Last year in August, I lightly reviewed some brand new items from Trader Joe’s new line of Asian products: Sriracha & Dried Kimchi. Today, I’m finally getting around to reviewing their instant ramen & seaweed salad. Recently, Trader Joe’s has pulled the seaweed salad off their shelves because they were produced in a facility that also produces peanuts & unknowingly sold them without stating that they were peanut-free. I’m not sure when they’ll be back, but I definitely hope they shelve them again because–spoiler alert–they’re actually pretty good.
Spicy Seaweed Ramen
I love instant ramen, but the amount of sodium in each serving is more than anyone should really consume in one sitting. Looking for an alternative, I was pleasantly surprised that Trader Joe’s carries instant ramen! Keen to try it out, I must say that I was sorely disappointed. The picture above is actually my second time getting the ramen because I was determined to see if I messed up making instant ramen (how?), but two times in a row, the taste was identical. I tried to dress it up, but it really required a lot of work to make it palatable.
Consistency: Noodles are nice & chewy. The soup base is quite homogenous in water, so it does mix well.
Taste: Watered down noodles with a hint of Kimchi seasoning & seaweed.
10/10 Would Recommend?: Absolutely not. This is probably one of the worst products Trader Joe’s has ever shelved. I’m practically the poster girl for Trader Joe’s & I push their products on everyone because they’re 99% of the time amazing, but this product falls flat. The soup base is flat, bland, & one dimensional. It needs stronger spices, flavor, & hate to say it, but more salt.
MOTHER OF … I Bought This, Now What?!: You can still easily fix this. Add about 2 tbsp of ponzu sauce & furikake. Add Sriracha to turn up the flavor to 11. An egg also adds a nice touch!
Seaweed Salad is a common appetizer at Japanese & Korean restaurants, but this salad is less Japanese & more Korean with its spicy salad dressing. The red chilies they used are one of Korea’s signature ingredients. If you’ve been exposed to Korean food, you know that a lot of the cuisine is bright red with chilies, but not necessarily flaming hot. This salad takes no more than 5 minutes to prepare & is a good lunch item on the go. I really do hope they put it back on their shelves because it is really good for quick meals.
Consistency: Chewy, but soft. Kind of slimy only because it’s seaweed, but not gooey.
Price: $1.99 or $2.99 – don’t remember.
Taste: Strong, bold flavors from the spicy dressing that really complement the seaweed. The sesame flavor is notable, but the dressing isn’t as spicy as you’d think. Sure it looks like lava, but it really is no spicier than Sriracha. It does have a nice kick to it though.
10/10 Would Recommend?: If you’re a huge fan of seaweed salad & you love Korean food, yes. The dressing goes well with the salad & I didn’t add anything to improve it because it was already great. I can see myself eating this with a side of rice & soup, but unfortunately, the product has been recalled & I’m not sure when they’ll shelve it again. Bring it back, Trader Joe’s!