REVIEW: Wanchai Ferry Cashew Chicken Chinese Dinner Kit

When I want Chinese food, I don’t go to Paul Fleming Chang’s China Bistro.

When I’m jonesin’ for Chinese food, I want to be able to pick something from a bilingual menu and give my order to an angry Chinese woman who yells it to the cooks in the back of the restaurant, one of which is her husband. When my food arrives, I want to use extremely long plastic chopsticks with a slippery glossy coating that makes it difficult to pick up anything and brings me to the point of sheepishly asking for a fork. I also want to enjoy it with a small cup of green tea served by the restaurant owner’s high school-aged daughter who would rather hang out with her friends, instead of working at her parent’s restaurant on a Friday evening.

If I’m not able to get Chinese food the way I want it, I would settle for the Wanchai Ferry Cashew Chicken Chinese Dinner Kit, which is distributed by General Mills.

The kit is made up of individual packets of jasmine rice, cashew sauce, seasoned cornstarch, and roasted cashews. As for the chicken, just like the USB cable for your new inkjet printer, it is sold separately.

I thought preparing the dish was going to be as difficult as the paparazzi trying to get all of Kim Kardashian’s ass in a photo using a telephoto lens, but it was easy to make. All I had to do was take a pound of chicken, cut it up into one-inch pieces, coat them in the seasoned cornstarch, then brown the coated pieces in a frying pan, and then mix in the cashew sauce and roasted cashews. While I had that going, I also had to cook the jasmine rice in a pot for about 20 minutes. It made enough for three decent-sized servings. Once everything was done, I plated it and enjoyed.

To be honest, I didn’t expect much from this meal in a box but it was very good. The jasmine rice came out perfect; the cashew sauce, which seemed to be made up of mostly hoisin sauce, had a nice garlic taste with a little bit of citrus; and the cashews themselves added a nice nutty flavor and gave the dish a crunchiness. But the seasoned cornstarch on the chicken didn’t seem to add too much to the taste of the dish.

While I don’t get to pick it from a bilingual menu or hear a vexed Chinese woman yell “cashew chicken” in Chinese to a bunch of men in the kitchen with the Wanchai Ferry Cashew Chicken Chinese Dinner Kit, it’s good to know that I get to eat it in the comfort of my home and with a fork that I didn’t have to ask for with the face of shame.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup – 300 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 490 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, 21 grams of protein, 2% Vitamin C, and 10% Iron.)

Item: Wanchai Ferry Cashew Chicken Chinese Dinner Kit
Price: $6.59
Size: 13.4 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Tasty. Rice came out perfect. Good sauce. Easy to make. Makes three decent-sized servings. Real Chinese restaurants.
Cons: You have to add your own chicken. Can’t microwave it. Damn slippery plastic Chinese chopsticks. Asking for a fork at a Chinese restaurant. Printers that don’t come with a USB cable. P.F. Chang’s.

26 thoughts to “REVIEW: Wanchai Ferry Cashew Chicken Chinese Dinner Kit”

  1. Looks pretty good. I wonder if they have a kung pao chicken kit. There is a Pei Wei near where I live that I go to sometimes, but I think they’re overpriced, just not as bad as P.F. Chang’s.

  2. i would normally avoid this stuff, but your descriptions – including your description of the real thing – cause me to rethink. and the picture looks really good!

  3. I’ve had this before and its not bad. I found the sauce a little much so only used 2/3 of it. I found it on clearance at Target for $2.50 and decided to take a chance. Was totally worth it, but now I cant find them anymore!

  4. The Chinese invented many great thinks in this world, but their version of Chop Sticks is not one of them. Especially the more modern plastic ones you mentioned. I can barely pick up a damned thing using those big and clumsy high gloss, square profile “sticks”. The smaller, tapered, round profile lacquered wood Japanese style Hashi is much better at the task. Especially the ones with the grip grooves at the tips.

    So I guess this would be the Chinese version of Hamburger Helper. Looks and sounds pretty good. Maybe I’ll give it a try myself. I love savory dishes that have nuts in them. Really compliments it. I’m not really a hoisin fan though. We’ll see.

  5. The chopsticks are made that way so they’ll slide easily into the ribcage and skewer your heart while it’s still beating. You know, if someone were so inclined to use them that way. angry bob wouldn’t know anything about that.

  6. I’ve not had the cashew chicken variety of these but have had a couple others and they were pretty good! Rice was great, seasonings were good and pretty easy to make. It’s better than the Chinese food I’ve had in some restaurants.

  7. i LOVE THE SPICY GARLIC CHICKEN ONE! It is fast and easy to make and I have tried to make chinese food on my own following recipes, but it never came out like this. Even Hubby was enjoying it! yay!

  8. (Wistfully, eyes lowered) Oh, Marvo, you delicate flower. I can’t believe you have such a dainty, feminine set of dishes with a cute floral pattern. It looks like it might be Corelle ware, am I correct? Seriously, you need to butch up your taste in home decor. Where are the square, matte black plates that truly reflect your masculinity?

    Eh, if it was $6.59 plus the cost of the chicken plus factoring in the amount of time it took for you took make only 3 (what happened to 4?) servings plus the cost of gas, I would have just gone to the Chinese restaurant for takeout.

    And you can’t eat with the plastic chopsticks? Pussy.

  9. I misread Fleming Chang as Flaming Chang and I was trying to invision what a Flaming Chang was in my mind and it was pretty exciting.

    This dinner in a box seems like it takes great effort to make (for something that looks like it should be instant) — it should come with cryogenically frozen pieces of chicken and make itself when you open it.

  10. @(( K@Y )) – Do it! And if you don’t like it, maybe you can get a refund from General Mills.

    @Chuck – They do have a Kung Pao Chicken version, but I think you would be better off with Pei Wei.

    @Lee – I think it’s the plates that make it look good…or my amateur photography.

    @NobleArc, The Lazy Canadian – Go get some! Get some NOW!

    @Brian – Damn you Target! Damn you for not being here on this rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean yet!

    @wyn – I think that’s why I don’t like PF Chang’s. It’s not authentic enough. Not enough yelling.

    @Pomai – Chinese version of Hamburger Helper…that’s a very good way to describe it. Although, there is Chicken Helper, so technically it would be the Chinese version of Chicken Helper. 🙂

    @angry bob – I watched a lot of Kung Fu Theater too.

  11. @Derek – Fortunately, I live near a few good Chinese restaurants that are full of Chinese women yelling orders.

    @amanda – It doesn’t just look tasty, it is tasty.

    @Momma – General Mills makes magic, after all they do make Lucky Charms.

    @Neil – HA! HA! You totally WOK!

    @Sass – They were kind of time consuming and I would always end up doing them at 1am, which caused me to sound tired. I’ve been thinking about doing something else with audio, but I haven’t had the time to do it. Boo on me.

    @kagai – Yes, you try now. (Read that last line in a fake Chinese accent.)

    @Molly – They’re dishes from Japan, because that’s how I keeps it realz. I may not be able to eat with plastic chopsticks, but I sure can stab people things with them. 😉

    @Heidi – Flaming Chang is the greatest Asian drag queen EVAR! No Adam’s apple, really feminine hands, and the ability to hide a penis really well.

  12. I’m definetely try it now. You should try some Patak’s sauces for Indian food. The Tiki Masala rocks. BTW. You rock also. I love your reviews and still am making pancakes from the whipped cream type can!
    Anyway I was cracking up on your description of your favorite Chinese restaurants. Both of my favorites are described to a tee from you! If you are ever in Austin try Wok-n-Roll. Not one, but two daughters that would rather be doing something else on a Friday night!

  13. I eat Wanchai Ferry a lot and it really is great Chinese in a box. I like it better than the takeout restaurants because I know what’s in it (no MSG) plus I can add vegetables to make it healthy. Plus, it’s always nice to eat in the comfort of your own home in front of the TV, especially when it’s so cold outside!

  14. The Cashew Chicken is awesome, unfortunately, my grocery store stopped carrying it. I’ll have to buy it elsewhere because we love it!

  15. unfortunatly this flavor was discontinued, as a matter of fact here in tn i can find none of the flavors, at our walmart, food lion, food city, nor kroger. and believe me i have looked. its seems the shelf space has been displaying more hamburger helper cheesy dishes, which i hate. if anyone comes across a product this good that can be purchased online. let me know.

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