“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Other Ready Meals „
We don't buy many of the Tesco Finest meals because even though they're usually quite nice they're not worth the money because even though it's just a ready meal in a nice silver box Tesco charge £4.00 and more for them. Last week though I'd got a bit of a hangover and wanted something nice that wasn't too stodgy so I brought a pack of their Lightly Battered King Prawns With Sweet Chilli Dip. It's a chilled meal and you cook the prawns for about 8 minutes and serve with the pot of sweet chilli sauce. You get about 10 or 12 large battered prawns for £3.75 and even though that's a rip off I don't mind when I fancy something in particular like this. When I cooked them I was surprised that they didn't smell because the batter looks like it's got tiny bits of chilli and herbs in it but all you can smell is grease while the prawns are heating through. They leave a bit of grease on the baking tray but not much and they don't look greasy either. When I ate them I was proper disappointed. The prawns are lovely and juicy, they've cooked wicked in the short time they were in the oven and are delish and plump and taste dead fresh. It's the batter that put me off because even though it is a good light batter it's got a proper greasy taste to it that spoilt the taste of the prawns inside that much that after I'd eaten 3 with the batter still on I peeled it off the rest of them and just enjoyed the plain prawns dipped in the sweet chilli. I do feel ripped off with this meal because I could have brought a big bag of king prawns for cheaper than I paid for these and put a dusty batter on them myself like I do with chicken portions sometimes. If you was going to have this as a meal you'd have to cook rice or something to go with the prawns because there's not many in the box and even though they were just right for a hangover snack for me I don't think they would fill me up at all if I was having them for a meal. The pot of sweet chilli sauce isn't that good either and I prefer the Blue Dragon dipping sauce that we've always got in the fridge, there just wasn't a lot of taste to the sauce and it didn't have much of a kick either. I won't buy them again because I can do better myself and it would be cheaper too!
Last night for my tea I found a pack of Tesco Finest Battered King Prawns in my freezer so I thought I would have them with some sweet and sour sauce and rice and try to recreate my favourite Cantonese Sweet & Sour Prawns from my local Chinese. I found myself eating my tea later than planned as even though these are suitable for home freezing, they do need to be thoroughly defrosted before cooking. I had not realised this so had to wait an hour or so for them to defrost. Once defrosted though they only take 8 minutes to cook in the oven so that part was speedier! You get about 15 large battered prawns in this meal which Tesco say will serve 2. I say it won't, I am quite the pig when it comes to prawns and ate all of them myself and could probably have managed more if they did a bigger pack. The prawns look and smell very nice when they are cooked, they do leak a little oil so I rested mine on some kitchen roll for a minute or two before putting them on my plate and this dried them off nicely. The king prawns are coated in a lovely batter that stays soft when cooked. It is a much lighter batter than you would expect from the Chinese and has a lovely mild herb flavour that compliments the prawns perfectly. I was not expecting the batter to be so delicate but I think it really suits the flavour of the prawns. Inside the batter the prawns are large and moist, they have a delicious fresh flavour that is evident from the very first bite. They are lovely and meaty unlike most ready meals that contain king prawns where they are usually very thin and tasteless. The short cooking time is perfect for these prawns because they are not rubbery in the slightest and still have that cracking feeling on your teeth when you bite into a prawn which says to me that they are well cooked. Inside the pack you'll also get a small tub of sweet chilli sauce which I'm afraid I do not like. I think it has too much of an overpowering chilli taste and is a little too hot for my tastes. I poured some homemade sweet and sour sauce over my prawns and had them with a small pile of boiled rice and it was as nice as some fatty meal from the Chinese. Looking at the pack I can tell you it is only marginally better in calories and fat because a full pack as I had contains 450 calories and nearly 14g of fat, which is probably why you should be sharing this meal! Costing £3.69 from Tesco it's definitely cheaper than the Chinese, although I think this is still very expensive for such a small amount of food. Definitely worth the money in my opinion though.
As part of my healthy eating drive, my trip to the take away for my beloved sweet and sour prawns has been banned. When I saw these in Tesco, I thought that they would make a nice alternative to my fat and MSG laden meal. This dish is part of the Tesco finest range. The silver and red packaging looks sleek and stylish and if the picture is anything to go by I'm in for a treat. The plump prawns look delicious covered in a nice fluffy and light batter. Opening the packet I was slightly disappointed. These were not king prawns, maybe queens if I was being generous in describing them. There were 15 of them giving two fairly large portions. They were easy to cook, just stick them in the oven for six to eight minutes to heat them through. I served them with some boiled rice and stir fried veg, how would this compare to my take away? The batter itself wasn't great. It was slightly hard and although I could see the flecks of coriander and chilli running through it I couldnt taste them. The prawns themselves were nice enough and the sweet chilli dip was pretty good with a nice smoky taste to it, just a pity there wasnt more of it. Overall my meal was OK but nothing to get too enthusiastic about. The pack cost £3.69, reasonable for two portions and certainly cheaper than a take away. It contains 225 calories per portion and is reasonably low in fat but high in salt. Compared to my take away it wins hands down on health grounds but didn't have any wow factor to it.
Battered prawns with a sweet chili sauce.