Instant Chinese Meals – Product Review
I don’t like to use instant pastes and powders while cooking. Not that I haven’t tried them. I have tried a lot of these instant mixes – from sauce and noodle mixes to pickle and soup mixes but I hate them all. If I do find the taste of some mix tolerable, I cannot enjoy it the second time. Well, not for a year at least! Some of them make me puke. At times I wonder if its my body trying to tell me something.
I don’t hate them because they are ready mixes and because I am a puritan about cooking. I make my own masalas and pastes and freeze them. I also use them for weeks afterwards.
The ready-made ones taste horrible, well, many of them. I know that the day I reach for an instant mix I do it because I am desperate to save time and see it as an alternative to eating out on that particular day. So I always keep a few on hand for emergencies.
Of late I have been trying the Chinese mixes. I have been making Chinese food for some time now, mostly by laboring over recipe books and studiously avoiding Ajinomoto (monosodium glutamate) as I believe its not good for health. However I bought these Chinese mixes, wondering about their taste even though I knew they contained Ajinomoto… I thought, what the heck, let me at least try it. Chinese restaurants use Ajinomoto liberally anyway.
A nutritious and tasty way of using an instant recipe mix: To be on the safe side, I did not use the mix as they had suggested. I used half the quantity but made up for it by adding the very same ingredients mentioned in the ingredient list. I also added some red wine and a little salt. The end result was not bad at all and left me pleasantly surprised.
In the last few months I tried out other flavours and though I like sweet and sour best, I think this isn’t a bad alternative to eating out. At least you know you are using a lot of your own ingredients. Amazing what freshly pureed tomato can do to a dish like this!
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