Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas Dumplings

Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer for December had tons of new appetizers and frozen items that we had never seen before but sounded exciting. Chocolate raspberry tamales, shrimp toasts, tomato tiropita, so many new options! One that we knew we definitely wanted to try were these sriracha seafood potstickers with shrimp and crab ($3.99 for 12 potstickers). They looked so festive for Christmas in their red and green colors. There was a time when I used to buy all the holiday themed ravioli from Costco (like the colored shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day), so getting these was kind of a no-brainer.

We paired the dumplings with an Asian slaw (from this challenge) for a nice light dinner. One box of dumplings would definitely not have been enough (for either of us) for a full meal (the whole box was only 360 calories). Each potsticker had the same filling, no matter which color the wrapper was. (The red (more pink than red, really) dough got its color from beetroot juice and the green dough from spinach juice. Appreciate the natural colorings.) The filling consisted of the main ingredients of shrimp, "salad dressing," clear mung bean noodles, crab meat, and water chestnuts, along with seasonings that included sriracha powder, garlic powder, cilantro, mustard, and white pepper. (It isn't entirely clear which of those seasonings are part of the sriracha powder and which ones are there on their own as there is an unmatched parenthetical in the ingredient list that makes it very confusing.)

Although the box gave instructions for pan-frying and steaming, we opted to boil them because it was easier for us. Seemed fine. When I first saw the insides of the dumplings, I thought they were going to taste a little bit like the seafood mandoo we got over the summer. We liked the flavor here a little better, in part because of the heat. The shrimp and crab flavor was definitely there, but it wasn't an overpowering seafood flavor. It was nicely balanced by all the seasonings and the spice, giving it a sort of a "spicy-tangy-slightly-sweet" flavor profile (to take the description from TJ's blog). The spice level was relatively mild, but we liked that there was at least some heat to it.

Buy Again? Sure. These dumplings were pretty good and a decent price.

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