Easy to prepare, suitable for microwave or stove. Made from natural ingredients, a healthy and fast meal.
As a busy Mum of three kids, and and a self employed sole trader - not always is there time for a sit down lunch - and if I am honest - gone are the days when I actually am consistently home at lunch time for lunch! I do like to have different things to eat though, and also for both hubby and I to have so that we limit the money blown on bakery or bought items. I requested the Ready to Eat Vermicelli as I thought it sounded like a nice alternative for lunch, would be a warm meal to have, and also that I love vermicelli!
The packet itself is is somewhat appealing - but as I cannot read what all the details are on the front, was not 100% sure what to expect. The preparation instructions are likewise difficult to read - being written in yellow, although they are in english with pictures, are not very straightforward, and I had to read them a few times as I did not understand how to prepare the vermicelli. The way this product is designed is good - you use the bag to measure out the water, then add flavouring and water together, before adding the vermicelli and microwaving or cooking in a pot.
I was dubious as to just how this would taste - but figured that at the very least I did not have endure the pre-soaking of vermicelli I was used to doing previously. After 4 minutes it was ready and upon opening the microwave door I was met with a lovely aroma, and some beautifully cooked vermicelli. I do recommend putting a little more water in that what they advise - but they were still nicely cooked. To say they were not visually appealing is a bit of an understatement - they looked a little like dirty skinny clear worms! However, if they were being used as part of a dish for example, adding vegetables and seafood, they would look much better. On to the taste, and I kind of expected these to be a bit salty and fishy - but they really were not. They had a good seafood flavour, and a bit of a salty taste but not overpowering or off putting. I would have loved to have had prawns or similar to add to this, as well as a little coriander!
I did have a read of the nutritional information to see if, as I suspected, these would be more of a sometimes than a frequent food - and was correct. They do, like the majority of pre-prepared food items like this, have a fair amount of sugar and salt, and , one thing I was not expecting - also contained palm oil. At this point I have to say that I would not consider buying these again purely for that reason - I am conscious of impacts on the environment, sustainability and making informed choices, so whilst these were nice to eat, won't be making it into my shopping anytime in the future.
I am a merchandiser and my days are usually spent flying from one store to another doing various activities. Most days I skip lunch or on the occasions I do eat I usually pop into a bakery and grab a sandwich or something - so I am always on the lookout for something fast and yummy where I can pop home for five minutes, throw it in the microwave and eat before running out the door again. This sounded ideal.
First off the packet/instructions and very hard to read. They are a yellow and so are the pictures so they all seem to blend into each other. It took me a couple of goes to read before I understood what I needed to do. It is rather simple but complicated at the same time. You need to remove the Vermicelli and the Seasoning from the packet so you can fill with water to a line which at first is confusing as there is the red 200 ml line but straight above it as an arrow. You then need too put the water into a bowl and then I assume put the noodles back into the packet while you stir the sauce with the water. Then add the Vermicelli and stir together which I found very hard as they all seem to clump together.
I put in the microwave for four minutes then pulled out to stir and found this is a really good thing as half of the Vermicelli was out of the liquid I tried to push it down and then returned to the microwave for another three minutes. Opening up the microwave I was hit with a very nice seafood smell but the Vermicelli looked like stretchy glue which was rather weird. Visually I would not say it looked very appetizing. It also appeared a third of it was not cooked properly.
I did not have any seafood to add to the dish which was a pity and instead was left with a dish I was rather unsure of. I took my first bite and was instantly met with a heat but a really nice taste. I twisted some more on my fork and watched it stretch before breaking and had another bite. Now it was about now that I wished I had some shrimps, onions and mussels as I think it would make a great meal. I also would add more water next time so that it covered all of the dish.
I am really surprised with how much flavour that seasoning packet has and what a nice meal it could make with added additions. Something I would be keen to try again. It is easy to prepare once you can read the instructions and I am guessing it would be a very filling meal. Just not very eye appealing.
We don't have vermicelli noodles very much in our house as it isn't a favourite for one of the kids. My husband, daughter and I do enjoy them though. We usually find that the big packets of vermicelli can make quite a mess when we try to separate it in order to cook enough for 3 people. A little packet like this potted vermicelli is just what we need to add a bit of variation to dinners for my husband and me. The image on the front of the packet caught my eye as I really do love prawns and there was a giant one taking up a good part of the packet.
As soon as I showed the kids, neither of them was at all interested. Even Miss Six, who is usually willing to give things a try, turned her nose up at it. Both my husband and I were fine with that as there wasn't really enough to share four ways! Both my husband and I loved the flavour and the quantity of noddles we got from the packet. It was a perfect amount for us to create a dish with vermicelli, slivers of carrot and prawns. It was something that we both thoroughly enjoyed and would happily recreate in the future.
It was handy that we were able to measure the water for the meal in the packet rather than having to use an separate measuring cup. The back of the packet made me giggle as the smart people in charge of the packet design have made part of the barcode look like noodles with chop sticks grabbing them. The noodles can be cooked on the stove top or in the microwave and take seven minutes in total to prepare. We found that this worked in well with the time required to cook the prawns and create the slivers of carrot using the vegetable peeler.
Being an instant noodle type of packet, I knew that it was likely to be not so good for us when it came to sodium and possibly sugars and fats. With this in mind, I was very much aware that it could be a 'sometimes' food for us rather than a staple in our pantry. When I looked at the ingredients list at the back, I saw that the product is made up of 10% palm oil. It is interesting that companies are still making things with palm oil in them as it is something that consumers are becoming more and more aware of. Even a recent trip to the Hamilton Zoo educated us on the impact that products using palm oil have on the wildlife in the world. It is such a shame that this ingredient is in the mix as this would stop us from buying it again in the future.
We all like noodles, whether as a snack food or as a side dish, so were looking forward to trying this variety. We had already tried the shiitake mushroom flavour in this range and enjoyed it, so were looking forward to trying this one too. Although we examined the packet closely, we could not find any particular flavour assigned to this one although the picture on the front featured seafood and the listed ingredients included oyster sauce and fish sauce. So we decided it should be referred to as Seafood Vermicelli.
Having learned that it is important to break up the noodles before adding the liquid and flavour sachet, I made sure to do a thorough job of the "smashing". This avoids hard lumps in the cooked product and ensures a smooth, even-textured result. This is especially important when the product takes more than a couple of minutes to cook in a microwave - in this case, up to seven minutes - because microwaves are notorious for cooking unevenly if the food is clumped and then you end up with burnt or dehydrated bits.
Our family loved this variety. The flavour was strong and sweet, with a delicious aftertaste of anchovy, and the noodles were cooked to perfection after seven minutes' microwaving (including two pauses for stirring). We had them as a side dish with our meal and the children were annoyed to find there were no more - they had both requested a second helping. We also thought the noodles would be quite nice allowed to go cold and then stirred through a salad or seafood cocktail. This is something we will buy again as Mr Eight does not like rice, so it would be a good alternative for him and something we know he would enjoy.
I did have reservations about the packaging. It was well-nigh impossible to read the instructions as the important bits were in yellow on a beige background, and even with a strong light I could not make out a lot of the words. Luckily there were also pictures of the preparation process, so I went with those and just used my common sense. It was also difficult to see the water fill line when the noodles were still in the packet, but once they were taken out it was easy to spot.
Given that the product has a shelf life of a year, it would be a useful item to keep on hand. The sugar content is 6% which means it needs to be regarded with caution, but overall the ingredients are all natural products and very tasty to boot. Oh - and I loved the logo of the chopsticks threaded through the bar code. Very cute!
Random listing from 'Food'...
• Gluten free
• Made in New Zealand
• No added preservatives
• Natural colours and flavours
• Vegan Friendly
Refrigerate after opening. Use within 7 days of opening.
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