Trader Joe’s Quinoa Teriyaki Mushroom RollsPosted: September 10, 2013 Filed under: Mushrooms, Quinoa, Trader Joe's Brand, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: quinoa, rolls, sushi, teriyaki 3 Comments
Holy crap – I mean, guys, words fail me. We’ve seen some pretty bold and unpredictable moves from Trader Joe’s before, but I’ve never seen anyone, anywhere, seen anything like Trade Joe’s Quinoa Teriyaki Mushroom Rolls. Swapping the rice out of sushi for quinoa? That is some mad scientist level tinkering there, mad science that has resulted in an abomination not fit to dwell on God’s green earth.
Look, I like Trader Joe’s, you like Trader Joe’s, but let’s be honest here – no supermarket has ever made reasonable sushi. Supermarkets on the coast of Japan don’t even do sushi well. If you want sushi, you go to a sushi restaurant. If you want cold patties of clammy rice and old fish, you go to supermarket. I can only imagine that it’s only due to the abysmal standards of supermarket sushi that Trader Joe’s thought they could get away with such an outlandish concoction. Replace the seafood with marinated mushrooms? Why not? Infuse the rice with quinoa? Who’s to stop you?
It’s not that I can’t see their thought process here – a healthy, vegetarian option for sushi lovers is a noble goal – but the execution here is unconscionable. The marinated mushrooms themselves are alright – a bit slimy, but tasty and nicely saturated with teriyaki flavor. If the product was mushrooms alone, I’d have little to complain about. The real culprit in making these rolls inedible is the unpleasant quinoa/rice wrapping – served soggy, tremendously dense and mealy. Those are characteristics shared by most supermarket sushi rolls, granted, but these were without a doubt the worst I’ve had of that dubious ilk. Was it adding quinoa that pushed it to the bottom, or would these have been just as bad with rice alone? It’s hard to say.
What would you expect the primary ingredient to be in a quinoa roll? Quinoa, perhaps? You would be mistaken, I’m afraid. I like quinoa, I’ve discussed it before, but it’s inclusion here is tragic. If the roll was entirely made of quinoa, that’d be one thing – I expect I’d even like a roll made entirely of quinoa. But that’s not what we have here. What you’re really getting is rice, sprinkled with a bit of quinoa.
Consult, if you would, the picture above. Notice the little yellow dots? That’s the quinoa. Everything else? That’s rice. It hardly seems honest, really, to bill these as quinoa rolls. If TJ’s really wanted a healthier sushi roll, they should have gone with a brown rice. You can’t just mix up an 80-20 rice to quinoa mix and call them quinoa rolls – that’s farcical, Joe. Knock it off.
If you’re a vegetarian and you love sushi, I feel for you I really do. For the time being, however, I’d suggest sticking to your cucumber and daikon rolls. I hope that Trader Joe’s will do something else with the teriyaki mushroom bits. Until then, I must award these quinoa rolls with the ignoble “Worst Thing I Have Ever Eaten from Trader Joe’s” award. Congratulations.
Would I Recommend Them: No. Really, really no.
Would I Buy Them Again: Not until opposite day, the day when you buy the things you hate and throw away the things you love.
Final Synopsis: Why would Trader Joe’s do this to sushi?
Nutritional Info, per 3-pc serving
Total Fat: 3g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg (duh, since it’s vegan)
Sodium: 430mg (before the soy sauce of course)
Total Carbs: 21g
Dietary Fiber: 1g
Vitamin A: 25%
Vitamin C: 4%
Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii! I am enjoying your blog soooooooo much! It just brightens my day here in Hilo! I just wanted to let you know that brown rice sushi here is getting very popular! Yeah, a local market does it “cone” style and maki style. It’s quite delicious inspite of it’s chewyness! Need to watch the “bad” carbs in white rice, but the new brwn rice is excellent! Mahalo for your comments! We don’t have Trader Joes in Hawaii, and probably will never see one here w/the cost of shipping! Anyway, keep up the good work & comments!
I tried to eat these last weak and threw it out after a few bites. Didn’t realize that they were mostly rice with a sprinkling of quinoa… I actually feel better about hating them so much knowing that. I love quinoa and it kind of broke my heart to be faced with such a massive quinoa fail.
These really aren’t that great. In fact, I had some of these yesterday cause I just wanted a quick lunch and now, the next day, I’m really nauseated and sick. Needless to say, I’m going to avoid these like the plague from now on. If your going to get sushi, then only get the FRESH stuff from a restaurant or, at the very least, at a grocery store that prepares them right in front of you.