“ Manufacturer: Sharwood's / Sauces „
I love to cook and like experimening with different dishes. I also LOVE Thai and chinese food from the take-away but to save money and to try and cut down on calories, had a go at making some of my favourite thai dishes at home. I'd had beef in oyster sauce a few times from the take-away and at a restuarant and really enjoyed it so thought I'd have a go at making it. I normally love thai spices so I bought this sauce, which contains thai basil, instead of a plain oyster sauce.
The sauce is by Sharwoods which is quite a reputable and well known company. I've bought many of their other products before and been impressed by them all so when choosing an oyster sauce thought they'd be the best to go with. The sauce comes in a glass jar with an attractive and quite funky green and purple label. The label states all the necessary nutritional imformation and ingredients as well as the directions for creating a meal with the sauce which is handy. It's a medium sized jar and contains 195g of sauce. It's quite good health wise containing jut 61 calories in half a jar or 122 calories for the whole jar.
It's not brilliant value for money but not particulary expensive either. In Tesco it costs around £1.30 but I got mine on a '2 for £2' special offer with another sauce.
The sauce contains the folowing ingredients: water, sugar, glucose syrup, Thai Sweet Basil, modified starch, garlic, salt, ginger, whole oysters, soy sauce, lactic acid and cracked black pepper. So quite a variety of different things.
The aroma of it when you open the lid is very strong. If you smell it too closely it makes your eyes water a tiny bit! The overriding smells are garlic and the basil obviously but it smells very peppery too.
When I used this sauce I followed the previously mentioned recipe on the back of the jar which is simply stir frying some strips of beef with broccoli and red pepper then adding the sauce and stir frying for another couple of minutes. It heats up quite quickly so is a speedy dish to make. However, after I plated it up I was finishing something else off and didnt sit down to eat for a few minutes. In this time the sauce had got quite cold so it does cool down pretty quickly so eat it straight away!
My biggest disappointment was when I tried to eat the sauce. It was ok at first but after a few mouthfuls it began to get overpowering and halfway through the meal I was starting to feel a bit sick! The texture and thickness of the sauce is perfect but the flavours in it do not seem to complement each other at all. The thai basil is way too strong and there is also too much garlic in it. When I've had oyster sauce at resturants it has complemented the beef perfectly, allowing the flavours of the meat to be enjoyed whilst providing a subtle yet delicious oyster taste at the same time. This sauce, however, drowns out all of the other foods in the stir fry. It doesnt seem to taste much of oysters either, you can only really taste the basil, garlic and pepper.
I think they've tried to do too much with this sauce and gone a bit mad with the thai side of things. It would work much better if they kept it simple and not chuck so many flavours in. Next time I'll try a plain oyster sauce and hopefully have a bit more luck.