Sunday, February 22, 2015

Green Curry Shrimp Gyoza

Trader Joe's has another hit on its hands with these crispy green curry shrimp gyoza ($3.99). I was intrigued by them from the moment I saw them, and even though they are on the pricier side for a frozen snack, they were too compelling to leave at the store. We've had them twice now for a light lunch, and they've quickly become one of our favorite products in the frozen aisle.

The box comes with 12 gyoza which have been pre-fried in palm oil and are ready to be popped into the oven. (I would not recommend microwaving them or anything like that because they would not get the crispiness that is so crucial to making these a winner. Use the oven.) They take about 16-17 minutes at 425 degrees to bake (you flip them halfway through), and then they're ready.

The crisp shells are filled with a combination of shrimp, shrimp paste, kale, green curry sauce, carrots, soy sauce, and more. If you've ever had the green curry simmer sauce from Trader Joe's (which is in our fridge but not posted about, of course), there's some similar flavoring inside the gyoza. The best things about the gyoza, in our opinion, are that the sauce, spice, and flavoring are at just the right amount and not overpowering, and that you can actually see, taste, and feel the individual pieces of shrimp and vegetables inside. The filling here hasn't been ground up into some unrecognizable paste. You can actually take out entire chunks of shrimp if you wanted to. That's fantastic and makes these so different from many store-bought gyoza.

I should mention that, back in January, we did try these once as a sample in the store, but it was after I had already purchased the first box of gyoza. They were serving bite-sized portions (maybe half or a third of a piece) along with their private label gyoza dipping sauce. If we had tried these in the store before purchasing, I doubt we would have gotten them. The flavor inside the gyoza just completely clashed with the dipping sauce and they didn't taste very good together at all. I'm sure there's some sauce that would go well with the gyoza, but it's not that one. We like eating them on their own, plain and straight out of the oven, and honestly, they don't need more than that for us. All the flavoring is right there in its own crisp little pocket and it's fantastic as-is.

Buy Again? Yes! Please, Trader Joe's, make this a permanent fixture in the Asian section, right next to the aloo chaat kati pouches.

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