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
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.