When I come home from work I'm HUNGRY, teetering on hangry. I normally start dinner the second I take off my coat, but thanks to being sick with the flu I'm completely out of my go-to quick-dinner staples, so it's time to see what's hiding out in the freezer!
Egg rolls sound good, and even though I feel like I should make something else to go along with them, I'm not. Let's hope they're good!
I'm just going to glaze over the box art and not get too in-depth about it. The packaging functions very well, keeping the tiny egg rolls safe and sound in my overstuffed freezer, but it's really nothing to write home about as far as looks and presentation are concerned. It looks a little no-frills-y, but I didn't buy this item for it's looks, I saw frustrated emergency dinners in my future and hoped these would come to the rescue.
There are three different cooking methods on the back of the box: microwave, deep fryer, and conventional oven. Since microwaved egg rolls sound soggy, and there's no way I'm busting out the deep fryer and dealing with all that clean-up, oven-method it is! (Plus I can lie to myself by saying it's healthier.) I opened the box, freed the itty bitty egg rolls from their plastic bag prison, and popped them in the oven at 450 degrees F for about 15 minutes. (Flipping them over halfway through.) Cooking them up was quick and easy, which is great, but will this last minute meal actually taste good?
I plated them up and...not looking too shabby, right? For a rushed after-work-freezer meal this looks pretty fancy!
I took a bite and...not so fancy.
They're dry, and for something with such a flavorful name, they taste awfully bland. The exterior is flaky and a little greasy, pretty much the same as any take-out egg roll, so it gets points for that, but the filling really misses it's mark. Inside there is some shredded cabbage, a few scattered veggies, and some chicken, but there's no seasoning or spice to be found. Where's the POW in this Kung Pao?
Other Asian inspired Aldi products come with spice packets, or dipping sauces to save the day, but this box had neither. Thankfully I have a big ol' bottle of sweet chili sauce to give these egg rolls the pizazz they needed. When dipped in the sauce, these are a lot yummier and I can easily finish the whole plate.
So yes, the chili sauce made it better, but that's not a ringing endorsement. Sweet chili sauce makes EVERYTHING better. You could probably put it on a shoe and it'd taste delicious, so while I was able to salvage this meal with a condiment cure-all, I still wouldn't repurchase this flavor in particular. It was just too dry and bland for my liking. I'd liken it to eating Kung Pao take out you left in the fridge for a few days and reheated in the microwave.
Kung Pao Chicken Egg Rolls were a flop, but I haven't given up hope yet! Aldi sold a veggie version alongside this one, which is also in my freezer. Aldi usually does veggie flavored freezer items really well, so I have high hopes for that one, but this one won't be entering my cart again any time soon.
© Maria Smith http://poison-and-antidote.net
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