Something I Tried: Trader Joe's Kung Pao Tempura Cauliflower

I was hesitant to pick up the bag of Kung Pao Tempura Cauliflower from Trader Joe's frozen section. It was $4.99, which seemed like a whopping price, but then I saw that it was 1.5 pounds of food. Ok, I'm in.

Inside the package are cauliflower florets of varying size that are breaded in a light rice flour batter. All you have to do is bake at 450 F for 20-35 minutes and when it's hot, toss it with the packet of kung pao sauce.

The verdict: the cauliflower came out nice and crispy, but got a little soggy as soon as it was coated with the sauce. This is to be expected with anything "fried", so that's ok. However, the cauliflower inside the breading was a little mushy--obviously a side effect of freezing. I want to love frozen vegetables because they are cheap, convenient, and never wasted (I know we all forget time to time about that bag of fresh spinach in the back of the fridge and to our horror, find a wet mess a week later). However, because veggies are mostly water, the water cells burst, changing their firm texture into something more mushy. 

Ok, what about the taste? The sauce is everything! Slightly sweet and fruity from pineapple juice, slightly sour from rice vinegar, and nice and salty from soy's nothing short of delicious. It is also deceivingly spicy, I had a nice heat in the back of my throat after a few bites.

Overall, this is a lot of tasty, flavorful food that is ready in a short amount of time. Love it! The downside is the slight mushiness of the cauliflower inside the breading, so if you don't mind that frozen veggie texture, you will fall head over heels for this tempura cauliflower.