I love Trader Joe’s. I have an undying affection for the kooky, nautical-themed grocery chain. And I would estimate that of the 200% of my love that I give Trader Joe’s, about 50% of that is allocated to TJ’s frozen gyoza.
If you’re someone (like me) who is always looking to get great tasting, not-super-unhealthy food at extremely low prices, you HAVE to try these Trader Joe’s dumplings. They have swooped in, streamlined my weeknight dinner planning, and changed my life.
Are the gyoza particularly authentic? No. So, what’s so special about them? Like, ten million things but here are seven:
1. They are frozen and can therefore effectively last forever, like Captain America.
2. You can have dinner ready in 10 minutes with minimal effort and end up with only one dirty dish. Whether you boil, steam, pan-fry, or air fry, there’s minimal dishification.
3. They come in two very good varieties: Chicken Gyoza Potstickers and Pork Gyoza Potstickers. (They have some others but these two are the CLASSICS and the only ones I will endorse. I’m talking clear package, red or blue label only.)
4. They are CHEAP. They cost under four dollars, you guys. In this economy! And they used to cost even less!
5. There’s a lot of ‘em in a package (like 21-ish). That’s three meals for just over a dollar each. [Editor’s note: Seven dumplings does not constitute a meal, Jessica. Maybe an appetizer.]
6. They come from Trader Joe’s (instant bonus points).
7. They’re good. They are juicy and chewy and full of pork or chicken, cabbage, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and scallion—positively bursting with delicious umami flavor.
I’m not saying these are a substitute for restaurant dumplings or homemade dumplings (please try making dumplings at some point in your life if you haven’t already; there’s nothing like making dumps with friends), but if you don’t have a couple of hours to fold a bunch of meat into tiny sacks, or you don’t live near an Asian grocery store, TJ’s dumplings will definitely scratch that dumpling itch.