Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Hottest Dumplings for Your Freezer


For those of you who watch TV and pay attention to commercials, you know that brands such as Stouffer’s, Healthy Choice, and Swanson sell frozen foods. As a kid, I could occasionally look forward to these brands' microwavable meals whenever both of my parents had to work late at night, and my mom, who is a health nut, insisted on these over the frozen pizzas or other microwaveable foods because of the variety within each package. As an adult, I have seen TV dinners evolve to try to lure more customers. A recent trend that I've noticed is “Asian” meals.

For those of you who regularly stock your freezers with boxes of ready-made meals or are just tired of takeout, you should check out Ajinomoto Frozen Foods products. With over 93 years of history in food manufacturing in Japan, Ajinomoto offers as authentically Japanese as a frozen meal in the U.S. is going to get. When I see the other companies trying to latch onto the Asian flavor trend by mystifying “sesame chicken” or “sweet-and-sour whatever,” I, as an Asian guy, have a hard time taking it seriously. My favorite is the Ajinomoto Donburi (Rice Bowl), which delivers a mouth-watering combination of meat, vegetables and savory sauce on top of rice, blending well into a delicious meal. This brand also has two different kinds of dumplings: gyoza and shumai, which can be fried or steamed.
Ajinomoto Frozen Foods covers all of my criteria of price, time, and taste in my book, and are worth checking out now that they are sold in the U.S. I don't know if you can find them in your local supermarket, but they will be at each of the JapanTown festivals with samples of their savory beef bowl dumplings, so you can come and check them out then!