Kirbie's Cravings

Trader Joe’s February Edition

The newest Fearless Flyer arrived in my mail just as I was about to make a Trader Joe’s run. This month highlights a lot of Valentine’s Day themed treats, but I also found a few other gems, like their take on Chinese soup dumplings!

Sriracha Potato Chips
photo of a bag of Sriracha Potato Chips
Trader Joe’s has been expanding its sriracha flavored products lately. I really enjoyed their previous ghost pepper flavored chips so I was excited to try these out.
close-up phot of Sriracha Potato Chips
The lattice chips had a really good crunch to them. However, I found the sriracha flavor pretty lacking. Had this been a blind taste test, I don’t think I would have even guessed sriracha. The dominant flavor was actually salt. I kept tasting pockets of salt in some of the chips like they hadn’t been mixed properly.

I’ve enjoyed nearly all of Trader Joe’s flavored snacks but unfortunately, this one didn’t work for me.

Steamed Chicken Soup Dumplings
photo of a box of Steamed Chicken Soup Dumplings
I was so excited when I read about these in the latest flyer. I love Chinese soup dumplings, but most of the versions in San Diego are pretty disappointing. I’ve actually been wanting to try making my own and hopefully I’ll get around to it one day. Trader Joe’s version uses chicken rather than the traditional pork, which is fine with me.
photo of the soup dumplings
Each box sells for $2.99 and contains 6 frozen soup dumplings. The dumplings were a decent size, bigger than the one-bite ones from Din Tai Fung, and about the same size as the ones offered at other restaurants I’ve been to.
photo of steamed soup dumplings in a bamboo steamer
I steamed them according to the instructions. When they were done, you could immediately tell some of the soup had seeped out.

I was pleasantly surprised with the skin. A good soup dumpling should have a thin skin and these were pretty thin, but with enough elasticity that they didn’t break when I picked hem up. There was still a small amount of soup left in each one, but I wish they had more soup left in them. The meat had a good flavor, savory with a hint of sweet. I would have preferred a little more salt, but some soy sauce vinegar dipping sauce helped.

Overall, I was pretty happy with Trader Joe’s version of soup dumplings. They actually were better than some of the restaurant versions I’ve had in San Diego and I’d get them again next time I have a craving for soup dumplings.

Strawberry Licorice
photo of Strawberry Licorice
I recently became obsessed with Australian licorice after discovering it at Sprouts. I love that they are thick, with a somewhat soft center. I was excited when I spotted these strawberry flavored ones. They had a good texture, but I actually prefer the flavor of the ones sold at Sprouts.
overhead photo of Strawberry Licorice

Cocoa Dusted Truffles with Toffee Bits
photo of a package of Cocoa Dusted Truffles with Toffee Bits
I know I’m probably in the minority here, but I actually don’t love Trader Joe’s truffles dusted with cocoa. It’s just too much cocoa powder for me and I always make such a mess eating them. I felt compelled to try these because of the toffee bits (I love toffee!) These were basically their traditional truffles but with toffee bits.
photo of the truffles

Sriracha Hummus
overhead photo of a package of Sriracha Hummus
Another sriracha flavored item. I wonder if they are going to try to come out with as many sriracha flavored items as they have with cookie butter flavored items. We actually haven’t tasted this one yet because I went a little crazy for Super Bowl and had already bought a lot of hummus. We’ll be trying it soon though.

Finally, not a new item, but something I needed to stock up on and wanted to highlight. I love the salted caramel sauce at Trader Joe’s. It’s ultra thick and very rich. It works great with ice cream and for baking.
photo of a jar of caramel sauce
So that’s it for now. I did also pick up some groceries, but nothing particularly unusual or exciting. One thing that I originally had in my cart and then removed was the vodka tomato sauce. Now I’m regretting it. Has anyone else tried it? Should I go back and get it?

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14 comments on “Trader Joe’s February Edition”

  1. Have you tried the soup dumpling that Costco sells? I tried the TJ ones today but all my soup leaked out. It was still good!

    • Hmm, I have tried the TJ ones which I like a lot. Also tried the Bibigo brand soup ones at Costco which are pretty good too!

  2. I got the sriracha chips at TJ’s yesterday and was also disappointed by how unsriracha-ey they were. Boo.

  3. I just got my Trader Joe’s flyer and saw the chips and dumplings, so I’m glad I read your review first! I feel like a lot of sriracha flavored things play it safe, but I want to taste that spice when I bite in! The dumplings sound good though, I’ll probably still give those a try.

  4. Thanks for the review of the dumplings. I saw them in the store and wondered if they were any good. I will give them a try.

  5. Thanks for the info as our Feb magazine hasn’t arrived yet and I will try the soup dumplings and caramel sauce! Yum I use the vodka tomato sauce ALL the time and the flavor is outstanding. No matter what dish you are preparing, if you use the vodka sauce it enhances the flavor so much and isn’t so tomatoy! Try it you will love it!!

  6. We tried the XLB a few months ago but friend microwaved it! He said it didn’t taste too bad either. I thought about your blog last week when we visited trader joes as they have riced cauliflower in their fresh salad area! I was so excited (since I don’t have food processor). The guy then told me they also have frozen riced cauliflower but it’s always sold out b/c a customer comes in every week and buys them out.

    • I saw the cauliflower, but since I have a food processor, it’s cheaper for me to do my own. hehe. good to know it still tasted decent with the microwave!

  7. I discovered the soup dumplings a couple of months ago, and they really are decent. Now that it’s been featured in the Fearless Flyer, I hope they don’t run out. I have also thought about making my own soup dumplings, too.

    • lucky you, discovering it early! I used to spend a lot more time checking out all the items before they get featured in the flyer, but lately I’ve been so busy so I haven’t had the chance to explore as much. Wish I had known sooner!