Lead image by Lia Kantrowitz
Hello you food eaters/motherfuckers,
I have never been to China or met a Chinese person, but I have eaten a lot of food and much of that food has been Chinese. Egg rolls, fortune cookies, soup dumplings, dried jellyfish, beef and broccoli, sesame noodles, crab rangoon, hot and sour soup, fried rice, chop suey, Peking roasted duck, spring rolls, chow mein, kung pao chicken, duck's heads, stir fry, dim sum, congee, caterpillar fungus duck, jade rabbit sea cucumber, braised abalone, I could go on...
Although I am very fond of Chinese food, it is exceedingly hard to find good Chinese restaurants, so finding frozen Chinese food in my grocery store was a godsend. I ate four frozen Chinese food dinners, and reviewed them for you. You're welcome.
Tai Pei - General Tso's Chicken
I can't believe Tao Lin sold out so hard.
The weirdest thing about this frozen food is that you microwave it in the original packaging and plastic wrap and then eat the food directly from the same box it's displayed in.
Inside the colorful container was a bunch of different items in a spicy brown sauce. There were un-crispy snow peas and fibrous sliced carrots that were weird and wooden when chomped through. The broccoli was good, the rice was nice, the chicken was edible. What really carried this box of stuff was the spiciness of the sauce it's in.
The textures of half the things weren't great, but, like Frank Herbert said, "He who controls the spice, controls the universe."
I wouldn't eat this again.
Tai Pei - Sweet and Sour Chicken
As with the other chicken-based frozen food from Tai Pei, you microwave this in its display container with the plastic wrap still sealed.
The Tai Pei General Tso's chicken was saved by its spicy brown sauce. That spiced sauce was sorely missed in this box of edible food ingredients. This one was in a sugary, pineapple sauce that masked, overwhelmed, and bullied any potential for other flavors to peak through.
Chewing the carrots was like trying to masticate a tatami mat. The snow peas were tough. The chicken was too soft and the vegetables were sinewy. Every bite tasted like pineapple and corn syrup.
Chung's Gourmet Quality Spicy White Meat Chicken Mini Egg Rolls
These were spicy, crispy, and small. There was chicken and other things inside them. I dipped mine in soy sauce. I had three, but the bag contains enough to feed like five people. My friend and colleague Thomas Morton commented, "These tiny egg rolls are pretty tasty. I'm likin' them."
I'm getting much fatter from eating this garbage, and I'm becoming nervous about developing stomach cancer from all the preservatives. These frozen food reviews are breaking my mom's heart.
I will definitely eat these again.
Crazy Cuisine - Chicken Potstickers
You're supposed to pan-fry these in oil for two minutes or until golden brown, and then pour in a third of a cup of water and steam them. I gave them extra time to fry in oil that was so hot it was sizzling and dancing. I gave them extra time to steam too, but they still came out like little soggy balled-up towels. I couldn't finish these, even if the dipping sauce was acceptable. Maybe I'll try frying them harder some other time.
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