Experience the pleasing crunch of an air fried dumpling with Trader Joe’s Vegetable Gyoza. Avoid deep frying and grease splatters all over your countertop with the breezy air fryer method. Bonus how to for steamed dumplings in the air fryer too!
The freezer section of Trader Joe’s is a gold mine of tasty meals. Unlike Whole foods that has a thousand vegetarian dumplings to choose from, Trader Joe’s just has one.
Other things that work well in the air fryer are tater tots and frozen sweet potato fries, french fries.
You could deep fry these dumplings but a healthier option is to use the air fryer. Other sides that work well in the air fryer are tater tots, french fries, and Trader Joe’s sweet potato fries.
- Why You’ll Like this Recipe
- Traditional vs. Air Fryer method
- What are Thai Vegetable Gyoza?
- Ingredients (no animal products)
- What didn’t work
- How to air fry TJ’s Gyoza
- Variation – Steamed Gyoza in the air fryer
- Top tip
- Related Air Fryer Recipes
- Menu Pairing
- Trader Joes’ Vegetable Gyoza – Air Fryer
- Food safety
- Fortune Cookie 🥠
Why You’ll Like this Recipe
- You don’t want to actually deep fry these dumplings to experience that crispy outer texture.
- You don’t want to clean up grease splatters from pan frying these dumplings on the stovetop.
- You love your air fryer and want to use it in as many ways as possible everyday.
- You need a quick after school snack where you can easily instruct someone else to actually cook it instead of you all of the time, every single day.
- You would like to eat dumplings at home but don’t actually want to take the time to make them from scratch.
- You are serving an Asian themed menu and need an easy appetizer to complete the menu.
Traditional vs. Air Fryer method
There are 3 traditional ways to cook dumplings.
- Steam or boil in water. This leads to soft skins, no cirspiness, but maybe the healthiest because there is no added oil.
- Pan fry, add water to steam, leads to a cripsy bottom edged with steamed top. Dumplings cooked in this method are also known as potstickers.
- Deep fry in hot oil, leading to crispiness all the way around.
The air fryer doesn’t really cook them in any of the above ways.
Instead it air frys them, and the texture is uniquely air fried. The result is a crispy, but heavy dumpling wrapper. The traditional deep fry method results in a lighter, crispier outer edge where the dumpling wrapper puffs up as it cooks. There is no puffing in the air fryer.
What are Thai Vegetable Gyoza?
Their official name is Thai Vegetable Gyoza which is slightly curious because gyoza is the Japanese word for dumplings, and dumplings in Thailand are an influence from Chinese cuisine rather than an indigenous culinary creation.
Nevertheless, I believe Trader Joe’s calls them Thai because they are ‘handmade in Thailand.’
My only guess as to why they call them gyoza is that they use gyoza wrappers instead of wonton wrappers; gyoza wrappers being slightly thicker. Wonton wrappers are thinner and used in Chinese preparations.
The vegetables are not specifically Thai but rather regular vegetable ingredients you could find in any cuisine.
Ingredients (no animal products)
There’s not too many scary ingredients in these frozen dumplings.
- White cabbage
- White Radish (this would be daikon)
- Green onion
- Soy Sauce
- Wheat flour
- Wheat starch
- Corn flour (also known as corn starch)
- Soybean oil
- Sesame oil
- Vegetable Powder (onion, cabbage, carrot, spring onion, maltodextrin, salt)
- Unbleached wheat flour
- Tapioca starch
- Palm Oil
What didn’t work
After testing 4 bags of these gyozas in the air fryer, here is what you don’t need to try at home.
- Avoid using a parchment paper liner. These work fantastically for reheating food that doesn’t need to be crispy and easing cleanup. But for food, like these gyoza, where you want maximum air flow around as much surface area of the food as possible, avoid using the liner. Luckily, these gyoza don’t make a mess in the air fryer basket.
- Do not add oil. You don’t need to add oil or spritz these little guys with oil to make them golden brown and crispy. They’re already coated with the thinnest layer of oil. I found that adding oil just made them greasy.
- You don’t need to prick with a fork. The one problem the air fryer poses is overheating the filling such that it overheats and explodes. It’s not cute but still edible. Pricking with a fork beforehand to allow steam to escape didn’t help keep them from exploding.
- You don’t have to preheat. I tried preheating and not preheating by just sticking the the gyoza into the air fryer and turning it on. There was no noticeable difference in crispiness whether the air fryer was preheated or not.
- You don’t need to flip. Flipping the gyoza. I found this didn’t make much difference to creating a crispier dumpling.
- Don’t go higher than 350 degrees F. At 375 degrees F, the gyoza burned or exploded. The air fryer should be hot but not too hot. 350 degrees F appeared to work best.
- Don’t try cooking the whole bag of dumplings. They end up touching each other, minimizing air fly around each one, and the result is crispy spots and soggy spots.
How to air fry TJ’s Gyoza
Time needed: 20 minutes
- Spread out gyoza.
Make sure the gyoza are not touching each other. You want to maximize as much air flow as possible around each one. I put in 9 dumplings in the Instant Pot Vortex XL air fryer.
- Air fry for 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees F.
I found the sweet spot to be 13 minutes for 9 gyoza.
- Cool for 5 minutes.
These are so hot and steamy. You may burn your mouth if you try to eat them right away. Let them cool down first, and they’ll still be plenty hot when you take that first bite.
- Serve by itself or with your favorite dipping sauce.
I dipped them in a mix of equal parts soy sauce and rice vinegar with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. These would also taste great with sweet chili sauce.
Variation – Steamed Gyoza in the air fryer
Another great option is to steam these gyoza/dumplings either using a bamboo steamer basket over a pot of simmering water.
But, it is also possible to steam gyoza in an air fryer by making a foil packet of sorts, adding a little bit of water, and then closing it up to cook in the air fryer.
Step #1 – Create foil basket
First, spread out 9 gyoza in the center of a 19 inch long piece of aluminum foil. Place in the air fryer basket. Fold up the excess foil as needed so that it fits in the basket.
Step #2 – Add water
Pour a 1/4 cup of water into the center of the foil basket you’ve created. Scrunch the edges of the foil basket together to seal it as much as possible.
The water trapped inside will steam and cook the gyoza. If the foil is not completely sealed, hot air will flow inside and dry out the edges of the gyoza.
Step #3 – Air fry at 350 degrees F
Air fry at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes. You can open up the packet to check on them. You’ll know they’re cooked when the wrapper takes on a translucent appearance.
Will they stick together?
Because the gyoza are coated with a thin layer of oil, they do a pretty good job of not sticking together too badly in this steaming method. Though you may need to gently pry a few errant ones apart if they do stick.
These dumplings went from frozen to cooked, so I wouldn’t stick them back in the freezer after cooking.
Plan to consume the dumplings the same day. Any leftovers can be wrapped up and put in the fridge. The general flavor of the food does start to deteriorate with each passing day, so plan to consume as soon as possible.
You can reheat them in the air fryer, but they won’t be quite as crispy as when they were first cooked.
Be prepared for dumplings that have exploded. Sometimes the heat and steam in the filling gets so hot, it forces its way out causing the dumpling to crack.
I tried pricking these with a fork before cooking to prevent this, but it didn’t make much difference.
Just take care not to overcook, and be prepared for imperfection.
They are vegan. The filling is made of vegetables including cabbage, carrot, onion, garlic, soy sauce, and vegetable powder, while the wrapper is made with wheat flour, tapioca starch, water, and palm oil.
The instructions say these gyoza should be steamed for 7-10 minutes. If you prefer to boil, drop in boiling water and gently simmer until the gyoza float to the surface which should take 5-7 minutes.
Three pieces are 160 calorie which makes one serving. The package states there are 5 servings or 15 pieces, but the packages I used had 18 pieces of gyoza.
Gyoza are Japanese and use a thinner wrapper. They are generally deep fried or steamed. Potstickers have a thicker wrapper and are pan fried. They generally refer to Chinese dumplings.
You can airfry them but know that the outer layer is air fried rather than deep fried. The texture is not quite the same but still has a pleasing crunch without the mess of deep frying at home.
Related Air Fryer Recipes
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with [this recipe]:
Trader Joes’ Vegetable Gyoza – Air Fryer
- 9 ea Trader Joe's Vegetable gyoza See Note 1
- Spread out the gyoza in the air fryer basket. Do not use a paper liner or foil so that air can flow underneath the gyoza. You also don't need to add any extra oil to the dumplings.
- Air fry for 13 minutes at 350 degrees. You do not need to flip the gyoza halfway through or preheat the air fryer.
- The gyoza should be crisp and lightly golden brown. You can cook for few minutes longer if more crispiness is desired. However, the dumplings will burst if the filling gets too hot.
- Serve hot but not too hot. Let them cool for about 3-5 minutes to allow the filing to cool down before taking that first bite.
- The whole bag of Trader Joe’s gyoza will fit in the air fryer. But they end up all touching each other, and the spots unexposed to air flow won’t get crispy.
- . Fit a roughly 19 inch long piece of foil in the air fryer, allowing the foil to fold up the sides of the air fryer to mimic the shape of the basket.
- Lay in 9 gyoza in the center of the foil, spreading out as much as possible.
- Add 1/4 cup water.
- Seal the edges of the foil together, so that a triangular shaped dome is created. The edges should be sealed to minimize hot air from flowing in and drying out the edges of the gyoza. The water inside the foil will help steam and cook the gyoza.
- Air fry for 13 minutes.
- Carefully open the foil packet allowing steam to escape. The gyoza wrappers should be translucent indicating they are cooked through. If not, seal up the foil and put back in the air fryer for a few minutes longer until cooked through.
- Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for more than four hours.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove.
Fortune Cookie 🥠
Well done is better than well said.Benjamin Franklin