Product Snapshot – Five Tastes Stir Fry Shots

Written by Guest reviewer on Wednesday, 24 June 2020.
Tagged: Asian, convenience, health, nutrition, Product snapshot, review, stir-fry

Poppin Pods are always on hand when you want just a couple of sprigs of one particular herb.

A healthy, authentic Asian stir fry sauce should be a celebration of fresh Asian spices and herbs. To gather all the fresh ingredients yourself can be expensive and balancing the flavours can be tricky.  Happily, Five Tastes Stir Fry Shots can do this for you. They come in four flavours, and the two I tried, Thai Basil & Chilli and Vietnamese Lemongrass & Kaffir Lime, really stood out in terms of both taste and health.

Asian food in Australia

Asian settlers came to Australia in the 19th Century, bringing their cuisine with them. Consequently, Asian food has always been available to some extent. However, it wasn’t until the 20th Century, when Thai and Vietnamese migrants arrived, that Australian Asian food expanded in variety, flavour and popularity.

Stir fries

Unfortunately, Asian stir fries have attracted a reputation of being ‘unhealthy' and very rich in salt/sodium and hidden sugar, especially when adapted to suit typical Aussie taste buds. If you have eaten out and ordered dishes like Honey Chicken and Pad Thai, then you know what I mean.

What are Stir Fry Shots?

According to their website, “Stir Fry Shots are designed to add a flavour boost to any stir fry dish.” You just add a sauce shot to whatever protein – meat, fish, or chicken – and vegetables you choose and you’ll “have an authentic Asian flavoured dish”.

What’s in the pack?

Each Stir Fry Shots pack contains “four small tubs of concentrated paste that are made to serve two. Being small and disposable means you are left with no mess and no waste in the kitchen.”

Ingredients

Thai Basil & Chilli

Garlic, water, shallot, soybean oil, red chilli (10%), salt, lemongrass, sugar, basil leaves (4%), coriander, thickener (1442), fructose corn syrup, galangal, white pepper, yeast extract, basil flavour, cumin, kaffir lime peel, natural colour (paprika oleoresins).
Contains soy.
 

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Vietnamese Lemongrass and Kaffir Lime

Water, lemongrass (20%), chilli, sunflower oil, garlic, salt, sugar, coriander, shallot, thickener (1442), ginger, kaffir lime leaf (2%), lime juice, galangal, yeast extract, coriander powder, white pepper.

Nutrition

One shot is designed for two serves. Each serve is actually a very decent size, and calls for 150g of protein and 150g of vegetables of your choice (equal to 1 cup of cooked vegetables, which meets the Australian Healthy Eating guidelines for vegetable intake). It is enough for me and my wife when sharing two serves for one meal.

Vietnamese Lemongrass and Kaffir Lime

Average Quantity

Per Serving

Per 100g

Energy

116kJ/28Cals

526kJ/126Cals

Protein, g

0.3

1.2

Fat, total, g

1.7

7.7

    - saturated, g

0.2

0.9

Carbohydrate, g

2.6

12.0

    - sugars, g

1.6

7.4

Sodium, mg

559

2540

FoodCollage

 2 medium Basa fish fillets go with 1 shot and 2 cups of cooked vegetables go with the same shot

Thai Basil & Chilli

Average Quantity

Per Serving

Per 100g

Energy

155kJ/37Cals

704kJ/168Cals

Protein, g

0.6

2.5

Fat, total, g

1.9

8.8

    - saturated, g

0.4

1.6

Carbohydrate, g

4.1

18.7

    - sugars, g

2.3

10.3

Sodium, mg 598 2720

Taste

These Shots showcase authentic Asian tropical flavours. The finished dish wasn’t watery and thickened quite well. The Thai Basil & Chilli had a strong basil flavour with a mild lemongrass and chilli taste. The Vietnamese Lemongrass & Kaffir Lime had more of a natural lemongrass, ginger and kaffir lime leaf flavour. As an Asian, I could not fault them. They are yummy!

cookedcollage

The Thai Basil & Chilli may be a bit hot for those who can’t handle chilli. I would say the level of chilli is mild to medium. For those who can’t handle chilli well, the Vietnamese Lemongrass & Kaffir Lime might be a better choice. However, there are two other flavours available for you to try – Coriander & Kaffir Lime, and Hoisin & Garlic.

Pros     

  • Very low in (added) sugar: 2.3g and 1.6g. per serve This is a very small amount considering an average teaspoon of sugar weighs 4g. This is partly possible due to the addition of fructose corn syrup which is very sweet and though not a particularly healthy ingredient is there only in a very small quantity. 
  • Relatively low in sodium: 598mg and 559mg. Considering a healthy daily sodium intake is less than 2300mg, a main meal that contains less than 600mg is quite good.
  • Saturated fat: 0.4g and 0.2g. Considering daily saturated fat intake should be no more than 20g, these amounts are negligible.
  • Total fat: 1.9g and 1.7g. These are quite low as well.
  • Low in calories: 155kJ/37Cals and 116kJ/28Cals. A product that is low in macronutrients (protein, fat and carbs) is automatically low in calories.
  • Most of the ingredients are natural with the only additive being Thickener 1442, which is a type of modified starch called Hydroxypropyl Distarch Phosphate. It is used to thicken the sauce and is considered very safe to use.
  • Authentic Thai and Vietnamese flavours
  • No artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or MSG
  • Very convenient to cook with
  • Easy to find: available both in Coles and Woolworths
  • Inexpensive (works out as only $1 per shot, which makes 2 serves) $4 per box.

Cons

  • Too much packaging, as they are individually packed
  • The Thai Basil & Chilli contains soy for those who are intolerant or allergic to soy
  • Other flavours under the same range may not be as healthy as these two
  • Made in Thailand and therefore extra air miles.

The bottom line

By following the simple stir-frying steps and adding Five Taste Basil & Chilli or Vietnamese Lemongrass & Kaffir Lime Stir Fry Shots, you can easily create an authentic, budget-friendly Asian stir fry at home. In a nutshell, I highly recommend them as a go-to option when you are wondering what’s for dinner tomorrow.

This product snapshot was written by Accredited Practising Dietitian Tuo Tao from Eat Savvi.

Note: Only Five Taste Stir Fry Shots in Thai Basil & Chilli and Vietnamese Lemongrass & Kaffir Lime have been reviewed for this blog post. No other flavours under the same range have been evaluated or recommended in this article.