A poll undertaken by Sharwoods has shown that Chinese food has overtaken Indian food to become Britons’ favourite international cuisine.
Chinese dishes such as Sweet & Sour and Chow Mein are now more popular than our old favourite Tikka Masala. Researchers found that 39% cent of people preferred Oriental flavours out of a poll of 3,000 people. Sharwood’s conducted the survey to mark the Chinese New Year this weekend.
The survey also showed that Britons had become more adventurous in the kitchen, with 2/3rds saying they regularly cooked ‘exotic’ food. One in ten claimed to be completely confident in their ability to cook foreign dishes without any difficulty, while a third said they were more likely to make their own ethnic meals at home instead of heading to a restaurant.
The ten most popular international cuisines in Britain are: Chinese, Indian, British, Italian, Thai, American, Mexican, Japanese, Greek and French. Sharwood’s have been tantalising British palates since the reign of Queen Victoria.
It’s founder, James Allen Sharwood, a culinary explorer who devoted his life to scouring the world for exotic specialities, first introduced the exciting flavours of India, China and the Far East to Great Britain in 1889. Sharwoods leads the market in this field and 21 million Sharwood’s curries are eaten each year in Britain – that’s 4,400 tonnes!
To celebrate the Chinese New Year Sharwoods has funded Chinese Food in Minutes, a 13 episode cookery series to be broadcast on Wednesdays at 7.30pm on Channel Five.
In addition Sharwoods is maximizing the popular Chinese New Year celebrations by refreshing its range of stir fry sauces and noodles with some exciting new variants to encourage consumers to reappraise Chinese food and drive incremental sales.
Chinese New Year is the single biggest meal event in cooking sauces which offers a +35% uplift and attracts +44% new shoppers each year.
Chow Mein has its roots in Chinese peasant cooking and in general (there are many versions) it is served with noodles. The Chow Mein we eat in the Western world is a very different dish to that served in the East but it’s easy and quick to make which helps explain its popularity. I’d recommend a soft red wine to go with this dish – Mathilde (£12.99) would be perfect with its smooth fruity flavours. It’s a favourite amongst Asian wine lovers for that reason.
Pork Chow Mein
1 1b fresh or 9oz of dried egg noodles
5 tbsp oil
8 oz pork (fillet)
4 oz bean sprouts
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 spring onions lightly shredded
stock or water
Cook the noodles in salted boiling water according to the instructions on the packet, then drain and rinse under cold water. Slice the pork into very small thin strips.
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a wok until hot, stir fry the vegetables and pork for 2 minutes, add the sugar, salt , wine, half the soy sauce and half the spring onions, mix well and add a little stock or water if necessary.
Remove and keep warm as the dressing for the noodles. Heat the remaining oil and stir fry the noodles for 3 minutes add the remaining soy sauce and stir well. remove to a large serving dish and pour over the dressing, garnish with the sesame oil and the rest of the spring onions.