RawSpiceBar Subscription Box Review – October 2015
RawSpiceBar is a monthly subscription that sends freshly ground, small batch spice blends (and recipes that utilize them).
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription: RawSpiceBar
The Cost: $6 per month with free shipping
The Products: 3-4 freshly ground spice blends from one country or region, enough to create 3 dishes serving 6-10 people.
Ships to: US and Canada.
Each month, RawSpiceBar sends spices from one region or geographical area. This shipment features spice blends from Malaysia!
This month’s Malaysian spices are: Curry Laksa Spices, Sambal Oelek Spices, and Kaffir Lime Blend.
Curry Laksa Spices- .5 oz.
According to RawSpiceBar, “many families in Malaysia have their own secret recipes for curry powder, which are passed on for generations.” The recipes vary slightly. This one from RawSpiceBar is a blend of coriander, turmeric, lemongrass, and galangal.
Sambal Oelek- .4 oz
Sambal Oelek is a spicy paste that is used as a condiment and as a base for curry and rice dishes. RawSpiceBar has included a packet of ground chiles that forms the base of this paste.
Kaffir Lime Blend- .5 oz.
This citrusy powder is made from the leaves of the kaffir lime plant. The blend also contains turmeric, chile peppers, and palm sugar. It can be used in salad dressing, on roasted nuts, or as a topping for ice cream.
This month’s recipes are: Malaysian Curry Laksa, Sambal Oelek Paste, and Vegetable Salad with Kaffir Lime Dressing. For this month’s recipes, RawSpiceBar partnered with Caroline Artiss, a chef with over 20 years of experience cooking Malaysian and Asian fusion dishes.
Sambal Oelek Paste
I began by making the Sambal Oelek Paste because I knew I would need to incorporate it into the other two recipes.
It was very easy to make. I combined rice vinegar, garlic, salt and the Sambal Oelek Spices in a food processor until they formed a paste.
Urap Malaysian Salad with Kaffir Lime Dressing
This salad is a mix of blanched savoy cabbage and green beans, raw cucumber, bean sprouts and fresh herbs. Personally, I love salads that incorporate both raw and cooked vegetables (Salade Nicoise, anyone?), so I was really excited to try this recipe.
I prepared all of my vegetables and then made the dressing by pureeing RawSpiceBar’s Kaffir Lime Blend, finely chopped garlic, and ginger in a blender and then mixing it with lime juice, salt, and olive oil. The dressing seemed to contain a lot of salt (1 ½ teaspoons), so I reduced it slightly with the thought that I could always add more later.
This salad was delicious, and I loved the combination of veggies. The fresh herbs added a fantastic freshness, and the dressing was crisp, citrusy, and so flavorful. I will say, however, that I’m glad I didn’t add the full amount of salt. I like my food pretty heavily seasoned, but I think the full amount of salt would have been way too much. I added about 1 teaspoon, and I still thought the dressing was on the salty side.
Malaysian Curry Laksa
Much like the dressing for the Urap salad, I began preparing this dish by making a paste from the Laksa spice blend, garlic, ginger, and salt.
I sautéed shallots in olive oil, and then stirred in the paste and cooked it until the oil began to separate from the spices. I then added chicken thighs and cooked them until they were browned on all sides. I stirred in water, sugar, and salt and simmered for 20 minutes. At this point I added in coconut milk and simmered for another 40 minutes.
While the laksa simmered, I pan fried tofu, cabbage, and green beans in a separate pan. (Note: the recipe called for the addition of carrot and kale, also, but I decided to omit these.)
When the 40 minutes of simmering were up, I stirred in the tofu and vegetables. I simmered for another couple of minutes and then added the raw prawns.
To serve, I filled bowls with cooked rice noodles and ladled laksa over the top.
This dish was phenomenal. I loved the layers of flavor and the incorporation of different vegetables and proteins. I mixed a bit of the sambal oelek paste into my laksa, and I thought it complemented the dish and added a nice, flavorful spice.
My husband and I agreed that this was a restaurant-quality meal and the best curry we’ve ever made at home (and we make curry pretty frequently).
Verdict: I loved this month’s RawSpiceBar! The Malaysian spices were interesting and delicious, and I thought they were incorporated into the provided recipes in clever and interesting ways. The dishes were delicious and came together to create a truly fantastic meal. I’ve had quite a few issues with the RawSpiceBar recipes in recent months, but I thought this month’s recipes were much improved. I do think they called for a bit too much salt, but that’s a small complaint compared with some of the errors I’ve seen in previous months. Overall, I can’t complain, though. This month’s dishes were excellent, and they came together to form one of the best meals I’ve had in months!
What do you think about RawSpiceBar’s Malaysian Box?