Product Type: Uncle Bens Ready Meals
Newest Review: ... cooked as quickly as two minutes. It also tells us how much of our GDA of calories, sugars, fats, saturates and salt a serving contains (j... more
Rice rice baby!
Uncle Ben's Express Rice
Member Name: redhead78
Uncle Ben's Express Rice
Advantages: Healthy, quick to cook, tastes as good as the "real" thing
Disadvantages: Quite costly, packet can be dangerous to open straight from the microwave
I don't generally like to use packet or pre-prepared foods, preferring to cook from fresh whenever possible so that I know exactly what's gone into our meals. However, this Uncle Ben's Express rice is something that is a staple in our cupboard and I always have a pack or two in. We have a microwave rice steamer which cooks perfect rice every time in 11 minutes so when cooking at home I always do rice in that, but this packet rice comes in very handy when we go camping.
Rice is such an easy, nutritious ingredient for a meal and the fact that when we're camping we can just snip open a pouch, pop it in a pan and only have to heat it for 3 minutes is a bonus and much quicker and easier than watching over a pan of fresh rice.
These pouches are readily available from supermarkets now and cost £1.69 from Tesco, although they currently have it on offer at 3 for £4.50 so I've stocked up recently! For this money you get 250g of rice inside which we find to be just the right amount for the two of us to share.
The packaging has changed slightly from the one shown above and instead of a completely orange packet it now comes in a white pouch with a smaller orange square on the front. This orange part tells us that the rice will be "perfect every time" and that it's 100% natural and can be cooked as quickly as two minutes. It also tells us how much of our GDA of calories, sugars, fats, saturates and salt a serving contains (just for information these are 176 or 9% of our daily calories, 0.3g or less than 1& of sugars, 1.1g or 2% fat, 0.1g or less than 1% of saturates and 0.3g or 4% of salt - sounds pretty good to me!).
The reverse of the packaging gives further information on how to cook it (either on the hob or in the microwave), further nutritional information, storage details and the fact that it contains 99% rice with the rest being made up of sunflower oil and 0.2% salt. So not only is it quick and easy to make it's healthy and nutritious too without lots of nasties, preservatives and flavourings (unless you get a flavoured version, obviously!).
Speaking of which, we generally tend to go for the plainer rices (long grain, basmati etc) but this range also comes in several different flavours including; pilau, mushroom, mexican, mediterranean vegetable, egg fried and chinese style. If I'm feeling really lazy, instead of sharing a pouch of plain rice we will have a pouch each of the flavoured rice and treat it as an all in one meal with no need to add anything further to it.
The pouches themselves are very easy to use. If warming it on a hob you simply boil a couple of tbsp of water, ad the rice, cover with a lid and simmer for 3 minutes. Alternatively you can microwave it (but we don't usually bother taking our microwave camping!!) and to do this you terar a corner of the pouch open (easily done using the perforations) and heat it for 2 minutes. The only thing I've found on the odd occasion that I do microwave it is that when you take it out and rip the rest of the opening up is that it lets out a lot of steam so make sure you hold it away from your face when you do that or leave it to rest for a few seconds first.
Now the taste test. Well, to be honest I'm perfectly happy with this rice and how it tastes. Because you're only warming it up rather than cooking it there is never any danger of it sticking to the pan and getting all clagged up together and going soggy. These pouches provide you, as the packet states, with perfect rice every time. Nice, soft, fluffy grains that all separate easily and don't get stuck together. It tastes, well, like rice really! It does taste just like the normal rice that you would cook from scratch and writing this review has made me question exactly why I bother cooking rice from scratch when you get such good results from this! Then I remembered...the price!
I know £1.69 isn't a lot of money, but for rice for two people it is quite steep when you consider that you can get a 1kg bag of dried rice for around £1.30 which will last us much much longer than just the one meal. However, I won't judge this packet rice on it's cost because it is really aimed at providing you with convenience and when camping it does that very well indeed. Because I'm ridiculously organised when it comes to these things I usually have some homemade curry to take with us too which just needs reheating so this rice means we can have a healthy, delicious, nutritious meal in less than five minutes which is great because it means we use a lot less gas on our camping stove than if we were having to boil rice for 20 minutes every night!
All in all I would recommend this rice if either a) you go camping a lot or b) you have trouble cooking rice on the hob (as I do, hence the microwave steamer!). It really does taste as good as freshly cooked rice, it has no nasty added things and nutritionally speaking I think it's great. It's easy to use, whether on a hob, camping stove or microwave and makes a very quick meal. The only downsides, as I've stated are that it costs a lot more than normal rice and the risk of burning your face with the steam if you microwave it - and this is the reason I'm knocking a point off for it...I'm guessing this is a common problem to every packet that's microwaved, not just the odd few I've used so I think there should be a warning on the packet somewhere. But apart from that one little star taken away it gets top marks from me.
Summary: A tasty, quick to cook rice which is great to take camping with you
More reviews in the field of Ready Meals
- Inzersdorfer Gemüse Küche Cream Sauce With Peas And Young Carrots
- Inzersdorfer Gemüse Küche Cream Sauce With Mixed Vegetables
- Inzersdorfer Gemüse Küche Mix With Beans And Corn
- Conte Decesare Peeled Tomatoes
- Inzersdorfer Chicken In Sweet Paprika Sauce
- Linda McCartney Vegetarian Cannelloni
- Tesco Chicken Enchiladas
- Tesco Pizzeria Spinach And Ricotta Pizza
- Tesco Finest Chicken Tikka Masala & Rice
- Innocent Piri Piri Veg Pot