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– March 20, 2016
I was really excited to see this new product, as I enjoy cauliflower and anything tempura. I was surprised to see that the cooking instructions were 20 – 25 minutes in an oven (for some reason I was picturing a stovestop skillet). I followed the directions and did 25 minutes at the listed temperature (450 degrees), and heated the sauce for 1 minute 30 seconds as directed.
The result? A mixed bag. The pieces that came out extra crispy were delicious; five stars all the way. However, even with cooking it for the maximum time listed, many of the cauliflower pieces were still mushy and unappealing inside.
The sauce also tasted mostly like soy sauce, not as diversely flavorful as typical Kung Pao dishes.
Overall, I give this three stars — as mentioned, some of the pieces ended up being five stars, but others I couldn’t finish. My recommendation for anyone buying this would be to be prepared to cook it for longer than the directions say. I think if I had cooked all of them for longer, it would have been uniformly delicious.
One other aspect: the price seemed a little bit high to me, at around 5 bucks. That’s how much TJ’s kung pao chicken costs, but that’s more fair because that’s a full meal. I feel like this one should have been under 4 dollars.
– August 9, 2016
A very unpleasant dish.
The cauliflower cooked up very unevenly. Most of it was mushy, but a few pieces had tough parts (core maybe?) that made it difficult to bite through. The chunks of cauliflower were, for the most part, fairly large and they steamed in the oven rather than browned which made the coating soggy. If the pieces were more uniform and about half the size, I think they would crisp and brown more successfully. Even though I used a non-stick baking sheet, most of the pieces still stuck and I lost coating on every one.
The sauce was a mystery hot sauce and not very good. I did not pour it over the baked cauliflower because it was already soggy; instead I used it as a dipping sauce. While I enjoy spicy food, this would have been too hot to use as an all over sauce. It was better as a side sauce.
All in all, very disappointing. I like cauliflower but this was a poor treatment of the vegetable and if one was trying to introduce this vegetable to someone via this dish, I think it would back fire. Mushy yet tough cauliflower in soggy, peeling off, yellow-ish batter with a browny orange sauce? UGH. PASS!
– September 2, 2016
I just tried this tonight for the first time and wow, I LOVED it!! They were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Very very tasty
– September 14, 2016
I also just tried this & loved it!!!
I followed the instructions to the letter and got nothing but delightfully crunchy on the outside pieces plus the sauce was perfect!!
It was all I could do not to eat it all!!!
Really yummy & I hope they don’t stop selling this product.
I’m going to stock up next time I go, just in case. 🙂
– January 9, 2017
I loved it! After 15 minutes, I cut up the large pieces into smaller bites and they crisped up, it was perfect. The sauce has a nice kick. Will definitely buy it again.
– January 18, 2017
I tried this tonight and was worried after reading the reviews. But it was great! I cooked the larger pieces about 35 minutes to crisp up more. Super crispy on the outside and tender inside. I recommend dipping the sauce so it doesn’t make the outside soggy.
– January 20, 2017
These were awesome. Crispy, juicy, and delicious. Wish I could still find them :/
– February 3, 2017
They cooked up very crispy but I felt there was way too much tempura coating to vegetable.Sauce was spicy.
– February 20, 2017
TJ’s was giving out samples of this product..I took one bite, very mushy texture, the only flavor came from the slather of spicy general tso sauce on it, tossed sample away..not good
– March 6, 2017
I love this dish! I recommend cooking it a bit longer than what the directions say so the larger pieces get crunchy. The sauce is delicious as well. Really hope they keep selling this.
– November 21, 2018
Delicious!! I prepared it in my Air Fryer 400° for 25 minutes tossing them in the basket a couple times. It was wonderful!!
– July 1, 2019
Wonderful! I prepared in the Air Fryer XL at 400 degrees for about 18 minutes. Fantastic! Much better and crispier than baking in the oven. If your oven has convention setting, try it this way instead of baking.
– July 20, 2020
I love this! Trader Joe’s needs to sell the sauce bottled. I cook mine in the air fryer for about 35 min at 400. I would do 20 and then keep checking. Mine gets a deep golden brown. Super crunchy on the out side cooked through on the inside. The only change I would make is more uniform sized pieces for more consistant cooking!
– November 18, 2021
I bought this once and it was awful. I bought it again– you know, because I was hangry and it jumped in my cart– and it was fabulous. I’ll confess I like the sauce on the side, not making the tempura soggy.. Less is more.
– July 21, 2022
I bought two bags. One bag cooked uneven, some larger pieces weren’t cooking all the way but even so, there was too much sauce for the cauliflower ratio so everything got soggy fast. My second bag was missing the tempura sauce so I had no coating for my meal. Very disappointing!
– March 18, 2023
First – you gotta know I LOVE all things Trader Joe’s. I have never once been disappointed. Enter this freezer appetizer :/ I followed the instructions to a tee (450 for 26 minute)- and saw it was golden brown/crispy on the outside afterwards. Then Stir fried some frozen veggies and folded in the sauce and tossed in the already baked tempura cauliflower. I was so excited until I took my first bite—-it was mushy, tasted frozen, and just wasn’t good at all. Disappointed I popped them back into the oven for another 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Then again took a mushy/freezer burn tasting bite. I checked the date on the bag as I wondered if I got a bad stock (just bought it a few days before) exp date was for December 2023 so that wasn’t the issue. Needless to say, I was shocked to find my first bad product at TJs
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