Tai Pei Sweet & Sour Chicken (11 oz.) Review

Tai Pei Sweet & Sour Chicken

Our hunt for tasty frozen sweet and sour chicken continues here at Freezer Meal Frenzy. We recently tried Lean Cuisine’s improved version of their old sweet and sour chicken, but it was unfortunately no match for the Marie Callender’s version (which is surprisingly good). So now we’re trying something else in the hopes we’ll strike it rich and find some of that super-rare sweet-and-sour gold.

Today we’re looking into the Tai Pei Sweet & Sour Chicken, and we have low expectations. We’ve been burned one too many times by the promise of tasty sweet and sour, so now we just go into new ones expecting mediocrity by default. We recently tried a couple of Tai Pei’s fried rice dishes, and we thought they were just alright. We’re not sure they have the chops to pull this one off.

Alas, we push forward.

Cooking one of these meals is pretty easy. They come in cardboard containers, so you can just break the seal off the edges and toss the rest into the microwave. When you open the container after heating it, you can expect it to be about half full. That’s normal for Tai Pei dishes, and there’s even a warning about this on the carton. (If you want to read the full cooking instructions, check out the package scans at the bottom of this review.)

Tai Pei Sweet & Sour Chicken

Now, a top-down look into the carton is always deceptive. Tai Pei tends to put the rice on the bottom with the chicken and veggies on top. You’ll want to give this a good stir before digging in (or do what we like to do and empty the contents into a serving dish).

The chicken here is super, super weird. It’s spongy and so soft that it disappears in your mouth, almost like cotton candy. We’ve had spongy chicken before, but this stuff takes sponginess to the extreme. This is the kind of chicken that attends sponge conventions and takes advice from sponge life coaches. If there was a sponge cult for chicken, this stuff would totally be into it.

On top of that, there’s hardly any chicken in this meal at all. We counted four pieces in total, though maybe there were more that evaporated during the cooking process.

However, the flavor is actually quite good. This is a very, very sweet sauce, with citrusy undertones that lean way more toward pineapple than orange. This stuff really steals the show. Plus the portion size is very generous. In fact, there’s maybe just a bit too much of it (though maybe they portioned this out for a dish that had way more chicken than this one does). As a result, it turns the rice into a big, goopy mess, albeit a tasty one.

Tai Pei Sweet & Sour Chicken

There are some veggies in the dish, though not nearly as many as you might believe upon your first glance into the carton. It’s a meager portion of carrots, green bell peppers, and onions. None of it is particularly outstanding, but none of it is notably bad either. The biggest thing the veggies do for this dish is add some much-needed crunch.

This meal contains 470 calories, which is quite a lot for a serving of this size. There’s not a lot of food here, so this might not even fill you up. On the other hand, there’s only 580 mg of sodium. That’s way less than we were expecting.

The Tai Pei Sweet & Sour Chicken is a mess, but it actually tastes pretty darn good. We see this as a goopy guilty-pleasure dish rather than some fancy-pants dinner, but sometimes that’s okay. And considering that so many frozen food brands do sweet and sour chicken so poorly, we welcome guilty-pleasure food over mediocrity.

We should also point out that many of Tai Pei’s other dishes come in a variety of sizes. Currently, this one is only available in the 11 oz. size, according to the Tai Pei website. We would have loved to try this in another size option, but it doesn’t look like that will be happening anytime soon.

To learn more about the nutrition content, ingredients, or cooking instructions for this frozen sweet and sour chicken, check out our package scans below.

Tai Pei Sweet & Sour Chicken
Tai Pei Sweet & Sour Chicken
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