“ Brand: John West / Type: Rice „
These instant rice packs are available in B&M for 49p for 250g. They are available in a range of varieties, and all have a uniform quality in my experience. The rice is contained in a tough plastic pouch, which stands up of its own accord, and when it's time to partake, the barest minimal preparation is required.
Simply give the contents a good squeeze up and down the pack to separate the rice inside, tear or cut a 2cm nick at the top of the pack, and place it in the microwave on full power for 90 seconds. The instructions are to wait 30 seconds after that, beware of the steam and then it's time to remove the top completely and dispense the rice to your bowl or plate.
The rice comes out perfect every time in my experience, piping hot and soft and fluffy throughout. It's certainly much better and less soggy than my own attempts at cooking 'standard' rice in boiling water. The last time I did that, though, is quite a while ago, because these pouches of rice have become a real cupboard staple for me. The only downside is that usually half a pouch goes to waste, as the 250g in each packet is more than enough for 2 people. In the past, I have taken half out of the packet and microwaved it separately a few days later in a tub, but the results weren't as good, so I abandoned this idea, it's not really worth it when they're so cheap anyway. A quick wrestle with my food-waste conscience, and that was that idea done with.
This egg-fried rice variety isn't my favourite, but I have bought it often when it's been the only variety in stock. It has a noticeable feintly spicy flavour to it, and little flecks of egg running through it.
My ultimate laziness confession is that on the odd occasions that I order a takeaway, I order extra main courses and freeze a few portions. These rices are perfect to have to hand to make a frozen takeaway into great quick complete meal.
Whilst he could never be described as a 'master chef', my partner has taken to experimenting a bit more in the kitchen with results varying from' Yum - absolutely delicious' to 'hmm.. Perhaps the cat would eat it?'
Anyway, one of the things that he has taken to cooking a lot of is stir fry vegetables. As I struggle to eat too many vegetables due to food intolerances, he has mostly been cooking these for himself, but I will occasionally have a small plateful.
The stir fry, whilst a fairly healthy meal was becoming a bit of a habitual choice, and to cut a long story short, I was becoming bored of it. I personally like a sauce of sorts or something to add a bit of 'bite' to the stir fry, rather than just eating plain vegetables, which I find is a bit bland and boring for my own tastes.
My moaning must have worked on this one occasion, (!) because I have been enjoying more and more tasty stir frys of late, which not only have a tasty sauce enveloping the vegetables themselves, but are generally served with some fluffy and delicious egg fried rice, instead of boring old plain white rice as they were in times gone by.
The egg fried rice in question is from the 'John West' range of foods, which really surprised me when I realised it, as I had always assumed that his manufacturer dealt only with canned meat and fish. How wrong was I?
Anyway, we first discovered this yummy accompaniment a few months back, when shopping in our local Farmfoods frozen food store. My partner had noticed the sachets of microwaveable rice above one of the freezer counters. Having a closer look, he had realised that the rice could be cooked in the little 'pouch' it was supplied in, and would only take a matter of minutes to prepare, thus cutting down our (well, his) cooking time.
The John West microwaveable egg fried rice is available in our local Farmfoods for the sum of 65 pence per sachet. Each sachet feeds us both comfortably, though I would not have thought you could get any more than two servings per sachet.
Preparation is really easy. All that is required is to squeeze the package of rice thoroughly to separate the grains, and then simply tear the top of the pack to make an opening. The whole package can then be microwaved for the time stated, which is only 90 seconds. When the cooking time is up, the rice should stand for another 30 seconds.
I have always found it very easy and extremely convenient to cook this rice, and the results have always been perfect. I have never had any experiences of the rice being undercooked or hard.
When served, the appearance of the rice is very appetising looking. It is easy to see that the consistency of the rice is nice and soft and fluffy - the way it should be! It is also easy to see the small flecks of fried egg that are present throughout the rice. These pieces are quite small, which is my personal preference.
The overall taste of the rice is a very savoury one, though I do not find that it is too salty or over-seasoned. The texture is indeed nice and fluffy and it is cooked to perfection throughout. The little pieces of egg compliment the taste of the rice perfectly. I personally think that this sachet of rice is almost as tasty as the stuff we buy from our local Chinese take away - it's not the same exactly, but it comes in at a close second choice!
The rice is a delicious accompaniment to our stir fry, especially when a sweet and sour type sauce or a black bean flavour sauce has been used to cook the vegetables - I find that this rice is the perfect side dish. I have been well and truly converted in the past few months or so since discovering this offering from John West, and we now buy it regularly.
The nutritional information on the 250g pouch informs me that the rice will provide 1.4g of fat per 100g along with 152 calories. There is also a recipe suggestion alongside some preparation tips listed on the pack.
All in all I would highly recommend this rice and will award it a whopping five stars because I cannot really fault it and think it's great! It is so convenient to use and we found it to be surprisingly tasty as an accompaniment to our otherwise boring stir fry! I also find it to be great value for money and the pouch contains plenty of rice to feed the two of us comfortably. Highly recommended by me! :-D