“ Brand: Iceland / Type: Rice „
Today, after finding myself in a different area of town to the ones I usually frequent I discovered an Iceland store and decided to pay it a visit out of pure convenience.
I needed to pick up a few household essentials before I headed home but I was also hungry for lunch and to save myself the cooking I thought I'd pick up a ready meal from their extensive range. I'm not a huge fan of ready meal per se as I get so much satisfaction from cooking from fresh, but I have partaken before with mixed results.
I really enjoy Chinese food as a rule and when I'm not preparing a meal for myself I usually pick something I wouldn't necessarily create at home. I've had aromatic duck from my local take-away and always really enjoyed it but never buy the meat to cook myself. I saw a duck in Peking sauce, with white rice, at the bargain price of only £1 in the cabinet and thought I'd give it a whirl. The box at least had an attractive image of the prepared meal in a shallow bowl showing the shredded duck, along with the water chestnuts, red peppers and carrots which also make up this meal.
Having got it home I had a look at the cooking instructions to see that it would need to be cooked in two stages, something which I haven't come across a lot of in the past, with a total cooking time of around 10minutes from frozen in the microwave (based on an 800w oven) or alternatively could be prepared on the hob, boil in the bag style, in 40 minutes - something which surely removes the ease and convenience of a ready meal?
The microwaveable bags needed to be pierced several times prior to cooking and placed on a microwavable plate. The bag containing the sauce went in first and after it's allotted time was joined by the rice bag. I found the cooking of the product pretty straight forward and didn't too much mind the 2-stage cooking process as I found it gave me time to prepare myself a drink and sort out my cutlery etc. rather than being a hindrance. Removing the product from its bags and arranging on a plate was a little more tricky however.
Obviously the product is piping hot after cooking and even though the instructions advise you to leave to stand for a minute before removing from the bags I still found the product too hot to comfortably handle and ended up leaving to sit for around 3 minutes before I dared attempt to serve it. The main problem, I believe, is that the main 2 ingredients of the sauce are sugar and treacle - both of which hold heat for a long time. After finally opening the bags I placed the rice on the plate and emptied the sauce packet on top, although having the holes big enough to allow some of the sauce to run though as I emptied it meant that this was no easy feat.
Sitting down to eat it my first impressions of the product was, oh my word - THE SMELL, and not necessarily in a positive way. The strongest smell of cloves and star anise was overpowering and gave the dish an aroma of Christmas and liquorice. Neither of which I'm a huge fan of. I just hoped that the flavour wasn't equally as intense. Also the pieces of duck weren't as large as the photo on the box but I've tended to find ready meal box photos are never really accurate and for £1 it was a close enough representation of what I was about to eat.
Onto eating it I found that, thankfully the flavour of the star anise and clove in the sauce wasn't as strong as the aroma - it was still present however but in a much subtler way. The actual taste of the sauce, whilst plentiful, was undeniably sweet, unfortunately almost sickly so. There was enough duck for it to feature on every fork-full and even though it was a budget meal I didn't feel that Iceland had skimped on meat. Also the water chestnuts were crisp and added a nice texture to the meal, the carrots and peppers however were soggy and to me unnoticeable in a mouthful. The rice maintained it's integrity which pleased me as I've found with other ready meals it can become gooey and too soft. This wasn't the case with this meal.
I finished every bite and found the portion size to be just right, however, I did get an after-taste for quite some time once I'd finished eating which wasn't participially great. Very sweet with a hint of burnt sugar and cinnamon. For anyone who appreciates such flavours though at least it would offer the opportunity to "enjoy" this meal for an additional hour or so after finishing it.
Even though I encountered a few problems with this meal, and the 2-stage cooking instructions might be enough to put off people more happy with "bunging it in" no hassle ready meals, I do think this meal was excellent value for money. Enough of it to satiate my hunger, unbeatable price point at just £1 and clear cooking instructions which worked, at least for me. As for ingredients I think it's fair to say that you get what you pay for.
I'd happily recommend the meal to a friend - perhaps one I knew had a sweet tooth - and it's filled me with enough confidence to return to Iceland and try more in the range. Hopefully you'll enjoy reading my reviews on my future purchases?
It's really depressing coming home from work and not having dinner waiting for me on the table, but such is life and as my friend tells me "nothing stays still". Not to fear, as one chapter of my life ends, a new one begins, and this one is going to involve a number of ready meals for one, and having to review them in order to purchase more ready meals for one.
On my quest to get prepared for my new life I took the plunge and visited Iceland (the shop), and I thought I'd test the water so-to-speak with some of their microwave dinners, and the 'Duck in Peking Sauce' grabbed me straight away as I love duck, and it's not something I have often. Being only £1 I wasn't particularly optimistic, but I felt I didn't have much to lose!
Open the box, and you'll find the dinner frozen in two plastic bags which you'll need to separate by cutting. Then pierce both bags several times.
Pop the duck bag into the microwave (on a plate) and cook on full power (800W) for 4 minutes, then add the rice bag to the plate and cook on full power for a further 6 minutes. Alternatively you could cook on the hob for 40 minutes, but I think this kind of defeats the point of quick and easy ready meal!
...Meanwhile, begin writing a review of said dinner...
When microwave pings, leave to stand for a minute, and then use scissors to empty contents from bags onto plate (careful, the plate will be hot). This is a pretty easy process and not much mess made (some reviews seem to say otherwise, but I didn't find it hard with scissors). However, I soon find that parts of the rice are still cold, so put back in microwave for another minutes.
---The Eating Experience---
This time it's all cooked, and I approach the meal with some trepidation, after all it did only cost £1, and there doesn't seem to be much of a smell. However, from the first bite I'm pleasantly surprised. There's a nice crunch from the water chestnuts, and the duck tastes of duck which I have to say I wasn't really expecting! Ok, so the meal is mainly rice and sauce (not much duck), it is a nice enough sauce, unlike some ready meals it doesn't taste too salty, but it also doesn't need any additional seasoning.
Bits of carrot and pepper can be spotted (although the taste is disguised in the sauce), but I don't think there's nearly enough for it to even count towards one of your 5 a day!
I cleared my plate, and was left with a pleasant taste in my mouth. I was pleasantly surprised with the whole experience. I think the portion could have been a bit bigger, but for the price...well...can't really complain too much.
---What's in it?---
Peking sauce (46%), cooked white rice (44%) and cooked shredded duck (10%) - the sauces contains LOADS of ingredients which I won't list individually, nothing sounds too harmful though (I'm sure some would argue though)! Of course it's not suitable for vegetarians what with the duck thing going on, and it is also not suitable for those who can't eat gluten and soya (no mention about nuts, but I'd advise exercising caution). There is also a warning that some bones may remain.
The meal provides 463 calories, 5.0g fat (saturates 1.5g), and 2.1g salt (which I think is just over a third of your daily recommended limit - could be worse).
For £1 I don't think there is that much I can fault this on (but I still don't think I can justify more than 3 stars). Duck is generally a bit more expensive than some meats, and while there isn't a great deal in this dish, you can tell it's duck...and that is good.
Ok, it's not the healthiest or most nutritional dinner option, BUT it's quick, it only leaves a plate, cutlery and a pair of scissors to be washed up, and it's cheap. I will probably be buying this again, even if it does involve having to go back to Iceland (I can always wear a hat)!
Oh, and apologies for the terrible title of this review!
I hadn't been in Iceland in years until one recently opened locally to me. I bought a couple of the £1 meals to try them out, one of which was the Duck in Peking Sauce. It takes longer to do than many ready meals as you have to start the meat on its own, then put the rice with it and continue heating both products together. I do it in the microwave, and I find that the rice comes up nice and fluffy. Having had this twice, I've found there to be a bit too much rice for me so I usually don't put all of it in my dish, but I find there to be enough duck, chestnuts and other vegetables for me not to feel I lose out by doing that. The sauce isn't thin and cheap - it's full of flavour, thick enough to properly coat the duck and make you feel like it's been properly considered rather than just included so that they can say a sauce is there. I like the fact that I actually feel I've had a meal when I eat this. I am usually a bit sceptical about pictures of food on boxes, but the end product looks very much like the picture, so I don't feel that I was misled. Overall, the taste, ease of cooking and the fact I'm full after eating it make it very good value for the price. There are some ready meals where you can tell what they've cut back on to achieve the low price, but there's no feeling of "cheap" with this at all.
However, they should do something about the bags. I found the duck one very difficult to open cleanly and safely. You have to pierce the bag several times before heating it, and when I tried to open the bag and pour the contents out after heating it, I risked getting very hot sauce leaking through the pierce holes onto my hands and fingers which isn't good. It's messy enough that I felt I had to wash my hands before I could sit down to eat it, and then ended up heating it for another 30 seconds or so because by that time it had cooled a bit. All in all, it's a lot of work for what's supposed to be a "ready meal".
At £1, it's good value for money for a lunch, but I wouldn't consider it good enough to have for an evening meal after a hard day at work unless I could have a salad with it. The only thing I really don't like about this though is that it's so high in calories. I would be happy to buy it for lunch at work, but the number of calories I'd be having in one sitting puts me off doing that too often.
I brought this Peking Duck meal from Iceland just before Xmas to keep in the freezer for when I want something quick and tasty. Dooyoo have got the wrong picture up but the Peking Duck box is very similar and is from the same Oriental section of the shop.
It only cost £1.00 so I wasn't expecting THAT much from the meal but to be honest it's quite tasty and deffo a lot better than most of the Iceland ready meals! lol
The problem is that there's hardly and duck in it, and the meal looked tiny on my plate. It's literally gone in 10 fork fulls and didn't fill me up at all even though I'd had a bread roll with mine..... I was still starving after eating it and had to warm a sausage roll up out of the fridge!
The rice cooks nice, I was surprised about that actually because I don't usually think much of rice in any frozen ready meal. This cooks through so that the texture and taste is the same as fresh rice and I was mega happy about that because I'm so used to throwing half my rice away when I'm eating a meal like this.
The duck is cooked good too, like I said there's not a lot of duck in there but it's cooked perfect after about 30 mins in the oven. It's got a meaty taste and texture and isn't full of fat, that's a good thing because duck is so expensive that when you buy it in a ready meal you usually find they've used the scrappiest fatty bits of duck they could find. Iceland haven't done this and the duck pieces are proper meat, and that's probably why there isn't much in the meal or it would have probably cost a fiver if they'd put any more in!
The sauce that the duck is in is yummy, it's rich and tangy and goes proper nice with the flavour of the duck. I like it that there's plenty of sauce in the meal because it means that once I've eaten all the duck (don't take long! lol) I can swish the rice round in the sauce and that makes the flavour of the meal last for longer.
I'm stuck on how many stars to give this meal because it's brill value for money and tastes great BUT there isn't enough duck in it to fill me up. It's also got quite a salty taste as you eat so I'm going to have to give it just 2 stars..... but the taste deffo deserves 3 or 4 stars so if you don't mind a smaller meal than usual then you'll probably like this.
Recommended.... to people with little appetites!
I tried this meal not too long ago and although it had quite a nice flavour, the quality and amount of meat was not up to scratch so I would not buy it again. It is available from Iceland for just £1.00 and can be found in the frozen ready meals section. It can be kept frozen and cooked from frozen - more easily in the microwave,
It has the yellow strip at the top with 'BIG VALUE PACK' in bold letters and the £1 price tag beside this. There is an image of the serving suggestion below, which shows the duck sauce on the white rice. Inside the box is a plastic packet, which can be ripped apart to give two pieces - the duck in sauce and the rice. You must microwave the duck and sauce for 4 minutes before adding the rice and cooking for another 7 minutes from frozen. The bags must both be pierced beforehand too.
The meal was definitely piping hot enough when it was ready. I cut open each packet and poured the rice onto the plate making a hole for the duck in sauce to go on top. The duck in sauce has a very nice authentic flavour to it, which you'd expect but it contains a little quantity of duck and some vegetables too. The bits of duck in there were very small and chewy and not of great quality at all. The rice was quite nice but slightly too al-dente for me.
It's a good cheap meal and very easy to make but it lacks nutritions and isn't very good considering the amount of meat you get. It's easy to prepare and not too bad for just £1, but I wouldn't recommend buying this one as Iceland do other better meals.
Thanks for reading,
I bought the Peking duck with rice ready meal from Iceland for lunch to share with my son as a quick ready meal. The picture on the box seemed appetising and for only £1for a 450g pack I thought it would be worth trying.
It does have the words big value pack on a bold yellow strip and the also states no hydrogenated fats, no artificial colours or flavours and no GM ingredients.
Each pack contains 414 calories and 4.3 g of fat which I didn't think was too bad.
Allergy advice: contains gluten and Soya. It has also been produced in an area that uses coconut, nuts and sesame
Upon opening the box there are two pouches one with the rice and one with the duck and sauce. You need to separate the two sachets but these are perforated lines so don't require scissors
I cooked it following the microwave instruction for 750W oven. After piercing the bags I had to cook the sauce and duck sachet for four minutes before adding the rice sachet and cooking for a further seven minutes. This seemed quite a long time but I amused to cooking chilled ready meals if cooking.
After leaving for a minute I opened the sachets both were piping hot. It was quite difficult to empty sauce sachet as it was so hot.
I served two thirds to myself and a third for my son and there seemed to be plenty there for both of us.
The rice appeared fluffy white colour although it was stuck together and the duck sauce seemed to be a red sauce with pieces of pepper, carrots, water chestnut and thin slices of duck.
I was very disappointed with that the rice tasted a little soggy and tasted overcooked. The vegetables and duck could not be tasted over the strong flavour of the sauce. The peppers were complete were soggy. The strips of duck although very small were very chewy. The sauce was not spicy yet still overpowered the flavour of everything else
My son only ate 3 spoonfuls before completely refusing. I did eat mine but mostly because I was so hungry. This is not a product I would go out and but again.
I think the reason it is only a £1 is due to the severe lack of meat. I think this is once again a case of you get what you pay for. I personally would pay a little more for a better product.
I won't be recommending this product no mater how short of time .I would of preferred to make beans on toast
I would just like to add the picture Dooyoo have added is not the correct item.
I am going to start this review with a surprising revelation: up until a couple of week's ago I had never set foot in Iceland (and this applies to both the shop and the country!) However as a new Iceland has just opened up near me, I recently had the opportunity to rectify this situation.]
I was pleased to see a large selection of ready meals in the Iceland freezers. I am a big fan of ready meals because I live alone and often cannot be bothered to cook a complicated meal for myself. I know it is lazy but sometimes I just like to take something out of the freezer, pop it in the microwave and be done with it!
Anyway my eye fell upon a large selection of ready meals which were only £1 each. This struck me as good value especially as they were in large boxes which implied they might be a bit more filling than the tiny Weight Watchers meals that I have tried one or two of recently. The boxes were a cheerful bright red colour with a large yellow strip across the top which shouted 'BIG VALUE PACK' in huge black letters. Not classy, but certainly eye-catching!
There was quite a variety of these meals, including chicken curry, cottage pie, lasagne, etc, but I chose the Duck In Peking Sauce meal. The packet described it as 'Shredded duck in a Peking sauce with water chestnuts, red peppers and carrots, served with white rice'. This sounded lovely, and a similar meal would cost you around £6 from a takeaway, so I was impressed.
The meal can be cooked straight from the freezer without having to defrost it which keeps things nice and simple. It comes in two plastic bags, one containing the meat and sauce, and one containing the rice. It takes between 10 and 12 minutes in the microwave, or you can boil it on the hob for 40 minutes if you prefer.
I started to get a bit worried as soon as I put the meal on my plate. The rice had all stuck together and looked strangely gooey, and the meat and sauce looked like an unappetising pile of dark brown gunge. However I tried to be optimistic and tucked in. Unfortunately the rice did indeed taste gooey, stodgy, slightly bitty and very cheap. The sauce was even worse, as it was too thick and too strong flavoured. The vegetables were almost unidentifiable and the pieces of duck were tiny. I could hardly finish the meal and was very disappointed. Afterwards, I found the taste lingered unpleasantly in my mouth, plus I was left with indigestion.
If you want the nutritional information, I can tell you that this meal contains 414 calories and 4.3 grams of fat. It has no hydrogenated fats, no artificial colours or flavours, and no GM ingredients.
I wouldn't recommend this meal but then I was probably foolish for thinking a duck based meal costing £1 would be any good!