Living on the West Coast means some really really long plane rides back to visit family in Minnesota and Massachusetts. A package of pretzels is not going to cut it, and I've struggled with ideas for packable, airplane-approved meals that will also satisfy my hunger pangs. As unlikely as it may seem, Asian dumplings have become my favorite mid-flight meal.
I have to give a shout out to Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks for this travel meal idea. A few years back, she wrote about getting ready for a big trip abroad, and right there in the middle of the post was a photo of a tupperware full of tantalizing dumplings. My first thought was What? And my second thought was Brilliant.
Potstickers and dumplings are light (literally) and also satisfying to eat. They're little one-bite deals, making them perfect for eating in the cramped space of a plane. Pre-cooked and eaten cold, they're reminiscent of chewy spring rolls. I often just toss them with soy sauce and rice wine vinegar before packing them up for transport (which also keeps the edges from drying out), but I also have a tiny TSA-approved shampoo bottle that I commandeered for sauce duty (don't worry — it was new and never actually used for shampoo!). With a fork or a pair of chopsticks slipped into my backpack, I'm good to go.
I like to stick to vegetarian and vegan dumplings for my travel meals since they'll be sitting in my carry-on for a few hours. I usually make my own and will be sharing my favorite recipe for Shiitake Mushroom and Tofu Potstickers later today!
Have you ever tried taking potstickers on a plane? Or do you have an equally unusual airplane meal that you like?!
(Image: Emma Christensen)