Spiced Pantry April 2016 Subscription Box Review + Coupon – “Shanghai”

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Spiced Pantry is a monthly food subscription box that features a different foreign cuisine each month and then sends 4 items and 4 easy to follow recipes to help you prepare dishes using those ingredients. It is $19.00 a month and shipping is $3.75 to US addresses, which is where they currently ship, with plans to expand into Canada in the future. You may choose from the standard or vegetarian plan and your subscription will renew monthly until you cancel. You can also gift a 1, 3, or 6 month plan which also renews after the original term so if you only want to send 1 (or 3 or 6) box(es) make sure to cancel before the next shipment.

The items were shipped in a sturdy box and had shredded paper to cushion everything inside. When I grabbed it from my mailbox I could smell anise and I sniffed the box several times before opening since it smelled so good!

Everything in the box. The items were packaged in plastic bags with stickers that gave the product name and weight. This month’s cuisine was inspired by Shanghai, China. You can find out ahead of time the next month’s theme so you can cancel or skip a month if you’re not feeling it and you are on the monthly plan (gift subscriptions cannot skip a month). In May Spiced Pantry will feature the cuisine of Greece!

There was a card inside that gave an introduction to that month’s cuisine as well as the ingredients included. Ingredients may include custom spice blends, unique grains, legumes, dried fruit, nuts, or other dry goods. There is enough of the ingredients to make the recipes included at least once, with extra spices so you can experiment with other recipes you may find on your own. Spiced Pantry also has their own Pinterest page to make it easy for you to find recipes.

Chinese Black Rice is also known as Forbidden or Emperor’s rice since it was so expensive only the richest people in China could afford it. Black rice gets its hue from anthocyanins, the same antioxidant as that found in blueberries. It cooks in about a half hour and can be used in desserts, porridges, stir-fries, or as a side dish.

Dried Shitake Mushrooms are full of the fifth flavor known as umami. Fissures in the cap signify greater flavor and they must be re-hydrated before using, either with hot water or in an overnight soak. Remove the tough stems before adding the caps to a recipe. The soaking water and stems can be used to add flavor to a stock.

Chinese Five Spice Powder was the source of the wonderful scent emanating from the box. It contains under an ounce of spice but since only a little is needed to give depth and flavor to a dish it should last for quite a while. Adds warmth to stir-fries and roasts.

Dried Chinese Chiles are used to deepen the flavor of dishes and can be soaked in peanut or sesame oil to make an infused oil. Remove the seeds with a knife to reduce heat. Make sure to cover your hands when handling chiles.

I decided to make Shanghai Fried Noodles following the instructions on the recipe card. As promised it was easy to make and delicious although I would suggest using ground chicken instead of ground pork as the finished product was a little on the slick side. Try adding just a bit of the Chinese chiles to give a little bit more flavor if you like.

I absolutely loved Spiced Pantry! The recipe I tried was very easy to make and the ingredients were easily found in my local grocery store. I am looking forward to putting the rest of the ingredients to use in the coming month. I think Spiced Pantry is a great way to explore new cuisines, products, and recipes and to give a new spin on dinner.

What country or region do you think Spiced Pantry should feature in the coming months? Save 15% on your first month’s box with coupon code SPICED15.

Visit Spiced Pantry to subscribe or find out more!

The Subscription: Spiced Pantry
The Description: Spiced Pantry allows you to cook your way around the world! Each month you’ll receive a new global cooking kit featuring a different world cuisine. Each box includes: 4 carefully curated ingredients (like spices, unique grains, legumes, nuts, flours or dried fruits), 4 recipes and an introduction to the region’s flavors.
The Price: $22.75 per month


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