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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Monday, September 17, 2012

Trader Joe's Wasabi Roasted Seaweed Snack

At times, I've gone out for sushi just because I had a craving for wasabi. And sushi was the only socially-acceptable thing I could think of to eat with it. I don't mess with those ginger leaves, I just put a nice little dollop of wasabi on each slice of my spicy tuna roll and go to town, using chopsticks, of course.

I realize I could buy wasabi, keep it in my fridge, and try it on everything from ham sandwiches to pizza, but somehow I think most of those experiments would fail. It might succeed on certain Asian-inspired dishes, but having it in my fridge would take some of the specialness away from it. Wasabi peas are fun, exotic snacks to munch on from time to time (I'm pretty sure the first time I saw them was at Trader Joe's) but the novelty wears off quickly and I tire of their taste after just one bag or so.

Enter Trader Joe's Wasabi Roasted Seaweed Snack. Many moons ago, we reviewed Trader Joe's Original Roasted Seaweed Snack. This stuff is basically the same thing—but wasabified. And they didn't skimp on the wasabi. These snack sheets of seaweed have a nice, sinus-clearing kick. Wrap up some rice for a delicious and unique (yet simple and cheap) meal. They're vegan and they're gluten-free. They're salty and they're spicy. With or without something wrapped up inside them, they make a wonderful break from the norm.

At 60 calories per package they won't wreck your diet, either. And I'm willing to bet wasabi raises your metabolism, too. Sonia isn't a huge fan of wasabi. It's a far cry from the Mexican chile-based spices she's used to. The plain seaweed snack got 4 stars from each of us. Sonia will knock this version half a star down, and I'll bump it half a star up. But it will still wind up with the same score:

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.


  1. OK...I haven't tried the wasabi ones, but I do love those plain seaweed snacks! ♥

  2. I'm with you - take out that ginger! Always wanted to try these and with such a glowing review, how can I pass it up? Thanks for posting.

  3. I'm currently digging this Aioli Garlic Mustard from Trader Joe's because it tastes like wasabi! It's delish with egg sandwiches!

  4. Looking at the ingredients it looks like the spicy comes from mustard oil, not real wasabi (which is almost impossible to find in the US).

  5. Thanks for the suggestion, Rika! Good observation, Mr. PoW...who knew mustard oil tasted like wasabi?

  6. You can buy wasabi powder--I think I've seen TJ sell it, and also Penzey's.


  7. I love these things! Pretty surprised about it not being real wasabi.

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  9. You can buy "wasabi" powder at a lot of places, but I'm willing to bet it's all just horseradish with green coloring. Unless you buy it online or from a very specialty store, this is the case. I bet that even the stuff at your local sushi restaurant isn't authentic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasabi#True_wasabi_and_western_wasabi

  10. I love your site, and I love most TJ items...but, I hate, loathe and despise their seaweed snacks. To my palate, these are just disgusting. LOL, but, glad you enjoyed them.

    Keep on reviewing; I just made a trip to TJ's yesterday before I found your site, but now I'm going to have to go back in the next few days to pick up a couple things you've reviewed that I've never tried.

    Since you like spicy, I'm surprised to not see a review for the jalapeno tartar sauce - it's awesome. And, while their salsa verde doesn't taste as good as my homemade tomatillo with home roasted Hatch chiles sauce, it's better than any other store bought green sauce I've tried. Love their battered halibut fish - will try the cod since you like it and I'm looking forward to trying the Maryland crab cakes now.

  11. Just tried the wasabi smacks and they are phenomenal! Only bought one when I purchased my usual plain ones and definitely going to head back to Trader Joe's for more Wasabi ones! yum!

  12. Love em. Best to eat wasabi side down. Have to limit how much I go through or it could get expensive.