Kitchen Table Passport Box Review + Coupon – October 2016
Kitchen Table Passport helps you explore the world (without leaving your kitchen!) by sending information, recipes, spices, music, and mementos from a new country every month.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
This review is of the Full Subscription, $24.95 a month, box.
The Subscription Box: Kitchen Table Passport
The Cost: $25 per month (Discounts are available for longer subscriptions and single boxes can be purchased for $29.95. There is also a “taste only” subscription for $9.95 per month.)
COUPON: Save $10 off the Full Subscription with code TENBUCKSFROMMSA
The Products: Everything you need to “see, hear, taste, touch, and smell a different country” every month.
Ships to: US
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
My box contained a card introducing me to this month’s featured country- Taiwan! The inside of the card revealed that this month’s dish is Yansu-ji, also known as Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken or Salty Crispy Chicken.
Kitchen Table Passport sends A LOT of supplemental materials in every box, and they always include cards that highlight different aspects of the featured country.
These cards provide information about everything from food and culture to location and geography, and my husband always snatches them up. (He’s a bit of a trivia freak.) This month, he was excited to learn that bubble tea was invented in Taiwan way back in 1988.
Every box also contains a card outlining the month’s chosen mementos.
This month’s first memento is a pair of Taiwanese pineapple cakes. The jammy middle and cake-y outer layer remind me a bit of Newtons, but the flavor of the filling is definitely unique. I can’t quite put my finger on what the spices are, but this little cake tastes completely unlike anything I’ve ever had before.
The second memento is a very small paper box that was designed by a stationery enthusiast in Taipei. It’s decorated with lanterns and plum blossoms, and the text translates to “handmade in Taiwan.” I think this box is so lovely and precious, but I’m a little stumped about how I should use it. Does anyone have any ideas?
Yansu Ji is a popular Taiwanese street food that’s traditionally eaten from a paper bag with a wooden skewer. If you’d like to turn it into a meal, Kitchen Table Passport suggests serving with rice. They also warn that you’ll want to make sure you have some drinks ready because the saltiness of this dish might make you thirsty!
The spices for this dish came packaged in a small pouch. This month’s blend is a mix of French sea salt, Korintje cinnamon, Indian cloves, Indian fennel, Chinese anise, black peppercorns, Malaysian white peppercorns, cumin, paprika, and cayenne.
As per the instructions, I cut chicken breasts into cubes and let them marinate in a mix of sallions, garlic, ginger, sugar, chicken bouillon, wine, baking soda, soy sauce, and some of the provided spice mix. Kitchen Table Passport stressed the importance of marinating the chicken for at least 1 hour before cooking, so I was careful not to rush things.
After the hour was up, I drained off the excess liquid and tossed the pieces of chicken in corn starch before frying them in vegetable oil.
I fried the chicken in batches, and, when it was all done, I replaced the oil and fried Thai basil leaves. To finish, I tossed the chicken and basil with some additional spice.
Since Yansu Ji is a street food, I thought it would be fun to serve it on skewers!
The crispy basil was very fragile, and it broke into pieces as I was putting the chicken onto the skewers. At first, I thought this was a bad thing, but the little flecks of basil ended up sticking to the chicken more easily than the full leaves.
I’m sure it’s completely inauthentic, but I put out a selection of dips for the chicken. We tried dipping in sriracha ranch, bbq, ketchup, and Thai sweet chili sauce, and it was fun to try the chicken with different sauces. Mostly, though, I ate the chicken on its own. The pieces were tender and crunchy, and the spice blend and crispy basil added a nice complex flavor. Also, I’ve never fried anything in corn starch before, but I really liked the dry, crunchy coating it created around the chicken. This dish was a little on the salty side, though, (I can’t say I wasn’t warned!) so I made sure to put out a big pitcher of sparkling water.
Verdict: I really enjoyed this month’s Kitchen Table Passport box. I had a lot of fun making Taiwanese street food at home! While I haven’t put a valuation on the spice mix or the mementos, I think it’s obvious that they do not reach the $25 cost of the box. This subscription is clearly all about curation, and I have to say that Kitchen Table Passport’s curation is excellent. The emphasis of this subscription is definitely on creating a memorable learning experience, and I think this subscription would be an incredible way to get kids engaged in geography and world cultures. I know I would have loved exploring a box like this with my family when I was younger!
Have you tried Kitchen Table Passport?