Hello. My name's Nathan, and I love Trader Joe's. My wife Sonia does too. She's a great shopper, has excellent taste and knows good value when she comes across it. As many of you know, Trader Joe's is unsurpassed in the world of good-value grocery stores, so we spend a lot of our time and money there. Although the store fairly consistently delivers great taste with its own unique line of food products, there are definitely some big-hits, and unfortunately, there are some misses...

After doing a couple of internet searches for reviews of TJ's food items, Sonia discerned an apparent dearth of good, quality reviews for the store's offerings. So, at her suggestion, we decided to embark on a journey of systematically reviewing every Trader Joe's product, resulting in the blog you are about to read...

A couple of months into our Trader Joe's rating adventure, an old college friend, Russ, who unbeknownst to me had been following our TJ's blog, decided that I had been slacking in my blogging duties (which, of course, I was) so he decided to contribute his own original TJ's reviews to the blog, thus enhancing it, making it more complete and adding to it a flavor of his own. He and his wife Sandy are also avid TJ's fans and, as you will soon discover, he is an excellent writer and is nearly as clever, witty and humble as I am.

Seriously though, Russ: You go, boy!

So here it is: "What's Good at Trader Joe's?"

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Trader Joe's Tofu Edamame Nuggets


Prior to this, the only time I've ever eaten edamame was straight out of the pea-pod at sushi restaurants. I'd dip them in the soy sauce bowl, slurp the beans out one by one, and then discard the pod in a nearby bowl and try as hard as I could not to confuse the already-eaten bowl with the non-eaten one. (It's totally gross when you stick an empty pea-pod in your mouth that's just recently been in someone else's mouth).

Aside from the misleading photo on the packaging, featuring some exotic, delicious Asian sauce that totally doesn't come with this product, I was quite delighted with these snacktacular hors d'oeuvres. They're different. We've seen plenty of veggie dishes that blatantly try to rip off the real thing, such as chickenless orange chicken. But these don't seem to be imitating something with meat. They just are what they are. Delicious. And they happen to be meat-free.

There's a crispy outer-shell that's kind of reminiscent of the breading on a normal nugget...yet somehow better. Inside, there are whole edamame beans and...well, some other meatless stuff. There are bits of thinly-sliced carrots. There's tofu. It's a great balance of nuggetiness and bean/carrot/veggie-ness.

We ate them with a sauce that Sonia made out of mayo, lime juice, hot sauce, garlic powder, and onion powder. And also, in a separate bowl, we dipped them in soy sauce. Both sauces = yumtastic.

These nuggets were quite foreign to my tastebuds' experience up to this point, and yet, their essence was undeniably Asian. They went well with the soy sauce—also Asian, but they could have been eaten with any number of dips, too. If you dare, try them with ketchup or honey mustard or something American. But I'm pretty sure most Asian-inspired dipping sauces would totally rock with these bad boys. Sesame sauce, sweet and sour sauce, orange sauce, teriyaki sauce...and if you're really brave, try them with a thai peanut sauce or maybe even wasabi...? (Though not necessarily all together).

Definitely prepare these nuggets in the oven. Makes them happy, crispy critters. Sonia gives them a 4. I agree. Although, they totally would have gotten a 4.5 if they had come with that Asian-looking sauce in the picture. Maybe even a 5 if the sauce were any good...

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

17 comments:

  1. Looks like a sweet and sour sauce on the package. Probably go good with some ranch. They look so good.

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  2. Once again, you reviewed something I *just* bought but haven't eaten yet. I'm looking forward to trying these now - and I may try to recreate that mayo dipping sauce. Nom.

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  3. Humm!!! I will need to give these another look. Thanks for sharing. :-),
    Susan Cooper

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  4. I was in Trader Joes today and this was the free sample. They were pretty darn good.

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  5. Rawrr--yeah, if you're into ranch, that would probably work...Susan, I wrote these off the first time I saw them, too, but fortunately my wife picked some up!

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  6. Just ate 5 of 'em. Tried half in barbeque sauce (yum) and half in ginger flavored soy sauce (also yum). Thanks for the tip. I would NEVER have bought them without your review. And 5 filled me up, for 200 calories and a ton of protein. Not bad for a dieter.

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  7. I just had these last night! They were great with TJ’s General Tso’s Stir Fry Sauce, I put half a tsp on each nugget before I baked them too.. My house smelled devine!

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  8. are they pretty large? i was a little surprised by the nutrition facts and the serving size being only 5 nuggets! (and only 15 in a bag!)

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  9. yep! they are pretty large, and also delicious!

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  10. I served these for the picky toddler I nanny. He won't touch a vegetable so I liked that they contain edamame and carrot, even in small amounts. I called them "nuggets" and he ate them with ketchup. Picky toddler approved!! (I liked them too.)

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  11. These are my favorite Trader Joe's item... and apparently have been catching on here in town (recent opening of the store). The last two time I went they were completely out.

    As a former fast-food eater, these things remind me of McDonalds Chicken McNuggets BEFORE they switched to the less-bad-for-you white meat. I could eat these every day (and have for several days in a row).

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  12. I loved these nuggets! As did my 5 year old daughter. However, the last few times I have been into TJ's (I'm fortunate there are 2 in my area), neither store had them. Are they carrying them anymore?

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  13. After being gone for months while TJ looked for a new producer, Tofu Edamame nuggets are back. They are not quite as good as before, but they are better than not having them at all.

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    1. I bought a bunch of these since I was afraid that they'd disappear again. What a mistake. the recipe has changed so much that not only do I not like them anymore - I find them sickeningly sweet. The nutrition info also shows that they're much less healthy for you as they once were. Yuck.

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    2. That sucks they changed the recipe...

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