Trader Joe’s Honey Walnut Shrimp

Trader Joe’s Honey Walnut Shrimp. If you’ve been following along with me over the years, you know that I have a real soft spot for Asian food. I lived in Thailand for a couple of years when I was a kid (parents were in the Foreign Service) and after that we were all hooked on some serious Asian food.

One of the first places I look when I go to Trader Joe’s is the frozen section to see if there are any new Asian dishes there. I was lucky today and found this really good looking Honey Walnut Shrimp! I love the Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp and I was hoping that Trader Joe’s wouldn’t disappoint me. When I got this and took it to the checkout line, even the checkers hadn’t seen it yet and were super excited to try it!

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Trader Joe’s Firecracker Shrimp

Trader Joe’s Firecracker Shrimp

Trader Joe’s Firecracker Shrimp. If you’ve been following along for any length of time,  you’ll know that I’m a freak for all things Asian. Any time that Trader Joe’s releases something even remotely Asian in flare, I have to snarf it up! When I saw the Trader Joe’s Firecracker Shrimp in the frozen seafood section the other day I said I gotta get home and make this! The picture on the bag looked very enticing!

The subtitle to this product said: “lightly battered & fried shrimp with a fiery, sweet chili sauce” I’m thinking… hmmm more batter. I think people must really like battered Asian food! (See reviews on Manadarin Orange Chicken and Tempura Chicken). Oh well, I’ll give it a shot cuz I’m a sucker for anything remotely Asian… I got it home and looked at the back and it called for baking the shrimp in the oven until they crispy. Hmmm… I didn’t really want to heat up the oven on a hot day so I looked at the secondary preparation instructions and it called for cooking them in a skillet with a fair amount of oil. I remembered the conversation I had with the Trader Joe’s checker when I was checking out and he said that he really loved them, but use a lot of oil to cook them. But, seeing that I am reviewing these products, I wanted to follow the instructions as closely as possible.

So, I heated up the pan and oil and then dumped the shrimp in there and started to cook them. It took a while for them to look like they were crispy. Took them off the burner and, per instructions, drained them on paper towels to soak up the oil. Then I dumped the thawed chili sauce on the shrimp and proceeded eat them.

I’m thinking maybe it would’ve been better to cook them in the oven because these shrimp were pretty oily. The only saving grace was the chili sauce, which was sweet and pretty spicy but in a nicely balanced way. I really liked it! I wish they would put that in a bottle and sell it separately. Back to the shrimp… There was a third preparation method on the back of the bag and that was to deep fry them. I didn’t really want to break out the deep fryer just for this but I think that is the only way this product would be saved. If I was going to buy these again, I would do the oven method and make sure you put down a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat (which I can’t live without them) so the shrimp doesn’t stick to the pan.

If you can nail down a cooking method that doesn’t produce oil shrimp, let me know, but the way I cooked them up they were way too oily! The only thing I liked was the sauce. I am going to rate the Trader Joe’s Firecracker Shrimp 6 Bells!

Trader Joe’s Spaghetti Shrimp in Garlic Herb Sauce

Here is an old classic that Trader Joe’s has packaged up and put in the frozen section. I saw this in the What’s New section of my local Trader Joe’s last week and picked up one for lunch. The picture on the cover of the box looked very appetizing. We are of course talking about the new Trader Joe’s Spaghetti Shrimp in a Garlic Herb Sauce.

I’m always on the look out for these quick meals. I hate making sandwiches for lunch and dinner is usually a pretty big ordeal around here with 2 growing boys. Many times I end up cooking two complete meals because I know my wife wants something more adult and the kids won’t touch it with a 10′ pole. So, like I said, I’m always on the hunt for something easy and more adult so I don’t end up cooking two meals every night. Pizza is big around our house, needless to say!

Becky and I love pasta and seafood and this product is clearly aimed at the Shrimp Scampi (which roughly translates to Shrimp Shrimp). Basically a quick and easy shrimp in wine, butter and garlic sauce. The box called for preparing it either in the microwave or in a skillet and I almost always recommend the skillet when I can. As you can see from the 2nd picture, it comes in a box and there is quite a bit of shrimp. The pasta and sauce are at the bottom and you dump it all into a skillet with a little water and start to cook it.

It takes a while for the balls of pasta and sauce to warm up and come apart, but it sure smelled good and garlicy when I was cooking it. In hindsight, I might’ve done a hybrid approach to this and defrost in the microwave and then finished in the skillet.After everything has warmed up, the sauce thickens up a bit before the shrimp and pasta is done, so I had to add a little more water.

Finally, I plated the dish. The pasta was a little sticky, but I followed the directions to the letter. You can see it looks quite similar to the picture on the box. Lots of herbs and a ton of garlic. As expected the shrimp was slightly tough from being pre-cooked and cooked again but not too bad. The big downer was the pasta, it was gooey and mushy compared to fresh cooked. I really did like the herb, butter, garlic sauce and it was quite nice!

You know it seemed like I went through a lot of work for such a simple dish. This is one of those things you whip together on a weeknight without a lot of thought. Just for the hell of it I’m going to include a recipe that is so simple, but 1000 times better than this Trader Joe dish and you can buy everything at Trader Joe’s! I probably won’t buy this again seeing how simple the real recipe is.

I’m going to rate this one 7 bells!

Sauteed Shrimp with Lemon-Garlic Butter

1/2 cup dry Two Buck Chuck Sauvignon Blanc
2 tablespoons Trader Joe’s Champagne vinegar
8 Dorot Minced Garlic cubes
1/2 cup chilled Trader Joe’s unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Italian olive oil
1 Trader Joes uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped italian parsley
1lb of Trader Joe’s Spaghetti noodles

Cook pasta in boiling water until done (time with cooking of shrimp)
Boil wine, vinegar and garlic in small saucepan until mixture is reduced to 1/4 cup, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Whisk in butter, 1 piece at a time.
Remove from heat.
Stir in the lemon juice.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and keep warm.
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat.
Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper.
Add to skillet and sauté until shrimp are cooked, about 3 minutes.
Drizzle lemon-garlic butter over.
Toss pasta in the pan with shrimp
Sprinkle with lemon peel and chives and parsley and toss and serve!

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