Trader Joe’s Thai Vegetable Kao Soi with Crispy Noodles

This  is a new item with the October 2011 Fearless Flyer. I’m always skeptical about these Asian dishes, but sometimes I am surprised at how good they are. This is not one of those times. Here is a link to the dish at the TJs website:

Let me back up and say here in our little hamlet of about 9000 people, we have at least 3 Thai, 4 Chinese, 4 Sushi, 2 Japanese, 1 Mongolian grill, 2 Pho, 3 Indian restaurants. I’ve been eating Thai food since I lived there in 1968 so I am a pretty tough critic of Asian foods.

This is a soup but it comes in a rectangular tray that you can either heat in the microwave or there is also instructions for the oven(?). I opted for the microwave because I thought baking noodle soup in the oven was kinda crazy. Probably an even better way to cook it would be to take it out of the box and put it in a pot and bring to a boil.

It smelled really good when I brought it out of the microwave, lots of curry aromas! Then you sprinkle the crispy noodles on top of the for texture and they tasted pretty good before I put them on. Would make a great snack on their own.

The broth and the noodles were actually quite good and the soup part was hot but not over the top. Nice Thai curry flavors and pretty good depth of flavor. The big disappointment was the vegetables. They were mushy! Not just a little mushy, but super mushy. Kind of put me off the whole thing…

OK, would I buy this again? Probably not. Traders has plenty of much better soups out there. The price was pretty good at $2.99 but that did not overcome the super mushy vegetables. I applaud TJs for continuing to introduce semi-exotic foods to the general public, and with a few tweaks on their end this would be a great dish. I’m giving it 6 Bells.

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