Being powerless to stop myself from grabbing the maximum allowed boxes whenever there’s a sale somewhere on Hamburger Helper, my eyes literally popped out of my face when I saw that Betty Crocker is now making Asian Helper.
After my initial surprise, my wariness began. I grew up with an intense hatred for rice that came in a box. Uncle Ben’s was pretty much a big joke here in Hawaii when I was growing up. Still, I had to try it at least once, right? I ended up choosing the Asian Helper Chicken Fried Rice (gluten-free version).
Using a defrosted box of frying chicken, I cut all the skin off and removed the bones and fat as much as possible and cut the chicken into small bite-size bits. This is what you see in the bowl next to the box, obviously.
This took A REALLY FREAKING LONG TIME OMG!!! Seriously, I hate bone-in, skin-on chicken. But it’s cheaper, so I guess if I’m up for saving money, I have to just make do. I felt like I wasted quite a bit of meat because I couldn’t get it nicely off the bones though, so next time I’ll be sure to save them for chicken soup.
The rice looked ok to me. Short grain, which is good because I hate anything but that. The funny looking shriveled thing was a dehydrated pea. One of them barked at me, so I immediately threw it into the skillet with his other little alien pea friends.
Now, at this point, the water should have been all gone and my rice all nice and cooked. However, because I have yet to learn to read, I put in 1/3 cup more water than I should have. See, the back of the box showed two pyrex thingies of water, so I immediately assumed that meant 2 cups of water.
Carrots had automagically appeared, even though I don’t remember seeing any with the shriveled pea alien eyeballs. By now the peas had “reconstituted”, but they looked pale and old and like fatter alien peas, so I added half a handful of frozen peas for color and that definitely looked better.
You definitely have to cook it for longer than the box says. Either that or my skillet was just too big or something.
The box says if it’s too soupy to cook it uncovered until the sauce is all soaked up, so I did this for about another 10 minutes. Towards the end, you’re to shove all the rice to the side and then crack two eggs in and scramble them in the pan to add into the rice.
My end result didn’t look so great and the kids didn’t really eat much of it, but Mr. Pikko liked it and I thought it tasted decent as well. It certainly wasn’t as bad as I was expecting it to be. I will have to try it again and hopefully this time I remember not to put so much water!
- Decent taste
- Easy to make
- Cheap when on sale
- Even with the extra water, some parts of the rice were uncooked inside
- Dehydrated veggies looked unappetizing
Bottom line: I’d buy it and make it again, but still prefer Hamburger Helper!
Other Asian Helpers: