Mr Chen’s Prawn Pad Thai

Mr Chen’s Prawn Pad Thai

Another Mr Chen’s item I can review, this time it’s the prawn pad Thai ready meal. It’s available in the freezer section and I think it’s the only gluten-free by ingredient ready meal they do.

I grabbed this mainly to try it out for review, rather than genuinely be keen on it. At home we usually make our own pad Thai, usually with a sauce by Ayam or a similar brand. I have have enjoyed other Mr Chen’s products, particularly the beef pho kit.

The ingredients appear to be pretty authentic. Rice noodles as you’d expect, bean shoots, and of course tamarind sauce.

Taking it out of the packet I was actually worried when I first saw it – those noodles look positively opaque! I was freaking out a bit thinking they were somehow wheat but after cooking they do come to a more usual colour.

Mr Chen's prawn pad thai before heating
They look like egg noodles, eeek!

It microwaves in the the tray and the outer plastic (which looks a bit like a plastic bag) for four minutes. There’s a decent smell from the microwave, I’m definitely getting a pad Thai vibe.

After stirring and then resting for one minute you can dig in.

The taste

Flavour wise it’s pretty mild, which is true for a pad Thai – it’s not a really strong taste though of course it varies by restaurant / meal kit.

The texture of the prawns inside are fine, a bit firm but still with some juicy overall. Definitely not hard and ruined. I should be clear though, the prawns are tiny and in my pack there were just six. These are prawns you’d expect in a cheap fried rice, not a dish with prawn in the title.

The tofu is what you’d expect… firm, flavourless. But if you like tofu then that’s good.

Mr Chen's prawn pad thai
Plated up straight from the packet, those prawns are tiny!

The noodles are a bit too soft but theres still texture there. I think some parts have more flavour going than others.

It would have been nice if they actually used wide pad Thai noodles rather than these narrow ones. Having the right noodle type really helps with the authenticity and in my opinion, the taste!

There’s still texture to the capsicum and bean shoots, a bit of a crunch there but not a heap. Not surprising given it’s a frozen meal.

It does feel like a pad Thai, but you can definitely tell it’s a frozen ready meal. A fresh pad Thai is perhaps a bit saucier, a bit sweeter, more lively.

It’s definitely not crazy salty – unlike some reviews I’d seen online. However, given the date of the reviews (last year, 2021) and that this is a recently released product I think that perhaps Mr Chen has taken this on board and adjusted the recipe.

The upgrade

I actually got into it the meal the more of it I ate. However, that might be from the upgrades I gave it. Real prawns, fresh green beans and a whack of Lao Gan Ma chilli oil.

Always upgrade your ready meal

The verdict

Overall I don’t think I’d get it again – the shallots add quite a lot of onion. I am quite sensitive to onion and their friends in a FODMAP way. So for me it’s not worth the tummy upset.

But, I’d say this is worthwhile, not as a dinner option – you’re better off cooking pad Thai from a kit. But if you want a meal at the office that is ready in under five minutes, give it a go.

WHERE TO BUY MR Chen’s Prawn Pad Thai

Currently Mr Chen’s prawn pad Thai is exclusive to Woolworths supermarkets. It’s in the freezer section along with the other Mr Chen’s range. It’s $8 at full price, a bit pricey but not outrageous.

PRODUCT DETAILS

Gluten free: By ingredient.
Vegetarian / vegan: Nope, prawns.
Allergens: Crustacean, fish, soy. May contain traces of nuts.
Serving size: Strictly one.

Interested in more food reviews? Check out Mr Chen’s Thai basil chilli kit or the rather delicious beef pho.


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