Trader Joe’s (Ming’s) Beef Tenderloin Stir Fry

I’ve got a real soft spot for anything even remotely similar to Asian food. Especially Thai and Chinese. I think I could go the rest of my life and never eat French or Italian food again and be perfectly happy! I don’t know what it is about good Chinese food that makes me pig out! I would be afraid that I would eat so much I would very fat. I’ve eaten at the best Chinese restaurants in the Seattle area and I’ve been caught a few times eating faux Chinese food down at the supermarket. Sometimes I can’t help myself!

Walking through the fridge section yesterday, I see this new item called Trader Joe’s Beef Tenderloin Stir Fry with Vegetables. I’m thinking, this is the type of thing that I shouldn’t eat, but for the sake of the blog, I picked up one and what the hell, it looks vaguely Chinese. They even put the esteemed Trader Ming’s designation on it!

First off, it’s not frozen, but vacuumed sealed in a pouch in a black plastic tray. I’m thinking as I look at it that there is a lot of sauce in there. It almost looked more like beef stew than stir fry!

On the directions it says that you need to pierce the pouch 6 times and microwave in the pouch. You can also boil the bag in water, but I was in hurry and need to microwave. Those bags are the easiest thing to handle and I lucky I didn’t cut off a finger trying to poke holes in the bag. Finally, I figured out that if you just keep the bag in the try it makes it easier to poke holes in it. Of course, as soon as you do, some of the sauce starts to leak.

I popped the whole thing in the microwave a few minutes and in no time the bag started to fill up with steam and the vent holes worked their job. After the prescribed amount of time I pulled the tray and bag out of the microwave. The whole thing smelled faintly of supermarket Chinese food. I let the bag rest in the tray for a few minutes. I microwaved some Trader Joe’s frozen brown rice (which I really like!) Now the tricky part! You have to grab the hot bag, cut it open and pour it over your rice or into a bowl to serve. It gets a little sloppy, especially with six holes in the bag!

First, this shouldn’t be called stir fry because I’m pretty sure that at no time in the making of this dish was anything stirred or fried! This is more like beef stew with some Chinese styled flavorings. Oh, and where are the vegetables? I think there were a couple of carrot slices and a few green bits that might be green peppers or green onions and a few red bits that might be red peppers of some type.

I took a taste of the sauce and it was definitely on the sweet side for me. Then a bit of the meat and it was just plain mushy and had a weird consistency. About the only thing going for this dish is that they didn’t skimp on the meat, which is usually the problem.

This is clearly something to steer clear of. The meat was weird, there were no vegetables and the sauce was slightly sweet and not a lot of heat. Preparation was difficult. Just a big thumbs down on this!

I am going to rate this Trader Joe’s Beef Tenderloin Stir Fry with Vegetables a lowly 5 Bells!

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