Trader Joe’s Tempura Chicken with Sweet & Sour Sauce Review

Trader Joe's Tempura Chicken with Sweet & Sour Sauce

We’re becoming huge fans of Trader Joe’s various chicken meals. We were astounded by the quality of the Grilled Jerk Chicken Thigh Skewers, and the Hot & Spicy Chicken Wings ain’t too shabby either. So when we saw the Trader Joe’s Tempura Chicken with Sweet & Sour Sauce, we knew we had to give it a try.

First off, this isn’t too difficult to make. There are stovetop instructions on the package, but we opted for the oven instructions instead. Those had us preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit, then put the chicken onto a cookie sheet and toss it in for about 18 minutes or so. You’ll want to flip the chicken over about halfway through. While the chicken was cooking, we got to work on thawing the sauce, which comes in its own little packet.

Trader Joe's Tempura Chicken with Sweet & Sour Sauce

Once you’ve gotten all that cooking and thawing taken care of, empty the chicken into a bowl, slice open that sauce packet, and dribble on the goodness.

Now, this sauce actually smells quite a bit more vinegar-y than we were expecting, and we found that to be a little off-putting. Yes, we’re aware that sweet and sour sauce typically contains some vinegar, and this is no exception, but we’ve eaten plenty of sweet and sour chicken and this is the most potently we’ve ever smelled the stuff in this sort of dish.

The thing is, it doesn’t really affect the taste much. If you stick your face into the bowl, yes, you’re going to smell it, and that will impact the flavor. But if you just sit down and eat this normally, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Trader Joe's Tempura Chicken with Sweet & Sour Sauce

The chicken comes out nice and soft, with a hard, crispy batter coating. It tastes pretty good, and the sauce only makes it taste better. All things considered, this is a pretty delicious tasting batch of chicken.

There is, of course, a trick to getting these to taste quite a bit better. Once they’re cooked, simply tuck them away into the fridge and let them sit overnight. These actually taste better reheated than they do when they’re originally cooked. The batter won’t be as crispy, but the the whole vinegar thing seems to work itself out of both the flavor and the scent.

The serving size is supposedly about 3 oz. Now, we don’t find this to be particularly helpful, because it’s not like we’re going to sit down and weigh each piece of chicken. There are about seven servings in a package, though, so we’ll just try to calculate the nutrition info for the bag as a whole rather than try to figure out how much a serving size should actually be.

So, one package of this stuff contains a whopping 1,470 calories (770 from fat) and 2,590 mg of sodium. Of course, this comes with a pretty hefty serving of chicken, and some of these chunks are pretty big, so we doubt you’ll eat all of this at once. If you serve this over rice, we could see it turning into three or four servings. If eaten alone, however, you could probably down half a bag in a sitting.

Trader Joe’s Tempura Chicken with Sweet & Sour Sauce is a bot more vinegar-y than we were expecting, but it still tastes great. For the best results, you probably want to pair this with a good rice, like the Trader Joe’s Chicken Fried Rice or the InnovAsian Vegetable Fried Rice.

To learn more about the nutrition content or ingredients in this Trader Joe’s sweet and sour chicken, check out our package scans below.

Trader Joe's Tempura Chicken with Sweet & Sour Sauce
Trader Joe's Tempura Chicken with Sweet & Sour Sauce