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Chinese
Bag of Trader Joe's Frozen Low Fat Chicken Chow Mein
Trader Joe's Frozen Chicken Chow Mein packets
Bowl of cooked Trader Joe's Frozen Chicken Chow Mein packets

We tried Trader Joe's Chicken Chow Mein as a side to Trader Joe's Spicy Beef & Broccoli. For cooking the chicken chow mein, we followed the microwave instructions on the back of the bag. The instructions state that it's optional to add 1-2 tablespoons of water for moister chow mein so we added 1 tablespoon of water to it. We also used only half of the chicken chow mein sauce.

The diced chicken was OK, but it was a little dry on the inside. The noodles were a little on the chewy side, but both the chicken and noodles went well with the sauce. The sauce tasted like a sweet garlic-y soy sauce, and as usual, I think it would have been too sweet (and garlic-y) if we had used the entire sauce packet. The vegetables were pretty good and had a nice crunch, given that they were frozen and microwaved. Overall, it was a pretty decent frozen chow mein.

Overall Rating:
Good
Food: Trader Joe's Frozen Low Fat Chicken Chow Mein
Source: Trader Joe's, Tucson, AZ
Rating: Good
from Trader Joes

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Bag of Trader Ming's Szechuan Style Spicy Beef & Broccoli from Trader Joe's
Trader Ming's / Trader Joe's Spicy Broccoli Beef packets
Trader Ming's / Trader Joe's Spicy Broccoli Beef packets
Trader Ming's / Trader Joe's Spicy Broccoli Beef

Since Trader Joe's Kung Pao Chicken was better than a lot of other frozen Kung Pao chickens I've had, my boyfriend and I decided to try some of Trader Joe's Szechuan Style Spicy Beef & Broccoli. Unfortunately, we didn't read the instructions fully before buying it and assumed it was microwavable, like their Kung Pao chicken. However, the beef & broccoli ended up being mostly cooked on the stovetop. The only part that was microwavable was the bag of broccoli.

The spicy beef & broccoli came in three separate packets: beef, broccoli, and sauce. The bag of broccoli also came stuck to the outer bag.

Trader Ming's / Trader Joe's Spicy Beef & Broccoli, Broccoli stuck to outer packaging
Bag of frozen broccoli stuck to outer packaging

We cooked it all following the instructions on the back of the bag, except we only used half of the sauce. It took us a total of about 15-20 minutes to make.

The beef wasn't great. A few of the beef bits were grisly, and beef wasn't very crispy because of the sauce. Although the beef bits had a slightly crispy exterior, the inside of the beef was very mushy, which I didn't like at all. The sauce was sweet and a little tangy, but I didn't care for it. I'm glad we only used half the sauce or it would have been too sweet. The only part I did like about the beef was its spiciness. The broccoli was also OK, but it didn't really add anything to the beef.

Refrigerating the beef didn't do the beef any favors, either. We had it as leftovers the next day; it tasted worse. The beef was even mushier, and I couldn't eat the three pieces I put on my plate.

Overall Rating:
Blegh
Food: Trader Ming's: Frozen Szechuan Style Spicy Beef & Broccoli
Source: Trader Joe's, Tucson, AZ
Rating: Blegh
Rating (as leftovers): Disgusting
from Trader Joes

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Bag of Trader Ming's Kung Pao Chicken from Trader Joe's
Trader Ming's Kung Pao Chicken Components
Cooked Trader Ming's Kung Pao Chicken

We tried some of Trader Joe's frozen Kung Pao chicken. The bag of Kung Pao chicken came with different packets, which included a big packet of the chicken, a packet of vegetables, two sauce packets, and a packet of peanuts. That turned out to be pretty good for us because I don't like peanuts mixed in with Chinese food, but my boyfriend does.

I warmed up the frozen chicken following the microwave instructions since it's easier than using a stovetop. I microwaved the chicken in a bowl covered with a paper towel for 3.5 minutes. Then I added the vegetables and mixed them in with the chicken (even though the instructions didn't say to mix them yet) and microwaved them for 2 minutes.

I ran one sauce packet under some water so that it was easy to get out of the packaging and added the sauce in. I used only one sauce packet since one packet had a lot of sauce, and I can also use the remaining packet to add to something else in the future. After mixing in the sauce, I microwaved it all for one additional minute, and it was done!

The texture of the chicken was a little spongy but not too bad. The sauce was a little spicy from the chili peppers, but it was more sweet than spicy... kind of like a sweet soy sauce. The sauce was also a little watery, but for me that's better than being too thick. I also only used one sauce packet so perhaps using two packets might have thickened the sauce up.

There weren't a lot of vegetables so I added some steamed broccoli to my plate and mixed them in, and that worked out pretty well. Overall, it was pretty good, and I would buy it again if I was in the mood for some easy-to-make Chinese-ish food.

Trader Ming's Kung Pao chicken with broccoli added
The Kung Pao chicken with steamed broccoli added in.
Overall Rating:
Good
Food: Trader Ming's: Kung Pao Chicken from Trader Joe's
Source: Trader Joe's, Tucson, AZ
Rating: Good
from Trader Joes

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