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Frozen Dim Sum

szw May 16, 2012 07:41 AM

I read a post by Charles Yu a while ago talking about a lot of dim sum restaurants getting their dumplings from a supplier, frozen, and that they were actually pretty decent. There was no mention of where the supplier was though.

Anyone know places to get GOOD frozen dimsum to steam at home?


  1. T Long May 16, 2012 10:56 AM

    I would like more information on this too as a curiosity . Besides what has been posted on CH, I've been told by numerous persons that external sourcing of dim sum items by restaurants is an extensive practice in TO....that there is a range of quality being supplied (eg. higher end restaurants would source higher end stuff). However nobody could provide more details like where these operations are located and which restaurants are definitely outsourcing (info is almost urban legendish). I imagine certain items like sticky rice and chicken feet are easy to be outsourced, but things like steamed rice rolls would be more difficult.

    This would be separate from the frozen dim sum available at supermarkets (where I've yet to come across anything that I've deemed worthy of a repeat purchase). There is a strip plaza behind Very Fair Seafood at Kennedy & Finch that had a storefront selling dim sum including frozen, but I've not been there in a while.

    25 Replies
    1. re: T Long
      szw May 16, 2012 02:30 PM

      I picked some up from ah fong on highway 7. probably wont try it until a couple days though

      1. re: szw
        caitlink May 16, 2012 05:08 PM

        The tripe at ah fong is good. Very similar to what you would get at restaurants. There is a brand of sui ma that you can buy at supermarkets that is quite good. Not the cheap ones. I will find the brand and re-post.

        1. re: szw
          Charles Yu May 16, 2012 05:21 PM

          @ szw For GOOD, DECENT frozen Dim Sum, ' Dim Sum Food Co.,' at 21 Milliken Bvd ( Finch ), IMO is the best! ( love their Har Gow, chicken feet and won ton ). Not just the taste but also in the quality of ingredients used. Great value too!.You should also give some of their frozen entree dishes a try. My favourite is the 'Steamed Chicken with Chinese mushrooms' Love the way they apply and marinate the Chicken in the Chinese rice wine! On the whole, Ah Fong is not in the same league!

          There's a Shanghainese frozen dim sum place near Glen Watford and Sheppard whose pot-stickers are so good they actually supply a few 'fine' Chinese Dim Sum restaurants with them. Gorgeous chicken broth and lovely pork and veggie filling inside! ( from the mouth of the owner ). The 'English' name eluded me. I'll try to remember it the next time I go and post the detail on this board!

          1. re: Charles Yu
            eatereater123 May 16, 2012 07:09 PM

            Are there any decent dim sum retailers near the old Chinatown at Dundas and Spadina? I've tried every supermarket brand and also the ones sold 'cooked' at T&T and other places and have found them all universally terrible.

            1. re: eatereater123
              Charles Yu May 16, 2012 07:22 PM

              IMHO, T&T serves one of the most disgusting Dim Sum in town!!

            2. re: Charles Yu
              szw May 16, 2012 10:43 PM

              Thanks very much for the first tip, I will for sure give them a try.

              I will also look for the shanghainese one. Is it in the same plaza at "One Two Snacks"?

              1. re: szw
                haggisdragon May 17, 2012 12:40 AM

                There is a dumpling shop in that plaza. I wonder if it is the one Charles is talking about.

                1. re: haggisdragon
                  Charles Yu May 17, 2012 07:07 AM

                  Ref: Shanghainese place. Its the strip plaza anchored by a Chinese restaurant, NOT the one inside the indoor mall with a medical office!

                  1. re: Charles Yu
                    vil May 17, 2012 08:07 AM

                    Would it be this one?


                    Thank you for all the tips. I already gave up on finding decent, frozen dim sum a while back after having tried everything I could get my hands on. It sounds like there is something new worth trying now!

                    1. re: vil
                      Charles Yu May 17, 2012 03:14 PM

                      Yup! That's the one!!

                      1. re: Charles Yu
                        Herne Jul 20, 2012 11:49 AM

                        Went to Shanghai Dim Sum this am. Got some sumai and wantons for the weekend. No Har Gow available. Nice place but hard to find. Its in the most northerly west side plaza nominally on Glen Watford but you can't see the place from Glen Watford. A lot of signage in the area has no English or street numbers and that makes things no easier. Major construction on Shepard west of Midland. Should be a real mess on Saturday.

                        1. re: Herne
                          Herne Jul 20, 2012 01:37 PM

                          Should read--the most northerly East side plaza

              2. re: Charles Yu
                eatereater123 May 21, 2012 04:28 PM

                Charles - have you tried Golden Pinnacle Food at 63 Silver Star Blvd? It's literally around the corner from DSFC. I gather there's likely a bunch of these places in the area.

                1. re: eatereater123
                  Charles Yu Jul 18, 2012 03:52 PM

                  No, I haven't. I only try out new outfit based on recommendations from others. Too risky and a WASTE if quality of say pre-pack Pot Stickers are not up to snuff! Too yucky to eat them, too wasteful to throw them away!!

              3. re: szw
                szw May 16, 2012 10:47 PM

                The siu mai has a green pea at the top of each one. It looks so familiar...I am sure I've seen this at a restaurant recently but not sure which one. Of course, just because they both have a pea on top, doesn't mean it must be the same one.

                1. re: szw
                  miranda May 17, 2012 07:57 AM

                  Mothers Dumplings on Spadina S of College sells frozen dumplings handmade on site I've tried the mushroom and the chicken both great Miranda

                  1. re: miranda
                    eatereater123 May 21, 2012 04:22 PM

                    Thanks. I had forgotten about Mother's after they moved.

                  2. re: szw
                    EarlyDrive Jul 17, 2012 11:27 AM

                    The siu mail at Lai Wah Heen has a green pea. As you say, doesn't mean too much....

                2. re: T Long
                  vil May 17, 2012 08:16 AM

                  It will be nice to be able to locate this source, if it exists. Great idea for a quick meal at home.

                  There is a "higher end" brand found at some supermarkets I have tried, and their beef meatballs are reasonable.

                  1. re: vil
                    T Long May 17, 2012 10:44 AM

                    Yeah, the "urban legend" is that there are a number of these operations turning out boatloads of dim sum for most of the restaurants...somewhere in the wilds of Markham or Scarborough perhaps. No hint that they sell to the public though and no more details..... Talking about "Cantonese" dim sum specifically, not the N. China stuff as there are lots of frozen N. dumpling outlets around.

                    1. re: T Long
                      Asianfoodlover23 Jul 3, 2012 05:38 AM

                      What's the price of the pot stickers and how many in one bag?

                      1. re: Asianfoodlover23
                        baby_tran Jul 17, 2012 07:25 AM

                        Thanks for suggesting the Shanghai Dim Sum place. I bought the xiao long bao and the pork/leek dumplings. They were $11.50 for 50. At first I went in and the fridges were empty so thought they were sold out. The owner said because its so hot, he's had to store them in the chest freezers. They are very good. I swear the xiao long bao are the same as the ones sold at T&T at Woodbine/16 (18 dumplings for $6).

                        1. re: baby_tran
                          Asianfoodlover23 Aug 17, 2012 11:08 AM

                          Thanks Charles for telling us about this place. The xio long baos and pot stickers were excellent quality and with lots of soup. I just wish the wrappers were a bit thinner, but none the less I would highly recommend it. I will definitly pick up more when I come back to Toronto.

                          1. re: Asianfoodlover23
                            smfan Jan 24, 2013 04:57 PM

                            Thanks Charles. I had the XLB, turnip pastry, chives pastry, and black sesame glutinous rice ball. They are very good.

                            1. re: smfan
                              nevrenuf Jan 27, 2013 08:29 AM

                              there's a dumpling place in the same plaza that ambassador was in...right beside miyabi japanese...any input?

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