“ Manufacturer: Sharwood's / Sauces „
I still cannot really tell the difference between thai food and chinese. I have been told that different spices are used in thai cooking - but I 'm afraid that I can't really distinguish between the two. I guess my palate is not cultured enough! Perhaps there is a member out there that can help - and write a review on the difference between thai and chinese.
I have developed a passion for world cuisine and on every shopping trip I make an effort to find different sauces. I recently stumbled across thai sweet chilli. Upon reading the pre-amble on the jar - and the ingredients I noted that it was just like Kung Po sauce. With the love affair I have with Kung Po I had to give this a go......................
The brand I picked was Sharwoods. The only reason for this was that it is a reliable and well known brand - and I have yet to find a poor quality Sharwoods sauce. It is pricier than other brands but then I find that other brands can be 'hit or miss' and I did not want to be put off Thai sweet chilli by selecting a 'dud'.
The jar states "sweet and sour sauce with baby corn and bean sprouts" and the ingredients includes:
Tomatoes, water, sugar, onions, vinegar, baby corn (5.3%), bean sprouts (4.0%), green peppers, red peppers (3.33%), maize starch, soy sauce, salt, colour, spices (doesn't specify on the jar!) and lemongrass extract flavouring.
It should be noted that there are no nuts or nut extracts included in the Thai sweet chilli sauce therefore, it is a suitable alternative to Kung Po for those with nut allergies.
The nutritional information, per 100g, is as follows:
As with all sauces, this is not one for all you Atkins fans out there.
When compared to Sharwoods Kung Po, the Thai sweet chilli sauce:
1) Contains fewer calories (Kung Po - 175Kcal per 100g)
2) Contains a bit more protein (Kung Po - 0.6g per 100g)
3)Contains a lot less carbs (Kung Po 41.2g per 100g - maybe this is a Atkins friendly sauce after all! Lol)
4)Contains less fat (Kung Po - 0.9g per 100g)
Cooking with this sauce is really, really easy. Stir fry some meat (What does the jar recommend - you guessed it! Chicken (surprise, surprise) or pork) add the sauce and cook on the hob for a further 4 - 5 mins. Serve with rice.
Personally, I find that prawns pick up the flavour of this sauce really, really well. When cooking with prawns I would recommend using fresh king prawns or tiger prawns. The frozen variety tends to shrink far too much and end up the size of smarties.
I also prefer noodles or to make a chow mein using noodles, bean sprouts and then some soy sauce.
The thai sweet chilli sauce is a lot thicker than that of the Kung Po. I can only guess that this is due to the 'extra' vegetables. For this reason the sweet chilli sauce tends to burn a lot quicker than the Kung Po. And just like the Kung Po it develops a thick skin on the top which ruins the consistency of the sauce.
An advantage of the thick sweet chilli sauce is that the consistency makes it absolutely great for a dipping sauce for starters or a buffet. Once again I find prawns (with their tails on) is great with this.
The thai sweet chilli sauce tastes just like the kung po sauce despite there being slightly different ingredients used. There are differences in the consistencies, since the thai sweet chilli sauce contains more vegetables (baby corn and bean sprouts) which, I think, makes it thicker.
One good thing about the thai sweet chilli sauce is that it is suitable for those with nut allergies - therefore everyone can enjoy a spicy sweet and sour sauce.
Both sauces are very easy to cook with, but care must be taken not to over cook on the hob thus creating the thick skin.
The thai sweet chilli sauce is more expensive than the the Kung Po but only marginally.
If you are a bit more conscious about nutritional value and what you put in your body then the thai sweel chilli sauce is for you since it contains fewer calories, more protein, less carbs and less fat than the Kung Po.
It is a hard call. I would recommend both sauces since I like them both as much as each other, although I am sure that there are subtle taste differences - I just cannot identify them. No doubt there are people out there that can though.