Product Review: Nasoya Thai Basil Dumplings

Social Nature was very kind to send me a coupon to try Nasoya’s Organic Tofu Vegetable Dumplings, which were available in the refrigerated produce section at Publix.

I was pretty excited about the product and the timing. I’ve just started trying to cut waaaaay back on the meat that I consume, because I just feel better, physically, when I eat a more plant-based diet. It’s only been about two weeks and I already feel morally superior, so I think it’s working. 😉

The problem is that I love chicken and bacon and pork belly and sausage and a million other meat products. It’s not an easy undertaking. So I love products that let me delude myself into thinking I am eating meat. I’d hoped that these would mimic dumplings we buy at Jin Long Asian Market.

Alas, these don’t quite do the trick.

Nasoya’s Organic Tofu Vegetable Dumplings are refrigerated, like fresh pasta, so they only take about 5 minutes to cook. The disadvantage is that the package had, at some point, gotten smooshed, so some of the dumplings were stuck together.

The recommended technique is to sear them in a medium-high pan, and then steam them in the pan for a couple of minutes. The other option is to boil them, which was not happening. Yuck. I chose the first option, and they came out of the pan fragrant with basil and very attractive.

But I think the best way might be to fry them, because the outer dough had a slick texture that was rather unappealing. And then the middle was oddly gummy, with an unusual bitter aspect to the flavor. It was not improved by dipping them in soy sauce or ponzu sauce (pictured above).

I ate three and couldn’t force myself to eat any more.

I’m sorry to say that you can give these a pass. There’s nothing about them that substitutes – in texture or flavor – for a pork-stuffed gyoza, and nothing about them that is strong enough for them to stand on their own as a vegetable option.