My search for good, microwavable Chinese food continues. Today, I am taking a look at the Tai Pei Sweet & Sour Chicken. It has quite a few calories behind it, but it might be worth a try if you’re into Asian cuisine.
What Is Tai Pei Sweet and Sour Chicken?
This is a pre-packaged product that I found in the frozen food section of Safeway. It was on sale so I decided to give it a try since I have an affinity for Asian cuisine.
The entire microwavable dish is mixed together making it ultra-easy to prepare. All you need to do is pull the freshness seal and toss it in the microwave. It’s great for those who don’t have a lot of time and need something quick and easy.
Because I usually plan on spending at least $2.50 for each meal, which is my current budget, the Tai Pei Sweet & Sour Chicken fell right into that category. I’m not 100% sure exactly how much it cost without the discount, but I’m willing to bet it’s not much beyond that.
Why Should You Want Tai Pei Sweet and Sour Chicken?
When trying this dish, the rice came out to perfection as did the few vegetables that accompanied. It had a good taste to it and I was pleasant surprised by the sauce itself. However, I was a bit disappointed in the chicken bits. There were only a few amidst the rice, carrots and pineapple.
I am quite carnivorous, and not having a lot of chicken doesn’t really appeal to me. There were four, small chicken nuggets in the container. The chicken itself tasted as you would expect, processed poultry. But the mix of the other veggies and rice made it a passable meal.
Overall, the Tai Pei Sweet & Sour Chicken was semi-enjoyable. If I had to change one thing, it would be to add at least two more of the chicken chunks. After all, shouldn’t sweet & sour chicken have chicken in it?
What Kind of Health Benefits Are In It?
One thing I do like about Tai Pei’s meals is the lower sodium levels than you’d expect. For instance, this particular meal has 600 mg. That’s nearly one-third of eating an entire can of Progresso Soups…and you know how I love those.
An excellent aspect to consider in the Tai Pei Sweet & Sour Chicken is the high vitamin C (70%) and vitamin A (60%) content. This is perhaps thanks to the pineapple and green peppers in the dish. If you’re fighting a cold or worried about catching the flu, this is a great meal to have.
This product is fairly high in protein when compared to other frozen foods. Sitting at 13g, it’s better than many other choices. I’m just not convinced the calories and carbs are worth the trade, though. If you don’t get a lot of physical activity in your day, you may want to consider other frozen food options.
While the vitamin content may be pretty high for a microwave dinner, the biggest downside to this product is the calorie count and the carbohydrates. Sitting at 470 calories, it’s much higher than most other types of lunches I enjoy. For instance, a serving of Trader Joe’s Fettuccine with Mushrooms is only 170 calories.
The most damning thing to consider is the 35g of sugar in the Tai Pei Sweet & Sour Chicken. Hitting 84g of total carbohydrates, this is not conducive for those looking to drop a few pounds. Unless your physically active, you may want to eat these things sparingly.
Will It Work to Help Lose Weight?
This is one of those meals that I am on the fence about for weight loss. While the health benefits are pretty good, it’s the sheer number of calories and carbs that I am most concerned about. This is especially true since I am a desk jockey who doesn’t get a lot of physical activity in the day.
If you’re active enough, I do think this may be a good choice simply because it’s low in sodium and high in protein. So, if you’re in weight training or exercise regularly, this shouldn’t be a problem for you. In fact, the extra carbs and protein may help provide energy and muscle mass development.
Personally, this is going to be one of those things that I eat only on occasion. It has a decent taste to it, but I am overly concerned about the calorie count. I only have so many to spare in the day and I’d rather get more bang for my buck, so to speak.
What’s the Bottom Line?
The Tai Pei Sweet & Sour Chicken is a decent microwavable dish. I’m not sure if the price of the product is worth the value, but it’s definitely something I would suggest people try to decide for themselves.
It’s the original price versus the number of carbs and calories that bother me from a health perspective. I just wish I had more frozen Asian microwavable meals available to compare. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth the price simply because there are so many other healthy frozen foods to choose from.
Because I count calories and am trying to lose weight, I don’t know how often I will have something like this in my freezer. Personally, I’d rather mix up the Orange Chicken from Trader Joe’s and pair it with a half-serving of chicken fried rice.
Even though it’s not a very good option for my personal situation, I am sure that I might have this again in the future if it goes on sale. It does have a pretty good taste and I was pleasantly surprised by the perfection of the rice.
Where Can You Get It?
I found this in the local Safeway, but I am sure that it’s available in other stores such as King Soopers. It will be in the frozen food section and may be with a few other flavors. At the time of this article, it was on sale for $2.49.