Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Fusia Kung Pao Noodle Bowl (Aldi)


I probably could have cropped a whole 'lot of hardwood out of this picture...
While Aldi has a few Asian foods available all the time, I do look forward to their “Asian Week”, where they offer several additional Chinese foods as special buys.  A lot of the items are just typical, run-of-the-mill Asian offerings: frozen sweet and sour chicken, varieties of egg rolls, or wok sauces to make your own Chinese entrees at home.  Most of the things that I’ve tried are good, but nothing outstanding; roughly the same quality you can get at any of the take-out Chinese restaurants that no doubt line your city.

Then there’s Fusia’s Kung Pao Chicken Noodle Bowl, a non-frozen pantry item that cooks up in just two minutes.  In fact, that’s the main reason I purchased it the first time; it was simply a matter of convenience, something I could toss in the microwave if I needed a quick snack after a long day at work.  But now it’s one of my favorite items in the entire Fusia line, and one that I wish they would carry all the time.  The noodles are soft and delicious, while the sauce is at least on par, if not better than, similar sauces at the aforementioned Chinese carry-out restaurants.

Best of all is the packaging, which is created specifically for lunches:  Inside a microwave-safe plastic bowl is a package of pre-cooked noodles, vacuum-sealed to lock in moisture, so you’re not getting nasty Ramen-style dry noodles…these are moist, and ready to hold the sauce packet that you’re no doubt going to dump all over them.  Then there’s the packet of dry vegetables, a packet of cut-up peanuts, and a sauce packet, which is generous enough in size to cover all of the noodles.  There’s even a plastic fork, to boot.  All of the packets are pre-scored so you don’t need a utensil to open them; and since they’re all in separate packaging, you can easily omit the things you don’t want, or cut back on things that you think there’s too much of (i.e. the sauce, which is no doubt the main source of the large amount of sodium contained herein.)

To cook, all you need are the ingredients in the packaging, and two whole tablespoons of water; pop in a microwave for two minutes, and voila!  You’re done and it’s ready to eat.  As I alluded to earlier, the sauce is where it’s at: It’s very flavorful, with a little hint of sweetness cutting through before the mild heat sets in.  I’m not a big fan of super-hot stuff, so for me, this has just the right amount; you’ll feel it, but unless you’re very sensitive to heat, it won’t go so far that it will make your eyes water, or cause you any discomfort.  If they would just sell bottles of the sauce, I’d buy it and toss it on everything that I could; it’s that good, something far better than what I was expecting out of a pre-made noodle bowl.

Oh, and did I mention this whole thing is just $1.69? (At least in Ohio; prices will no doubt vary by location.)  A whole serving is one bowl, but there really is a lot in here; unless you’re starving, there should be plenty enough in here to at least tide you over until the next meal.  If you like Chinese food in any capacity, you should really give this a try.

Overall: 9/10.  Packs an incredible amount of flavor for well under $2.  The fact that everything is packaged separately (including the noodles), makes it easy for you to create your own bowl to taste, which is pretty cool, as is the fact that everything you need to enjoy this dish (minus two tablespoons of water) is contained inside (including a microwave-safe plastic bowl AND small plastic fork!)  Packaging aside, the sauce is incredibly flavorful, with a hint of sweetness peeking out before the heat sets in.  Not too hot, but definitely noticeable, which is another plus for me, though those with an affinity for hot dishes will probably find it too weak.

2 comments:

  1. I found the sesame teriyaki noodles really good and also filling, especially if you add a cup of frozen broccoli crowns and a spattering of peanuts or almonds.

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    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one! I regularly grab a couple of these any time they're available because they're cheap, easy, and delicious.

      I also never think of adding ingredients to anything! A lot of people over the years suggest additions like that to things I didn't like, or was on the fence about. Of course, for the sake of these reviews, I eat them "as is", since that's the way most people will eat them. But adding ingredients is a great idea to liven up things I get often, while, like you said, making them even more filling.

      Thanks for the tip!

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