“ Manufacturer: Sharwood's / Sauces „
Popping into Tesco on my way home from work one day I was looking for something quick and easy to whip up with the chicken and vegetables that I'd cooked the day before. Browsing in the sauces aisle I came across Sharwood's Thai Green Curry sauce on offer for the very reasonable price of £1.00. I love Thai curries, but have never really tried to make one from scratch as the list of ingredients seem to be rather daunting so a ready prepared sauce, I thought is the next best thing.
The cooking sauce comes in a 415g, glass bottle and is pale green in colour, as you would expect. The bottle has a pale green label with the Sharwood's logo emblazoned on the front. According to the front of the bottle the sauce is an aromatic, delicately spiced sauce made with coconut milk, Thai herbs and green chilli. In terms of spiciness the sauce is mild/medium.
As I said earlier I'd cooked some chicken and vegetables the day before (very much like a stir fry, I'd browned the chicken and added some vegetables including carrots, peppers, mushrooms and broccoli). This is how the instructions on the bottle recommend you cook the chicken as well. At this point you are told to stir in the sauce, bring it to the boil and then simmer gently. The sauce can also be used with prawns instead of chicken if you'd prefer.
As the sauce started to cook the beautiful aromatic smell of the lemongrass and kaffir lime started to waft through the kitchen. I let the sauce simmer for around 10 minutes and in the meantime whipped up some rice to go with the sauce. Once the sauce was cooked the curry had the appearance and aroma of curries that I'd tried in Thai restaurants, which I found promising. According to the bottle for an extra twist the curry could be sprinkled with fresh basil and coriander leaves. I didn't have either to hand so had to make do as it was.
So on to the taste test. The first thing that I noticed was that the sauce was quite tangy. It did have a bit of a kick to it but this was balanced by the creaminess of the coconut and the slight sweetness of the sauce, creating a quite mild flavour overall. Personally, I'd prefer more of a kick, so next time will go for a red curry sauce. I thought it tasted very nice but was lacking the fresh flavour of the coriander and basil that I love in Thai curries, as I didn't have these ingredients to hand. I am sure that if I did add these then the curry would have been just as I like it.
Nutritional information: one serving is 1/3 of a jar and this contains 126 calories, 1.8g protein, 12.7g carbs (of which 8.7g are sugars), 7.6g of fat and 0.88g sodium. This is without including the chicken and vegetables.
Ingredients: Water, Coconut milk, Onion puree, thai green curry paste (green chillies, garlic, onion, lemongrass, salt, galangal, kaffir lime peel, coriander, cumin, pepper), sugar, coconut cream, modified starch, anchovy extract, milled lemongrass, vegetable bouillon, (salt, yeast extract, vegetable oil, celery, onion, herbs, spices), garlic, lime leaf, lactic acid.
The sauce is free from any artificial colours, flavourings or preservatives.
The sauce contains anchovy extract and so is unsuitable for vegetarians. It also contains celery and may contain traces of peanuts, nuts and sesame seeds.
Overall I am fairly pleased with the sauce and it's a quick and easy way to whip up a very tasty Thai curry.
I am not normally one for purchasing sauces such as this in jars, but I have to say I was most impressed with this product. It is very easy to use, simply fry up some meat (or veg if you are a veggie like me) and add the sauce.... a meal in minutes.
One thing I have found with this sauce, is that, although it does taste amazing, the flavours seem to develop more if you make it in advance and let it sit for a while, then heat it up later. I am partial to cooking more than I need for dinner then eating the left overs cold for lunch the next day.
The blend of spices is very nice, however, if you like your currys hotter, I would suggest adding a few spoonfuls to thai green curry paste, as it is rather mild.
However, all in all, not a bad buy at all.
My other half and I love our curries and one of our particular favourites is Thai Green. I do enjoy cooking but I find that with curries the ones you can buy in a jar often taste almost as good as a home made one. Plus they tend to work out cheaper from a jar as well as being far less time consuming which is important if you've had a hectic day. For the past couple of years I've been buying a Tesco own version of Thai green curry but this Sharwood's one caught my eye recently and I decided to give it a go.
This jar of curry cost me £1.34 from Tesco. This seems like a reasonable price and it is cheaper than the Loyd Grossman one (£1.99) and the Tesco Finest one (£1.64). The ordinary Tesco one I used to get costs 96p but you do get more sauce in the Sharwood's one (it weighs 415g whereas the Tesco one weighs in at 320g).
The sauce comes in a glass jar with a funky green and black label featuring the usual Sharwood's logo and a thai style pattern round the edge. Underneath is some small writing describing the product as: 'an aromatic, delicately spiced sauce made with coconut milk, Thai herbs and green chilli'. One side of the label displays the necessary nutritional info, ingredients and allergy advice. The other side of the label gives you the ingredients and instructions you need to make a Thai Green Curry with this sauce. It also instructs you to store the sauce in the fridge and use within 3 days once you have opened the jar.
When you open the jar you can smell a mouth watering curry aroma immediately. It smells fragrant, herby and slightly sweet with an underlying chilli smell. The sauce looks a good colour - not too pale but not too dark green. It has some herby bits sprinkled throughout and it looks a good thickness. This becomes more apparent as you pour it out into the pan. It comes out a good consistency and isn't runny but isn't too thick or lumpy.
This sauce is quick and easy to cook. I usually make a Thai green chicken curry but prawns also go beautifully with this sauce. I also sometimes use Quorn chicken which I find very tender and filling. To cook, fry the chicken (or prawns) for a few minutes then pour the sauce into the pan and stir it in with the chicken. The jar recommends you then add a handful of green beans at this point but I'm not a veg fan so I leave this out! You then bring to the boil and simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Then it is ready to serve up with some rice. The jar recommends jasmine rice but I also like it with pilau rice.
Taste wise this sauce is probably the best I've ever tried. It is full of flavour and bursting with different Thai herbs and flavourings. You can detect a hint of garlic and the coriander which mixes wonderfully with the lemongrass and lime leaves. It tastes quite expensive and even like something you might get in a Thai restaurant. It has a nice amount of sweetness but this doesn't overpower the other flavours. This is a mild curry with a creamy, coconut-y and almost refreshing taste to it but you can taste a very subtle spiciness in it. I do like hot curries but sometimes it is nice to have a sauce that concentrates less on the spice and a bit more of the delicious and diverse flavours.
Nutrition wise, a third of this jar provides: 126 calories, 7.6g fat, 6.3g saturates , 8.7g sugar and 0.88g sodium. So it is pretty good for a curry sauce.
Overall a gorgeous sauce that creates a delicious and authentic tasting Thai meal. Perfect with rice and a naan!