Asian American Frozen Foods: Ajinomoto’s Shoyu Chicken Ramen Bowls

I was at Costco the other day, and noticed this new frozen meal – Ajinomoto’s Tokyo Style Shoyu Chicken Ramen Bowls. I’m always looking for something I can bring to work, since I had mentioned, the company cafeteria kind of sucks. So the fact that this packing has six dishes for $12.99, that definitely caught my eye.

Although, as usual, the dish alone probably wouldn’t be that filling for lunch. I’ll probably have to bring something else, like a salad. In any case, you really can’t too much about how the dish is going to taste after taking it out of the box:

But once you remove the plastic, fill the plastic container with water until a certain line, and microwave for about four minutes, this is what you get:

I was pleasantly surprised – the dish tasted pretty decent. On the packaging, the instructions suggest:

“Add some soy sauce, black pepper, or a soft boiled egg to customize your ramen!”

And I am sure that will make the ramen dish taste better, but I’m not going to bring soy sauce, etc. to work with me. Again, the meal size was okay – but I’d definitely still be hungry in a few hours if I only had this for lunch.

Asian American Frozen Foods: Costco: Teriyaki Stir-fry Udon

I was at Costco recently and saw this refrigerated dish: Teriyaki Stir-fry Udon. Since I’m always on the look out for lunch to bring to work (since my company’s cafeteria sucks …), I bought this 4 pack package to try out.

Each dish comes with:

and recommends your stir fry or microwave. For this post, I stir fried the vegetable toppings along with the udon noodles for 3 minutes with high heat:

then added in the teriyaki seasoning and stir on low-heat for about a minute to get this:

Overall, not bad. But I don’t think one serving alone is going to make me full, so be sure to eat something else if you don’t want to be hungry.

Asian American Frozen Foods: Trader Joe’s Korean Style Beef Short Ribs

I’m a big fan of Korean BBQ, so when I saw this Korean Style Beef Short Ribs (20 OZ) at Trader Joe’s for $9.99, I knew I had to try them out:

“Here’s a quick dinner idea we think will really excite you! Trader Joe’s Korean Style Beef Short Ribs. It’s a simple entrée, really — lean beef short ribs marinated in a slightly sweet, soy-based marinade. That’s it. Exciting, right? The genius is really in the preparation, and that’s where you come in. In about 15 minutes (if you count the time it takes to thaw the meat), these simple Short Ribs cook to utter perfection — just pop them on a grill — or grill pan on the stovetop — at medium-high heat, cook for a couple of minutes on each side and, you’re done. See? Genius! We’re selling Korean Style Beef Short Ribs in a 20 ounce package — in our freezers — for $9.99, every day.”

Per instructions, I did defrost the frozen ribs in the bag in tap water for about 10 to 15 minutes. Afterwards, I put the six ribs in the frying pan and fried for about 3 minutes on each side:

I’d say they tasted pretty good for the amount of effort I had to put in. Obviously, the beef short ribs are not going to taste as great as fresh ribs BBQ infront of  you at a Korean restaurant, but I have to say, this is a pretty good dish and deal. There are Korean grocery stores about 8 miles from where I live, but a Trader Joe’s less than a mile from me. The fact that I like frozen foods since I’m afraid of anything spoiling … this is definitely another frozen food I will buy again and again.


Asian American Frozen Foods: Review: Trader Joe’s Pork Shu Mai

I a single guy and not necessarily a great cook. I do enjoy cooking, but cooking for one person can be a challenge at times. Also, I’m acutely aware of wasting food, so oftentimes I wind up buying frozen foods. That isn’t exactly very healthy, but it is convenient. What I’ve noticed the past few years is that places like Trader Joe’s, Costco and even supermarkets like Safeway, will carry a lot of frozen Chinese, Japanese and other Asian ethnic cuisines. So I thought I’d start a new series called Asian American Frozen Foods – to  highlight and possibly review these frozen food dishes.

First up, is Trader Joe’s Pork Shu Mai. First of all, Trader Joe’s tries to be clever by calling itself “Trader Ming’s” on the packaging:

At my local Trader Joe’s in Silicon Valley, this frozen dish goes for $2.99. The instructions were to either microwave the dumplings for 3 minutes or to steam for 12 minutes. I decided to steam:

After 12 minutes, I got this:

To be honest, the shu mai pork dumplings didn’t really taste all that flavorful compared to what you would get at a Chinese restaurant, or even as good as some frozen shu mai pork dumplings that I got at a local Ranch 99. So I can’t really recommend these, unless you’re desperate for some shu mai.