Welcome to our third and final Hello Fresh meal: Thai Pork Stir-Fry. Things have been interesting so far. Let’s see how the final meal shaped up.
Here’s what Hello Fresh says my meal should look like today:
Hello Fresh Level: 1 (are any of their recipes rated higher?)
My Level: 1 – Easy Peasy
Hello Fresh Prep Time: 10 minutes
My Prep Time: Who makes these prep times? Forget it. Prep times are only helpful if you know what to do as prep. As in, you have to have made this before. So, my prep time: 15 minutes.
Hello Fresh Cooking Time: 30 minutes
My Cooking Time: 25 minutes! I finished first. Gimmie a sticker.
All the food is here. What does Hello Fresh say we need?
But wait! There’s more. You also need…
I don’t remember seeing a grater listed anywhere. Oh, it’s “optional.” uh uh. And a cup of water! What if there is a drought or what if I forgot to pay the bill? This really is a vital thing to list in the ingredients. Come on. Not pictured: A knife and a garlic press. Didn’t realize I was going to need a garlic press! On to the cooking…
Step 1: Cook Rice
So, here’s the thing. I always thought rice was the easiest thing in the world to make and who could possibly mess that up. Then I met my mother-in-law, God rest her soul, and discovered that people can mess up rice. The rice Hello Fresh includes in this kit is basmati which generally has its own cooking rules, but here they say just to cook it in boiling salt water. Let’s see how that comes out.
That came out pretty good. The key to making good rice is to bring the water to a full boil and simmer at a medium low, so that the rice can absorb the water.
Step 2: Prep
Until now, I had been satisfied with the quality of the food. Here’s where things took a turn. When I opened the green beans they were slimy. It looks like they were washed and then packed. The green beans needed a good scrub first.
Then I needed to peel and either mince or grate the ginger. Peeling the ginger is always a pain, but don’t skip this step. That peel is bitter and ain’t nobody wants to eat it. Then grate or mince. Did you dig out your cheese grater? What do you mean you don’t own a cheese grater? Guess you are mincing, sucker. If you own a garlic press, you don’t need to mince or grate the ginger. Ginger goes through a garlic press nicely, but you still need to peel it, first. If you look closely, you can see the garlic in my prep bowl. Hey, no one said we would need a prep bowl! You don’t really need one. Just leave the ginger and garlic remains on you cutting surface and scrape them in the pan, as needed.
Are we done prepping yet? Nope. Now chop those two scallions. I kinda like that the kit comes with just the two you need, because you can’t buy two at the store. You have to bunch the whole bunch. Then, I always end up using the one or two I need and the rest hang out in my produce drawer until I throw them out.
OMG! There’s more prep? I thought these boxes were supposed to make cooking easy? Now we need to core, seed, and thinly slice the bell pepper. What does all that mean? Coring a pepper means taking out the stem and cutting away the thick inner membrane. Seeding means to remove the seeds. That may seem self-evident, but I swear I never knew that. I used to cook those seeds with my food. It won’t hurt you, but your food will be spicier. Thinly slice. Ick. I hate strips of peppers. I always cube or dice my peppers. For a stir-fry, cubing works best.
More prep! This is the last thing, I swear. Pick the mint leaves off the stem and coarsely chop. The trick to chopping fresh leaves is to tightly roll them together and then slice them. Like so…
Wow! That was a lot of prep. Moving on.
Step 3: Cook Veggies
This is easy. Heat the pan, add the oil, the veggies and cook until soft. Then add the SALT AND PEPPER! Why? Why would you do this to fresh veggies? Ugg. And why don’t you list it?
Then, remove from pan and set aside. Set aside? I don’t have a plate for that. Did I miss that on the Bust Out list? Nope. It’s not there. Sigh. Off I go for a plate.
Step 4: Cook Aromatics
What are aromatics? They are the smelly things. Cook that ginger and garlic in some oil for one minute. Don’t just stand there. Go get the stuff you need for Step 5. By the time you have everything, it will be time to move on.
Step 5: Assemble Stir-Fry
Assemble? Wait. Have we cooked everything. Well, no. You have to cook the pork. Here’s another complaint I have. High quality ground pork has the same texture as quality ground beef. The ground pork included here was a smooth block with quite a bit of added water. I would not have bought this in a store. I would have gone for a better grind. Cook the pork, and all ground meats, thoroughly.
Add back the veggies, the soy sauce, and honey. It also says to add salt and pepper, again. Here goes nothing.
Step 6: Finish and Plate
Here we add the mint to the rice.
Divide the rice onto your two plates and then dive the stir-fry as well.
Top off with the remaining mint and dig in.
Taste: Welllll, I added all the salt and pepper it said, but the meal came out too salty for my taste or my husband’s. If I made this again, I would not add salt at all.
Ease of Preparation: This was the easiest of the three meals to prepare by virtue of not having a glaze. I’d still say you need need some serious kitchen skills, what with all the chopping and mincing. If you are slow with a knife, the prep will bore you to tears. Also, this was the only recipe that I could prep on my own. It didn’t include any mystery spice packs or exotic ingredients. That was nice.
Final Thoughts: Less salt! That concludes my look at Hello Fresh. Tomorrow my box from Blue Apron arrives.
Next time: Blue Apron’s West African Peanut Kitchen with Rice and Sauteed Kale (Nature’s Roofing Material)