I've seen these packages of Gyoza in the 99c only Store frozen deli case for some time now, but was wary to give them a try, until now. Boy, am I glad I finally broke down and shelled out 99.99 cents for this 7 ounce package of Vegetable & Chicken Potsticker/Gyoza by Tasty Select. This is a fantastic Deal of the Day -- no sense wasting time here with my rating. On a scale of 1-9, 9 being best, these Japanese style dumplings get a perfect 9! And they're wife tested and approved (she requested I pickup more packages on my next 99c only Store trek.)
The Gyoza are plump, tender, and very flavorful. Strands of sliced cabbage are threaded through ground chicken to add crunchy texture. I guess if I wanted to complain, that is the only vegetable I could discern. On the package the vegetable ingredient list includes onion, garlic and soy bean -- I could taste a little garlic. Since "vegetable" is listed first on the package, I was expecting more of a balance.
I do have a quibble with the cooking directions though. It calls for steaming them in water so they don't stick to the pot or pan. This defeats what makes Japanese potstickers different from Chinese dim sum dumplings: for Gyoza you want to lightly brown the tender wheat flour wrappers for the extra caramelized color and flavor. (And obviously, as the package photo shows, the Gyoza are mainly sauteed to get that color.)
Since it takes about 10 minutes to brown them on a couple of sides, that is plenty of time to heat them through, even when added to the pan fully frozen. The main thing is to add a tablespoon of oil (or cooking spray) to the pan so they do not stick. (There may be some wrapper tearing, but it's not too much -- the chicken and veggie stuffing is not mushy, so it won't spill out.) They just taste so much better sauteed than steamed -- just my preference. Of course, you can follow the package directions for steaming.
This is a great Deal of the Day, and when you serve them at you next cocktail party you can say you got them from Trader Joe's -- go ahead, I won't tell anyone.
And as a bonus, here is a Gyoza dipping sauce (it's a delish all-around sauce) recipe for you.
Gyoza Dipping Sauce (for about 10 Gyozas - double amounts if needed)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce - I like low sodium (salt.)
- 1 teaspoon vinegar - usually rice vinegar, but any you have will do.
- 1 teaspoon oil - usually sesame oil, but again any will do.
- Pinch of favorite sweetener - optional
- Pinch of red pepper flakes for heat - optional.
Just whisk it all together in a small bowl, just before serving Gyoza (oil and vinegar tends to separate when left alone for a while -- or keep dipping sauce in a container with a top, so you can shake it up.). Once Gyoza are bitten open they will soak up the dipping sauce much better.