I don't know why, but I love Chinese food! Growing up my parents never once cooked it in our house, or got us take out from a restaurant, but for some reason......once I tried it for the first time....I was hooked! We have this HUGE Chinese Buffet about 15 minutes from the house, and I try to get my husband to take me there atleast once a month. I mean they have anything and everything you can imagine. I, however, do not always get my way. So, when I get a craving for the stuff and its not in our budget to go out, I try to whip up something myself!
A few weeks back while shopping at Jungle Jims (O.M.G. if you don't live by one of these stores you are missing out, google it...you will see why), we ventured into the Asian isles. And this is what I found:
If you have ever been to a Chinese buffet and seen those bright red boneless ribs........this is what they use....well, atleast you can use this to create those! I picked up a couple packs of it knowing that it would come in handy one day when the craving striked. I liked the fact that it contained no MSG, and the ingredients on the back, well, lets just say I could pronounce every word!
Last week, I picked this little packet up for FREE....once I used the coupon I had. Now, I have never made fried rice at home before, but it was a freebie, and I needed something to go with the rib sauce I was hoarding in my cabinet.
Okay, so after hitting a small meat sale at Meijers I finally had accumulated enough ingredients to prepare me some of the yummy Chinese food I had been craving! Since I had never worked with either of the seasoning packets before, this meal was going to be completely experimental.
This meal, though having few ingredients, was not a throw in the pan and call it done kind of dish. Once the marinade was mixed up, the ribs had to be refrigerated in it for atleast four hours. The longer it sat the redder it got! My kids were starting to wonder if they were radioactive, lol.
When it came to making the Fried Rice, I had to cheat a bit. The package called for two pieces of bacon, which I did not have, and scallions which not only was I lacking but my husband will not eat them. I did have some bacon grease in the fridge that I was able to substitute. That may have sounded funny and oh so unhealthy to some of you, but as far back as I can remember, my great grandmother always saved her bacon grease. It ads great flavor when used and is very natural. I also diced up some baby carrots that I had to add a little vegie to it.
The rice was a bit of a process too. First you cook the rice as stated on package. Then it needs to be refrigerated for atleast an hour. You then proceed to the rest of the instructions on the packet. While all of this is going on.....your ribs are still soaking!
When I placed the ribs in the oven, I veered away from the package instructions once more. It called for a total of 40 minutes baking time at 350 degrees. I cooked mine for 2 hours at 300, basting them with the left over marinade.
Voila!!!!!!! Dinner is served!
Since I had never used either of these products before, I wasn't sure how it was all going to taste. So, Im going to consider this a product review.
The ribs turned out very nice and juicy, but were lacking in flavor. When I prepare meat at my house, I add a lot of spice, and though this was marinated I found it to be rather bland. Maybe I had too much meat to coat, or maybe its just me? On the other hand, the rice was a complete success! I will definitely be purchasing it again! I may even add some snow peas and diced chicken and call that a meal in its self!
Have you tried these products before? Let me know what you think?