Wendyl Wants To Know
Each week, Wendyl Nissen takes a packaged food item and decodes what the label tells you about its contents.

Wendyl Wants to Know: Street snack feels like it belongs in the movies

2 comments
Little foil pouch leaves a distinct 'astronaut food' impression - as does the taste.
SunRice Chicken Pad Thai and Rice Noodles Street Snack. $3.75 for 200g. Photo / Supplied
SunRice Chicken Pad Thai and Rice Noodles Street Snack. $3.75 for 200g. Photo / Supplied

This little box looked too good to be true. Ready in 60 seconds, there are no preservatives and you don't even have to add the chicken.

I opened the box and immediately felt as though I was in that astronaut movie on the planet Mars. Inside there was a little silver foil pouch, a cup with some noodles and a fork. All I had to do was empty the pouch into the cup, pop it in the microwave and in 60 seconds a pad thai would be ready.

SunRice Chicken Pad Thai and Rice Noodles Street Snack $3.75 for 200g

Ingredients (in order of greatest quantity first)

Water

This will be for making the rice noodles and the chicken mix.

White rice

This is in the rice noodles.

Vegetables (including carrots)

I could see carrots but not a lot else.

Vegetable oil

Not sure what oil is in here.

Chicken

Could not see a lot of chicken in here - at most there would have been about a tablespoon.

Coconut sugar

For a pad thai, which is notoriously sweet, this has 8.3g or about 2 teaspoons of sugar in it.

Potato starch

This will be in there as a thickener, similar to cornflour.

Fried shallot

Fried onions.

Thickener (modified starch (1422))

This is acetylated distarch adipate, a treated starch. This means starch has been treated with acid or other chemicals to enhance its properties.

Tamarind paste

This is commonly used in Asian cuisine. It is made from the fruit of the tamarind tree which is contained in pods. It has a very sour taste.

Ground peanut

Salted turnip

This is an essential ingredient in pad thai. It is basically pickled turnip.

Fish sauce

This is a sauce made by fermenting fish with salt. It is very salty.

Salt

This is quite a high salt product at 780mg of sodium per serving.

Shrimp powder (crustacean)

Shrimp are dried and then powdered to add a fishy flavour to food.

Natural lemon flavour

Good to see natural lemon flavour here.

Natural colours (caramel I, paprika oleoresin)

Caramel I is the safest of the caramel colours and paprika flavour is taken from capsicum.

Thickener (guar gum)

This is a gum extracted from guar beans.

Antioxidant (mixed tocopherols)

Tocopherols are natural fat-soluble anti-oxidants also known as Vitamin E.

Emulsifier (soy lecithin)

This is a natural emulsifier.

Rice noodles (48 per cent), Vegetables (8 per cent), Chicken (5 per cent), Peanuts (1 per cent)

My recommendations

The first thing I noticed when I mixed the astronaut package into the cup with the noodles is that there wasn't much food there for your 1450kj or 346 calories. It is about a cup and would only half-fill the box it came in. The next thing I noticed was that this really doesn't taste very good; in fact it tastes a lot like early airline food, the stuff they used to serve in the 80s before they made an effort. So my initial impression of this being astronaut food wasn't far off the mark.

The ingredients in this are all good, they won't hurt you, but even though it is natural with no preservatives, this is still a highly processed meal and tastes like it. As I often say with noodle products, just buy some plain rice noodles and add your own ingredients. Some cooked chicken, ground peanuts, soy sauce and perhaps grated carrot or thinly sliced cucumber.

If you really need a pad thai, get one freshly cooked at a Thai restaurant.

Highlights

• All natural, no preservatives.

• Small portion.

• Disappointing taste.

- NZ Herald

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