15 February 2018

A Very Lazy Chinese New Year

I'm not blessed with any sort of culinary pazazz, my method being 'throw it all together and hope for the best.' My specialities (if you can call them that) are curries, bakes and spag bol. I'm a sucker for anything that promises ease, and that's where Very Lazy comes in.

For the time-starved amongst us (or even those who would rather spend their time doing something else), these products are a revelation.

For instance, I know you can buy sliced and grated cheese, courgetti and Caesar salad (with croutons and dressing on the side)... but I didn't know you could buy garlic paste, or chopped ginger. Genius.

Or you can get chopped garlic or ginger paste. Whatever texture floats your boat  taste buds.

The chaps from Very Lazy got in touch to ask, would I fancy trying their products to create an oriental dish for Chinese New Year? I mean, it was a lazy cook's dream. I couldn't say no, so I said yes (please).

Along with the above, the team sent me some lemongrass paste (which I'm tempted to try with salmon) and some chopped red chillies (which I'm scared to try).

But enough of the products. Although the packaging is super cute. Look at it chilling out (sorry) in my fridge...


I was sent a recipe for a Ginger Beef Stir Fry (annoyingly, not featured on their website), which I adapted, pescatarian style, with king prawns. Yum.

I loaded up the recipe on my iPad, stuck on some Camilla Cabello (I can't stop listening to her album at the mo, so good) and got cooking.

First, I mixed 3 tablespoons of chopped ginger (FYI, you can't get a tablespoon into the jar - cue white wine vinegar spillages and lots of cursing)...

1 teaspoon of chopped ginger...

A teaspoon of cornflour (to thicken) and a tablespoon of dark soy sauce and rice wine into a bowl. Simples.

Then, you just have to add your meat/fish/meat substitute into the mix, make sure said meat/fish/meat substitute is coated in the mix, and leave to marinade for 15 minutes.

I mean, how good does this look?

As an aside, the recipe said to buy a dark soy sauce (this below was cheaper than Amoy) and 'Shaoxing rice wine' - which was £3 for the tiniest bottle. AND it was a nightmare to find. Everything I eat in the near future will involve rice wine so I can get my money's worth.

But, all in the name of blogging, eh?

Not gonna lie, guys, you then just proceed as you would with a normal stir fry.

I threw in the prawns and marinade to cook for 2 minutes, letting it steam and bubble away...

Then removed them from the heat, replaced with the stir fry veggies and cooked them down for 2 minutes...

Then, erm, put the prawns back in, added some rice noodles, and stirred it all in, adding an extra tablespoon of dark soy sauce and rice wine.

Et voila! A stir fry in less than 10 minutes.

Next time I'd be tempted to adapt the recipe a little - less ginger, more garlic - and maybe get the lemongrass involved too. And I tend to like my noodles a little more... saucy, so I'd up the soy sauce and cornflour.

In terms of convenience, I can't fault the products. The chopped ginger was maybe I little too intense for me (if you got a mouthful, you'd know it), but I'll definitely be reaching for the paste in the future. And they're quite cheap (ranging from £1.50-£1.85 in Tesco, I'm shocked), so ideal for when you can't be bothered to cut up a chilli or grate ginger (has anyone tried to grate ginger? Don't. It's a nightmare).

So if you're looking to celebrate Chinese New Year for minimal effort and maximum taste, you can't really go wrong with Very Lazy.

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