Yesterday my husband spotted a highly unusual frozen dumpling at our neighborhood market. While I was inspecting bags of frozen porcini filled gnocchi from Italy, he was looking at boxes of “frozen potato rolls” by Lucky Foods, an Asian themed food producer based in Beaverton, Oregon. “Curry flavor or jalapeno and cheese?” he asked.
My gawd, it looked as if Lucky Foods had combined the elements of an egg roll, lumpia, samosa and jalapeno cheese popper all in one. And, on the back of the box, they said that their potato rolls reflected the synergy between Chinese egg rolls and Vietnamese cha gio (imperial rolls). Huh? The rolls were totally vegetarian and used farm-fresh ingredients, the company touted. Lucky Foods had poured all the popular selling points into their rolls. And they were fried.
My curiosity was piqued and I couldn’t resist grabbing a box of the curry-flavored potato rolls. When we went to pay for it, the fresh-faced cashier picked up the box and inspected it. “Is this something new that we’re carrying?” she asked skeptically.
“I’d never seen them before but we’re going to give them a try,” I responded. She looked at us warily.
If you’ve made egg rolls, spring rolls or cha gio – or even rolled a burrito – you know that you shouldn’t overfill. If the un-fried roll is too firmly packed, it can burst during cooking as the filling expands. That’s why in Asian Dumplings, the fillings for Cantonese egg rolls, Shanghai spring rolls, and Filipino lumpia are precooked and either dryish or bound with cornstarch.
Another sad thing was that the rolls never quite crisped up. They were more like semi-soft cigars. However, we spent good money on them and needed something to nibble along with our afternoon wine. The filling was surprising good. It tasted like a nice coconut potato curry, even though there was a bit too much turmeric.
Suspended in the yellowish potato puree were lima beans and carrot for color and texture. The most unusual textural element, however, were strips of Russet potato skin. I initially mistook the slightly leathery potato skin for piece of paper. Asian cooks typically peel ingredients like potatoes so this was an unusual move.
At $3.75 a box, the four potato rolls were overpriced. They were more flavorful than the Trader Joe’s samosas that I tried before, but the leaked filling and chewy wrapper wouldn’t make me want to purchase them again. Sorry Lucky Foods.
If you’ve had these, do share your thoughts. Thumbs up or thumbs down? Could I have reheated them better?