I don’t make it a habit to go to Walmart on a regular basis. I try to avoid it at all costs. But admittedly they do have great values on, say, soap. But what they have in cost savings doesn’t make up for the dread of walking into the store and coming face to face with that insipid smiling face that seems to haunt every aisle.
In my last trip to Walmart I could not resist the irony of seeing a complete sushi wrap kit from Annie Chun available to middle America. Hamburger Helper, frozen pizza and dry cereal seem to have a natural place there… but a sushi kit? What? Of course it had to come home with me.
I’m familiar with the Annie Chun brand of foods. Aside from the sushi wrap kit, I’ve seen her instant noodle bowls at Trader Joe’s (I’ve tried them and I’m unimpressed). Annie Chun’s motive seems to be making Asian food fast and accessible to the world. Maybe hopefully becoming the next Chef Boyardee. But do we really need that now in this time?
Included in Annie Chun’s sushi wrap kit is a bowl of sticky white rice, nori (sushi wraps) and soy sauce. On the back of the package are photos of the sushi wraps being filled with cucumber, avocado, salmon, turkey, egg and bacon and yes, sausage. So really the filling choice is up to you.
For this attempt, I decided to go the fried chicken strip route because really, what says “America” better than fried chicken? And just to make it healthy, I included steamed broccoli. After heating the precooked rice for the recommended two minutes, it was just a matter of assembling it.
For what Annie Chun put into packaging, she leaves out in instructions. Perhaps the chicken was cut too thick or the nori strips too narrow but they would not close. There was no sushi mat to help close it. Perhaps that why the darn thing was labeled ‘sushi wraps’ not ‘sushi rolls.’
Admittedly when thinking about the whole thing, I was most concerned about the rice. I was half-expecting bland, tasteless rice but it really did surprise me. The consistency was sticky and tasted better than anticipated. And with the addition of fried chicken and broccoli it all seemed so familiar yet foreign; I would likely try that combination again but not using Annie Chun’s kit. The whole thing just seemed to be a waste of packaging and time, especially when I have most of the ingredients in my pantry already. My only complaint was the the inclusion of wasabi. Perhaps Ms. Chun thinks the Walmart crowd is not quite ready for that yet. Or maybe Annie Chun isn’t really an Asian woman but gaijin sitting in his plush office somewhere in the Bible Belt.
Each sushi wrap kit makes 10 sushi wraps.