Now that was a day-after-Christmas “episode” that took what I said in the last entry “basking in the moment” to a whole nother level. Almost literally, time stood still.
You’re probably already well aware of the island-wide power outage Oahu experienced from approximately 6:45pm yesterday (Friday) evening, until, at least for my section of the Honolulu grid, 7am this morning (Saturday). A solid 12 hours.
While not quite as long as our last major outage that occured after the 2006 earthquake, it was enough to test our patience, as well as our emergency supply kit, having us break out every candle, flashlight and bottled water we had. We even lent some of those supplies to a neighbor who wasn’t quite as prepared. Like most other folks, eventually we just called it a night and went to bed early, vs. what we normally like to do on a Friday night, which is to stay up late and watch new release Blu-Ray movies.
So what does this Shrimp Wonton Soup have to do with a power outage? Well, in pointing out the obvious, three essentials are needed in order to properly store and serve this soup as packaged: 1.) a refrigerator/freezer 2.) water, and 3.) a microwave oven. All of the above requiring basic utilities.
You know the saying “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”. That saying can be applied to health, relationships, and, yes, POWER. As in electrical power, then having a trickle-down effect from there. Especially when you’re a condo-dweller like me, where every necessary household function is reliant on that, from the elevators to get you up to your floor (try walking up and down 24 or more flights of stairs twice consecutively), the lights and appliances (of course), to the water supply. High rises depend on electric-driven pumps to get water to the upper floors, and when that’s not operating, once the pressure is gone, pau, no H2O. All you got is what’s in the plastic bottles.
And without any or all of the above, this Shrimp Wonton Soup is a no-go.
So now you’re probably thinking, “why didn’t you just boil water on a portable stove to serve that?” Believe me, I wish I could have done that, but I DIDN’T HAVE ONE! And this latest power outage reminded me of that very essential survival item that as of yet is the missing link in our emergency preparedness supply kit. Therefore today I’m heading straight to Don Quijote after this writing and picking one of them butane-fueled stoves up. They’re currently on sale there for $13.99 plus $1.17 each for the butane cartridges. That’s a good price.
Secondly, this being a frozen food item, wouldn’t be a good choice, as you must open the freezer door to get, causing unnecessary loss of valuable cold air needed to keep your other frozen foods in tact. Better stick with canned soup from the pantry in this situation.
That said, in all its glory, now that electrical power has been restored thanks to all the hard-working HECO crews out there, I’m celebrating it by enjoying a good ‘ole frozen, open the freezer door whenever needed, ready-to-serve meal, cooked quick and conveniently using fresh, clean TAP water and the microwave oven. YES! Just one of the many conveniences and modern luxuries we take for granted day-after-day, never really appreciating what it takes behind the scenes to keep them running.
Now let’s take a closer look at this microwavable CP brand Shrimp Wonton Soup. The box shown above contains 6 individual shrinkwrapped bowls like this…
Each bowl measures 4¾” diameter x 2¾” height from lid to base. They’re not barcoded for individual sale, and the instructions say to keep them frozen, so I’m not sure if they could be sold even in a refrigerated vending machine, lest the shrimp spoil quickly once it’s defrosted.
Let’s open the cover and see what we got…
It’s still frozen here, so of course isn’t going to look very pretty. If you look carefully at the bottom of the black plastic bowl, you can see there’s an oily broth base, along with chopped green onions. You simply add water up to the line marked in the bowl, which is about halfway up the height of it (not to the top rim).
Then it says to cover it loosely and microwave on high for 2½-3 minutes. Then enjoy…
For the love of me, I tried my best to “arrange” this to look as good as it does on the label, but it just wouldn’t behave. The shrimp wontons seemed to have a mind of their own, tossing and turning under their own will. lol
Here’s a pretty good angle…
…the angle going into my mouth as I’m about to eat it!
And how is it? Not bad. The broth is rather mild, nondescript and neutral; not bold like, say, shoyu or chashu ramen broth (OK, I’m biased!). It tastes like wonton soup is supposed to taste, I suppose. I’m not a Chinese soup expert anyway, so I can’t assimilate which one it tastes like. But I CAN say, after the first few sips, I immediately added a dash of shoyu to give it a little more zip, which certainly helped.
The wonton is simply an entire Vannamei shrimp tail wrapped in a wonton. It says there’s also soya, gluten, sesame and egg, which I’m guessing are more functional than for flavor.The wonton wrapper itself was a bit too thin. It could have been thicker to hold up to the tougher flesh of the shrimp. If it had been thicker, that may have sealed the deal.
Here you can see the quite sizable Vannamei Shrimp encased within the thin and delicate wonton wrapper…
Next time I’ll make Wonton Min (Saimin with wontons in it) using the the stuff inside this bowl. I’m betting that’s gonna’ be ono!
Whether it’s frozen Shrimp Wonton Soup, TV Dinner or any other culinary convenience that makes our life easier and tastier, let’s show an appreciation of thanks to the hard-working folks at HECO and celebrate the use once again to the technologically-marvelous, so-glad-we-have-it, electrically-powered, never-take-for-granted REFRIGERATOR and MICROWAVE OVEN!
What? Shrimp Wonton Soup
Who makes it? CP Products (Charoen Pokphand Foods & Public Co., Ltd., Thailand)
Where did you buy it? Costco Hawaii Kai
How much did it cost? 12.99 for a frozen carton of six 5.1 oz. bowls
How is it prepared to serve? 5.1 oz. of food and 8 oz. of Board of Water Supply Water, heated by 700 microwave watts of HECO power
Big shaka to: Just-add-water microwavable convenience, generous amount of shrimp, inclusion of chopped green onions, HECO restoring our power
No shaka to: Not having a portable butane stove, wonton wrappers too thin, rather non-exciting broth, elongated power outage (delay in watching Invincible and House Bunny on Blu-Ray)