Spoiler alert: Food from a local restaurant will always be better than food from Trader Joe’s. That being said, sometimes you don’t have the funds to eat out and need a delicious, filling meal for a couple of bucks. In this series, we’ll find out if Trader Joe’s rendition of a dish will get the job done or if it will just make you miss the real deal even more.
This week we’re trying the new Trader Joe’s vegan Thai green curry frozen meal up against green curry from a local Thai restaurant. In my personal experience, Trader Joe’s does not know what they’re doing with any type of curry. Can this new Thai green curry change that? Let’s find out!
Takeout: Thai Green Curry & Steamed White Rice
($15.99 + tax & tip)
Perfection. It’s perfection. I have no notes. It’s so herbaceous and warm and spicy. The vegetable blend of eggplant, bell peppers, and bamboo shoots is perfectly cooked. It tastes like each individual vegetable was cooked separately and then combined in the sauce. The rice is fluffy and moist. It’s a 10/10.
As always, takeout is more expensive. You can’t always dish out $20 for a meal. Plus, not everyone lives near a good Thai restaurant. That being said, check your area! We’re always proponents of patronizing local businesses, so make sure to do that when you can!
Trader Joe’s: Trader Joe’s Frozen Vegan Thai Green Curry
($3.99 for 16 oz)
I had absolutely zero hopes for the Trader Joe’s Thai green curry frozen meal. Their renditions of curry that I’ve had in the past tasted offensive to the cultures they claim to be from. So, the fact that this green curry is good absolutely shocked me. It is so flavorful and creamy. I love the baby eggplant and the tofu skins. Plus, it’s actually spicy! If you don’t like spice, don’t buy this. The rice is nice and fluffy and the portion size is good. Overall, I loved this meal.
When you buy this, it is just a single serving, unlike the big tub you get from an actual Thai restaurant. It’s great for a work lunch, but certainly won’t feed a family like takeout. Plus, the bamboo shoots in the takeout version really put it over the top for me. I wish the Trader Joe’s green curry had them!
Takeout wins! The flavor is a little bit more nuanced in the restaurant Thai green curry and we liked the additional vegetables. But please know that we love this Trader Joe’s green curry meal and will be buying it again. It is truly delicious. You didn’t win this one, Trader Joe’s, but we’re still proud of you!