Trader Joe’s Kimchi & Tofu Soup Review

Trader Joe's Kimchi & Tofu Soup

Sometimes the craving hits for a sizzling hot batch of soup. And that’s the exact craving we had when we decided to check out the Trader Joe’s Kimchi & Tofu Soup, which we managed to pick up at our most recent TJ’s run. It’s a scorching hot day out as we’re reviewing this, but our craving for soup outweighs our desire to remain cool. It’s one of those cravings that just won’t quit.

Thankfully, this is a breeze to cook. You can use either the microwave or stovetop, but we were hesitant to fire up our stove when it was so hot out. So we just nuked ours, which generally takes five to six minutes — we found five minutes to be enough, personally — with a couple minutes of cooling time afterward. (If you want to read the full cooking instructions for both methods, check out our package scans at the bottom of this review.)

Trader Joe's Kimchi & Tofu Soup

As you can see in the image above, this comes out looking like a pretty average soup. However, looks can be deceiving, and once we started poking around with a spoon, we realized we were going to need a second image so our readers can see what’s actually going on here.

Trader Joe's Kimchi & Tofu Soup

What you see in this image is actually a black rice — there’s a ton of it in this soup. Because we actually didn’t read the ingredients before we cooked this up, we were a bit surprised by this. It’s not a bad surprise, though, since it’s quite good. It’s just not what we were expecting.

Another welcome surprise is the addition of shiitake mushrooms. The slices are pretty big here, so we were pretty enthused about them. They’re admittedly not amazing, as they end up a little bit rubbery, but we’re not going to complain about the sheer size and quantity of mushrooms here.

The tofu is soft and kind of bland, though it does soak up enough of the broth that “bland” isn’t really a bad thing here. We’re not huge fans of the texture, as it gets that almost-flakey, crumbly feel that tofu gets when you reheat it too many times.

The “broth” portion is red, which might give the impression that it’s made from tomatoes. That’s not the case here, as this is where the “Kimchi” part of the title really comes through. This is made with radish, red pepper, and garlic, so it has a little bit more of an acidic flavor, without the sweet edge that tomatoes sometimes provide.

We also think this is pretty spicy. It’s the kind of spice that hits the back of your throat rather than your mouth, so be wary of eating this too quickly. People with a high spice tolerance might make fun of us for calling this spicy, but we really do think the spice level is definitely noticeable here. No, it’s not the spiciest thing we’ve reviewed here at Freezer Meal Frenzy, but it’s also spicier than we were expecting it to be.

This bowl of soup has just 260 calories, which makes it quite a light meal. On the other hand, it also has 980 mg of sodium, which is really high for such a low-calorie meal. If you’re trying to reduce your sodium intake, you might want to skip out on this soup.

The Trader Joe’s Kimchi & Tofu Soup is a simple and spicy way to satisfy a soup craving, though it’s not perfect. We would have loved to see some better-quality tofu and mushrooms, because that alone could have transformed this from “just alright” to, “you just gotta try this, alright?”

To learn more about the nutrition content, ingredients, or cooking instructions for this frozen batch of soup, check out our package scan below.

Trader Joe's Kimchi & Tofu Soup
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