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Trying to replicate a recipe... *sigh*

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Ehellions, help!  I'm trying to replicate a discontinued product that my husband used to love, but it's not going well.  He can remember how it tasted, but he can't describe it to me accurately enough for me to even come close.  I've had decent success in the past at resurrecting things for him, but this one has us both stumped.

Does anyone remember the original line of Lipton Rice 'n' Sauce packets, and specifically, the one called 'Polynesian Rice'?  DH just can't put names to the specific flavour elements even though he can remember how it tasted, so I'm stumped. Especially since his description of the (possible) fruit flavour is 'tangy'.  ::)  Was it papaya, lemon grass, was there coconut milk in it, cinnamon, ?????  Pineapple doesn't seem to be the right 'tangy', I can confirm that.

The company that produced it has since been bought by another company, and nobody will give me the time of day since it is technically proprietary info.  I get that, but I'm not asking for the specific proportions of ingredients used in a factory, just a general idea of what it actually tasted like so I can give my husband something that would make him happy.  I can replicate anything if I know what it tasted like.

If anyone has ANY ideas, please let me know.  Y'all are really good at coming up with the most obscure info sometimes, so that's why I'm asking here.


I would start by googling Polynesian rice recipe ...this is what I came up with. 

Get an idea of the ingredients and give a few a try to get a feel for the flavours.  I have to say that if your husband can't give you an accurate flavour description, instead of trying to equal something that is impossible to copy, make something he will enjoy just as much. 

You could also Google copycat recipes and see if you can
 find something close.  I personally would.have given up by now bc I would get of being told what I have tried really hard to make doesn't measure up.   You might have to resign yourself that it cant be done since it is trying to equal a processed food with more natural ingredients.

If pineapple doesn't work, you might try mango.

Oh Joy:
I think that, like sparksals alluded to, it will be tough to recreate it from scratch because the original dish was made with more processed ingredients. 

For example, one of the current Knorr/Lipton rice side dishes has these ingredients: Enriched Long Grain Rice [Rice, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Folic Acid], Enriched Vermicelli [Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid], Vegetables (Dried) (Peas, Carrots, Onions), Salt, Hydrolyzed Protein (Soy), Chicken (Dried), Maltodextrin, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Corn Syrup (Dried), Garlic Powder, Chicken Fat, Corn Starch, Natural Flavors (Contains Beef Gelatin), Sodium Caseinate (From Milk), Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Turmeric (For Color), Torula Yeast.  (from, which aren't exactly part of your pantry.

What I might try if I were you was to find a similar product on the shelf today that has the same general mouthfeel, buy the most simple flavor (like a plain onion), then go through some of the polynesian rice recipes to get ideas to enhance by adding some pineapple juice and ginger.

Does that make any sense?

Good luck!

My mind is fighting between "what would I expect in polynesian rice?" and "how complex could a Lipton's dried mix possibly be?" and "what did they have back then to include in a dried mix?"

It's a clue that it's so "old school" that it's not sold any more. Just my immediate impression, such a dish would include flavor notes like: pineapple, green pepper/sweet red pepper, maybe a touch of onion (scallion?), a crunch note (water chestnut), and salt/pepper, maybe a teensy bit of garlic. If pineapple doesn't seem to be the right tangy cut back on it but don't eliminate it and add maybe a touch of vinegar (very light hand!), but if it's polynesian I can't see how it wouldn't have a bit of pineapple. Parboiled rice, I think, like Uncle Ben's, to get that "each grain separate" texture.

I'm thinking that, if I had such a book, I'd find something in a 1950s/1960s Trader Vic's cookbook. Maybe it would help to get a few paper umbrellas for the beverages.


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