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I tried 6 frozen dumplings and the winner is plump perfection

My No. 1 pick will forever be stocked in my freezer. I am addicted.

There is one thing I keep in my freezer to serve as a quick meal when inspiration fails me or I’m simply too exhausted to do something as easy as chopping garlic: dumplings.

The pleated parcels of meat and veggies, encapsulated by soft, slippery dough, are super satisfying and satiating. And the fact that they’re dippable is *chef’s kiss* for this sauce-obsessed boy.

Unfortunately for most of us, frozen options are quite limited (at least when it comes to mainstream grocery stores) and your best bet is to hit up a local Asian supermarket and go for what’s most authentic. But if time is of the essence (and why you’re microwaving dumplings in the first place), there are a handful of bags that you can add to your cart and toss in your freezer for that rainy day.

Here are six pork and veggie varieties, tested by yours truly, so you know exactly what to look for during your next trip down the frozen food section.

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6. P.F. Chang’s Pork Dumplings

TODAY Illustration / P.F. Chang's

I am unabashedly obsessed with P.F. Chang’s. I simply cannot get enough of the chain’s Northern-Style Spare Ribs, Chang’s Spicy Chicken and Mongolian Beef. Something I can get enough of, on the other hand? These frozen pork dumplings that taste shockingly bland and one-noted. They’re fine in a pinch, but nothing compared to a trip to the actual restaurant. Keep that in mind if you’re expecting any similarities because, frankly, there are none.

5. Ling Ling All Natural Pork & Vegetable Potstickers 

Best dumpling
TODAY Illustration / Ling Ling

I grew up on Ling Ling’s potstickers. Despite their way-too-thick wrapper, there is always an element of nostalgia that will make me love them forever. But I have to be objective for the sake of, well, science, and these, unfortunately, by frozen dumpling standards, will fall short compared to the four I ranked higher. And yes, while I could guzzle its signature dipping sauce on a daily basis, it didn’t make up for the fact that these came across as mass-produced and somewhat uninspired.

4. InnovAsian Pork Potstickers

Best dumpling
TODAY Illustration / Innovasian

These are 100% tasty and acceptable, but not memorable enough to earn a permanent spot on my weekly shopping list. I appreciated the garlic and ginger-forward notes, as well as the somewhat thinner casing (like a legit dumpling), but I wasn’t oohing and aahing after each and every bite. And when I consume dumplings, I want it to be a full-body experience.

3. Bibigo Mandu Pork & Vegetable Dumplings

Best dumpling
TODAY Illustration / Bibigo

Here is where things took a drastic turn for the better. Bibigo offers a dumpling that doesn’t skimp on the filling and boasts a thinner wrapper so it can crisp up when tossed with oil on a skillet. That said, my only gripe was that a few of these wrappers opened up and spilled its contents directly into the pan. This was not a fun way to eat them, but it sure as hell tasted good with its cabbage, leek and onion trio, so it got a pass.

2. Annie Chun’s Organic Pork & Vegetable Potstickers

Best dumpling
TODAY Illustration / Annie Chun's

Where Annie Chun’s excelled was its ingredient quality. Each delectable pouch tasted as if it was formed by hand using only the freshest of produce and pork. And while the bag was quite small for the price, I found it to be worth it. These also held up well in the microwave, which is great for the person on the go who doesn’t have the time, patience or interest in pan-frying or boiling them (aka me more often than not lately).

1. Trader Joe’s Pork Gyoza Potstickers

TODAY Illustration / Trader Joe's

I’d like to shake the hands of anyone on Trader Joe’s dumpling recipe development team because these, along with a handful of the chain’s other frozen dumpling options, are the best on the grocery store market (at least by American standards). They were plump, juicy and chock-full of meat with a subtle zing of ginger that woke up the taste buds but didn’t overwhelm. They were also delightfully salty, harmoniously balanced with a hint of sweetness from the dough and cabbage. Serve these with your favorite dipping sauce or, frankly, just a splash of soy sauce will more than suffice. I can’t get enough and it’s turning into a serious problem.