

      you could also try c-mart in chinatown, kam man marketplace in quincy, or any of the small korean markets around town (reliable market, mirin, john's market, lotte market, etc)

      you can also buy a variety of frozen handmade dumplings at qingdao garden, wang's fast food, and mulan

      1. r
        rknrll Aug 2, 2009 02:26 PM

        Wang's on Broadway in Somerville. They are homemade and run around $13 or $14 for a bag of 50, I think.
        Not as cheap as mass produced Super 88 ones, but...homemade!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: rknrll
          n
          nader Aug 2, 2009 09:52 PM

          Have got to agree with the Wang's rec - I get a bag or three every time I visit with friends. Nothing like buying 150 dumplings on a full stomach!

        2. 9
          9lives Aug 2, 2009 02:55 PM

          Here's a link to a recent thread. If you scroll down, someone did an extensive tasting..

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/605629

          I prefer Wang's and Mulan used to sell their dumplings in bulk and were very good. I don't find Chinese Spaghetti Factory to be as bad as that poster. Certainly not up to some of the other places; but very convenient for me and I usually have a bag in the feezer for a quick snack.

          1. MC Slim JB Aug 2, 2009 03:51 PM

            Same here: Chinese Spaghetti Factory dumplings (notably the XLB) are always in my freezer. Most of the dumplings are better with a little pan frying, but if I'm in a hurry I will just steam them.

            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

            7 Replies
            1. re: MC Slim JB
              b
              bear Aug 2, 2009 04:11 PM

              Not to get too into homecooking, but theChinese Spaghetti Factory dumplings are also really good cooked in boiling water for a few minutes, and then pan-fried.

              1. re: bear
                MC Slim JB Aug 2, 2009 04:15 PM

                Hmm, wonder if that's easier than using my steamer and then frying them.

                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                1. re: MC Slim JB
                  b
                  bear Aug 2, 2009 04:48 PM

                  Give it a try. I was skeptical when my son told that it worked, but I like the ease and the results.

                  1. re: bear
                    s
                    Stellar D Aug 2, 2009 04:54 PM

                    Thanks for all of the advice everybody!

                    You can pan fry first, then add water and cover for 10 minutes on low, to finish steaming the dumplings. That way you are only using 1 pan as well!

                    1. re: Stellar D
                      z
                      Zatan Aug 2, 2009 05:11 PM

                      Or in reverse, add some oil and a couple of tablespoons water to the pan, cover, and steam....the water will absorb and the dumplings brown in the oil that remains.

                2. re: bear
                  k
                  Kenji Aug 2, 2009 05:30 PM

                  That's how I do 'em. I like the CSF dumplings as well.

                3. re: MC Slim JB
                  galangatron Aug 2, 2009 07:25 PM

                  chinese spaghetti factory make xlb?

                4. w
                  Wannabfoode Aug 2, 2009 07:37 PM

                  The Asian grocery on Washington St (between berkeley and herald st) has an entire wall devoted to frozen dumplings: they have pork, chicken, cabbage, shrimp and about 30 different kinds of each.

                  1. kobuta Aug 3, 2009 06:59 AM

                    I love dumplings, and prefer the ones I make, but when I'm feeling lazy I also enjoy the Chinese Spaghetti Factory dumplings, and find them good with a quick pan fry. Of the numerous other brands I've tried, I find I like the Wei Chuan the best.

                    I only fell upon these while browsing through C-Mart's frozen dumpling section, when an elderly Taiwanese gentleman saw me and urged me to try to Wei Chuan brand - apparently it's a well-known brand in Taiwan. I followed his suggestion and he was right. The filling was more flavorful, and dare I say juicier than the others.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: kobuta
                      galangatron Aug 3, 2009 09:44 AM

                      do you know where you can buy wei-chuan shandong style dumplings?

                      i used to buy them all the time up until about a year and a half ago when they mysteriously disappeared. kam man market used to carry them most often and super 88 had them on occasion. i never saw them anywhere else. i don't get to kam man market that often so it's possible they're still available there

                      1. re: galangatron
                        kobuta Aug 3, 2009 01:25 PM

                        I've seen them at the big C-Mart on Herald St (formerly Super 88) each time I've been in. When you first enter, the right hand side wall is their frozen dumpling section (after you walk past the veggies). You should find them there.

                        1. re: kobuta
                          galangatron Aug 3, 2009 01:54 PM

                          thanks!

                    2. a
                      Area Man Aug 3, 2009 10:03 AM

                      It is not a market, but Qingdao Garden on Mass. Ave in Cambridge sells excellent dumplings, frozen in bulk. They make them by hand on site.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Area Man
                        jgleeche Aug 3, 2009 06:57 PM

                        I'll second the recommendation for Qingdao Garden. I've ordered their bag of 50 frozen dumplings before for around $15 a bag. Pork and leek is my favorite.

                        http://jgleeche.blogspot.com/

                      2. z
                        Zatan Aug 7, 2009 06:47 AM

                        I stopped in at John's Market in Allston for some pork belly (they have some very nice meats for Korean BBQ there), and noted some dumplings in the freezer case I had not seen before.

                        I picked up a bag of "Meat and Cucumber" dumplings which sounded like a nice option for summertime. A 1lb 12 oz. bag costs $9.50, so they aren't cheap, but reading the package convinces me of the quality (or they just have good marketing). For one, it is dated, this one has a date of July 3rd on it. The filling consists of "fresh cabbage, pork, fragrant leeks, green oinion, and cucumber". They are smaller than typical Chinese dumplings. They are "quick frozen" and the package has many instructions for preparation, including boiling for 3 minutes, then cooling quickly in ice water. Nice little recipe for dipping sauce too. No msg.

                        Overall these are mild but pleasant tasting dumplings. The cucumber and other vegetables are distinct in the flavor, more so than the meat. I think I'd still prefer good jiaozi, but if you want to branch out a bit they're worth trying.

                        The name of he company seems to be simply CJ (though there is a lot of korean language that did not get translated on the package)

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