Another day, another dollar. Another day of uninspiring leftovers in a sparsely-filled refrigerator (we keep low stock when we're out of town often like we have been). Another day of TPS reports at the cubicle farm. Another day of being too cheap to order delivery from the cruddy area Chinese restaurants. So, to liven things up a bit...yep, another early morning TJ's run to try another salad and figure out if it's lunch-rotation worthy or not. Yeeeeeeeeehaw.
In the line-up this week: Trader Ming's Five Spice Chicken and Asian Style Rice Noodle Salad. Now that's a mouthful of a name. Know what there's not a mouthful of? The chicken. Okay, there's probably technically a literal full mouth's worth of grilled chicken strips, but once again, the infamous TJ chicken cheater strikes again. One respectable sized strip and few small munches (maybe adding up to another respectable sized strip) just isn't enough, no matter how tasty it is....which is too bad, because it is pretty darn good poultry.
Other than that, it's a decent enough bite. All the veggies - cabbage, carrots, etc - kinda make a dry-ish coleslaw to go on top the rice noodles. Now, I'm not sure if I'm just really used to fried rice noodles, or overly cooked whimpy ones, because to describe these noodles as al dente is a bit of an understatement. They can probably double as fiber optic replacement strands. That's not necessarily a bad thing just...unexpected. I doubt I've had noodles as firm and vigorous as these fellas before, and like about that thing my wife mentioned the over night, if I don't remember it, it doesn't count. The chile lime dressing isn't too exciting one way or another, and one of the nice things is, there's more than enough that if you don't use all of it, you can save yourself some fat and calories without sacrificing too terribly much. It does strike me as an odd choice for an Asian-inspired salad (something sesame seems more appropriate to me), but, well, what do I know?
Bottom line: Trader Ming's Five Spice Chicken and Asian Style Rice Noodle Salad: 7 out of 10 Golden Spoons