do not reheat | Galangal stir-fry sauce

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Sainsbury's Galangal and Lemon Grass Stir-Fry Sauce, 300g, stir-fry only, £1.49 , rating 1/5

Sainsbury's Galangal and Lemon Grass Stir-Fry Sauce, 300g, stir-fry only, £1.49 , rating 1/5

I've recently developed a severe, spasming, Pavlovian reaction to microwave pings. This, plus the success of experiments with "pans" and "grills", has made me decide that it's time to give the Sanyo the swerve and cook something proper. Move over Gordon Ramsay - I've got a sachet of authentic Thai flavours and a box of prawns.

Galangal is also known as Thai ginger but apparently tastes hotter and more peppery than everybody's favourite fibrous root. The compressed oily juice of galangal is said to induce hallucinations in sufficient quantities. Way to go Sainsbury's, I thought, as I squirted bright red sauce from its surgical-looking pouchlet over mangetout and prawns in a virgin wok. Perhaps tonight will be an Aldous Huxley night.

The result was an inedible ordeal of salted goopiness. Lemon grass? Galangal? This was a half pint of generic tomato base with a few trendy flavour notes trying to get a word in edgeways. The ingredients box swore, incredibly, that there was only 1.1g of salt in the whole thing. The prawns probably didn't help on the sodium front, but when it says "this sauce suits seafood" you have to wonder what Sainsbury's had in mind. Fish fingers? I threw the lot in the bin and I still have no idea what galangal is supposed to taste like.

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