Discovering the Flavors of Trader Joe’s BBQ Teriyaki Chicken

Trader Joe’s BBQ Teriyaki Chicken

When it comes to quick and convenient meals, Trader Joe’s never fails to offer an array of options. One such product is their BBQ Teriyaki Chicken, which recently underwent a packaging update. Intrigued by the new look, I decided to give it a try. While hesitant at first due to my past experience with it, I wondered if the revamped packaging indicated any changes in the recipe that could potentially impress me.

Unwrapping the Origins of Teriyaki

Teriyaki, a popular Japanese dish, has slowly gained popularity in the United States over the years. Its story begins in 1976 in Seattle, where Toshi started serving a simple yet satisfying meal consisting of grilled chicken, rice, and a side salad smothered in Teriyaki sauce. Witnessing Toshi’s success, other establishments quickly followed suit, and before long, Teriyaki joints sprouted up on every corner in the Seattle area.

Trader Joe’s BBQ Teriyaki Chicken

When my wife and I moved to Seattle from the East Coast, we discovered the city’s love for Teriyaki. People would often rave about their favorite Teriyaki joints, where you could get a filling meal at an affordable price. Today, the Seattle metro area boasts hundreds of Teriyaki restaurants, including my small town of 10,000 people, which is home to at least six of them. Interestingly, these joints do not serve alcohol, are closed on Sundays, and yet, they remain consistently bustling with customers.

Exploring the Trader Joe’s Option

As a self-proclaimed Teriyaki connoisseur, I found it hard to believe that Trader Joe’s BBQ Chicken Teriyaki could ever match up to my local shop. However, the allure of its $5.99 price tag for 21 ounces of food intrigued me. The bag contained cooked and frozen chicken thigh meat, minimally seasoned, along with two small packets of Teriyaki sauce. This generous portion could easily feed a small family when served with rice and veggies.

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Trader Joe’s Chicken Teriyaki cooked

The recommended method of cooking this Trader Joe’s chicken Teriyaki was in the microwave. I started by thawing the frozen Teriyaki sauce in a bowl of hot water. Then, I microwaved a portion of the chicken for a few minutes until it was steaming hot. I served it over a bed of rice, poured the warmed-up sauce on top, and garnished it with chopped green onions. Voila! A simple and hassle-free meal was ready to be enjoyed.

The Taste Test

But how did it measure up in terms of taste? Did it capture the essence of authentic Seattle-style Teriyaki? Unfortunately, it fell slightly short. The chicken was a bit overcooked, as it had been cooked twice (once when purchased and again in the microwave). The sauce, while sweet, lacked the robust flavor and slight char characteristic of traditional Seattle Teriyaki sauce, which boasts a prominent black pepper note.

Trader Joe’s BBQ Teriyaki Chicken finished

The Final Verdict on Trader Joe’s Teriyaki

I can understand why people gravitate towards Trader Joe’s BBQ Teriyaki Chicken. It’s reminiscent of other crowd-pleasing items like their Orange Chicken. It’s affordable, feeds at least two people, and offers endless possibilities for customization. You can add a variety of ingredients to elevate the dish. It’s the type of meal kids would adore, and as a starving college student, it would definitely hit the spot.

However, for someone like me, who has easy access to a plethora of authentic Teriyaki options in Seattle, I probably wouldn’t purchase it again. Teriyaki is abundant and reasonably priced in the area, and making your own at home is a breeze, especially if you have access to a grill.

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In conclusion, I would rate Trader Joe’s BBQ Teriyaki Chicken a modest 6 Bells out of 10 because it didn’t quite meet my personal preferences. But if you’re in search of a quick, affordable meal with flavors that won’t disappoint, it’s certainly worth giving it a try.

Trader Joe’s Chicken Teriyaki nutrition