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Green Chopsticks

Green Chopsticks

All-Natural Asian Foods Make a Sizzle

Green ChopsticksSince their launch in late 2009, Green Chopsticks has been picking up momentum across the country in offering healthy and authentic Asian specialties like dumplings, potstickers, Korean BBQ, and seaweed.  Green Chopsticks is unique and different from other gourmet food lines on the market because first and foremost, they offer healthier food choices packed with veggies and meat that hold lots of flavor and are easy to prepare (boil or pan fry for a few minutes).  Christian Park, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, says the emphasis is on top-notch ingredients of lean pork meat, all-natural chicken, fresh Napa cabbage, and traditional recipes that date back over 60 years to ensure that they honor the authenticity and quality of dumplings.  When they initially considered using their Korean brand name, Cham Yi Rang, to market to American retailers, they soon realized it was too difficult to pronounce and did not stick.  They wanted an easy-to-remember brand name which would be perceived as clean, healthy and Asian without using the word “Asian.”  It was only natural that they finalized on Green Chopsticks as “green” reflected healthy and “chopsticks” for Asian.  Green Chopsticks offers delicious and authentic items that are MSG and preservative free and low in fat.    

Green ChopsticksPark takes great pride in providing the best quality in dumplings with time honored authentic Korean recipes.  Based on their decision to manufacture dumplings in the United States, they purchased a building in 2007 and after $10 million dollars and two years later, their state-of-the-art facility opened in 2009.  Park shares, “When we built our dumpling factory, we scouted one of the well-known dumpling chefs in Korea who has worked in dumpling factories for more than ten years.  He is in charge of overseeing the quality of our dumplings as well as developing new items and recipes.”  It is evident Park did not stop until he got the best of the best as he was dedicated to stand behind his products.  The dumplings’ fillings are mixed by machine, squirted into a thin dough wrapper, shaped, steamed at 160 degrees and instantly frozen.  This procedure kills any possibility of Listeria and a USDA inspector is always present to oversee production in the facility. 

When they first began the business in 2004, Park would often walk down the aisles of many American grocery stores and notice the lack of Asian foods such as dumplings or potstickers.  If he did see any, the packaging was too ethnic looking and he questioned the authentic quality of these foods.  “We saw the opportunity to bring truly authentic Asian foods, especially Korean foods, to these retailers.  We envisioned that if we could make the packaging design clean and attractive while honoring the traditional recipes of Korean cuisine, we would make many mainstream customers happy,” says Park.  So while the company has been in the business of importing dumplings from South Korea since 2004, they officially launched the Green Chopsticks brand in late 2009.  At first they were mainly focusing sales within the Korean-American communities throughout the states, but later developed the brand Green Chopsticks to expand their sales to reach the mass market. 

Green ChopsticksAll dumplings and Korean BBQ items are made in their factory located in Southern California while their seaweed crisps are made in South Korea.  Their most popular item is the All Natural Chicken Breast Potsticker as it is low in fat, but loaded with premium ingredients like shitake mushrooms, sweet potato noodles, leek, and more.  These white meat chicken potstickers are delicious and made with quality ingredients. If you cut open the middle, you can see the freshly chopped greens mixed among the meat and the potato noodles.  The thin dumpling skin is superior to the other frozen dumplings on the market.  Lean and healthy, these dumplings hold a lot of flavor with the leeks and spices.  If you enjoy pork, be sure to try the Pork Potstickers as the filling is a tad more moist than the white chicken breast potstickers.  Pork, which has a touch of fat, holds a more flavorful punch and blends beautifully with the leek and noodles. 

Their dumplings differ from the standard frozen dumplings available in groceries as their dumplings are steamed and cooked before being frozen, so that it only takes 3 to 5 minutes to prepare and eat.  Other dumpling brands take about 10 minutes to prepare Green Chopsticksbecause they are uncooked.  Aside from preparation, you can immediately taste the difference with Green Chopsticks as their dumpling skin and dough are thinner to allow more meat and vegetable filling.  Premium ingredients like fresh vegetables, leek, and shitake mushrooms are used.  Leek is extremely nutritious and a traditional ingredient for dumplings.  Aside from dumplings, their roasted seaweed makes for a great everyday snack.  Delicious and healthy, toss these in your kid’s lunch bag instead of chips.  The roasted seaweed is available in Spicy, Green Tea, and Original flavor.  The Spicy Roasted Seaweed Crisps actually have a spicy kick and leaves a perfect aftertaste of spicy chili after each bite.  This is by far a staff favorite and delicious over salads or by themselves.   The Green Tea Roasted Seaweed Crisps are subtle and not overdone with green tea flavor as it is barely noticeable.

Green ChopsticksPark’s personal favorite is the Pork Bite-Size Dumplings, which he could honestly eat all day.  Since pork is the traditional meat used in dumplings, it has more flavor than beef or chicken and these bite-sized dumplings also have a lot of leek, a nutritious and traditional ingredient for dumplings.  As for the method, he prefers to have them simply boiled for a few minutes and strained with cold water.  He can easily pop them into his mouth Green Chopsticksas an appetizer or main dish without adding any soy sauce since it already packs so much flavor.  Green Chopsticks also offers the Chicken Bite-Size Dumplings which are just as addictive to eat because they are so easy to consume.  You can pop as many of these little dumplings into your mouth and feel guilt-free since they are so healthy.  There is also something just as wonderful for children as they offer great kids choices like Bite Size Kids Chicken and Vegetable Dumplings.  Perfect for little mouths with big appetites, these bite size dumplings are small and filled with chicken and vegetable, making them a treat for even the fussiest eaters.

Green ChopsticksSome of their other popular items include the Korean BBQ items such as the Spicy Chicken Bulgogi and Beef Bulgogi, which are excellent over rice or salad.  Park believes they are the first to offer such as he has not seen any other Korean BBQ items in the market.   The Beef Bulgogi is not overly seasoned but just the right touch of sweet and soy sauce marinade base.  The thin sliced beef cooks easily in a few minutes and delicious for any occasion.  If you like chicken, the Chicken Bulgogi is tender and savory with its perfect blend of sweet and spicy red pepper paste.  Green Chopsticks also offers a Pork Bulgogi, which has a good hint of spiciness with a tad of sweetness.  The pork is tender and extremely flavorful with the perfect cut of lean meat and fat marbling.  The ample marinade cooks into a thicker sauce that also stays on the meat when sautéed.  They add Korean pear and apple in their Korean BBQ items to add flavor as well as their spicy sauce and red pepper paste in Spicy Chicken and Spicy Pork, that is simply amazing.
 
In the next five years, Christian expects Green Chopsticks to have increased the U.S. consumer’s awareness of Korean cuisines and become the preferred brand when it comes to Asian foods.  He hopes Green Chopsticks items will be available in all major retail stores across the nation.  Park hopes to increase their product lines and would love to even open a few Green Chopsticks restaurants down the road.   he would love to open a few Green Chopsticks restaurants.  Lastly, Christian shares, “With increasing diversity in the U.S., we’re thrilled that more and more consumers are willing to try new foods.  Our rapidly increasing sales prove that people are quickly adopting new food items, like dumplings, into their daily diets.”  Green Chopsticks is available in all Korean retailers throughout the United States, as well as Costco, Whole Foods, certain Kroger (Ralphs) stores, Lowes, Ingles, and more.  cyrusa.com

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