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Sharwood's Kung Po

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5 Reviews

Manufacturer: Sharwood's / Sauces

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    5 Reviews
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    • More +
      09.07.2010 19:35
      Very helpful



      Yummy, scrummy and totally gorg!

      One thing I do like in my cupboard are cook in sauces. I like making meals in minutes and if I have the time (and the money) I am quite happy to make up sauces myself but at the moment I don't have time and so tend to buy decent branded, ready made sauces...such as this one and I did me and my flat mate this for tea last night!

      The Packaging:

      The jar is sort of square in shape and see-through chunky glass and it has a twist on/off black lid to the top of it with the word Sharwoods on it. On the front and to the sides of the jar there is a red label and on the front of that again I'm told it is Sharwood's Szechuan Kung Po 'A sweet and spicy sauce with water chestnuts, red peppers and chillis' and I'm told there is a calorie content of 256 per 140g serving of the sauce. Other information listed on the sides of the jar includes being told a bit about the product and how to make Kung Po Prawns (this is optional cos also on the jar we are told we can use meat or fish), the size is stated which is 425g, there is a full nutritional rundown chart, ingredients and allergy advice is given and contact details for Premier Food Group are stated (the manufacturer of the product). Nice easy to open and informative jar this is.

      Using It:

      Well the sauce is bright orange and runny though not like water and it is glossy and has body. It has a somewhat sweet smell to it and a slight aroma of water chestnuts, appears sticky (which it is) and you can visually see rather a lot of chillis throughout it chopped up very small.

      All you do with this is fry off your ingredients first. I used chicken, onions and mushrooms but you can use whatever you fancy, drain off any excess fat and then pour the sauce in and stir it well and leave it on the hob for a few minutes and until warmed through. Simple enough to do and it doesn't go any runnier than when you first tipped it in so it holds well!

      The sauce coats and clings to your ingredients and looks nice enough. Taste wise this its like a sweet and sour sauce with a kick. Lovely and naturally sweet you can really taste like a water chestnut flavour to this but for the most part it is rather hot and spicy due to the copious amounts of red chilli within in but that hotness isn't boiling but it it highly noticable....so be sure to like hottish food before purchasing this one. It carries a gentle flavour of pineapple and a slightly sour taste and all round is a none greasy, well seasoned sauce.

      You can use this to coat ribs with and make into spare ribs and really this a very versatile sauce indeed and it gets a massive thumbs up from and my flatmate...its really sticky and scrummy!

      Expect to pay about £1.45 a jar for this in all good supermarkets.


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        06.06.2010 19:41
        Very helpful
        1 Comment



        Simply delicious way to add a spicy sauce to your stir fry

        Food not only sustains us, but i think it is a passion with me. I love to eat and i enjoy cooking mainly for friends and family.

        Sharwood's Szechuan Kung Po sauce is a complete cook in sauce which comes in a 425g jar and can be found in the chinese food section of most major supermarkets. The sauce is rich and spicy and all you have to do is add meat or fish and stir fry for a quick and extremely tasty meal.

        The sauce contains water chestnuts, red peppers and chillies and contains plenty for 2 to 3 people which means additional vegetables do not need to be added. I normally serve it with noodles or fried rice. It contains a recipe on the side of the label so this can be useful if you are not sure what to cook it with. It does not contain any artificial flavours or colourants which is good news for people with any allergies.

        If you like spice then this is the sauce for you. Quick and easy and very delicious to say the least. It produces a very aromatic smell and is quite thick. Each 425g jar contains 256 calories in a 140g serving.


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          29.03.2010 10:59
          Very helpful



          A tasty, spicy chinese curry sauce!

          If you have tried and enjoyed them at a Chinese restaurant or takeaway, you might already enjoy Kung Po dishes which are a nice flavour, as they're sweet and sour, and with a hot touch to them.

          Chinese food is one of the things I prefer to eat out rather than attempt to make myself, purely because of the range of unusual ingredients you need to put into it. I also prefer a nice Chinese style curry rather than having a stir fry, as I find a stir fry a bit too dry.

          However, in the attempt to recreate my favourite takeaway dishes and save money, I gave this sauce a try. I have used this Sharwood's Szechuan Kung Po sauce a few times now, and have really enjoyed it! I quite like food which is a little spicy, and sometimes have to add my own spice or chilli to dishes, but this was the perfect sauce for me as I didn't need to add anything.

          I'm sure this is not quite as good as having an authentic Chinese curry, and I don't normally buy sauces in jars, preferring to make them myself, but is quite a tasty one for something which is ready made! It is quite an unusual bright red colour, has a rich consistency, and has a nice blend of ingredients including water chestnuts, red peppers, pineapple juice and ginger. It definitely achieves the promise of a sauce which is hot, sweet and sour.

          You get enough sauce in a jar to serve approx 4 people, or 3 people with big portions. I usually cook for 2 of us, and we usually get 3 good helpings out of it, one of us will fight over to have the 3rd portion as leftovers! The flavour is medium-hot so is quite spicy, so if you like mild sauces, this really isn't for you.

          The bottle describes a simple recipe you can make with the sauce with king prawns. However, there is so much more you can do with it. My routine with this sauce is to stir fry some tofu and prawns, add a good stir fry mix of vegetables of your choice (I use the hot & spicy stir fry mix from Tesco which includes sweetcorn, broccoli, red onion, edamame beans, ginger and other ingredients - caution, this might make things quite hot so only try this mix if you like your heat!) and cook this together with this Sharwood's sauce. I wouldn't cook it all too long, as it's nice to leave the vegetables with a bit of crunch. To finish off, it's great with a good sprinkling of chopped cashew nuts & peanuts on top! My husband loves this dish, and he's normally quite fussy about his dinner. I usually accompany this with some Sharwood's Medium egg noodles, but you could equally enjoy it with some rice or udon noodles.

          I can't remember the price, but I think it's about £1.30 for a jar, but sometimes they put these sauces on offer.

          A great Chinese curry sauce if you like things a little hot! Give it a try!

          Glucose Syrup, Water, Sugar, Malt Vinegar, Water Chestnuts (6%), Red Peppers, Concentrated Tomato Puree, Modified Starch, Salt, Concentrated Pineapple Juice (1.5%), Ginger Puree, Chilli (1.0%), Garlic Puree, Toasted Sesame Oil, Colour, Paprika Extract.

          Free from artificial flavourings. Contains gluten, artificial colourings and preservatives. May also contain nuts and peanuts.

          Suitable for vegetarians


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        • More +
          08.03.2009 15:50
          Very helpful



          Why spend money on a takeaway when you have a jar of this!

          I love Chinese food.......and I first tried Kung Po dishes from our local takeaway when I was following a Weightwatchers diet, because they were one of the lowest in points......When accompanied by a mushroom chow mein, I had a delicious low point takeaway, that was positively guilt free!

          I no longer follow weightwatchers, although I do still retain many of the good ideas that I picked up from my points-counting days, and Kung Po is one of those things.

          I like to cook at home, as it is much cheaper than the takeaway, but one of the attractions of a takeaway is it's simplicity - what can be easier than taking the menu out of the kitchen drawer, picking up the phone to order, then sending your other half out 20 minutes later to pick up dinner while you put some plates in the oven to warm!

          Well, the answer is Sharwoods Kung Po cooking sauce.......

          One of the reasons I like to cook from scratch is because I am in control of what goes in my food. Convenience food, including cook in sauces have become full of additives, preservatives, flavour enhancers and the like, and although they may be tasty, when you read the list of ingredients on the label, you wonder what on earth you have just added to your pasta/vegetables/meat.

          Thankfully, a few of the sauce manufacturers are making changes, and Sharwoods Kung Po sauce is one of those where you can read the list of ingredients and, with the exception of "modified starch" imagine that they have come out of your own fridge or kitchen cupboard.

          For those of you who have not had the good fortune to try Kung Po dishes, it is basically a spicy version of sweet and sour sauce - deliciously sweet and sticky, yet with a lovely chili "kick", which is not overpowering, but definitely gives your food a bit of interest. There is no way that this sauce could be described as bland and uninteresting, and equally, I don't find either the sweetness or the spiciness overpowering in any way.

          Preparing a meal with this sauce is easy - simply stir fry some chicken, pork or prawns, and add a selection of chosen vegetables - onion, pepper, mushrooms etc.....or of course if you want a veggie version, just throw in loads of your favourite veg, add the sauce and heat it through! Simple!! Serve with rice, or noodles, and away you go! If you are serving this with noodles, you can have a meal ready in about 10 minutes from scratch! Quicker even than the takeaway and with only the minimal washing up too!

          (I mentioned a veggie version above, and I do have to say this jar does not specificially say that it is suitable for vegetarians, but I have read the ingredients carefully and I cannot see anything that would make it unsuitable.....there is no fish sauce used, for example.)

          This sauce contains a small amount of red pepper, and water chestnut, but is certainly not packed with vegetables like some jar based sauces are....I would certainly add vegetables to my dish when cooking.....but the choice is yours!

          Free from artificial flavourings and preservatives, this jar gets its flavour from garlic, ginger, pineapple juice and chilis......and a fair bit of sugar, but it certainly provides a delicious meal.

          If you want some more meal ideas, you can look at the Sharwoods website on www.sharwoods.com.

          A jar of this sauce costs about £1.60 from most major supermarkets, but is often found on BOGOF or 2 for £2 offers, making it a very reasonable alternative to the takeaway!

          A jar contains 425 grammes of sauce, and I find that this is plenty to feed 4 people - unlike other jars which would only stretch to 4 when thinned out with water or wine!

          For those interested in the nutritional values, a quarter of a jar provides about 250 calories and just 0.1 grammes of saturated fat.

          All in all, I would certainly recommend this sauce to anyone who likes their Chinese food - quick, easy, very very tasty, and much cheaper than the takeaway.......what more could you want!


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          • More +
            24.10.2008 21:16
            Very helpful



            Closet to a chonese restaurant I can find

            It was in a small chinese restaurant in Nuneaton, whilst working away that I discovered the delight of Kung Po. I suppose I was much like many people when it came to chinese food. I found something I liked and stuck with it.

            I ordered my usual sweet and sour pork balls, special fried rice and stir fried veg, whilst my work colleague orderd Kung Po chilli chicken. When the food arrived a strong, but pleasant smell filled my nostrils. It was like a really strong sweet and sour sauce but it was spicy.

            Kung Po chilli sauce is basically a sweet and sour sauce, with an additional kick by means of chillis, less the chunks of pineapple but with water chestnuts instead.

            To say I was jealous was an understatement...............the Kung Po looked good, smelled good and tasted divine.

            I had found a new dish. The local chinese restaurant and take away also did Kung Po but with a cantonese 'twist'. This was nicer than the restaurant in Nuneaton. In addition, the chicken was lightly battered as opposed to being plain chicken strips.

            My Kung Po addiction rose and in order to try and save the silly amounts of money I was spending on take aways I tried to replicate the dish. There are many manufacturers of Kung Po sauce including Sainsbury's own brand, Tescos own brand, Blue Dragon etc. etc. I had tried them all but nothing matched the Kung Po sauce available from my local take away.

            I suppose this is to be expected but these brands did not even come close!

            It was then I discovered Sharwoods Kung Po. The jar states "a medium hotspicy sweet and sour sauce with water chestnuts and chillis". I had to give it a go.

            The jar consists of glucose syrup, water, sugar, malt vinegar (from barley), water chestnuts (6%), red peppers, tomato puree, salt, pineapple juice (1.5%), ginger puree, chilli (1%), garlic puree, sesame oil, colour and paprika extract.

            It should be noted that this Kung Po contains nuts and nut extracts therefore it is not advisable if you have a nut allergy.
            The nutritional information per 100g is as follows:

            Energy 744kj/175kcal
            Protein 0.6g
            Carbohydrate 41.2g
            of which sugars 27.3g
            Fat 0.9g
            of which saturates 0.1g
            polyunsaturates 0.4g
            Fibre 0.7g
            Sodium 0.72g

            This Kung Po is not suitable for any one following the Atkins diet, but then the Atkins diet is really bad for you anyway - a lot worse than the occassional indulgence of this sauce!

            Cooking with the sauce is very, very easy. You basically choose the meat and any additional ingredients (such as mushrooms, onions etc) and stir fry thme in a small amount of olive oil. Once the meat is browned add the sauce and cook on the hob until warm through. Serve with rice, noodles, vegetables - whatever you fancy. It really is that simple.

            I find that this sauce goes very well with a homemade plain chowmein. This is another easy dish that is made from boiling dry egg noodles (I find Sharwoods are the best (again)) with bean sprouts. Pour on soy sauce to taste.

            The Sharwoods sauce is just of the right consistency. I have tried sauces whereby once poured over the noodles,rice etc it collects up in a pool at the bottom of the bowl. These sauces are too thin and do not hang to the rice or noodles. To the other extreme, there are sauces that are like a "one lump or two?" consistency. Neither of these are the case with the Sharwoods.

            It should be noted that if the sauce is over cooked on the hob it develops a skin which ruins the consistency. It should also be nooted that this sauce can burn and the water chestnuts, chillis etc will taste charred.

            This sauce is not suitable for slow cooking since it will go very viscous.

            Like almost all sauces, the jar recipe recommends chicken. I assume this is due to the relatively weak taste. In addition the "why not try?" suggests prawns - again probably due to their weak taste.

            I have experimented with a few other meats and find that a good alternative to chicken is turkey. Turkey is not only cheaper but it appears to 'soak up' the spices more efficiently than chicken. The result is a 'hotter and spicer' meal.

            An other alternative that appears to compliment this sauce is pork. Chinese restaurants serve sweet and sour pork, but I have yet to find one which serves Kung Po chilli pork.

            A 425g jar should (and I use the term very loosely) serve 2 - 3 people. This size jar serves a 'sensible' size portion for 2 - there is no way that it could stretch to 3 - It tastes too good for that.

            This is the best Kung Po sauce available for home cooking. It is the closest I have found to that served in my local chinese restaurant.

            It is the perfect consistency, contains the perfect amount of chillis and is extremely easy to prepare a meal with it. If you're quick Sainsburys are doing a buy one get one free - but at £1.55 a jar it is not that expensive in the first place.


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