Japanese food has really taken off in the United States over the last decade or so.
This a Japanese styled fried rice with Edamame, Tofu, and Hijiki Seaweed. It’s also vegan which I know many people will enjoy. It sure looks appetizing on the front of the bag.
Of course Trader Joe’s throws you a curveball and I just had to look up Hijiki seaweed! From the web, it sounds like it is a form of seaweed that is eaten mainly at home. It is a brownish seaweed that mainly grows on the coasts of Japan, China, and Korea and is eaten in all those areas. Seaweed is, of course, highly nutritious and this seaweed is supposed to be high in fiber. At first, when I was cooking it I forgot about the seaweed and thought I was burning the dish and little black specks kept appearing, but soon realized that it was just the seaweed.
I think Trader Joe’s is up to 4 fried rice dishes in the frozen section. They all come in a bag and all are just heat and serve. I always opt for the stovetop method, rather than the microwave way. I think it brings more flavor and a better texture. Just like their other ones, it’s cut open the bag and with a little oil dump in the skillet and heat for a while until everything is hot.
While it heated up, I could smell soy sauce and the rice and vegetables sauteing a little bit, which is what you want. It was taking a little too long to heat up so I put a lid on the skillet to help things along.
It’s one pound of food in the whole bag and I was really hungry and ate the whole thing and it was really too much and I could feel it all afternoon. Probably should split this with someone and have some dumplings or soup or something else. Maybe some of their faux sushi would probably go great with this.
When I got it in the bowl I was expecting to see some tofu, but I picked through it and couldn’t find anything that looked like the bag pictured with chunks of Tofu on top. I think the tofu was small enough that it looked like rice. Talking about the rice, it was a brownish color, but I think that was just from the soy sauce that had soaked into the rice and almost gave a brown rice appearance.
I really like this Trader Joe’s Japanese styled vegan fried rice! I am probably going to buy bags of this stuff and put them in my freezer for all those times I want a quick healthy lunch. This is what I’m talking about when I say that vegan food should be more like this and less about fake meat. Edamame and tofu are more than enough protein to fill you up. The carrots and seaweed are a nice accent to the rest of the flavors, which can be a little bland. I did find that it needed just a little shot of soy sauce as it was a little bland and needed something salty to kick it up.
I have to say that I was very impressed with this one and this is one more reason to eat more vegan food.
I’m going to give this Trader Joe’s Japanese Style Fried Rice 9 bells! Go out and buy it now!
rice, water, edamame soybeans, soy sauce (water, soybeans, wheat, salt), sweet cooking rice wine (water, mirin [water, rice, alcohol, salt, enzyme, koji [aspergillus oryzae]], sugar, lactic acid), carrot, deep fried tofu (water, soybeans, soybean oil, calcium chloride), canola oil, contains less than 2% of the following: sake (water, rice, koji [aspergillus oryzae], salt), sugar, hijiki seaweed, sesame oil.