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Best Frozen Chinese Food: What We Recommend & What We Want

Best Frozen Chinese Food: What We Recommend & What We Want

December 4 2023

The market for frozen Chinese food is heating up every day, especially as people start to look for a more authentic experience they can have at home. However, not all Chinese food frozen dinners are created equal.

We’ve seen the full range of the good, the bad, and the soggy. This guide will help you navigate the freezer aisles and find the best frozen Chinese food we recommend you bring home.

Where Can You Find Good Frozen Chinese Food?

Chinese grocery stores are designed to cater to the Chinese diaspora first and foremost. Their products tend to appeal to more traditional Chinese tastes—with that, you’re more likely to find options like bao, jiaozi, scallion pancakes, and other classics that you’ll find in a solid Chinese or dim sum restaurant.

If you don’t live anywhere near a Chinese grocery store, you might have a harder time finding good, authentic frozen Chinese food. After all, as of writing this post, there aren’t many Chinese-owned Chinese food companies that are widely available in American grocery stores. Up until recently, barring certain pockets of America with larger Asian-American populations as a whole, it was challenging to find anything truly authentic. 

Fortunately, that’s starting to change little by little—and online ordering has made it even easier. We’ve seen enough progress that we’ve been able to compile a list of some of our personal best frozen Chinese meals you can bring home.

Our Personal Favorite Frozen Chinese Food

frozen pork soup dumplings

Frozen Soup Dumplings

There’s a reason why these are such a best-selling staple of our business: Frozen soup dumplings just make perfect sense as a freezer staple. This is because as the dumplings steam, they become delicious little pockets of succulent meat and explosively umami broth. It all leads to an experience on par with what you’ll find in an authentic dim sum or dumpling shop.

If you’re looking for a reliable introduction to the world of frozen Chinese food, it’s hard to go wrong with some frozen Xiao Long Bao. Luckily, we have several varieties available to stock your freezer, so you’ll always have restaurant-quality soup dumplings on hand. Just steam them for 10 minutes, dip them in your favorite sauce, and enjoy!

Other Types of Frozen Chinese Dumplings

Frozen dumplings are a great gateway into frozen Chinese food. Not only do most types of Chinese dumplings freeze well by design, but they’re also easy to prepare in minutes.

Some of the best frozen dumplings include:

  • Jiaozi
  • Har Gow
  • Shu Mai

There’s an entire range of frozen dumplings with different filling options, all of which are delicious either steamed or fried. While our moms probably wouldn’t condone living on these little frozen pockets of love alone, we still recognize them as classics for a reason.

Frozen Chinese Noodles

We don’t mean to blast our own horns too much, but we’re pretty sure we’ve cracked the code on frozen Chinese noodles. Ours are easy to prepare and ready to eat with a variety of different sauce options in a matter of minutes.

Whether you’re into the tingly-spiciness of Dan Dan Noodles or prefer the umami explosion of scallion oil or sweet and savory noodles (Zhá Jiàng Miàn; 炸酱面) there are plenty of options that you can pull right from your freezer at a moment’s notice. Even more, when you order frozen Chinese noodles online from us, they come with sauce packets that have real ingredients—no powders or bouillons. We also include ground pork or optional Impossible™ meat in our sweet and savory and dan dan noodles (担担面), along with garnishes to elevate the experience even more.

Just top them with your meat and toppings like chopped green onions, carrots, or cucumbers and you have a full meal that will keep your mom from worrying about whether you’re getting enough vegetables in your diet now that you don’t live at home anymore.

Other Good Frozen Chinese Food Options

Frozen Bao

As a cousin of dumplings, frozen bao are a great choice for satisfying that dim sum craving without having to leave your house to get them. They’re easy to steam for that classic, warm-hug level of comfort that only a steamed bao can offer. However, most types of frozen bao can also be microwaved as a quick snack.

While we’re always partial to the classic pork and cabbage bao, char siu bao strikes the perfect balance of sweet and savory like nothing else can. However, if you’re more in the mood for dessert, steamed custard bao will always be one of our go-to favorites.

Scallion Pancakes

Scallion pancakes have been sprouting up more and more in both Western and Chinese grocery store freezer sections alike—and we love it. Whether you’re frying them up traditional style or making yourself a Chinese breakfast wrap, scallion pancakes freeze well and can easily maintain their crispy outer texture and zesty filling.

Good Frozen Chinese Food Options We Wish We Had

Frozen Chinese food has come a long way since the early days. However, there are still some dishes that just aren’t quite there yet. We’re marking these high on our wishlist for easy frozen Chinese entrees—because sometimes, you just don’t have the energy to make anything from scratch on a weekday night.

Breaded and Deep-Fried Entrees

This has been a challenge frozen food makers have been facing since day one, across all cuisines—and frozen Chinese food brands are no exception. Breaded and fried entrees like orange chicken are a common sight in some Western-style grocery store freezer sections, but they’ve always been hit or miss at best.

Part of the reason why it’s so hard to find a good frozen fried dish of almost any kind is because the oil and starch in most types of batter change when it freezes. Then, when it thaws, it ends up melting and losing its crispiness.

Someday, we hope we can get the perfectly crispy fried chicken and shrimp frozen meal we all deserve.

Fried Rice

Fried rice is a classic midweek meal and a great way to get rid of a bunch of odds-and-ends ingredients in your freezer really quickly. However, as a frozen entree in its own right, fried rice has left much to be desired for us in the past.

The flavor in frozen fried rice tends to be bland, and the texture usually ends up being soggy, to the ire of discerning uncles everywhere. If we could make a wish and have the craft of creating the perfect frozen fried rice dish down instantly, we would. For now though, we just hope that the molecular gastronomists and food scientists of the world can crack the code soon.

Rice Bowls

While some Japanese, Korean, and Filipino rice bowl entrées have become safe bets over the years, one of our goals is to get more frozen rice bowls with meat, vegetables, or other toppings.

Practically every rice bowl option on the market is at risk of the same problem facing fried rice: sogginess. No matter which toppings you like—braised beef, minced pork, Hainanese chicken—the final frontier of frozen rice dishes is finding fluffy rice.

Wontons

For a long time, frozen wontons have been one notable exception to frozen dumplings being a tried and true staple. Maybe the filling-to-wrapper ratio is a bit off—that’s our theory, at least. However, the food scientists are already hard at work in the lab, and we look forward to the day when we can enjoy a bowl full of frozen wontons, with or without soup.

Braised Meats

This has been a blind spot for frozen Chinese food up until now. While braised beef and pork are classics in Chinese diaspora households all over the world, it’s been hard to find good frozen options. While we love getting to enjoy these dishes every time we go visit grandma, the frozen options just don’t capture the perfectly tender, juicy texture yet. 

We hope that someday, we’ll be able to find a braised meat dish that tastes even a quarter as good as what our grandma and parents can make.

Vegetarian Options

As anyone who has tried to freeze leftover Chinese-American-style mapo tofu (the kind that doesn’t actually contain meat) in the top of their college mini fridge can attest, tofu doesn’t always freeze well. Sure; it can be done. But the texture changes a lot.

The same can be said for other types of plant-based foods that don’t historically freeze well. Steamed and braised eggplant dishes tend not to retain their toothsome texture after being frozen, and green beans tend to just turn soggy. That’s not even including some of the more questionable options we’ve seen with deflated-looking snap peas.

However, we’re not going to sit and wait for someone to make these products a reality, either. At MìLà, we’re working to shape the landscape of Chinese food in America. We want everyone to have the option of trying high-quality, honestly represented options, and we’re eager to share what authentic Chinese food can offer.

Stock Up Your Freezer in Style

Ready to satisfy your fix with some authentic Chinese freezer staples? Order some MìLà soup dumplings and Chinese noodles today and never have to worry about where your next authentic taste of home is coming from again.