Lotus Chinese owners Jessica and Gary Wu are making the most of this difficult time to run a restaurant.
Their Domain Northside eatery, which specializes in Northern-style dumplings, reimagined American Chinese classics and boba drinks, has been open since 2018, and in the past few weeks, they’ve reopened with limited dining room capacity.
"While the pandemic has changed all our lives and businesses, it has also given us the opportunity to work on projects that we only dream about once there is time," the couple said in a recent Instagram post announcing their latest effort: a line of frozen dumplings and sauces.
Lotus is selling three kinds of dumplings — pork and cabbage, chicken basil and a vegan dumpling filled with sweet potatoes — as well as four sauces: soy garlic, sweet and sour sauce, chili oil and the restaurant’s ultra-spicy habanero-based Dragon Sauce.
Unlike many dumplings available in the freezer aisle of a grocery store, Lotus’ dumplings are fully cooked, and home cooks can reheat them with a quick boil. You can then further cook them by searing in a pan or frying in a deep fryer.
I cooked a handful of these on my weekly Austin360 livestream on Facebook last week and loved the slightly thicker, chewier dumpling skin, especially with the soy garlic dipping sauce.
Jessica Wu says she hopes to eventually sell the products at grocery stores, but for now, you can buy the dumplings ($9.29 for 12) and sauces ($3.99 and $4.99 for 4 or 6 ounces) for pick-up at the store. You can order online or find out more at lotuschineseatx.com.