Turn frozen pork potstickers into a healthy, hearty soup

Back again from my weekly Trader Joe’s haul, and I just have to share one of my favorite life hacks for a delicious and protein-rich lunch that I serve my family at least once a week.

I lived in China for some time and, as so many expats do, fell in love with the cuisine. Probably every day, and for the American equivalent of a couple of dimes, I ate jiaozi: dumplings, usually containing ground pork with cabbage, wrapped in a thin rice paper and steamed or fried.

For years after returning home, I thought of them and could only find the really authentic type in the kind of Chinese restaurant that usually has lower Yelp reviews because the owner, being actually Chinese, doesn’t care a bit for American-style customer service.

Trader Joe’s sells the closest thing you’ll find to an authentic Chinese dumpling in an American grocery store (unless you find an Asian market that isn’t primarily Vietnamese). In the frozen section, you’ll find “Pork Gyoza Potstickers.” They can be steamed, fried, or microwaved, but this is how I prepare them to make an incredibly easy, nutritious, and cheap meal that everyone enjoys.

Note: The soup ends up a little ethnically ambiguous on account of the kimchi, which adds the cruciferous vegetables and probiotic fermented goodness that I like to include in every meal I can. I also add gelatin, as I am wont to do, for the protein and collagen that helps our bodies repair and build healthy muscle, skin, and hair. Sometimes I also add butter, ginger, or garlic, for similar reasons. This recipe is highly customizable according to the health concerns of you or your family. Go crazy.


5 tablespoons grass-fed beef gelatin (I love the Zen Principle brand)

1 cup cold water

1 bag of Trader Joe’s Pork Gyoza Potstickers

1 container (32 fl. oz.) organic free-range chicken broth

1 cup kimchi


  1. Allow your gelatin to bloom in the cold water.
  2. On the stovetop, heat chicken broth to a boil.
  3. Deposit dumplings. Boil for 2-3 minutes. Bring heat down.
  4. Add gelatin. Stir until combined.
  5. Add kimchi. Stir until combined.
  6. Enjoy! Serves four hungry people.

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