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Japanese Style Fried Rice

This Trader Joe’s Japanese style fried rice is a staple in my kitchen. It’s easy to cook and full of flavor, which makes it a great addition to Asian meals or even a whole meal by itself. Read on to learn more about it. 

The details

Price: $3.79

Size: 16 oz (1 lb)   

Servings: 1.5 cups frozen (180g), makes 1 cup cooked

Servings per container: about 2.5

Calories per serving: 340

Cooking instructions: 

Microwave (120 watt): Cook rice thoroughly to 165 degrees F.

Whole bag: Cut ¼ inch slit in corner of bag. Cook on HIGH for about 4 minutes. Remove from microwave and carefully open bag. Caution bag will be hot. Empty contents into serving dish and lightly fluff with a fork before serving.

Stovetop: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick skillet. Carefully add rice and stir fry for 4 to 5 minutes or until rice is cooked thoroughly to 165 degrees F.

What are the ingredients in Trader Joe’s Japanese style fried rice?

Rice, water edamame soybeans, soy sauce (water, soybeans, wheat, salt), sweet cooking rice wine (water, mirin [water, rice, alcohol, salt, koji {aspergillus oryzae}], sugar, lactic acid), carrots, deep fried tofu (water, soybeans, canola oil and/or soybean oil, calcium chloride), canola oil, contains 1% of less of sake (water, rice, koji [aspergillus oryzae], salt), sugar, hijiki seaweed, sesame oil. 

How does Trader Joe’s Japanese style fried rice taste?

Trader Joe’s Japanese style fried rice is delicious! 

It’s different from Chinese fried rice that you might make at home or order at a restaurant. This fried rice is more flavorful with a nice savory umami flavor.

It has the right proportion of rice, edamame, tofu bits, and carrots so that you can get a bit of the non-rice items in each bite. Sometimes fried rice can have too much rice and too few other ingredients so that you feel like you’re mostly eating plain rice. That’s not the case here, although I would have liked a little more of the tofu bits.

It also has a nice texture. The rice is a bit chewy, while the edamame and carrots have a little more crunch to give you a satisfying chew.

I also think this fried rice has a better mixture of ingredients and a more compelling flavor than other fried rice options at Trader Joe’s such as the frozen shrimp fried rice.

As for cooking, I prefer to cook this on the stovetop than the microwave for more even heating. Be sure to use a non-stick pan with some cooking oil. Otherwise the rice will stick, and you’ll lose a lot of it to the pan as I have before. 

What should you eat with Trader Joe’s Japanese style fried rice?

By itself

The fried rice can be eaten as a dish by itself. It doesn’t make for the most healthy, well-balanced meal as it’s high in sodium and only has a small amount of protein and vegetables per serving. 

But it’s quick to cook and reheat, which makes it fast to prepare for a weekday or weekend lunch when you’re on limited time.

There actually isn’t that much rice in the bag. The package contains about 2.5 servings. 

I think 2 servings can make for a full meal for one person. So if you’re serving more than 1 person, it’s good to have more than one bag. 

As an entree

You can eat the rice as your main entree supported with sides such as a fried egg or sauteed spinach. You can even scramble an egg right into the rice as you cook it.

As a side

The fried rice does well as a side or part of a meal. The rice itself has a lot of rich flavor, so it can be paired with something light in flavor or seasoning. Some favorites:

  • Simple grilled chicken
  • A light salmon teriyaki
  • Asian cucumber salad
  • Fried tofu cubes
  • Scrambled egg
  • Vegetable medley (e.g., shiitake mushrooms and snap peas)

I wouldn’t pair it with heavier foods such as Trader Joe’s orange chicken because the flavors will clash. Strongly flavored foods such as the orange chicken would best be paired with plain white or brown rice.

The bag can comfortably serve two people if the rice is served as a side or a base for other parts of the meal. If you’re serving more than 2 people, you’ll likely need more than one bag.

Final thoughts

Trader Joe’s Japanese style fried rice is tasty, versatile, and easy to cook, making it a winning dish! It’s a vegetarian dish, but you’ll probably find that the meat eaters in your family will like it too. 

Have you tried it? What did you think of it?

Rating: 5/5

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