The pros: Trader Joe's Tempura Shrimp are fried goodness. While not as perfect as your local Japanese restaurant might serve you, this is as good as it gets in the freezer aisle. While these come to you already fried, they did not feel nor taste greasy. Sauce is a soy based but also tastes of a teriyaki as it's thicker than regular soy sauce.
The cons: Enough dipping sauce for several batches of tempura, which means there is some serious waste here. I wish I could find another use for the excess. They include 2 packages of sauce. One package would be more than sufficient for both. Unless you are literally drinking the sauce.
The verdict: For $7.99, this is a good deal compared to going out. Typically an appetizer of shrimp tempura will set you back at least $7.99, while in the freezer aisle you are getting 10 pieces of tempura for that price. The outside batter is light and consistent to what most tempura batters should be which is a light airy bread with some serious crunch to it. This meets all the requirements and is ready in under 20 minutes. I didn't try it fried as I figured it was fried once. It came out perfect in the toaster oven and would also make a lovely appetizer.
The nutritional information:
How to prepare:
Out of the package you get two smaller packages of Trader Joe's Tempura Shrimp:
Ready to go into the toaster oven:
After being cooked in the toaster oven for 8 minutes (on each side so that's actually 16 minutes) you get:
Would I buy this again? Yes. While it's not something that will appear on my weekly shopping list, if I were having company or was in the mood for fried shrimp this is a great way to go as it also means you don't have to open the whole package either. Five pieces are wrapped in each package so it makes either a great appetizer, lunch or dinner. I'd reach for this again.
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
David Larson says
After 15 minutes in the oven, the shrimp began to "bleed" liquid onto the baking sheet and then that liquid spilled over the edge of the baking sheet onto the bottom of the oven AND YOU TALK ABOUT SMOKE!! What did I do wrong?
Hi David. Let me ask a couple questions to see if I can diagnose this. Was your oven preheated to 400F? Did you defrost the shrimp at all? Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this.
Amazing and delicious! As if you are at the restaurant. Baked to crisp as if it just came out of the fryer. I made my own shrimp tempura hand roll with rice and avocado and dipped it in the sauce.
That's a great idea Kay. Thanks for sharing!
How is the sauce prepared?
Hey Milo! Just let that warm up to room temperature. Use is as a dip once your tempura is hot and ready. I hope that helps! Thanks for stopping by!
♥Curry Cutie♥ says
♥Of all the Brands of Tempura Shrimp had, Trader Joe's is easily my #1 Favorite. I like to lightly fry them in their Organic CocoNut Oil & heat up the Dipping Soy Sauce in a cup of hot water. Personally, a great appetizer for Anime Movie Night.♥
How fortunate some of us must be to live on the West Coast with many exceptional Japanese restaurants at our disposal. I am assuming that is why my expectations seem to be higher than those of reviews I have seen elsewhere.
I would rate this product as clawing its way towards mediocre..Reasons:
1 . Texture. Good shrimp, frozen or fresh, have a sort of knack when you bight into them. These are decidedly flaccid. The tempura coating should also have a crackle, rather than being not quite mushy but definitely not crisp and very oily.
2. Flavor: There is one. Neither the tempura coating, which usually has a touch of salt, nor the shrimp tastes of much more than cardboard. Actually, not even that. There simply is none. While there is no doubt that these are farmed shrimp, which may explain the lack of taste, there are also good farmed shrimp to be bought, although they are rarer than some, which can be much worse than these. Good shrimp, fresh or frozen, should have a slight sweet taste along with the mouth feel. These are sort of un shrimp.
-The soy sauce, which is just mid level product bought in bulk, could be pimped up with a touch of ginger or rice vinegar.. perhaps a touch of alium (onion, garlic, chives..things like that. Spring onion clippings might add a little to it. What is does contain is sugar, which somehow does not fit.
Obviously this is not top cuisine. You don´t expect to buy that in the frozen foods isle, but one should be able to expect more.
TJ´s has some pretty good convenience dishes. This, unfortunately, is not among them.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!
Brandon Lee Mann says
How could anyone like this product? It is garbage. I am a 5 course meal 5 days a week but a guilty pleasure is ready made meals by myself and a binder of Hulu. Got these and am completely disappointed. Zero flavor, serving size makes no sense... 3.5 servings per box but it comes in 2 packs of 5... that was clue one it was going to be bad. 2nd clue is when there is 1/3 cup to dip 3.5 oz of shrimp in means "please dip and smother me in this so all you taste is sauce because the shrimp has no flavor". 3rd, the coating is oily. Very mushy and oily. No wonder these aren't on their website, the reviews would be horrible.
Thanks for sharing Brandon.