Have you tried to re-create some Asian meals at home? I have! And if you are like me, I just can’t get homemade Chinese food right. I.Just.Can’t.
I still try.
Some attempts have turned out ok, some attempts have turned out pretty decent, and some attempts have been, well, just terrible.
Can you tell just how much we love Chinese food?
Even over Christmas, we have a tradition to have a Chinese meal. This year, we had 12 people for Christmas Eve dinner and we got Chinese takeout. I was shocked at the price of the bill and it reminded me that although we love it, we can’t get it often.
So, for Wok Wednesday, I decided to try something different instead of my failed homemade versions or expensive takeout. I tried P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Family Size meals for our Chinese fix that I bought in the freezer section of Kroger.
The result? Only P.F. Chang’s Home Menu offers restaurant-quality authentic Asian food at home. That is what we wanted – that authentic restaurant flavor!
But here’s my favorite part: it was about as much effort as grabbing Chinese takeout. Yes, it’s crazy easy.
We had the P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Family Size Chicken Fried Rice and Orange Chicken. What I discovered was that P.F. Chang’s Home Menu takes special care to ensure its meals are culturally authentic, creating sauces and flavors the way you would expect them at a restaurant. Recipes are inspired by the P.F. Chang’s Bistro and co-developed with restaurant co-founder Philip Chiang. I mean, it was like these Chefs rushed into my kitchen and zoomed around like Flash and made my family dinner, while I just helped by stirring it a couple of times!
I literally just had to dump the Orange Chicken in a pan – not needing to add a single thing. Stir and cook. It was done in less than 15 minutes. I noticed all of the orange flavors were contained in these ice-cube like flavor squares. I was skeptical of how they would melt evenly and be soaked up by the chicken and veggies, but when they “melted,” the aroma, the consistency, and even the distribution couldn’t have been more pleasing. It was like a perfect caramelization that Asian sauces have, but I didn’t have a wok or anything special. It just did it on its own!
I also made the Jasmine Rice in 5-minutes by dumping this rice in a pan with a couple of tablespoons of water and warmed it up in the pan. It was far better than minute-rice as it was the authentic Jasmine rice.
Simultaneously, for the Chicken Fried Rice, all I had to do was add a bit of oil (I used sesame for an Asian type oil) in the bottom of the pan and then add the package, stir, cover and simmer for less than 15-minutes.
For this special meal, I also got the P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Spring Rolls. That was primarily because my kids were shopping with me and begged for them; this is honestly why I shouldn’t shop with kids. They can easily convince me of how much we need something, especially if we are having a special dinner night “in.”
“You know mom, we are saving tons of money because we are eating at home. Just think how much this meal would cost out? So, there’s plenty of reasons to have spring rolls with our special food tonight!”
Yeah, I gave in. But it was a delicious giving in. Let’s face it, I couldn’t make these as cheap or as easy making them myself and a special Chinese dinner really isn’t complete without them. I have tried and it takes so much time. Not to mention the “attempt” problem. 😉
But these – place on a pan and bake in the oven for 10 minutes while the other two dishes are cooking.
I literally had dinner ready before the kids cleaned up their messes, washed up and set the table. And when they are hungry, they are fast. But this time I was faster and waiting for them to finish up!
So I snapped some fancy, dancy pictures. I like to feel artsy. I hate to say it, but I think my pictures of these dishes far surpass normal “attempts” of my homemade Chinese versions. And, as you can tell, I’m not a photographer either! 🙂
I am just a mom with a phone and 5-minutes to “kill” while I wait for the kids. So I attempted what the pros say to do.
Focus the front and then fuzz the back
Then fuzz the front and focus the back
See…pretty fancy, dancy photography there!
Well, what was the verdict on this Chinese meal at home?
We devoured this food fast. In fact, faster than it took to cook it, which was less than 15 minutes. So I think it is a real winner.
We loved the Orange Chicken. Those nice little squares of orange flavoring that cooked down in the pan and was soaked up but the chicken and veggies…. MUY BIEN. Whoops, wrong language, but you get the idea! The only thing my kids didn’t like was the water chestnuts in the orange chicken. But that was actually my favorite part. These orangey-flavored, crunchy, veggie morsels were my favorite part of the whole meal, so I stole them all!
The spring rolls were a nice touch that baked with a nice crisp (just the way you want them) and the Chicken Fried Rice was super nummy.
All-in-all, Wok Wednesday wasn’t a homemade disaster, it wasn’t a bank account disaster, but in the words of Goldilocks…just right.
Now it is time to give you the opportunity to brighten up your mid-week and Wok Wednesday with a chance to win a wok and a grocery gift card.
We are giving away:
- One grand prize winner receives a $500 Grocery Gift Card and Wok
- Three runner-up winner receive a $100 Grocery Gift Card and Wok
Would you like one of these prizes? Well, just enter below!
This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of P.F. Chang’s Home Menu. All opinions are 100% mine and we only share our honest and real experiences with you.