Trader Joe’s Beef Pho Soup Review – I get excited when I see a new item at Trader Joe’s especially if it’s Asian I really love Asian food. I had never really had this type of soup before until about 10 years ago when here in the Seattle area Vietnamese restaurants started popping up everywhere.
I don’t know what made me go into one of them probably because I’m curious about new foods. So I decided to try some pho soup and I was hooked from that day on. It is a routine in my family to go at least once or twice a month to our local Vietnamese place and get a big bowl of soup any time of the year but it’s especially nice in the wintertime. Our local place serves a variety of dishes but it’s mainly for the soup that we go.
They have lots of options for Pho, chicken, and vegetarian and then like 10 different cuts of beef. Typically it’s served with basil and lime and some bean sprouts with some hot sauce or soy sauce on the side. The beef is actually raw when they put it into the soup but the soup cooks it because it’s cut of meat so thin.
In our local pho place, you can see them back there all day making broth in the kitchen and you can tell it’s authentic. It’s very rich and has that anise like flavor from some type of spice that I can’t recognize.
So I was excited to see Trader Joe’s have this in the frozen section. I’m always looking for something nice and hearty for lunch. I was a little disappointed to see that it was only 260 calories per serving and there’s only one serving in the container. But I said what the hell I’ll give it a shot and I’ll have something else along with it for lunch. There’s nothing to add to this you basically pop a hole in the plastic that covers the bowl and stick it in the microwave and heat it for six minutes it’s pretty straightforward.
When I pulled the soup out it smelled pretty good but I was a little worried about the lack of anything I could see in the soup like vegetables or meat it looked a little watery to me. I stirred up the super little bit. I only found four small pieces of beef in there. There were some green bits that looked like green onions, but not many. There were noodles too.
I took a sip of the broth and I could barely taste anything. It vaguely tasted like my local pho place but watered down. The noodles were weird. They were stiff but I know they were cooked all the way because the soup was piping hot.
The meat, what little was there, was just OK. If you look at the Trader Joe’s website they have hot sauce and limes and basil and all that stuff I talked about earlier in their product shot but really the base soup and meat should be good. This was not. It just lacked any flavor. Don’t treat it like a stone soup where you have to add all the ingredients just to make it palatable.
I ate the whole thing but had to eat something else. This was bland, under salted, lacking in any real flavor. The noodles were awful. I am going to give it 2 Bells! Save yourself $3.49 and make your own faux (pho) ramen at home. It’s really easy and much better.
WATER, COOKED RICE NOODLES (WATER, RICE), COOKED SEASONED BEEF, WATER & BINDER PRODUCT (BEEF, WATER, SOY SAUCE [WATER, SOYBEANS, SALT], CORNSTARCH, SALT, SPICES), BEAN SPROUTS, ONIONS, GREEN ONIONS, BEEF BASE CONCENTRATE (ROASTED BEEF, SALT, BEEF STOCK, CARAMEL COLOR, NATURAL FLAVOR, BEEF FAT, POTATO FLOUR, CANE SUGAR, PAPRIKA, SPICES), FISH SAUCE (ANCHOVIES, SEA SALT), CILANTRO, THAI BASIL, CORNSTARCH, ONION POWDER, YEAST EXTRACT, SPICES.
CONTAINS SOY, ANCHOVY.
1 serving per container | Serving size 1 bowl (375g) | Amount per serving: Calories 220
Total Fat 4.5g (6% DV), Saturated Fat 1g (5% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 25mg (8% DV), Sodium 860mg (37% DV), Total Carbohydrate 34g (12% DV), Dietary Fiber 1g (4% DV), Total Sugars less than 1g—Includes 0g Added Sugars (0% DV), Protein 13g, Vitamin D (0% DV), Calcium (4% DV), Iron (8% DV), Potassium (6% DV).
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
NOTE: Since posting, the details of this item may have changed due to fluctuating market prices, federal regulations, currency rates, drought, bandits, rush hour traffic, filibusters, zombie apocalypse, punctilious product developers… (Oh you Trader Joe’s people are soooo funny!)