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Best places to buy frozen dim sum - Chinatown

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I have a lifelong hankering for Char Siu Sou, the flaky baked version of char siu bao. I've tried to find recipes, tried to make it myself using conventional puff pastry: no luck... ANYWHERE.

In Chinatown, at some of the dim sum places, I know you can pick up frozen steamed buns and siu mai, so you can take it home and make it 'fresh' yourself. BUT... does anybody know where to get frozen char siu sou? I'd prefer Chinatown in Manhattan but I'd journey to any of the outer boroughs if necessary.

As a distant secondary objective, does anybody have opinions on the best frozen dim sum in general? I DO get to dim sum frequently, but it's those off hour cravings I just can't seem to shake. (My personal bible is Andrea Nguyen's Asian Dumplings, but it's tough to muster the strength to whip up a batch of scratch made dumplings when the cravings hit at midnight or a lazy day).

Thank you!!!

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  1. Can't help you with the char siu sou, unfortunately. I don't think I've ever seen them frozen. Have you tried Deluxe Food Market on Mulberry? The other place I'd recommend is Golden Steamer, right across the street from Deluxe, but to my knowledge, they only carry bread buns.

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    Deluxe Food Market
    79 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

    Golden Steamer
    143 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

    3 Replies
    1. re: metaphora

      Actually, Oriental Garden will sell you frozen dim sum dumplings if you ask. Like you, I tend to get a hankering for dim sum at odd times of the day. Tasty Pulled Noodle also sells them, though it more along the lines of pork, vegetable, and chicken fillings. There are quite a few places that sell dim sum frozen, but they are also along the line of Tasty Pulled Noodle in terms of offerings. The owner of Vanessa Dumplings sells frozen dumplings in the Chinatown location.

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      Vanessa's Dumpling House
      118 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

      Oriental Garden
      14 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

      Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles
      1 Doyers St, New York, NY 10013

      1. re: lulumoolah

        Thanks to you both! I'll check all these places out.

        1. re: iprobeattoomuch

          I did a search using NYMag's site and this some of what I found. Actually, I did the search some time ago and I'm having problems finding some of the emails I sent myself.

          Super Taste (okay, came across an article in which Ruth Reichl mentioned that she was eating frozen dumplings she bought from Supertaste in Chinatown)

          Prosperity Dumplings
          Dumpling House

          Also, if there's a dim sum place you like, ask if they are willing to sell you some frozen or uncooked. That's what I did with Oriental Garden. I suspect other places will be willing if you ask. Lastly, the price you'll be charged will correlate to the menu prices, so don't expect too much of a deal because you are purchasing frozen dumplings. Don't want you to place 10 order of shrimp dumplings only to get sticker shock.

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          Super Taste
          26 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

          Oriental Garden
          14 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

          Prosperity Dumpling
          46 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

    2. Lastly, good luck and enjoy. Remember to purchase a bamboo steamer if you don't have one and some parchment paper to line the bottom of the steamer unless you want to go the cabbage or lettuce leaf route.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lulumoolah

        Thanks so much for the tips!! I have all manner of steamer as well as a killer Asian (Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese) pantry. This is the last piece to the puzzle. Thanks thanks thanks!