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Old 08-13-2008, 03:16 PM   #1
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Review of oriental sauces from Trader Joe's

Just started picking up a few of these at local trader Joes and I was really impressed with most of them...

Soyaki sauce. Sold under Trader Ming label. This is a nice combination of the sweetness of teriyaki balanced by ginger and soy elements. Very nicely balaced and versatile sauce. Grade A.

Serving suggestion: try stir frying hot dog pieces w/ peppers/onions The boldness of the teriyaki should prevail over any aftertaste you may get with hot dogs.

General Tsao's sauce. Sold as Trader Ming. A balance of sweet and sour w/ sesame and rice vinegar as the prevailing elements. I havent used it for the chicken but would be good with any sweet/sour dish. Really didnt strike me as all that bold or interesting but still fairly balanced. Grade B+.

Black Pepper sauce. sold under Trader Joes label. A very nice sauce, hard to tell much difference from traditional szechwan pepper sauces. Has a good strong bite that you need for a pepper sauce. Grade A.

Serving suggestion. Try making a creole or jambayala with this.

Fish sauce. Sold under Thai Kitchen. It's prett good but nothing special in relation to the stuff in asian markets. Grade B.

Gyoza sauce. Sold under Trader Mings. NIce balance of sweet and sour with rice vinegar and cilantro and ginger elements prevailing. Nice visauls as you can see bits of cilantro or green onions in there. Coulduse as adip with it or use for stir frying. Grade A-.

Serving suggestion. Try braising pork ribs using this w/ orange peel, sherry and maybe 5 spice.

Sweet Red chile sauce. Sold under Thai Kitchen label. This was kind of a dud there was nothing spicy to it and the sweetness seems off. Grade D.

Serving suggestion: substitute for hoisen, it's nothing more than that.

Overall I was really impressed by their stuff, two of these are outstanding, the pepper sauce and the soyaki and the gyoza is worth picking up as well. The only one to avoid is that sweet red chile sauce which doesnt deliver.

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Old 08-13-2008, 05:12 PM   #2
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Unfortunately there is no TJ near me .
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:39 PM   #3
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While I generally like Trader Joe's various "simmer" sauces, I definitely did not care for "General Tsao's". Way too bland/sweet. Since I had two bottles of it, I'll be sure to spice up the 2nd one big-time when I use it. Definitely needs a few good hits with crushed red pepper flakes.

As far as fish sauce, it's always best to go with Asian brands here. Domestic ones don't even come close.

TJ"s Gyoza dipping sauce is okay for it's intended purpose - a dumpling dipping sauce. Easy to adapt to taste.
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:50 PM   #4
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I like the green Thai curry simmer sauce.
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:14 PM   #5
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Yes - I like the curry simmer sauces too! Easy to spice up to taste, & with a package of boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-size pieces & some veggies, it makes a quick, but still rather nice meal.
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:35 PM   #6
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I think Breezy is right about the Gen Tsao's sauce, probably I am being too easy a grader after being impressed with the other sauces. I will have to downgrade it a bit to C+/B-. Good call.

I just used the Korma simmer sauce the other day. It is a tomato based cinnamon/ginger. It's pretty good what do others think?
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:06 AM   #7
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I like the Korma sauce too, although as usual I add some ground cayenne pepper to it being the spicy-food fiend that I am.

I will say that TJ's "Arrabiatta" pasta sauce is quite spicy on its own, which is pleasantly surprising for a jarred sauce.

On the whole I'd say that I enjoy all the TJ sauces except for the ones that come off as overly sweet.
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:23 PM   #8
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I use and really like their Soy Sauce. I believe it is of Japanese origin.
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpinmaryland View Post
Just started picking up a few of these at local trader Joes and I was really impressed with most of them...

Soyaki sauce. Sold under Trader Ming label. This is a nice combination of the sweetness of teriyaki balanced by ginger and soy elements. Very nicely balaced and versatile sauce. Grade A.

Serving suggestion: try stir frying hot dog pieces w/ peppers/onions The boldness of the teriyaki should prevail over any aftertaste you may get with hot dogs.

General Tsao's sauce. Sold as Trader Ming. A balance of sweet and sour w/ sesame and rice vinegar as the prevailing elements. I havent used it for the chicken but would be good with any sweet/sour dish. Really didnt strike me as all that bold or interesting but still fairly balanced. Grade B+.

Black Pepper sauce. sold under Trader Joes label. A very nice sauce, hard to tell much difference from traditional szechwan pepper sauces. Has a good strong bite that you need for a pepper sauce. Grade A.

Serving suggestion. Try making a creole or jambayala with this.

Fish sauce. Sold under Thai Kitchen. It's prett good but nothing special in relation to the stuff in asian markets. Grade B.

Gyoza sauce. Sold under Trader Mings. NIce balance of sweet and sour with rice vinegar and cilantro and ginger elements prevailing. Nice visauls as you can see bits of cilantro or green onions in there. Coulduse as adip with it or use for stir frying. Grade A-.

Serving suggestion. Try braising pork ribs using this w/ orange peel, sherry and maybe 5 spice.

Sweet Red chile sauce. Sold under Thai Kitchen label. This was kind of a dud there was nothing spicy to it and the sweetness seems off. Grade D.

Serving suggestion: substitute for hoisen, it's nothing more than that.

Overall I was really impressed by their stuff, two of these are outstanding, the pepper sauce and the soyaki and the gyoza is worth picking up as well. The only one to avoid is that sweet red chile sauce which doesnt deliver.
Hey, thanks for the great "heads up." I love making Chinese food but I can't have soy because of past breast cancer. If you or anyone else comes across sauces that you have tried and liked, and don't contain soy, please post. In the meantime I'm going to try a couple of your suggestions. I have a TJ's about a mile from my home. Waaayyy too close.
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:55 PM   #10
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I love Trader Joe's - particularly their "Simmer Sauces", Bruschetta toppings, & other jarred & bottled delights. In fact, every Xmas my husband gifts me with 2 large shopping bags full of stuff he knows I like plus new things to try.

One thing I will say about Trader Joe's (or should I say "Trader Ming's) "General Tso's" sauce is that it is WAY WAY too sweet, with no "prevailing elements" that I could ascertain. And I've gone thru 2 bottles of the stuff & have 2 more to go (all gifts)! The only way I've been able to enjoy it in a stirfry has been to tweak it considerably with some dry sherry & a hefty couple of tablespoons of chili-garlic sauce.
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