Friday, December 7, 2012

Rounding Out your Chinese Menu with Store Bought

Navigating the frozen food section of the Asian market is like back roads of Hong Kong. There are wonderful things there to augment your Chinese menu you were planning that you need not prepare yourself. If you are familiar with the product names and a few reliable brands that are sold in the USA it is helpful. If you have ordered from a dim sum menu, you will recognize these readily:

GOW GEE (Cantonese)  JIAOZI (Mandarin)wrapped Chinese Dumplings when pan stuck (aka potstickers) called GUOTIE or GYOZA in Japan
HA GOW (aka Har Gow, Har Gau)Shrimp Dumplings
SIU MAI (aka Siew Mai, Shu Mai)Pork and Shrimp Dumplings
CHA SIU BOW (aka Char Siu Bow, Char Siu Bao)Barbequed Pork Bun
CHŪN JUǍN (Chinese) - spring rolls

I am not advertising for brand name products but rather sharing brands that I can find in the Asian market with some degree of ease that I have tried and find to be superior or at least as good as one might find in a good Asian restaurant.
Wei Chuan USA is headquarter is located in Bell Gardens, California, and has many great ready to cook or pre-steamed frozen products including dumpling, gyoza, potsticker, wontons, mini bun, pan fry bun, entrée, noodle bowl, rice bowl, spring roll, egg roll, wrapper. “Through our 6 distribution centers, our customers can find our products in the markets nationwide.”

Products that I have tried include:

Wei Chuan Frozen Pork and Vegetable & Shrimp Spring Rolls (baked in the oven)

Wei Chuan Frozen Pork Vegetable Potstickers (fry-steam)

Wei Chuan Frozen Chicken Potstickers Pre Steamed  (fry-steam)

Wei Chuan Shu mai - Pork Shrimp (Dumplings) (steam)

Wei Chuan Pork and Vegetable Buns for Pan-Fry (or steam)

Wei Chuan Pork & Chinese Spinach Mini Buns  (steam)

Typically, a dim sum menu will offer several types of steamed buns. The most popular by my experience are sweet red mung bean, barbeque pork, and roasted pork buns. These are easily steamed in 10~15 minutes (the smaller they are the quicker they steam).

Most of these items benefit from a dipping sauce. I like both a sweet and sour sauce and hot mustard for spring rolls. A chile sauce combined with a little seasoned rice vinegar and soy sauce works well with Shu mai and potstickers.
Wei-Chuan Frozen Products

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