“ Brand: Birdseye / Type: Rice „
Don't be misled by the Dooyoo picture - when I popped this BE product in search it showed the actual packet - when I came to write review this rice cooker came up! The product I am reviewing is Birds Eye Rice Fusions which can be found in the frozen aisle and my choice was the Egg Fried Rice with Peas.
I would normally make my own fried rice but having a dodgy cooker and not a great fan of eggs I decided this was an ideal option. The pack is 380g and it cost me £1.25 at my local Herons Store. It is clearly marked on the front that is contains 'two generous servings' and I completely agree with this claim. I am also informed that there are no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives and am provided with nutritional information both on the front and reverse of the pack. I won't bore you with all the info but, if like me, you tend to watch what you eat, then this is to let you know that the whole bag only has 250 calories and 3.8g of fat making it a fairly healthy option and much better than take away egg fried rice.
The opened bag just pops in the microwave for 2 minutes which could not be quicker or easier in my book. When removed I was pleased to find the texture was good and there were no lumps or clumps of rice. There was a generous amount of both egg and peas and the quality of the rice was fluffy and not at all mushy or too soft. The colours looked nice too - not at all synthetic looking so I am pretty sure, if you wanted to 'cheat' when cooking special dinners, that you could get away with it being cooked from scratch?
The taste was good too - just the right amount of flavour and not to be compared to some dried packet rice products on the market which I find taste fake plus leave an aftertaste in my mouth.
There is a long list of ingredients on the reverse of the pack plus extra information which is clear and easy to read being in black print on a yellow background - this may not seem important to some but I have poor eyesight and often struggle to read lists of ingredients and nutritional information etc.
I am awarding 5 stars for this fried rice for the following reasons -
- easy to use because of sensible packaging
- lack of artificial flavours etc
- appearance and texture
- portion size
- most of all I like the taste!
I'm a big fan of rice, and eat it at least twice a week. I'm also a big fan of convenience. When this rice first came out, Tesco had it on offer for £1, so I bought a couple to keep in the freezer.
They come in lots of different varieties, so go well with most cuisines. I tried the egg fried rice with peas (which went perfect with my homemade sweet and sour chicken), and pilau rice with peas and spinach (perfect for my chicken curry).
I wasn't expecting much to be honest, as I've tried frozen rice in the past and have been very disappointed. This surprised me though. Each bag contains 2 pyramid bags of rice mixed with different flavourings. Both bags fit nicely in the microwave at the same time, and cook in minutes, and then you just cut the top off and pour onto your plate!
Portion wise, it was just the right amount for me, but my (greedy!) husband said he could have easily eaten both of them! I would say as part of a meal, they are perfect.
The flavours of both the varieties I tried were really tasty. The pilau rice was my favourite, although I did find the spinach a little slimey. This is often the case with frozen spinach anyway so I was expecting it to be!
They are now selling for £1.75 in Tesco, which I think is quite a lot, but I will be buying more of these if they are on offer again.
This is the kind of meal that is perfect for those days when you fancy something nice and warming and comforting. It's one of those things that just makes me go mmmmmm when I smell it and drool when I eat it (ok I don't slobber in my food but you get the idea!) I first came across birds eye rice fusions when I was browsing the freezer section at Tesco's and noticed that they were both new and on offer. I'm a typical bargain shopper; anything reduced or on offer and it goes in my trolley usually regardless to what it actually is how long it will be sitting in my fridge/cupboard/freezer for. But I am extremely thankful that I came across this birds eye product and it is becoming a regular product in my freezer.
~ Birds eye ~
Birds eye have been making a wide range of frozen convenient food including fish, vegetables, chicken, red meat, rice, ready meals, pies, potatoes and desserts for over 60 years. They promise that they provide us with healthy, natural food. Birds eye take the best natural products and fast-freeze them at the peak of perfection to capture the freshness, taste and goodness. They don't use any artificial colours or flavours and they freeze to preserve their products naturally.
~ Product and availability ~
Birds eye rice fusions are available to buy in 400g bags that contain 2 individual rice portions. They are available to buy in several different flavours including aromatic pilau rice with peas and spinach, egg fried rice with peas, country mushroom (the flavour I'm reviewing), fragrant golden vegetable, tomato and herb and Mediterranean vegetable. They are currently available to buy around the £1.75 mark at full price, however I have seen them on offer at £1.00 and on any 2 for £3.00 which is when I tend to buy them because I think nearly £2.00 is a bit steep for what is essentially rice with some sauce and mushrooms which I could make myself cheaper at home I'm sure but I doubt it would be as tasty. Birds eye rice fusions are available to buy at most well-stocked supermarkets including Tesco's, Sainsbury's, Asda and Waitrose.
~ Packaging ~
Birds eye country mushroom rice comes in a pale brown plasticy type bag. On the front of the bag there is a picture of some rice in a bowl with plenty of mushrooms and green bits (I guess its supposed to be seasoning of some kind). There is a clear, easy to read at a glance nutrition table displayed underneath the name of the product which is printed in black swirly writing. In the left hand corner there is a large red birds eye logo, so you can't really miss the fact that this is a birds eye product. The back of the bag describes this product as steamed long grain rice with mushrooms and mushroom sauce. You will also find the ingredients list, full nutritional details, cooking instructions, contact details and allergy advice on the back. I'd say the packaging for this product is quite attractive and makes it look very good quality, it's very sophisticated looking and is not cheap or tacky in the slightest. Inside the bag there are two individual pyramids of rice in separate plastic bags.
~ Preparing/cooking ~
To cook the rice pyramids you have two choices, you can put them in the microwave (which is the method I choose) or pan cook them, times vary depending on your appliance and whether you are cooking one or two bags. These are so simple to cook and take only a matter of minutes to create perfectly cooked, steaming hot rice. During the cooking process you can definitely smell the creamy mushroomyness (one of my made up words invented specifically for this review!) of the rice.
~ Taste, appearance & texture ~
To serve the rice you simply snip the top of the pyramids along the dotted line with some scissors, be careful at this point as very hot steam releases as you snip. Then you simply tip it into a dish and away you go. The rice looks very fresh, moist and fluffy and you can see various little bits of chopped up mushroom but I can't ever find any of the green seasoning that's displayed on the front. The sauce often needs a bit of stir into the rice to get it mixed in as it's quite thin. The rice tastes very nice, in my opinion it resembles a risotto without all the dreaded calories. It's very creamy and soft and tastes surprisingly strongly of mushroom considering there really isn't that many actual pieces of mushroom in it (I often add some more). The sauce is nice and flavourful and is what provides that extra mushroomyness (there's my word again) and creaminess. I find this rice dish very moreish as I love mushrooms and the mushrooms and sauce in the rice go perfectly together. I think if there was any more sauce it would be too watery.
~ Other information ~
Per rice pyramid there are 230 calories, 1.8g of sugar, 3.6g of fat, 1.8g of saturates and 1.0g of salt. I think this is excellent considering that rice is usually such a high calorie dish.
Birds eye country mushroom rice contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
This product is suitable for vegetarians.
This product contains wheat, barley and milk.
~ Overall opinion ~
I absolutely love birds eye country mushroom rice fusions! It's just like a nice comforting risotto. It's warming and filling. It can be served as a side dish with some vegetables or as a meal itself. I often serve it padded out with extra mushrooms, peas and sometimes some chicken pieces which makes a perfect, delicious substantial meal. I think it's ideal for anybody who doesn't have much time to cook because it only takes a few minutes in a microwave, it would be excellent to take to work if you have a microwave for your lunch. I would certainly recommend birds eye country mushroom rice fusions; It's another good quality product from a trusted brand.
The only thing that would make this better would perhaps be if the price was lower and there were a few more mushrooms within the rice.
I am a huge fan of rice and pasta dishes of a rule and actually eat either in some form most days. I'm not really a potato fan really unless its chips or a roasted sweet potato and because of this I guess I got into having rice and pasta to bulk my meals up somewhat years ago.
When it comes to rice I usually buy it and cook it up myself and I'm a whizz at making egg fried rice even if I do say so myself but hey I get bored of that and I'm not keen on it boiled and to be honest although I consume a lot of rice I am not good at boiling it up and nine times out of ten burn it which is why when I saw this Birds Eye 'Rice Fusions' which comes in 2 individual packs within an outer bag and in a variety of different mixes (I opted for the pilau rice with peas and spinach!), on offer in my local Tesco store the other night at only £1.00 opposed to more like £1.50 I decided that not only did it sound nice and interesting but it was something a bit different to what I normally have!
This particular flavour came in a light orange bag with a photograph of the cooked rice in a bowl and in the packet it comes in on the front of it and we are told that it is Birds Eye Rice Fusions 'Aromatic Pilau Rice With Peas And Spinach' and that there are 2 individual portions and that it cooks in the microwave in 3 minutes, is free from artificial colours, additives or preservatives and there is an at a glance nutritional chart shown. On the back of the outer bag other information listed includes being told a bit about the product and how the pyramid bag the rice is in steams the dish, ingredients, allergy advice and a full nutritional chart is given, we are told how to cook it, the weight is stated which is 400g and contact details for Birds Eye are given. Nice enough packaging this is and its informative enough too.
Each portion is rather large and comes in a see though pyramid shaped bag with plenty of room within it. There is a dark green coloured corner to the bag you stick upright in the microwave when cooking it and this only cooks in the microwave and takes about 3 minutes for one bag or 6 minutes for two (microwave bags and timings do vary depending on your wattage and those times are also stated on the bag. I found my one portion to cook through really well in the three minutes flat as we are told it does though to open the bag, because it does steam is hard to open so protect your hands or let it cool slightly first!
The rice itself is unclumpy and you get all grains separate and moist though not wet or anything adverse like that. The rice makes 69% of this dish and is of course pilau so the grains are long and rather thick. Well seasoned and bright yellow in colour this does contain coriander and spices and is well seasoned though isn't too heavy on the flavouring and the most of the flavour comes from the 10% peas, slither of onions and the the 10% dark green and fresh looking spinach.
The peas are well cooked, not like bullets and succulent. They give a nice bright green colour to the dish and theres plenty of them really and they taste really fresh and naturally sweet! The spinach on the other hand is soggy and flavourless and because it looks soggy doesn't looks great but the pieces are large and after tasting one bit of it and it tasting really watery and flavourless I simply pulled them out. The onion isn't really noticeable within this either flavourwise in my opinion really.
This looks good and like I previously mentioned you do get a decent portion of it per pack. You can of course eat this on its own or maybe mix things in it like cooked prawns or chicken and make it up into a main meal should you want to. Although I like the actual rice and quickness of the time this cooks in I didn't like the spinach in it however I will try other varieties in the range next time!
Nutritional Information Per Portion:
Available in all good supermarkets etc.
Birdseye has been a house hold brand I have known of since I was kid. I used to eat Birdseye foods when I was younger and have grown up eating many of their food products, and this is something that still continues now I am grown up (physically at least lol!) There is usually a few different products from Birdseye in my freezer, and I recently saw in the local supermarket that they had bought out a brand new product, called Rice Fusions.
Rice Fusions are white rice, infused with different flavours. There are four different choices; Aromatic Pilau Rice, Egg Fried Rice With Peas, Meditarranean Vegetable Rice and Country Mushroom Rice. I grabbed a bag of each flavour, as they were on a special introductory offer of £1 a bag. Inside each bag is 2 smaller, pyramid shape bags which contain the rice fusions. The rice fusions are frozen, and to cook them you just pop them into the microwave for 3 minutes per bag. There is instructions on the packet which tells you how long to put in more than one bag at the same time.
The bags are easy to cook, just ensure the green triangle on the top of the bag is pointing upwards and then turn on the microwave, and wait for the ding. When the bag is cooked, remove the bag from the microwave and carefully cut open the top. There may be some steam, so please be careful of this. When you have cut the bag open, just pour the rice onto the bowl or plate.
My favourite flavour is the Aromatic Pilau Rice, which contains spinach and peas. I am not normally a fan of spinach or peas, so I was dubious to try this flavour, but I am really glad I did. The taste of the rice is just fantastic, and it actually rivals some pilau rices I have had from Indian resturants, and at a fraction of the price too!! The flavour is not too strong, and it has a nice, warm sort of flavour.
The Egg Fried Rice tastes, strangely enough, like egg fried rice, but it has a nice, fluffy texture to the rice and the egg is not over powering, like I have found with some other microwaveable rices. The peas add a nice texture and taste to the rice. This is my second favourite flavour from this range.
The Meditarranean Vegetable flavour has a slightly spicy taste to it, and the vegetables are what you would expect; onion, courgette, peppers etc. The vegetables have a nice crunch to them, and they taste fresh and clean. The rice is fluffy, warming and tastes nice. I did enjoy this flavour, but I do not think I would buy this one again, as it did seem a little bit bland. I was expecting more of a flavour than what there was, and this disappointed me a little bit.
The Country Mushroom one is perfect for a cold, blustery evening. I think of this one as great comfort food, and the mushroom flavour is just fantastic. This rice is a bit more creamy than the other ones, as it has mushroom sauce as well as bits of mushroom in it. There is some really nice flavours in there, and they all compliment each other perfectly.
I have found these to be a really great idea. They are so easy to cook, and there is a flavour to go with almost anything you may be eating. I use these all the time, and they go with so many of the foods we eat in my house. I can easily say that most people will find these tasty and time saving. At full price, they cost around £1.39 for a pack of two bags, which I think is pretty good value for what they are. They taste amazing, and it would be a lot harder to make these flavour rices yourself.
My partner loves these as much as I do, and I always make sure at least one of the flavours is in stock in my freezer. They are not a horrible diet killer either, the calories per pyramid bag are: Egg Fried - 265, Pilau - 240, Mediterranean - 235 and Mushroom - 235.
Personally, I can find nothing wrong with these Rice Fusions, and if you have not had the chance to try them yet, I totally recommend that you do so as soon as possible. They save so much time in my kitchen, as well as saving me having an extra pan or two to wash up. They taste brilliant, and are not laden with calories. Being from Birdseye, you know this is a brand you can trust.
You can buy these in most supermarkets, including Iceland, Sainsburys, Tesco, Morrisons etc. If you can find them on a special deal, stock up, as they really are worth always having around.
I 100% recommend these to everyone, and I hope you enjoy them as much as me and my partner do.