These Handmade Frozen Dumplings Are My Family’s Favorite Meal on the Fly

This impossibly perfect dinner comes together in a matter of minutes.

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August 24, 2021
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Ask any parent what they wish for most during the school year and I’m willing to bet a lot of them say the same thing that I do: a go-to dinner that checks off all the boxes. Quick. Easy. Satisfying. Family-friendly. And, why not add “handmade with nothing but real ingredients and tender, loving care” while we’re at it?

As I’m sure you can guess, a meal like that isn’t easy to come by. There have been a lot of nights that I’ve settled for something close, usually compromising when it comes to family-friendly or handmade — that is, until I started buying Xiao Chi Jie's frozen xiao long bao (soup dumplings).

The only word that comes to mind when I think about them is perfect. These little parcels of soupy goodness are made by hand so each one is exactly the same size (which means they all cook uniformly) and each and every one is sealed tight (no wonky, factory-made dumplings leaking their filling here!)

These delicious dumplings are the handiwork of co-founders Jen Liao and Caleb Wang, both second-generation Chinese Americans. Founded in 2018, XCJ is a celebration of Chinese food culture and aims to serve "best of its kind" food with top-notch customer service. The result is some of the most well-developed dumplings (seriously, the recipe went through 500+ rounds of R&D) delivered to your door in a matter of days.

Because so much care went into developing the recipe for these xiao long bao, they’re layered with savory flavors that will rival any homemade or restaurant dumplings you’ve had. Each bag comes with 50 frozen dumplings (that’s 3 meals for my family of 3) and costs the exact same amount per dumpling as if I were to order from my local takeout spot. Needless to say, they’ve become a staple in our freezer.

The dumplings cook up in about 10 minutes (once your water comes to a boil) which allows just enough time to whip up a quick-and-simple side. I’ve turned these xiao long bao into a filling dinner by serving them with everything from an easy smashed cucumber salad to veggies cooked in a simple stir-fry sauce. Add XCJ’s sauce trio (which comes with classic vinegar, chili crisp and their super popular umami sauce) and you’ve got a meal.

Each time I make these dumplings I’m rewarded with the satisfied sighs of full bellies AND a hearty round of thank yous for a delicious dinner, which means that this impossibly perfect dinner checks off all the boxes — and then some!

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