Sometimes I wonder if Trader Joe’s has turned into an Asian market or what? When you walk through the freezer section or over in the spice/sauce area all you see are new Asian-inspired products. Trader Joe’s recently released three ready to eat noodle dishes in a shelf stable packaging. They are Trader Joe’s Peanut Satay Noodles, Trader Joe’s Red Curry Noodles, and Trader Joe’s Garlic Sauce Noodles. Each one has its own unique flavors so I will review them separately. Starting with Trader Joe’s Peanut Satay Noodles.
Trader Joe’s Peanut Satay Noodles come in a shelf stable package from Thailand. All that means is that this product does not need to be refrigerated and has an extended product life so you can throw it in the pantry and come back six months later and it will be still good.
It appears that this particular Thai noodle dish is vegetarian but not vegan. That’s because of the use of fish sauce which uses anchovies. I would call it veganish because the amount of actual animal matter in here is so minuscule. But if you are staunchly vegan, I would pass this by.
What comes in the package?
The nice thing about this product is that it comes with its own dish to eat it out of. The whole thing is microwaveable and made out of paper so it’s more friendly for composting. Inside the paper bowl are two packets of food. One has the sauce and the other has the noodles. That’s it. You mix them together and microwave and you have instant lunch! These are great to take to work for a quick lunch.
How to prepare Trader Joe’s Peanut Satay Noodles
Basically, you put the two packets in the microwave. The noodles will be pretty stiff so microwave everything with the lid on for a couple of minutes then stir to break up the noodles then nuke again for 30 seconds. Leave the lid on for a couple of minutes then start eating!
Microwave (1200 watts): Heating times may vary depending on oven wattage. Open the package and remove noodles and sauce packets. Empty packets into the cup provided and replace the lid. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Carefully remove from microwave and stir. Replace the lid and heat for an additional 30 seconds or until heated through. Stir well and let it rest for 2 minutes before eating. CONTAINER WILL BE HOT.
How did Trader Joe’s Peanut Satay Noodles Taste?
I’ll give it to you upfront. I would call these a great beginning. They are insanely easy to make. The sauce has a great peanut, coconut, Thai flavor. There are big chunks of carrots in there but it left me wanting more. It had a moderately spicy flavor profile so if you want more spice, I would reach for the Sriracha sauce. This bowl of noodles clocks in at 520 calories so it’s no slouch in the filling the belly department.
My main problem with this dish is that it’s one dimensional. It really needs something else. Maybe a little cilantro or chopped peanuts on top. I wouldn’t feel too bad tossing in some cooked chicken or shrimp into it. If I really wanted to take it to the next level I would cook the noodles without the sauce, then stir-fry some vegetables and protein until cooked then dump the sauce and noodles into the wok and cook together and serve.
At the end of the day, if you want a quick and easy lunch with spice and it fills you up with little effort, this is it. When I look at the whole thing, I think it falls short and needs a little help to make it much better. Because of that, I am only going to give it 7 Bells!
wheat flour, water, coconut milk, carrots, coconut sugar, wheat gluten, peanuts,
chili peppers, rice bran oil, modified tapioca starch, mung beans,
fish sauce (anchovy, sea salt), shallots, sea salt, lemon grass,
curry under (coriander, turmeric, cumin, fennel seed, pepper, salt), coriander,
galangal, tamarind extract, garlic, cornstarch, sugar.
CONTAINS: WHEAT, PEANUT, COCONUT, ANCHOVY.
Product of Thailand