Mango Sticky Rice Spring Rolls
Mango sticky rice is a quintessential Thai dessert. Spring rolls are something that exist in Thailand, too, mostly as an appetizer filled with glass noodles and veggies. But together? I’ve never heard of such a thing. That doesn’t stop this fusion frozen food from being delicious, however. These crispy, yet gooey, desserts are an explosion of tropical flavor and savory, crunchy wonton skins. I pan-fried mine in a little bit of oil and five minutes later, I had a hot, oozing egg roll stuffed with creamy sticky rice and juicy chunks of mango.They aren't traditional, but I would make these a staple in my freezer.
Mini Thai Tea Mochi
These Thai tea mochi balls are everything I’ve ever wanted! For those who have never had the pleasure of sipping on the nectar that is Thai tea, it’s a strongly brewed and sweet ceylon tea stirred with condensed milk, evaporated milk, and occasionally half-and-half. Are they a super traditional representation of Thai cuisine? Of course not. Are they delicious? Yes! In addition to the fact that these chewy, yet creamy, mochis are an indulgent treat that also happen to be vegan. The coconut milk adds richness and the chewy mochi that envelop the ice cream are perfectly sticky and fun to pop into your mouth. Praise Trader Joe’s for these beautiful, ready-to-eat desserts that are also a really good bargain -- one pack comes with 15 of these delicious, bite-sized sweets.
Spicy Thai Shrimp Fried Rice
Spicy shrimp fried rice! In a bag! Cooked in one pan and done! It was actually spicy, actually filling, and actually tasted good. Additionally, it wasn’t as much of a sodium overkill as most of their other frozen offerings were. I have to give extra kudos to Trader Joe’s for including makrut lime leaves, red Thai chilies, and basil in this dish, which really made the whole entree pop. It allowed me to overlook the fact that this fried rice is also loaded with peas and baby corn, which aren’t typical veggies found in a Thai fried rice. The one gripe I have is that the bag is pretty small, and only had about seven pieces of shrimp for a four-person serving. I need to be clear: this bag does not serve four people. I shared it with my two roommates and we all could have done with a more generous heaping -- so keep that in mind if you’re trying to feed a crowd!
Organic Jasmine Rice
It’s hard to go wrong with plain, jasmine rice. It smells like childhood and comfort to me, and Trader Joe’s’ frozen variety hits the spot: it’s quick, convenient, organic, and delicious. Even though I microwaved it, the rice tastes like it’s from the rice cooker and can work well being transformed into a fried rice, laddled with curry, or -- honestly -- eaten plain. I’d pick this up for a quick meal any day of the week.
Spicy Thai Eggplant
Generally, spicy Thai eggplant entrees are a sweet and savory dish filled with heat, basil, tons of garlic, and generous chunks of eggplants simmered in a dark soy sauce. Peeling back the plastic film that covers Trader Joe’s version means subjecting yourself to a steam cloud of garlic, red Thai chilis, and basil -- and it’s wholly welcomed. This vegan frozen entree is as good as it gets when it comes to frozen food: the ingredients are identifiable, the meal is quick and efficient, and it genuinely tastes… good, like the eggplant-filled dish you’d expect at your local takeout spot. This doesn’t play when it comes to spice -- but it’s easy to recognize the streaks of red hot chili peppers among the green eggplants and strands of basil, so pick them out if you must. Pair this with a bag of the organic jasmine rice and you’re good to go for a simple, Wednesday night dinner.
Thai Yellow Curry Sauce
Classic Thai yellow curries are made from a tumeric-based curry paste, full-fat creamy coconut milk, fish sauce, and a myriad of root veggies that tie the whole dish together. This yellow curry sauce is not as thick, coconut-y, and sweet as some variations I’ve had, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious. It sort of reminded me of Japanese curry if I’m being honest -- there was light heat, a deep savoriness, and a punch of onions and garlic. I simmered mine with potatoes and chicken and ate it over a bed of Trader Joe’s organic white rice, which truly completed the meal. The best thing about this sauce is that it makes for a good base that you can enhance with an extra splash of coconut milk, fish sauce, or sugar to transform into a new curry sauce that’s just as delicious.