Food Review: Saffron Road Gochujang Chicken microwave meal
Some time ago, after finding my review of Saffron Road’s Korean Tacos, they sent me an email offering to send me free samples of their Korean cuisine line of microwave meals. I accepted their offer and within a few days, I received a package of four microwave meals, packed in a cushioned styrofoam box with dry ice to keep the frozen microwave meals frozen. The package did not come with any literature, brochures or PR releases.
The Korean meals, which were just released in early March 2014, are certified halal and gluten-free. Gluten free meals are easier to find than ever before and it’s no small feat to make Korean food gluten free. Halal cuisine is still a small, niche market in the USA but it’s steadily rising to cater to the approximately 3.5 million Muslims living in North America.
The first dish I tried was their Gochujang Chicken meal. The dish featured diced boneless chicken with brown rice, onions, broccoli, mushrooms, red peppers and scallions. For those of you who consider yourselves Korean food traditionalists, don’t sneer at the inclusion of broccoli in this dish.
The label warned of a high level of spiciness to the dish. Although the heat level of this dish is not hot by typical Korean standards, there is noticeable heat to the dish that most Korean food aficionados would classify as a mild-medium spice level.
The meal took about 6 minutes to cook from freezer to table, with a brief mix in the middle of the cooking process.
The gochujang in this dish was more savory and less sweet than in the Korean taco, even though, on the surface the ingredient list for the Korean taco gochujang v. the gochujang in the Gochujang chicken dish are the same. The gochujang in this dish reminded me of bibimjang, which is a slightly sweetened, lighter version of gochujang, commonly served with bibimbap. The proportion of sweet, spicy and savory in this gochujang was a vast improvement over the version in the tacos.
I will give the folks at Saffron Road credit because I can taste the fact that they did their research about what real gochujang tastes like before venturing into their interpretation for this line. It’s hard work trying to make a gluten-free gochujang that actually tastes like gochujang instead of sriracha.
If you’re interested in trying this out for yourself, the suggested retail price of $5.99 and they can be found at Whole Foods stores across the USA.
Disclosure: Financial compensation was not received for this post. Saffron Road sent samples for review. Opinions expressed here are my own — and/or my dear husband’s.