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Foodstuff: Pork Potstickers – InnovAsian Brand™

InnovAsian Potstickers 01


I very much enjoy making my own dumplings but when I saw these commercially prepared frozen Potstickers in my local supermarket, I was curious to see what they might be like. This particular variety is produced by a company I have not heard of before called InnovAsian Cuisine and a visit to their website reveals that they do quite a number of similar Asian snacks and entrees. I don’t expect to be buying many of these on a regular basis, to be honest, but the Pork Potstickers definitely seemed worth a try… 


InnovAsian Potstickers 02


The cooking instructions on the reverse of the package provide for 4 different preparation methods; to wit: microwaving, pan-frying (which is the actual ‘pot-sticker’ method), and both steaming and boiling. I bought two packages (12 dumplings in all) and tried all 4 methods exactly as according to instructions. Curiously, the package fails to state whether one should thaw the dumplings before cooking but, as it did not specifically say to do so, I cooked them from the frozen state in each case.


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Microwaved – Normally, I wouldn’t bother with microwaving this sort of foodstuff but the package described this as the ‘preferred’ method and I was curious to see why. I ‘nuked’ them for the recommended 90 seconds (which actually seemed a bit short for frozen dumplings) and they ended up being piping hot all the way through. The wrapper, however was quite tough and chewy in places and I honestly can’t see why one would choose this cooking method over the others.


The pork filling (described as being seasoned with soy, ginger and garlic) is somewhat bland. You can definitely taste ground pork but little else in the way of flavor comes through. The dipping sauce, however (a ‘Chili-Ponzu’ sauce made by Kikkoman), is very good and my only complaint is that there not enough of it. The amount you see above is actually intended for all 6 in the package these dumplings came from. This is, to my mind, a bit chintzy…


InnovAsian Potstickers 04


Boiled – I boiled these for three minutes (as suggested) and the centers were still a little cold. Five or six minutes would be better… The wrappers, although just a bit ‘doughy’ were much better than microwaved and even the filling seemed to taste better for some reason. I served these with a sauce I made from chili past, vinegar and a little sesame oil and it went along side very nicely.


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Steamed – These ended up very much like the boiled version except that the recommended cooking time of 8 minutes heated the filling thoroughly. The wrapper was still a little doughy but not unpleasantly so.


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Pan-fried – This method turned out to be the best (somewhat to my surprise). The wrappers were very nicely al-dente soft and they lost the slightly ‘doughy’ texture and taste that marred the end result with steaming and boiling. The only thing I didn’t like was that the dumplings were just a bit greasy. I think this could be remedied by using half as much oil, decreasing the heat and cooking for a bit longer. Other than that, however, the method worked nicely.


Overall Verdict


I don’t expect to ever see store-bought dumplings that match home-made but these were better than I thought they would be. Microwaving them did not produce a good result, despite this being the ‘preferred’ cookery method, but the remaining cooking processes worked pretty well, especially pan-frying. I like my own dumplings much better but I have been served restaurant pot-stickers and boiled dumplings that were not as good as these…


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