Wondering what Trader Joe’s dumplings are best? I’m breaking down all of the Trader Joe’s potstickers, goyza, and dumplings and rating them on a scale. Whatever you do, be sure to serve them as “dirty goyza” with a drizzle of Trader Joe’s chili onion crunch and maple syrup. (See below for instructions.)
Love Trader Joe’s? Check out my 22 MORE Trader Joe’s recipes + reviews here.
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Table of Contents
- What are Dumplings?
- How to Make Dirty Gyoza
- Trader Joe’s Pork Potstickers
- Trader Joe’s Chicken Potstickers
- Trader Joe’s Chicken Cilantro Mini Wontons
- Trader Joe’s Chicken Shu Mai
- Trader Joe’s Shrimp Dumplings
- Trader Joe’s Vegetable Dumplings
- Trader Joe’s Chinese Pork Buns
- Trader Joe’s Chicken Soup Dumplings
- More Easy Trader Joe’s Recipes + Reviews
- Turn a bag of Trader Joe’s groceries into dinner!
What are Dumplings?
“Dumpling is a broad class of dishes that consist of pieces of dough wrapped around a filling, or of dough with no filling. The dough can be based on bread, flour or potatoes, and may be filled with meat, fish, cheese, vegetables, fruits or sweets.” (Wikipedia)
Dumplings, potstickers, and gyoza…wondering what the difference is between them? Well, dumplings are the main category, and many different cuisines have their own forms of dumplings.
This review is specifically looking at Trader Joe’s potstickers, gyoza, and shumai. Potstickers are Chinese and gyoza are Japanese. In terms of dumplings Trader Joe’s…they use gyoza and potstickers interchangeably. The Shumai are a traditional Chinese dumpling and a different, smaller shape than the other dumplings.
And all of them have a filling that’s surrounded with a thin dough wrapper.
How to Cook Trader Joe’s Potstickers
You have a few options for how to cook Trader Joe’s potstickers. While the instructions vary based on specific item, the potstickers all can be steamed in a steamer basket, microwaved, or pan-fried.
Feel free to follow any of the Trader Joe’s dumplings cooking instructions, but if your’e wondering the best way to prepare?
PAN FRY! This will give you a combo of crispy and browned dumplings, while also being perfectly tender and steamed.
How to Make Dirty Gyoza
Once I tried the dirty gyoza, I haven’t looked back, it’s SO good.
Dumpling cooking tips:
- Use a nonstick pan – You don’t want your potstickers sticking!
- Use a large enough pan – Using a large skillet will ensure that they have room to brown and steam.
- Don’t move the potstickers while they are browning – Leave them undisturbed, until the end of the pan-frying stage.
What to Serve with Trader Joe’s Dumplings
I like to serve the dumplings with my own sauce, which is a mix of soy sauce and chili garlic sauce for a salty and slightly spicy dipping sauce. Add a splash of rice vinegar for a little acid.
But to really take it up a notch, serve them as “dirty gyoza” – a method I found out about in a Trader Joe’s facebook group. When the dumplings are done cooking, add some chili onion crunch and maple syrup to pan and toss to coat all of the dumplings. It’s slightly spicy and slightly sweet.
What are the Best Trader Joe’s Dumplings?
For years, I think I would have told you that I liked all of the dumplings!
But now that I tried them all again side-by-side? I have STRONG opinions.
The BEST dumplings are…Trader Joe’s pork dumplings! With the chicken dumplings coming in at #2, though you could probably argue that they deserve a tie.
More on what makes them the best below.
Trader Joe’s Pork Potstickers
These are my #1 dumpling from Trader Joe’s. The pork gyoza have a juicy and tender filling that’s super flavorful. If you like these, you’ll also probably like my ground pork stir fry.
Trader Joe’s Chicken Potstickers
The chicken version of tj gyoza are either tied for #1 or a very close #2! Just like the pork, the filling is juicy and flavorful, with great texture. (My ground turkey stir fry is similar!)
Trader Joe’s Chicken Cilantro Mini Wontons
These are similar to the chicken potstickers, but are smaller in size. Overall, these are a great option and I woudl rank them as #3. They are best pan fried, but I will microwave them for quick school lunches and toss them into a thermos with a splash of sesame oil to prevent sticking and soy sauce for extra flavor. I haven’t added them to my 100+ school lunch ideas yet, but I need to!
Trader Joe’s Chicken Shu Mai
I used to love the shu mai as they are designed to be microwaved and in that case make a super easy meal with minimal clean up. But again, when I sampled these side-by-side they didn’t impress me as much as they used to. Overall, they rank #4.
Trader Joe’s Shrimp Dumplings
The Thai shrimp dumplings from Trader Joe’s used to be my favorite, but after I had them side-by-side with the pork and chicken gyoza, they pale in comparison. They have great flavor, but the filling texture is sort of mushy and come in as #5.
Trader Joe’s Vegetable Dumplings
These are the same as the shrimp, the texture of the Trader Joe’s vegetable dumplings is just not great. Which is disappointing, because the flavor is great, and it would be a great vegetarian option. These come in at #6.
Trader Joe’s Chinese Pork Buns
So I’m not sure if they are technically a dumpling, but the pork buns are dumpling adjacent, so here goes.
I think they are OK. If you’ve had pork buns at a restaurant, they won’t really compare, but you can easily upgrade them with a drizzle of Trader Joe’s chili onion crunch, or adding some fresh veggies like thinly sliced radishes, cilantro, or napa cabbage.
Trader Joe’s Chicken Soup Dumplings
The chicken soup dumplings might be one of my FAVORITES, I just wish the trays were larger. They are easy to cook, insanely delicious (that broth!) and a drizzle of chili onion crunch is mandatory. TJ’s – can you make these in a larger size so it can be a meal?!
More Easy Trader Joe’s Recipes + Reviews
If you like this Trader Joe’s potsticker review, you might also like some of these other Trader Joe’s recipes and reviews:
- Trader Joe’s Orange Chicken in Air Fryer
- Trader Joe’s Chicken and Vegetable Curry
- Trader Joe’s Bool Kogi Rice Bowls
- Trader Joe’s Pollo Asado Quinoa Bowls
- Trader Joe’s Tikka Masala Lentils
- Trader Joe’s Curry Meatballs
Turn a bag of Trader Joe’s groceries into dinner!
Download your FREE 5-day dinner plan + grocery list.