After carefully tasting the frozen O’Tasty brand buns, available at the Asian Midway Foods market and also at Woodman’s (for 50 cents more), I have come to the unsurprising conclusion that:

Yes, O’Tasty frozen buns do taste better than the ones they make at Dumpling Haus.

Their dumplings are also the best you can get in a supermarket, and it’s always nice when you can feed three people with three dollars and change. I have had worse homemade dumplings. Made by me. I suck at making Chinese food.

Pop Quiz: What is this?

It’s duck parts! Claws and wings braised in Chinese sweet soy star anise sauce. Anything braised in sweet soy + star anise + whatever is delicious, and the Asian Midway Market started selling a small selection of these ready to eat treats. Options today included braised pig’s ear with chili oil, Shanghainese Kao-Fu, cow stomach, tripe, and ROAST DUCK … ! All extremely authentic. I battled myself until I picked just one of these things, paid hurriedly, and by the time I pulled into my next grocery shopping stop couldn’t really resist them anymore. So I spent some time in the Trader Joe’s parking lot trying not to let anyone see me stuffing my face. My duck parts were everything I’d hoped for.

By the way, you can tell this stuff is made by real Chinese people from the way the labels on every dish said that it was “Cucumber Kimchee”, and the way somebody covered “Cucumber Kimchee” with a (completely ineffectual) layer of White-Out before writing the real name of the dish on the label in Chinese, and then crossed out the main ingredient on the list out (no White-Out this time) and wrote “Duck” under that in English, but didn’t bother to cross out or replace any of the other ingredients on the list. Can’t buy that kind of authenticity.

These food items were apparently made by a Chinese restaurant I haven’t heard of before called Noodle Express. Will probably try them soon.