The pros: Trader Joe's Pork Buns Cha Siu Bao have pork filling that is very flavorful. These heat quickly and seem on par with what I've purchased in many Asian grocery stores in their freezer sections.
The cons: These were a bit on the doughy side.
The verdict: One of my goals on this blog is to be able to say that I have eaten everything from the frozen food aisle. I have a good number done, however, every time I go back to Trader Joe's I keep finding items that I haven't had yet. After trying Trader Joe's Pork Buns, it's one more off the list, but one I wouldn't mind revisiting from time to time.
I've you've never had Cha Siu Bao, then it is a Cantonese BBQ pork filling in a bun. There are also two different types you might encounter: baked and steamed. This product is steamed leaving it with a pale exterior. I've you've had the other variety, you'll recognize it with its golden baked exterior. Even in the reheating process you are essentially resteaming them regardless of whether you are using the microwave or the stove top.
For $3.49 you are getting four frozen pork buns. I chose the easiest path and prepared mine in the microwave. In under a minute for each bun, you have at minimum a solid appetizer, two would make a meal. The thick dough was filling and soft making me wish there were less of it. But the star here isn't the dough, it's the filling. The pork is nicely chopped and flavorful. The BBQ sauce is very flavorful with soy, oyster sauce and other flavorings that made my tongue happy. I would love to just buy a container of the filling and eat it all by itself.
It was on par with what you would expect in an Asian grocery freezer aisle. Would it compete at the best spot in Chinatown? No. For a frozen food, the pork had good flavor and texture. My only wish is that there was more pork and less dough. If you have a spot where you get really good Bao, then stick with that, but for under a dollar each in the freezer section these are pretty good for when I can't get to my local Asian grocery store.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The bag of Trader Joe's Pork Buns Cha Siu Bao:
The nutritional information, the ingredients, and how to prepare:
After being cooked you get:
Opened you get:
Would I buy this again? Yup, but only occasionally. Trader Joe's Pork Buns Cha Siu Bao were tasty, quick to make, and microwaved well. For a frozen item, it was tasty.
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!