Kung PAO!

Good morning and Happy Friday!!! I actually had a great, and very productive week, but I cannot wait for this weekend, especially some playoff football! GO PATS!

On one of our last Trader Joe’s trips, Nolan and I picked up a few new-to-us frozen meals. We recently tried the gnocchi alla sorrentino, and a few nights ago we tried their Kung Pao Chicken.

It’s only $4.99 in the freezer section. Here is the description according to the flyer:

“Trader Ming’s Kung Pao Chicken combines dark meat chicken with crunchy green & red bell peppers, onions, dried chili powder, water chestnuts and peanuts. What makes Kung Pao so distinctive, though, is the sauce. It’s rich and savory and can range from mildly spicy to sound-the-alarm-and-grab-a-hose hot.”

At first glance, I was not too impressed with the contents of this 23 oz bag.


You may need a magnified glass to see those veggiesIMAG4458

Since Nolan and I were both very hungry, I immediately panicked, threw open the freezer, and was quickly relieved to find this staring back at me. IMAG4459

It looked like the perfect addition to a Chinese style stir fry. Oh, and Nolan is a total sucker for baby corn.

This looks more like it!IMAG4460


The bag (with my veggie addition) made about 4 servings.

The chicken was surprisingly juicy and didn’t taste at all freezer burned, as it originally appeared to be. The veggies stayed nice and crispy, but that is probably because I opted to use a tbsp of water instead of oil as the package recommended. The peanuts gave the dish some crunch and texture, and balanced well with the rest of the flavors.

I also only used 1 of the 2 sauce packets that it came with. This is something I typically do when cooking stir fries, fresh or frozen. I don’t like mine overly dressed, so I generally make it with as little sauce as possible, and then set the rest aside in case Nolan wants to add more to his. However with this particular dish, he didn’t find it necessary.

The PAO in the Kung Pao was provided by the huge chili peppers that were scattered throughout the dish. I made the mistake of eating one, and then proceeded to guzzle about 50 oz of water. Nolan, however, LOVED these spicy gems so if you are a spice lover, you should certainly try this!


Overall I would say this is a product we would probably buy again, but I wouldn’t make it without the addition of those other veggies. Another win for Trader Joe’s, and Hawaiian shirt lovers everywhere.



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