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I love stir fry! I love preparing it, cooking it and eating it! Living near China Town in London a few years ago I could often be found rooting around Chinese shops for ingredients and asking lots of questions about ingredients I hadn't seen before and became rather expert at flash frying a load of veg lol.
However sometimes you can't be bothered chopping a load of ingredients up and me, well sometimes I will buy a frozen pack of stir fry mix and a sauce to dump all over it for speediness!
I have tried a lot of Blue Dragon sachet sauces over the years but this one I hadn't seen at all so when I did finally spot it in Asda the other day I decided to try it out!
Pink and dark blue plastic sachet and on the front of it there is a stir fry dish on there and I'm told that it is Blue Dragon Stir-Fry Sauce Hoi Sin & Garlic 'A classic mix of soya beans, soy sauce & spices create this rich aromatic sauce' and that it contains no artificial colours, ingredients, preservatives and that it is 50% lower in salt and that it serves 2 people and there is an at a glance nutritional chart on there. On the back of the sachet other information given includes a recipe idea, a full nutritional chart is listed, ingredients and allergy advice is given, the weight is stated which in this case is 120g and contact details for AB World Foods Ltd are stated. Nice enough quality sachet this is and of course it is informative enough and easy to open etc.
The recipe on the back of the sachet tells you how to use this sachet to make Hoi Sin Duck with spring onions. Of course you don't have to follow that meal idea if you don't wish to!
Personally I fry off whatever ingredients I want to and then simply add this rich, thick light brown sauce and heat it all up for a few minutes before serving it.
I used one sachet of this on my meal which was prawns and vegetables all stir fried and I used another sachet on my mate stir-fried vegetables she requested. Although this sachet says it will serve 2 people that really depends on how much ingredients you are using of course and how much sauce you like on your food! We ate a huge portion of stir fry each and nothing else with it and found we only just had enough of this to coat each!
When warmed through the sauce does melt slightly and let off a garlic aroma which smells rather nice and appetising.
Taste wise what you get is a really rich sauce and it's highly flavoursome and salty in our opinion. It has a taste of soy sauce to it along with an undertone of garlic and onions to it as well. It's very nicely seasoned and naturally sweet and you can taste ginger and coriander running through the sauce slightly.
It isn't a hot sauce although it contains some chilli and it has a certain sharpness to it due to vinegar being involved in the ingredients.
Not our favourite sauce within the range but it tasted nice enough type of thing and simply wasn't rancid. It is highly flavoursome though and be sure you like salty tasting sauces before you purchase this one! You have been warned!
Nutritional Information Per 60g Serving:
Available in all good supermarkets etc priced at about 56p a sachet and other flavours are available within this range.
I had a packet of king prawns that had to be used up so I did a stir fry with some vegetables and rice, I had a selection of stir fry sauces and went for a sachet of Hoisin And Garlic flavoured Blue Dragon sauce.
The recipe on the sachet is for duck and it says you have to brown it before adding the vegetables and then the sauce, you warm the sauce up for about 3 mins and then it's done. It smells nice when it's in the pan but when I put it on the plate I noticed how greasy it looks, it also looks very thin and hasn't coated the prawns very well.
The sauce is mega greasy feeling, the flavour is a bit faint and I don't think it tastes much like proper Hoi Sin sauce at all. You can sort of taste the garlic in it but that doesn't come through very well and after a couple of mouth fulls I stopped noticing it at all. The after taste is of garlic but it's only faint and has disappeared after a few minutes. I LOVE Hoi Sin sauce and was mega disappointed with this one because I like a lot of these Blue Dragon sachets.
There isn't hardly any fruity flavour to this sauce and it doesn't taste rich like other sauces, I know you'll never get the same as in the Chinese out of the supermarket but this is deffo one of the most boring I've tried. I don't think the flavour goes very well with prawns either and that's mad because Hoi Sin sauce usually does, I know the serving suggestion is to have it with duck but the Blue Dragon sauces usually go good with all sorts of meat and prawns but this doesn't. I don't think it would go that well with duck actually because the taste is too weak and I reckon duck would deffo overpower the taste of the sauce.
I didn't like how sweet this sauce was and thought it could have done with a bit more salt to bring the flavour out a bit, the texture of the sauce also didn't go very nice with the vegetables OR the prawns and once the stir fry started cooling down the sauce started going a bit sticky.
The other thing is that the sachet is supposed to serve 2 people but they're a mad size and too much for 1 person but nowhere near enough for 2. I put the whole sachet in mine but ended up leaving a bit in the pan after I'd put my dinner out, I wouldn't have wanted the whole sachet because it would have ended up getting sickly.
Not recommended..... there's loads of different Blue Dragon sauces so I recommend you try one of them instead!!!
---"Your neighbour's wife looks prettier than your own."---
This week has been the hottest on record for approximately 3638626084 years. At least that's my estimate. The sun has been shining, the air has been slowly released from the atmosphere so no one can get a decent gasp of fresh air when they step outside. Birds are singing (annoyingly, might I add, learn a bloody song at least??) the wind is in my freshly grown beard, my eyes are streaming due to the pollen and dogs are humping the crap out of anything that passes by. Summer has well and truly set in and I am bloody FREEZING! My fingers are about to drop off thanks to frost bite and my backside is now the equivalent of a slab of meat in a butchers freezer. Apparently my work think that, since it's warm outside, it would be nice of them to have the building cooled to roughly minus 3000 degrees Celsius. They are wrong. Very wrong. Thankfully lunch (consisting mostly of Hoi Sin and Garlic sauce) managed to warm me up very slightly for about five minutes.
---"Elephant tusks cannot grow out of a dog's mouth."---
Ok so there was other stuff in it, but I'll get to that in a moment. Blue Dragon (a Chinese symbol of good fortune) are a lovely little wholesome corporate whore of a company that like to make eating like a Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese or Thai person easier for everyone. After steadily growing over 30ish years, they do noodles, sauces and various other odds and sods to throw into your Wok (or frying pan if you aren't cooking it like they want you to). They have a rather handy website (www.bluedragon.com) where you can get all your information on their products. They will even ply you with some recipes to make you feel more authentic about your new found ethnicity!
---"It is impossible to change your basic characteristics."---
Hoisin translated into English will mislead you entirely. "Seafood" could not be further from the truth. It mostly contains wheat, rice, vinegar, chilli peppers, garlic and a crap load of colourings and preservatives. If you've got any allergies to Soya, sesame or wheat gluten then you'll be happy to know that suicide now comes in some fabulous flavours. This flavour in particular is quite sweet but not overly so.
The stir fry sauces come in a blue little foil packet that look rather pretty. It's a bit of a pain in the arse getting the sauce out of the packet and I always feel like I have left loads in the packet. You will need a pair of scissors to open the packet without getting sauce all over your face. The picture on the front is their "serving suggestion" so from that I can tell you that this sauce is best served on a plate with two magical floating chopsticks at the side. They have, however, been kind and provided a recipe on the back of the sachet. They suggest you cook it with duck, spring onions and noodles. Being male, I have never followed the instructions.
---"Even the most resourceful housewife cannot create miracles from a rice-less pantry."---
I chop about 4 medium to large fungus growths (mushrooms) into big chunks, slice a small tear inducing vegetable (onion will do fine) and fry them together for about three or four minutes. I then shove my sauce in with the fry-ables and stick my noodles on to boil for four minutes. When the noodles are done they get mixed through the sauce and there you have a yummy-licious (which is Chinese for great) meal for yourself.
Another way of enjoying the sauce is from a bowl. Get yourself some crisps, raw veg or chips and dip them. The sauce doesn't need to be cooked so you CAN use it as a dip without having to worry about getting food poisoning. Or swine flu.
Price wise they are quite nifty. Currently they are sitting at around 50p for a sachet in Asda (or five for £2) I would, however, have to advise that you get 2 sachets for each person. The packet suggests that it will serve two but I would have to protest that this is a big dirty lie. I find that to be the case with a lot of saucy type items though. 2 sachets each is enough to cover all your noodles, veg, meat and your hands, so just be aware if you plan on sharing.
---"Men should worry about fame just as pigs about being fat."---
Nutritionally speaking the sauces are a bit on the unhealthy side when you remember that you really need two sachets to get the job done. In one of THEIR suggested servings you will find 88 calories (4% of your Guideline Daily Amount) 1.8g of fat (3% of your GDA) and 0.8g of salt (13% of your GDA). If, however, you like your sauce to coat everything rather than just pretend that you have enough then you will be consuming 352 calories in the sauce alone (which is about the same as a decent meal if you know how to work your calories) 7.2g of fat and 3.2g of salt (a whopping 52% of your GDA). When you pile in your noodles, meats, vegetables and small children, you're probably not allowed another meal all day on fear of death or chub.
---"If you are in a hurry you will never get there"---
So what have we learned from this literary jaunt into the world of cooking other than how funny Chinese proverbs are? I'm not really sure myself to be honest. Either way, this sauce is rather flavoursome and very easy to cook (or not cook if you are dipping). The only downsides are the lies about it serving two and the slight difficulty opening the packet and getting all of the sauce out. Over all if you are a fan of sweeter savoury dishes then this is a good little sauce. It also stands up to reheating the next day very well! Now leave me be.
(quotes from About.com)
Hoi Sin & Garlic Sauce is less appealing to a lot of people than some of Blue Dragon's more richer and interesting sauces, again one sachet is supposed to feed 2 but unless you cook incredibly small portions, this seems a bit of an exaggeration.
Hoisin sauce is from the China/Vietnam region and is made up of vinegar, soy bean, garlic, salt, rice and green and red peppers, it's used for cooking meat. I used it with chicken but it didn't really seem to bring out the flavour, pork and duck are recommended accompaniments but having never tried the authentic stuff, I wonder if this is just a dodgy mixture. The garlic flavour is quite notable but most of all it's a little bit too salty. I urge you to refrain from salting your rice until you've tried this sauce before because so much salt may destroy the flavour of your meal.
Ideally, you'd like to add some vegetables to the mix but because the more food there to absorb this sauce, the less sauce you will end up with - so I'd probably only do it if you were using it for 1 instead of the recommended 2 people.
This is not one of Blue Dragon's best sauces but it's not the worst. Middle of the road.