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Ultimate Guide to Trader Joe’s Dumplings

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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.)

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Picture of Trader Joe's potstickers

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

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.

Nonstick skillet with potstickers

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.
Skillet with dirty gyoza potstickers

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.

Plate of dirty gyoza potstickers

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 gyoza potstickers

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!)

Package of Trader Joe's chicken gyoza potstickers

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 mini wontons

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 chicken shu mai

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 thai shrimp gyoza

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 Thai vegetable gyoza

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 Chinese pork buns

Trader Joe’s Chicken Soup Dumplings

My local Trader Joe’s was out of the soup dumplings…eeek! I remember loving these so I’m going to get them as soon as I can for an updated review.

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