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Melanie Wong | Jul 26, 202011:33 AM    

When I figured out that I'd be driving through Hayward during business hours, I followed hhc's advice to call ahead to Lai Young dumpling factory to check on inventory availability. https://www.chowhound.com/post/lai-yo... Good thing, as the helpful man on the phone checked the freezer and then told me he only had two kinds of dumplings and chive pockets left that afternoon.

In response to Covid-19, a sign in the window asks, "Please wait outside" and the door was locked. I knocked and the masked man poked his head out. I identified myself and he handed over one each of bags of 50 pork & chive and 50 pork-shrimp-cabbage frozen dumplings. Total came to $36.50, paid in cash. Very sweet man ... he’s from Taiwan and said these shui jiao are Shandong style.

First batch cooked at home, I boiled the frozen dumplings for ten minutes. That's a little too long as the wrappers softened too much. Second time, I boiled for nine minutes with much better results. The handmade wrappers had a satisfying chew without being too thick and doughy. These are medium-size dumplings and the fillings are well-seasoned, needing only a dab of black vinegar to highlight the flavors. I have a very slight preference for the pork and shrimp ones, as the shellfish lends a sweeter tone, but I like them both.

As I shelter-in-place outside of the City, having dumplings like these at hand to cook at home has been a great way to enjoy chopstick-able food. And at bargain prices, as these two bags will provide 12.5 servings (eight dumplings per serving) penciling out at $2.92 per meal.

Lai Young
2609 Oliver Dr
Hayward CA 94545
510-293-9620
M-F 9am-5pm
Sat 9am-4pm
Sun Closed

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