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Oct 4, 2006 01:58 AM

What is as good as Trader Joe's Tuna in Red Panang curry ?

Trader Joe's is new to me. From the recs on this board, we got the Panang Curry Tuna - what a great lunch. Anything else surprisingly good like that in the spicy prepared foods?

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  1. I like their yellow curry too. i think its the best thing in the store -- especially from the perspective of value ($1.50!).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Produce Addict

      I was blown away by a dish that was being "demonstrated for sampling" at Trader Joe's yesterday in my local area. (rabidog are you listening?). The label of the dish got my attention since I love Indian food - "Tuna in Green Curry Sauce."

      It was served on a bed of fried brown rice. Not only was it scrumptious, but it was spicy, very aromatic, and the various flavors just kept on kicking in after swallowing a bite of the dish. In other words, it had lasting power!!

      I was amazed to learn that the product consisted of two products, each ready to eat out of the package after heating - the tuna came from the 7oz box of the product labeled as "Trader Joe's Tuna in Green Curry Sauce" and from a vacuum sealed package of fried brown rice (containing onions, shitake mushrooms, and some other ingredients including soybean oil and sesame oil, soy sauce, and white pepper).

      I couldn't tell if it was just the green curry sauce (coconut milk, green curry paste, sweet basil, red pepper, sugar, salt) and the tuna that was knocking my socks off or the combination with the fragrance from the brown rice and shitake mushroom dish. Each dish was delicious by itself, but together they were a home run.

      I had no idea that a Trader Joe's brand for a Thai dish could be this spicy. I was told that the green curry sauce sold separately is not as spicy as the sauce in this boxed dish. If anyone knows differently, let me know. I'd love to experiment and buy a green curry paste that is very spicy and fragrant and add it to tuna or salmon that I'd cook separately.

      I plan on experimenting with making my own rice dish. The prepackaged brown rice was very good, but I'd like to experiment with brown basmati rice. I don't fry much, and I'm not sure if boiled rice would work as well. I'd have to fry some of the vegetables used in the dish, so I guess I could toss the cooked rice into the wok, and add some mushrooms and vegetables. The amount of shitake mushrooms in the rice mixture was a very small amount, but very adequate. I assume that the sesame oil referred to on the package was toasted sesame oil. The product was made in China (what??). I don't know why Trader Joe's couldn't find some American company to put together the rice dish, unless the shitake mushrooms are easier to get in China.

      This was one of the best "sample" dishes I have ever had at a store, but then again, I am partial to curries, and I do like tuna! Hard to get excited about brown rice, but the fried brown rice/veg side dish was excellent and something to rave about.

      I look forward to trying the other Trader Joe's curry sauce dishes in that 7oz box.
      (The box is labeled, "dolphin safe, Yellowfin Tuna.")

      I don't know about the quality of the ingredients of that brown rice mixture made in China - the rice wasn't labeled as organic and there was no indication as to the quality of the oils used. The rice was short-grained brown rice, but I think that brown basmati might work nicely.

    2. We tried and like several of their Indian entrees. They are usually on the shelf right near the Tuna Penang Curry.

      What I didn't like was the Pad Thai, it just was too sweet.

      2 Replies
      1. re: MaspethMaven

        so, these are on the shelf? not frozen or in the refrigerated part?
        i think i've been looking in the wrong area all this time!

        1. re: toncasmo

          Yes, they're on the shelf - in flat-ish boxes, like the prepared Indian foods.

      2. I think the zippier red curry tuna makes a more interesting sandwich than the somewhat bland yellow curry tuna. I tried microwaving it once (in a bowl, of course) and the oil poppped little fish fragments all over the inside of the oven. Whoops. Mix well before nuking. And cover it for good measure. ;-)

        5 Replies
        1. re: Jefferson

          I just went to my local TJ looking to restock my Panang Tuna supply and they had none in any variety.

          Anyone know if they disco-ed it? I sure hope not!!

          1. re: allisonw

            I've been asking the staff over the past few weeks, and yes, they have been discontinued. The green tuna curry was my favorite and I've yet to try the red curry despite the good reviews ... that's just too bad! :(

            1. re: dreamsicle

              I've had the staff tell me products were discontinued that weren't, so take that with a grain of salt and keep checking. Sometimes I think it's just out of stock at their distribution center, because people will report it being available at other stores.

            2. re: allisonw

              My TJ's in the Baltimore area had loads of all three yesterday. Bought the red...yummy.

              1. re: crosby_p

                These are one of my staple, I pour over rice & edamame and nuke it for a couple of minutes. A healthy tasty lunch or midweek quick dinner.

                Has anyone seen any in the Santa Barbara area?

          2. I just got back from Trader Joe's in Los Angeles (La Brea and 3rd) and found plenty of the Panang Curry Tuna.