When I’m in a pinch for time to make dinner, I always have what we call “emergency” ingredients or meals in the pantry and freezer. I recently pulled Trader Joe’s Bulgogi Beef Fried Rice with Kimchi out of the freezer in a frenzy to get dinner on the table and there are some things you need to know about this frozen dinner before buying it. Read on to see!
What are Bulgogi and Kimchi?
Bulgogi is a Korean style of steak or pork that’s been marinated, very thinly sliced, and cooked fast over a hot grill or as part of a stir fry. Kimchi is a mix of fermented cabbage and other vegetables and its flavor is often boosted with a bit of heat from a spicy pepper. Both are mainstays in Korean cooking.
What is Trader Joe’s Bulgogi Beef Fried Rice with Kimchi
Have you seen the huge selection of frozen meals at Trader Joe’s? If you’re looking closely as you zip down the frozen aisle, you’ll spot few different meals options from a variety of cuisines from all over the world.
And if you know what you’re looking for, good for you, because I’m still floored at the choices. It takes me forever to move through that aisle!
This fried rice dish is one of the many Asian Trader Joe’s frozen meals that you can pick up and turn into a quick lunch or dinner. And it combines beef bulgogi and kimchi vegetables with a seasoned soy sauce fried rice.
As opposed to microwaving a frozen dinner, this one is quickly sautéed in a pan on the stove top.
Where In the Store?
You can find this beef bulgogi meal in the frozen aisle at Trader Joe’s near the other prepared Asian dishes.
How to Serve Trader Joe’s Bulgogi Beef Fried Rice with Kimchi
It really couldn’t be easier to make and serve this beef bulgogi meal! You’ll simply heat some oil in a pan and dump the bag of fried rice, beef, and kimchi in to the pan. Cook it for a few minutes and serve it up!
The number of servings noted on the bag is just 1 serving but to me, that seemed like a lot of food for just 1 person. So if you need to stretch the meal, you could certainly add in some extra vegetables like broccoli, sliced bell peppers, onions, or sliced mushrooms. And feel free to add some sliced scallions or chives to the top for a pop of color and extra bit of fresh, oniony flavor.
When I made this, I added some extra thinly sliced flank steak. I usually find that the protein in these types of meals is a little on the light side, which is probably done to keep the price down.
And I’m so glad I did because the steak definitely was a bit on the skimpy side and there would not have been enough for 2 servings.
Truthfully, this beef bulgogi fried rice was good but in my opinion, is wasn’t fantastic. It’s not a dish I would have made on my own at home since I’m completely unfamiliar with Korean flavors and ingredients and that’s why I was intrigued to try bulgogi and kimchi as a prepared meal.
With that said, I’m SURE homemade versions of a bulgogi meal like this one would be better than a frozen, store-bought meal. It’s not the idea of bulgogi and kimchi that didn’t wow me; it was the lack of flavor and skimpy amount of steak that just didn’t do it for me.
The slices of steak that you see in the photos above and below here are the ones that I added to the meal to stretch it out into additional servings. If you look closely at the photo above, you can see the tiny cubes of brown meat scattered throughout the rice. That’s the steak that came in the package. Womp. Womp.
Since there’s soy sauce in the fried rice, this meal is loaded with sodium. This is one of the nutrients that I’m most conscious about feeding my family so if this matters to you too, be sure to keep it in mind that more than 3/4 of the USDA daily recommended amount of sodium is in 1 serving.
That’s A LOT of sodium!
Buy It Again?
Ehh, I don’t think I’ll be buying this Bulgogi Beef Fried Rice again. It was good but it didn’t blow my mind, like the guacamole I recently reviewed did. And honestly, I rarely buy frozen meals to start with so I’ll pass on this one again in the future.