In honour of Chinese New Year, Wing Yip sent me some of their products for me to create a Chinese feast for the family without resorting to takeaway. In the package, I discovered Yellow Bean Stir-Fry Sauce, Curry Sauce Concentrate, Sweet & Sour Stir-Fry Sauce and Chinese Fried Rice Sauce. You may have noticed last week that I made several Chinese recipes from scratch, but if you're in a rush or you don't want to go to the trouble or expense of buying in lots of exotic ingredients, you really can't beat jars of ready made sauces, especially from a brand such as Wing Yip who have been supplying restaurants since 1970, according to their packaging.
I decided to go for a family-friendly dish that I knew the Madhouse kids would like so I opted for the Sweet & Sour Stir-Fry Sauce.
It was as simple as cooking up some onions and chicken, adding some red and green peppers then mixing in the sauce and giving it a good stir. I would have loved to have added some pineapple but the tin that I was sure was in the cupboard didn't actually exist - oops !
Moving on to the Chinese Fried Rice Sauce, I was surprised to see that under the plastic cap, there was a beer bottle-type cap that needed a bottle opener to get into.
It's a savoury soy sauce-based condiment that is great for jazzing up leftover cooked rice. I fried an onion, added the rice and some frozen peas, reheated it all then drizzled over the sauce - about a tablespoon per person, to taste.
Within seconds, this created an authentic-tasting fried rice dish. I wasn't sure what the kids would think so I had kept back some plain rice just in case, but they actually loved it so I ended up adding the rest of the rice to the dish and stirring in more sauce. Sophie has already decided that she'll be using this sauce with a sachet of microwavable rice as a quick and simple lunch when she's home alone. When I called the kids down to eat, Juliette got halfway down the stairs and said "ooh it smells like a Chinese restaurant"! The meal was a resounding success - it even got Pierre gobbling up peas and peppers, whereas he would usually pick them out and complain about me making him eat vegetables again ! (I think the chopsticks helped - he loves the fact that he can pick the vegetables up easily and shovel them in his mouth !)
If you're short on time, you can get a delicious and authentic Chinese meal on the table within ten minutes (as long as you have some leftover cooked rice in the fridge - if you haven't, you could use a sachet of microwavable rice instead though). The Stir Fry Sauce is fabulous - packed with flavour and perfect for giving leftovers a new lease of life - and the Sweet & Sour Sauce has the perfect balance of sweetness and sharpness. Unlike many shop-bought sweet & sour sauces, it complements rather than overpowers the flavours of the chicken and vegetables. I can't wait to try out the other products now - I'll be back to tell you how we get on.
It's not to late to join in with the Chinese New Year festivities - it kicked off on the 8th February and the celebrations last for two weeks. Wing Yip has four stores across the UK in Birmingham, Manchester, Cricklewood and Croydon, as well as an online store, bringing traditional Oriental cuisine one step closer to UK homes.
for more information : www.wingyipstore.co.uk
Disclosure ; I received the products in order to write an honest review.