Trader Joe’s Japanese Styled Fried Rice Review

Trader Joe's Japanese Style Fried Rice
Trader Joe’s Japanese Fried Rice Bag

Today, we dive into the adventurous world of Trader Joe’s with their ‘Vegan Japanese Style Fried Rice with Edamame, Tofu, and Hijiki Seaweed’. It’s like a culinary world tour, all from the comfort of your microwave. This dish promises to marry the essence of Japanese cuisine with the ever-growing vegan trend. But the real question is, can it walk the tightrope between being authentically Japanese and pleasingly vegan without falling into the abyss of the bland and forgettable? Let’s warm up our taste buds and our microwaves and find out.


Fried rice holds a special place in my heart. It’s a beloved dish across various Asian cultures, each with their own unique spin. While many might first think of the classic Chinese version, the fried rice world is vast and varied, stretching from Thailand to Korea, and from Indonesia to Vietnam. However, for me, Japanese-style fried rice really stands out. Here we have a Japanese-inspired version, packed with Edamame, Tofu, and Hijiki Seaweed, and it’s vegan too, which is great for those looking for plant-based options. The packaging sure makes it look tempting.

Then, there’s the typical Trader Joe’s surprise – in this case, Hijiki seaweed. I admit, I had to do a quick internet search to figure out what exactly it was. It turns out that hijiki is a type of seaweed primarily consumed in households across Japan, China, and Korea. This brownish seaweed, known for its high fiber content, grows along the coastlines of these countries. While cooking this dish, I was initially alarmed by the appearance of little black specks, fearing I was burning it, but then I remembered – it’s just the Hijiki seaweed making its presence known!


Trader Joe's Japanese Style Fried Rice in a wok
Trader Joe’s Japanese Style Fried Rice in a wok

With this frozen fried rice, brings the total up to four different ones. I love having so many fried rice options and I look forward to the different ones they release all the time. 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, this Trader Joe’s Japanese Style Fried Rice you just cut open the bag and with a little oil dumped in the skillet (or wok or whatever you have) and heat it for a few minutes 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.

This bag contains a whole one pound of food so unless you are really hungry, it’s doubtful you would be able to eat the whole bag. It could be a whole meal or part of a vegan meal with something else.

Trader Joes Japanese Fried Rice Plated
Trader Joes Japanese Fried Rice Plated

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.

Final Verdict

I really like this dish! I am probably going to buy bags of this stuff. 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 out of 10 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.

trader joes japanese fried rice nutrition

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