RawSpiceBar is a monthly subscription that sends freshly ground, small-batch spice blends plus recipe cards to help you successfully incorporate these new flavors into your meals.
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.)
The Subscription Box: RawSpiceBar
The Cost: $8 per month
COUPON: Use coupon code SPICEADDICT5 to get your first box for $3!
The Products: 3 freshly ground spice blends from one country or region, enough to create 3 dishes serving 6-10 people.
Ships to: U.S. (with free shipping) and Canada (for an additional fee).
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Each month, RawSpiceBar sends spices from one region or geographical area. This is the “Burmese Flavor Kit."
In addition to sending recipe cards each month, RawSpiceBar also has a variety of recipes on their website - the recipes for May are available here. (This is the second month where it looks like there are no extra recipes online; these are the same recipes included on the cards.)
Lemongrass Yellow Curry, 0.3 oz
I've never cooked on my own with lemongrass but it's one of my favorite flavors in curries! While the cumin and turmeric seemed to make up a big % of the overall seasoning, the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves added a nice punch. I was excited to cook with this one at home since it is definitely more layered and complex than the curry powder I typically buy from the store shelves.
Himalayan Pink Salt, 0.3 oz
This is definitely the prettiest thing I've gotten in this subscription, right down to the matching pink packet. I was slightly disappointed that there were no recipes that really featured this salt; instead, they basically suggest using it as you would any salt. Not terribly exciting.
This was still a treat though - I haven't had any specialty sea salts in my pantry for awhile and it's amazing how different they really are from one another, and how the shape/texture really affects how salty they taste. I thought this one made a great finishing salt.
Tea Leaves Rub, 0.3 oz
This was so interesting and is one of those mixes I would never think to put together myself. It was definitely spicy from the cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, plus it had a kick to it from the red chiles. The tea seemed to add a bit of earthiness and help make it all seem more robust. I can't wait to try this one in a meal.
Let's check out the recipes included this month:
Burmese Lemongrass Ginger Sliders
I had planned to make this recipe but ended up using my ground beef to make tacos one night instead. I'm definitely keeping this card on hand to try this again in the future though; I've never used curry seasoning in a burger and it sounds delicious.
Tea Leaf Salad
The last time I actually had a tea leaf salad was probably a decade ago or more, so I was intrigued by this... but no matter how hard I try, I cannot make myself make a salad that involves multiple cooking steps. Between frying garlic and letting tea leaves cool for an hour, this was an easy pass.
Tea Leaf Rubbed Baked Salmon
This is probably how I will end up using the Tea Leaf Rub; this looks simple and delicious.
Lemongrass Coconut Milk Noodles
I love a good lemongrass curry, so my stomach was heavily leaning toward this recipe from the get-go. There were some issues with this one, though: there are ingredients mentioned in the written directions that aren't in the recipe list, for example, so you don't know what quantity/measurement to use. When I opened my fridge and saw the veggies from our CSA share staring back at me, though, I decided to go for it and leaped into a clean-out-the-fridge-and-pantry style coconut curry... but I really just used this recipe as a jumping off point, since I knew it was incomplete anyway.
It's impossible to tell from this photo, but there's a lot going on in this dish. I oven roasted a few chicken breasts with some small gold potatoes cut into 8ths. Meanwhile, I softened a yellow pepper and a yellow onion in some coconut oil on the stovetop then added the Lemongrass Curry packet plus two cans of coconut milk, and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, I chopped up bok choy, basil, and cilantro, and added those in the last few minutes along with some soba noodles, my cooked potatoes, and the sliced chicken.
Topped with some reserved fresh herbs, peanuts, sriracha, and just a bit of the Himalayan Pink Salt.
How'd it turn out? It's now about 4 hours after we ate dinner, and from across the room my husband just looked up randomly and told me again how much he enjoyed dinner. This one's a keeper! The lemongrass curry was a little more delicate than curries I've attempted before (in a good way) and I'll definitely be looking to cook with a similar blend again soon.
Verdict: I'm glad that I am familiar enough with cooking curry noodle dishes to 'wing it' this month and still have a successful and flavorful dish, but it was disappointing to see such an incomplete recipe card. The online version of the recipe seems to be totally intact, for what it's worth, but this underscores that RawSpiceBar isn't necessarily a great subscription for someone who is just starting to learn how to cook. I think of it more as an interesting way to get meal inspiration and try new flavors instead, and in that light, this subscription is still fun and helps break us out of our normal kitchen routine, without breaking the bank.
What do you think about RawSpiceBar?