“ Spices „
I like to cook from fresh as often as I can, but some nights I just can't be bothered putting much effort in and want something quick and easy to make rather than investing much time and energy in it. Having a food-loving husband means I feel guilty for giving him a plate of scrambled eggs on toast as his main meal of the day though and we both like our food to have some taste to it rather than being bland and boring. So I often find myself resorting to a simple stir fry as they're quick to prepare, don't take much effort, are relatively healthy and, if you add the right sauce, can be very tasty.
Recently we've been working our way through some packet sauces which I found on offer at Tesco. I can't remember the exact price but I think they were something like 65p each or 2 for £1, so I got a selection of 4 different ones to see which were "againers" and which we wouldn't touch again with a barge pole. Unfortunately, the one I'm reviewing falls into the latter category.
The Oyster and Spring Onion Sauce comes in a plasticky/foil pouch which you simply cut across the top to get the product out. I'm not really a fan of things packaged like this (salsa in fajita kits is another example) as it's very difficult to get everything out, you have to really squeeze at it and I still always feel like I've left loads in the packet. Whilst I realise it's probably an economical way of packaging a product like this I don't feel it's particularly effective for the consumer. In each pack you get 120g of product which is supposed to be enough to serve 2 people.
The actual design of the packet has now changed from the one pictured above and the front is much more orientally themed with chinese looking figures taking up the main part of the now cream coloured pouch and only a small picture at the bottom showing what the cooked meal could look like. It still has the Blue Dragon branding on it, obviously, and also tells us that it has no artificial colours or preservatives and that it is suitable for vegetarians. The back of the packet has the usual ingredients list and nutritional information (less than 100calories per serving and trace amounts of fat, bonus! Although it does contain quite a lot of sugars, but I suppose you can't have everything!
There is also a recipe suggestion on the back of the packet and a list of ingredients you will need to make it. I don't personally find these very helpful as the one on the back of the current packet, for example, is just chicken stir fry and egg fried rice. To me this is a waste if printing ink on the back of this pouch! I think you pretty much take for granted that yes, you'll be making a stir fry with this sauce and I imagine the vast majority of people would add chicken and vegetables and don't need to have a "recipe" suggested to them! And even my hubby could scramble an egg and add it to cooked rice without instructions!
Anyway, enough about the packaging and on to the actual sauce. When you squeeze the sauce out onto your cooked vegetables (I don't tend to use chicken that often as it means defrosting it, so I usually just load us up with different kinds of veg like onion, peppers, courgette, carrot, mushroom, broccoli and cabbage) it comes out of the packet quite thick and gloopy and a not very appetising dark brown colour. And it also smells quite pungent and treacly and really doesn't get your taste buds tingling at all.
Cooking it is easy, you just add it to stir fried meat and or veg and let it cook through for a minute in your wok, so you're not even really cooking it, merely warming it through. You then serve the concoction with the accompaniment of your choice; rice, noodles, whatever takes your fancy really. We tend to have it with rice as we have a microwave rice steamer which cooks rice perfectly every time in 11 minutes. This means that from start to finish (with the help of my food processor in chopping the majority of the veg) I can have dinner ready in 15 minutes flat from start to finish...not too shabby! Although my husband is now hankering after stir fry in a Yorkshire Pudding (he also likes chilli con carne in YP's too, so I imagine that's where he came up with that particular idea) needless to say that unless he cooks it himself - a highly unlikely occurrence - he won't be trying that one!
So what does the sauce taste like? Well, I have to admit I was pretty disappointed with this one and hubby agreed. We've now tried 3 different ones from this brand and of the three this is the only one we wouldn't want to have again. It just didn't have as much taste to it as the other two (sweet chilli and garlic and a spicy szechuan tomato sauce) and to me was very bland. I suppose I was expecting it to taste like the equivalent sauce that you would get from a Chinese takeaway but, unfortunately, it was nothing like it. There was nothing specifically wrong with it; it wasn't too sweet, it wasn't overloaded with salt like some ready made sauces can be, it just wan't anything really.
All in all I was very disappointed with the Oyster and Spring Onion sauce and we definitely won't be repurchasing it, especially when other options in the range are so much tastier. If you don't like spicy food then it may be one to try, but if you prefer your dinner to have a bit of oomph about it then I would avoid this one. For the price, even when not on offer, I would definitely recommend the range as a whole and they're handy to have in the cupboard for when you're having a "just can't be bothered" night, but this one in particular just didn't float my boat. I would really like to give it no stars but, objectively, it gets one for value and one for being quite healthy with a low calorie count and hardly any fat, so 2 stars in total from me.
Both me ad my flatmate/bestmate love to eat stir fries in our home, cheap and not too unhealthy they suit us just fine however I'm not keen on simply stir fried vegetables with no sauce on them so rather often I purchase Blue dragon sauces to make vegetables that little more palatable and interesting!
The sauce comes in a cream plastic on the outside large sachet which is silver foil on the inside and on the front of it there is an Oriental scene depicted and a photograph of a stir fry looking rather tempting on there and we are told that it is Oyster & Spring Onion Stir Fry Sauce 'A smooth and glossy oyster flavoured sauce with sliced spring onions & a subtle hint of garlic and ginger' and that it is of course Blue dragon with no artificial colours or preservatives within it at all. On the back of the sachet other information listed includes ingredients, allergy advice, an at a glance nutritional chart and a full one is shown along with the weight of the product being stated (which is 120g), there is a recipe suggestion given and contact details for AB World foods Ltd (the manufacturer of the product) are given. Nice enough sachet which is informative as it needs to be with all the information neatly laid out however you have to open this with scissors or a knife or whatever as I can't open it otherwise and it isn't a resealable sachet either!
All you do with this is to fry off some meat/fish and/or vegetables first and then add this dark brown soy sauce smelling thickish sauce to the mix and heat it all up for a few minutes. It coats and gives a nice shine to food and infuses it with a truly oriental flavour of rich soy sauce, spring onions and a nice but still subtle hint of garlic and ginger. Its a tangy, rich in flavour sauce, naturally sweet and compliments a variety of ingredients particularly fish/prawns and the likes as being an oyster based sauce it contains mollusc's.
Easy to use, doesn't go greasy or go to water through being heated up this is a great sauce to serve 2 people with, looks and smells great and really adds flavour ad moisture to an existing dish. Thumbs up to Blue Dragon once again from me!
Nutritional Information Per 60g Serving:
Available in all good supermarkets etc (I got mine in my local Asda store) costing about 50p a time!
We have a lot of stir frys in our house and we are always looking for new sauces to use to make the stir fry taste different and the Blue Dragon range of stir fry sauces are an excellent range that will not break the bank.
They all come in small plastic satchets which contain 120 grams of sauce so they are ideal when you are cooking for two people. They cost 56p each in Tesco at the moment and occasionally you can get them on offer at prices like two for a pound. The pack in total adds 130 kcal to the meal when you use it however it contains only 0.1g of fat but it does have a high sugar content at 22.5g so it is high in carbohydrates.
It is easy to use, first you stir fry the fish or meat along with the vegetables and then add the sauce turning the heat down to a simmer and after about a minute it is ready to serve, if I'm also doing rice or noodles I will add them to the wok as well and stir in so that the flavour of the sauce permeates the whole meal.
This sauce has a little heat in it to taste and is a rich brown colour and certainly tastes really good, I find that it is ideal with fish and I have used it with mixed seafood and also just prawns, on the packet it also recommends it with beef but I have not tried that as we tend not to eat much red meat. It is not suitable for vegetarians as it contains shell fish.
Like most people, there are days when you come home from work and you want a quick and easy tea, with miminal dishes and washing up. I have a few such supper ideas in the cupboard for these sorts of occasions, one of which involves using this Blue Dragon 'Oyster and Spring Onions' stir fry sauce.
This stir fry sauce comes in a little dark blue sachet. Blue Dragon also has other stir fry sauces which come in similar packaging including one for Chow Mein and Black Bean, this one however is by far my favourite. This little sachet holding 120g serves 2 people, however, I often add another sachet, as I like to have a little bit of sauce on the plate, otherwise it will soak into your meat, leaving it moist and delicious, but without any additional sauce on the plate.
On the front of the sachet, it states that this is 'a smooth and glossy oyster flavoured sauce with sliced spring onions and a subtle hint of garlic and ginger'. It also claims that is has no artificial colours or ingredients, no preservatives and 50% lower salt (compared with recipes used in 2007). Nutritional information is also given on the front of the packet - each 60g serving (approx half the packet) is equivalent to 65 calories, 13.5g sugar but only a trace of fat, so not the best, but not the worst either.
There are many ways of using this stir fry sauce. I have used it with white meat and red meat, although hubby loves it stirred into mince on noodles. Stir fries are such a quicky and handy dinner idea, and this sauce really adds that great taste. The flavour of the sauce is by no means overpowering, but it is possible to taste the ingredients including the oyster, garlic and ginger. Although it states that it includes sliced spring onions, these are so tiny, that I always add my own vegetables to make the meal more healthy. The sauce gives a slightly sweet but savoury flavour and makes either white or red meat really delicious.
All in all, for the small price of 69p in Tesco (although I think it is slightly cheaper elsewhere) I think this is a great tasting stir fry sauce, that is perfect for a quick easy dinner.
We eat stir fries quite regularly, usually once a week so we have tried lots of different stir fry sauces. We do our weekly shop at Tesco so are limited to what sauces they have for sale at the time. We decided to try Blue Dragon Oyster and spring onion sauce as soon as we spotted it, to be honest the main reason was the cost, it was only 57p for a 120g sachet!! Compared to the other sauces on the market this was very cheap!!
The packet itself is a plastic pack with the sauce inside, you have to cut the packet open with scissors, it doesn't have a tear off section. It is blue in colour and has the Blue dragon logo on top and has a picture of a stir fry in the middle of the packet. It states that the packet serves two and that the sauce is a sweet combination of rich oyster extract and fresh, chopped spring onion with a subtle hint of garlic and ginger. It also states that it is perfect with chicken, beef or pork.
The instructions on the back are very simple, all you need to do is stir fry meat and veg of your choice, add the sauce, stir it thoroughly until heated through and then serve with either ice or noodles. It is a very versatile sauce in that you don't have to have meat and veg with it, if you prefer you can have one or the other. But we usually stir fry chicken or pork with a stir fry vegetable pack, add the sauce and then serve it with noodles.
Now for those of you out there that don't like oysters, please don't be put off as I don't like oysters and I don't think this sauce tastes remotely of oysters!! The sauce does have a very nice taste to it though, you can taste the garlic and ginger and it has a very rich flavour to it. In fact I must say that we have tried a lot of jarred stir fry sauces and this one is my favourite, we get it every week. You can also get different flavours in the Blue Dragon range but I much prefer this flavour.
Dress up your beef or chicken with a sweet combination of rich oyster extract & fresh, chopped spring onions with a subtle hint of garlic & ginger.