Who doesn’t love egg rolls? Crispy on the outside, stuffed with soft veggies and spices and dipped in a sweet sauce…they are a Chinese take-out staple. But considering that an average egg roll packs about 400 calories and 16 grams of fat, they kind of sabotage the lean calories in your well-intentioned steamed Buddha’s Feast.
Food manufacturers have been hard at work creating low-fat and low-cal egg rolls that serve up heaps of taste, but not heaps of weight. When it comes to store-bought egg rolls, we love both Kahiki’s new veggie egg rolls and Trader Joe’s. So we’ve decided to pin them against each other in a food fight. Here are how their stats stack up:
In the right corner is Kahiki Vegetable Egg Rolls. With a mere 70 calories and 2 grams of fat and protein, these egg rolls can be nuked in the microwave and still maintain a decently crispy shell. But for the record, we like ours best baked in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Stuffed with cabbage, carrots and spices, these yummy rolls have a peppery taste that is offset by the 10-calorie sweet and sour sauce packet that comes with it. For $3-$5, depending upon the grocer, you get four egg rolls.
In the left corner is Trader Joe’s Stir-Fried Vegetable Egg Rolls. Coming in at 110 calories, 4 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein, these rolls have higher stats all around than Kahiki’s, but they are also loaded with Vitamin A and stuffed with tofu, bean spouts, Chinese celery, carrots and onions. Their flavor is a bit on the sweet side and the shell when baked is crispy and chewy. You get five good-sized egg rolls in a pack for $3.99.
And the winner is: For taste, the prize goes to Kahiki. Its peppery veggies and stir-fry sauce tastes natural, authentic and so yummy! For nutrition, while Kahiki packs fewer calories and fat grams, Trader Joe’s contains more protein, fiber and vitamins. So we give the nutrition award to Trader Joe’s.
This food fight was particularly tough to call since both egg rolls get high marks all around when it comes to taste, nutrition, cost and preservation of the crispy egg roll shell. Both products can be found in the freezer section and while the microwave is super convenient, our panel prefers the taste and texture of both egg rolls when they are baked in an oven.
March 16th, 2009