Friday 11 January 2013

Blue Dragon Restaurant Specials review

Blue Dragon recently sent me through some of their new products to try out - they have come up with a Restaurant Specials range designed to help you recreate your favourite take-away dishes at home. They have a jar range, offering Crispy Chilli Beef, Lemon Battered Chicken or Sweet & Sour Battered Chicken, and a Stir-Fry pouch range, with a choice of Yellow Bean and Cashew, Black Pepper, Kung Po, Cantonese and Pad Thai. We received jars of the Crispy Chilli Beef and Sweet & Sour Battered Chicken sauces, as well as a Fridge Pack of their Chow Mein sauce.

Today, we tried out the Sweet & Sour Battered Chicken. It's a 2-in-1 product, made up of a jar of sweet & sour sauce and a portion of flour for creating a tempura batter in the plastic container attached to the lid.

The instructions couldn't be simpler. "Simply coat your chicken or beef with the tempura mix, add ice cold water if you prefer a fluffy texture to your batter and shallow fry until crispy. Pour over the sauce, heat through and serve for a quick, tasty meal in moments". The flour and water was quick and easy to whisk into a smooth batter with no lumps at all. It made quite a thick batter so there wasn't a great deal to go round, bearing in mind that I slightly increased the quantity of chicken so that I could get three servings out of it.

I used vegetable oil for shallow frying (as suggested on the label, and because it has a higher cooking temperature than the olive oil I usually use) and heated up the sweet and sour sauce in a saucepan while the chicken was cooking. Madhouse Daddy Mike walked in from work at this point and before he got anywhere near the kitchen, he said "Hmmm Chinese for dinner tonight?". It certainly smells authentic - time to see what it would taste like.

I thought the sweet and sour sauce smelt incredibly sour so I warmed it up separately and drizzled it very sparingly over the chicken in case I didn't like it, but it actually tasted the same as our usual sweet and sour sauce so I could have used more. The flavours and textures work really well together and do create an authentic-tasting meal, but I was slightly disappointed by the tempura batter. I thought it was a bit bland and could have done with some more seasoning - a quick twist of the pepper grinder and a sprinkle of chilli flakes would have improved it no end - but the addition of crispy batter to sweet and sour chicken is something I will undoubtedly do again. The label suggests adding some extra chunks of pineapple to the sauce which I think would be a good idea. I'd also be tempted to add in some onions and red pepper and maybe even some mushrooms too to jazz up the flavour a bit, as well as increase the 5-a-day count.

Half of the 220g jar contains 164 calories, 39.4g of carbs (of which 21.4g sugar) and 0.1g of fat. For a quick takeaway alternative that is lighter on the pocket and the calories, it's not bad at all. I'd just suggest adding some seasoning to the tempura batter mix.

I'll be back to tell you how we get on with the other sauces.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £1.59 for 220g

for more information :

Disclosure : I received a selection of Blue Dragon sauces, on order to write an honest review.

Other reviews you may be interested in :


  1. wow, looks like something even i could probably do!!
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. the battered chicken is a great idea, all much cheaper than a takeaway :)

  3. I think this is going to be a practise makes perfect thing :-) I've had 2 goes, the first was a disaster-the second a little better.

  4. Thanks for sharing, Mad House Family. I'm a huge fan of Blue Dragon and I've just bought the Cantonese stir fry sauce, but haven't tried it yet. I'd be interest in your review if you've used it. Kit Marlow, Crawley, UK

    1. Haven't tried that one yet so let us know how you get on :)


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