Taste Test: Gluten-Free Dumplings from Feel Good Foods

Categories: Gluten Free

packagingPORK (1).jpgDespite the recent explosion in availability of gluten-free products, Chinese dumplings have remained largely off limits for those with gluten intolerance -- until now. Feel Good Foods, a San Francisco-based company, is manufacturing and selling a line of gluten-free, frozen dumplings.

Out of the four varieties (pork, chicken, vegetable, and shrimp) of potsticker-style dumplings, we favored the pork. Reminiscent of what you might find at a reputable Chinese restaurant, the filling is seasoned with just the right amounts of ginger, scallion, and garlic. The rice-and-potato-based dough was thicker than a traditional wrapper made with wheat flour. When cooked properly, it had great texture and chewiness.

The cooking instructions are quite particular, and we urge you to check out the company's video instructions before attempting your first batch, or you might end up with a sticky, gooey mess. SFoodie also found that steaming the dumplings and then pan-frying in oil produced great results.

Co-owner Vanessa Phillips worked as a server at NYC's Punch restaurant, but she rarely ate the staff meal prepared by Sous Chef Tryg Siverson. When the CIA-trained chef one day asked Vanessa why she never ate his food, she explained that she had Celiac disease and had to avoid gluten. The following day, Tryg prepared a meal made entirely from gluten-free ingredients. It was there that the gluten-free love story began.

Eventually Vanessa and Tryg left Punch to open Friedman's Lunch, a restaurant in NYC's Chelsea Market that caters to gluten-free diners. Then the pair became focused on bringing gluten-free products to the retail market. In the fall of 2010, they blindly sent a few plastic bags of gluten-free dumplings to the North Atlantic regional buyer of Whole Foods Market. Within a few weeks, they got notification that 27 Whole Foods on the East Coast would take the dumplings. In 2011 Tryg and Vanessa sold their stake in Friedman's and moved Feel Good Foods to San Francisco.

The dumplings are being sold at Andronico's and will be available at local Whole Foods stores as soon as next month. They're also in the process of introducing gluten-free egg rolls to the product line.


Marla Simon is a San Francisco-based chef, food stylist, and food writer.
Follow her on twitter at @Marla_Simon
Follow us at: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.


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gluten free foods restaurants
gluten free foods restaurants

 By checking beforehand in a non busy time, you can find if the restaurant is happy to cook your pasta (you bring from home) or whatever gluten alternative product they don't have. After all, don't they need you as a worthwhile loyal customer? If not, don't worry, there are many gluten free restaurants in the book.

gluten free foods restaurants
gluten free foods restaurants

 By checking beforehand in a non busy time, you can find if the restaurant is happy to cook your pasta (you bring from home) or whatever gluten alternative product they don't have. After all, don't they need you as a worthwhile loyal customer? If not, don't worry, there are many gluten free restaurants in the book.

gluten free foods restaurants
gluten free foods restaurants

 Gluten free products are a prime example of how responsive the food industry has been to coeliac disease. Not only has it become easier for gluten intolerant foodies to shop, but also to dine outside the confines of your own home. There is no reason for the disease to limit your culinary explorations.

gluten free foods restaurants
gluten free foods restaurants

 

Often what most celiac and gluten intolerant people are trying to miss out on in their dining experience is the hassle involved when asking for g-free foods or describing what the disease is. Of equal importance is making sure whether you have asked or not, that you are not mistakenly 'poisoned' by hidden gluten ingredients or by cross contamination.

Glutenfree
Glutenfree

I disagree with the review of the Feel Good Foods Gluten Free dumplings. I thought they were very mediocre. First, they were horribly expensive.  I paid $8 for 8 dumplings!!!!  One dollar for each dumpling!!!  Second, the wrapper (which is the most important part) was really thick, mushy, and extremely chewy...to the point of being gooey.  They also fall apart very easily.  My kids had a hard time chewing and swallowing them.  I followed the cooking instructions carefully, so it wasn't because of the way I cooked them.  I have tried many different recipes for homemade gluten free dumplings and have found the best recipe was created by Laura Russel in The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen. 

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