Author Topic: Trying to replicate a recipe... *sigh*  (Read 2431 times)

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mharbourgirl

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Trying to replicate a recipe... *sigh*
« on: July 09, 2013, 02:30:56 PM »
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.

Thanks!

sparksals

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Re: Trying to replicate a recipe... *sigh*
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2013, 02:59:47 PM »
I would start by googling Polynesian rice recipe ...this is what I came up with. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&redir_esc=&client=ms-android-sprint-us&source=android-browser-type&v=133247963&qsubts=1373395753092&action=devloc&q=polynesian+rice+recipe&v=133247963 

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.

Acadianna

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Re: Trying to replicate a recipe... *sigh*
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2013, 04:51:14 PM »
If pineapple doesn't work, you might try mango.

Oh Joy

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Re: Trying to replicate a recipe... *sigh*
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2013, 06:00:38 PM »
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 http://www.amazon.com/Knorr-Lipton-Medley-5-6-Ounce-Packages/dp/B00099XOX2), 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 it...like by adding some pineapple juice and ginger.

Does that make any sense?

Good luck!
 

magician5

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Re: Trying to replicate a recipe... *sigh*
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2013, 03:50:48 PM »
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.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 05:59:11 PM by magician5 »
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Dazi

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Re: Trying to replicate a recipe... *sigh*
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2013, 06:22:31 PM »
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.

Thanks!

Super taster here! I remember this rice...my DH loved it as well.  From the best of my recollection it had the flavor notes of:

Onion
Bell pepper
Papaya (might have been mango, but I'm pretty sure it was papaya)
(just a splash) Pineapple juice, orange juice, lemon zest
soy sauce
Sprinkle of brown sugar
Splash of rice vinegar
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Shoo

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Re: Trying to replicate a recipe... *sigh*
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2013, 10:05:35 PM »
It also probably had MSG in it, which intensifies whatever flavors were in there.  It's hard to make a dish from scratch that tastes like a dish enhanced by MSG.

magician5

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Re: Trying to replicate a recipe... *sigh*
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2013, 11:24:06 PM »
The tang also might have been partly tamarind.

I like Dazi's analysis above.
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Dazi

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Re: Trying to replicate a recipe... *sigh*
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2013, 06:43:14 AM »
The tang also might have been partly tamarind.

I like Dazi's analysis above.

Thanks!

I don't recall tamarind in that rice mix though. If it had any, it was very, very little. I love tamarind, so I'm pretty sure I would have remembered that (probably would be great with it).  I know I had trouble eating much of it because I'm allergic to soy and it had a quite a lot of soy sauce in it. 
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mharbourgirl

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Re: Trying to replicate a recipe... *sigh*
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2013, 08:01:10 AM »
Super taster here! I remember this rice...my DH loved it as well.  From the best of my recollection it had the flavor notes of:

Onion
Bell pepper
Papaya (might have been mango, but I'm pretty sure it was papaya)
(just a splash) Pineapple juice, orange juice, lemon zest
soy sauce
Sprinkle of brown sugar
Splash of rice vinegar

Hah!  I KNEW it had to be papaya, but DH was sure it wasn't even though he's never actually tasted it.  ::) I've actually put all the rest in my creations, except for the rice vinegar only because I don't typically keep it around.  I WAS thinking there might be tamarind in there, but I've never cooked with it, only tasted it in things.  I'll keep it in reserve just in case.

Woot!  Ehell comes through, as always!  Ya'll are awesome!  I am so stoked!

Okay, okay, calming down now, but thanks so much!  ;D

Oh, before I forget, do you think I should use a fresh papaya (think I can find one at the shop) or canned?

Dazi

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Re: Trying to replicate a recipe... *sigh*
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2013, 11:39:12 AM »
if you can find a tiny papaya, I'd go fresh, if not go canned.  It doesn't need much.  I also think there was bouillon in it...either chicken or vege.
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Ms_Cellany

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Re: Trying to replicate a recipe... *sigh*
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2013, 12:01:03 PM »
if you can find a tiny papaya, I'd go fresh, if not go canned. 

There is no such thing as a tiny papaya. Their evil comes only in jumbo sizes.
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Trying to replicate a recipe... *sigh*
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2013, 12:10:26 PM »
Since the Lipton mix probably contained mostly dehydrated stuff, would dried papaya work?  Sliver it up really fine and maybe rehydrate it a bit before adding?

It might be a cheaper way to find out if the flavour was right before you spend a lot of money.  A few pieces of dried papaya from a bulk bin shouldn't be too expensive.
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Ms_Cellany

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Re: Trying to replicate a recipe... *sigh*
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2013, 12:58:57 PM »
A few pieces of dried papaya from a bulk bin shouldn't be too expensive.

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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Trying to replicate a recipe... *sigh*
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2013, 01:02:34 PM »
LOL.  Apparently not, then.
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