RawSpiceBar Review - February 2016 - Meal Preparation Subscription Box + PROMO CODE

This box was provided complimentary for review and this post contains referral links.
What is it? RawSpiceBar 
How Much? $6 per month plus $4 shipping to Canada. Save on longer term subscriptions. Prices in US dollars. 
What’s in it? 3 hand-picked, small batch, freshly ground spice blends and kitchen-tested, detailed recipes and ideas.

RawSpiceBar is a subscription service offering a monthly box of spices. For only $6 per month plus shipping, RawSpiceBar send 3 freshly ground spices & blends with a new regional theme plus kitchen-tested recipes. The recipes and spices yield enough to create 3 global dishes to serve 4-6 adults. The spice blends are perfectly portioned, freshly ground and expertly blended by top chefs for maximum authentic flavor. It's all done just days before shipping to guarantee freshness. 

RawSpiceBar partners with award winning chefs, bloggers & sources old family recipes to bring you unique spice blends from the highest quality spices around the world, with an unprecedented focus on quality and flavor.
RawSpiceBar charges $4 per month for shipping, but shipping is discounted on longer term subscriptions. On a 6-month term, shipping is only an additional $16, instead of $24. RawSpiceBar ships their packages between the 6th and 10th of the month. It's a slim letter-mail size package that will fit in a condo-sized mailbox. The package comes to Canada via USPS International Priority Airmail, and typically arrives towards the end of the month.

The theme for February is "Sichuan Spice Box". 
Heat and umami are king in Sichuan dishes, a type of Chinese cuisine that comes from the Sichuan province of southwestern China. While it's certainly true that chilies are extremely important in the local food, Sichuan cuisine is about much more than spiciness. What really makes Sichuan cuisine stand out is its stunning variety of flavors. They say "yi cai yi ge, bai cai bai wei": 'Each dish has its own style, a hundred dishes have a hundred different flavors.' It's these flavor combinations that truly define Sichuan food.

The recipes this month are for a meat dish, a noodle dish, and a vegetable dish. Unlike most months, there are no alternate recipes posted on the website.

Recipe: Char Siu (Chinese Barbecue Pork)
I absolutely love the flavourful sweetness of Chinese BBQ pork. I often buy chunks of Char Siu from my local Asian market. True Chinese Char Siu uses pork butt or pork shoulder, marinated overnight then roasted so becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender (this recipe is pretty close for home purposes). The RawSpiceBar version uses pork tenderloin. It looks fairly easy so I'm excited to try it out.
Spice: Chinese Five Spice 
Five spice refers not to the number of spices in this blend, but to its flavor profile. Warm and sweet meets cool and heady, combined with the licorice flavor profile of anise. These flavors perfectly compliment rich and fatty meats like duck, pork and beef and works well for stir fries, roasting or as a marinade.

Recipe: Garlic Shiitake & Broccoli Noodles 
This is a "chow mein"  style dish made with buckwheat noodles, shiitake mushrooms, and broccoli florets. The sauce is made with Shiitake Powder, Chinese Five Spice, shallot, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes.
Spice: Shitake Powder 
Shiitake, referred to as the 'monarch of mushrooms' in Japan, delivers an umami punch and intense flavor to a wide range of dishes. Incorporate into soup bases and pasta sauces or use as a textured rub on meats. Or sprinkle this powder on eggs, roasted potatoes or cooked greens to see how this special flavor ingredient can transform a dish.

Recipe: Sichuan Style Green Beans
Spicy green beans with minced pork is one of my favourite Chinese dishes. I recently used Sichuan (or szechuan) peppercorns for the first time, after taking a "Taste of Asia" cooking class. I made Kung Pao Chicken and it was delicious, but very spicy. Go easy on the peppercorns!
Spice: Sichuan Peppercorns
The numbering, tingly heat plus citrus flavor of Sichuan peppercorns tends to sneak up on your taste buds slowly- creating an effect known as ma la, or “numbing heat”. Not really a peppercorn but a berry from the Chinese prickly ash tree, use in classic Sichuan dishes or add to burgers, lamb, noodle salads, tofu or stir-fries, just to name a few.

The February RawSpiceBar included three spice blends and three recipes to create a Sichuan-style dinner. Two of the recipes are for some of my favourite Chinese dishes, so I'm excited about this month. In total, we received 1.1 ounces of spices, plus the three recipe cards.

Interested in trying RawSpiceBar? You can save 50% off your first month using promo code SPICEFLAVOR. Code is valid for new subscribers only.

Click here to check out Raw Spice Bar.

Disclaimer: Box information is correct as of posting date. As prices and terms are subject to change, please be sure to read the FAQ of this company before signing up.
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