Simply Asia Sweet and Sour Chow Mein Take Out Box

Keepitcoming and I are getting a cat, and that’s why I’m writing about this.

No, that’s not the reason, but I did want to tell you that we’re getting a cat and that we’re not totally helpless about it! Well, Keepitcoming isn’t.

The first thing I want to do when our kitten comes home is feed her this noodle dish. She’s a Siamese cat and although this isn’t explicitly Thai, per se, but I figure this is a good start. The dish in question is Simply Asia Sweet and Sour Chow Mein noodles in an authentic take out box, and it would make Swagger cry.It’s not a bad dish- if you’re a crybaby who hasn’t tried Chinese food, a college student with a budget for more than ramen, or a Midwesterner who thinks this is authentic. But for anyone not encompassing those categories, you’re going to think this is a bit of a cop-out. The dish comes with noodles, sauce, vegetables, and a topping. One touch that I liked was that the noodles were cooked and vacuum sealed so they came out looking moderately fresh. I have had instant noodles from China that use this technique and I much prefer it to dried noodles.

Everything came together looking pretty decent. The contents of the box were pretty varied. The seasoning came in sauce form and looked sickly sweet. The vegetables, a feature I typically omit, were so sparse that even I felt as though leaving them out would be no worse than leaving them in, so I decided to add them for a little bit of color. After cooking, I let them sit and poured on the topping- dried shallots and sesame seeds.The first thing I noticed about this was how small the portion was in relation to the size of the box it came in, resembling Chinese leftovers rather than a full dish. When I normally get takeout, the box is packed full of noodles. Here, it only filled a third of the box. Luckily, that was enough for me. I didn’t see anything in the flavor or texture of these noodles that would have made me want to eat an entire box. As it was, I could barely finish half before I lost interest.The noodles absorbed a good deal of the sauce after microwaving to the point of being just sticky and cooked, not saucy at all, and clumped together at the bottom of the box. It was hard to stir them around to get them mixed in with the rest of the toppings without getting them tangled. They were firm noodles and did not break easily. The flavor was pretty mediocre. It was mainly sweet, carrying very little vinegar, and wasn’t integrated as much as I would have liked it to be. The sesame seeds added a welcome crunch and a nice nutty flavor, and the vegetables had evaporated to nothing in the microwave.

I tried the rest of these the next afternoon after they’d cooled down, and they were still the same. I wouldn’t be inclined to try these again especially since fresh Chinese cuisine is so readily available, cheap, and more authentic than this. Though there was nothing particularly offensive about them, $4.29 is too high a price to pay for the “delivery experience” of a sub-par, half portioned vegetarian dish. Perhaps our cat will like them better, as the ASPCA would likely skewer me for feeding her Szechuan hot-pot.

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