Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Condiment of the Week: Tiger Sauce

A recent wedding, believe it or not, reminded me of this somewhat unusual condiment. The bride had once told me in college that she could not live without Tiger Sauce, and I didn't really believe her, but had to try it nonetheless. While it isn't my favorite condiment, it sure beats most out there. Tiger Sauce at first glance may look like an average pepper hot sauce, with a big tiger on the bottle, it's reddish color, and it always being placed next to other hot sauces. In actuality Tiger Sauce is more of a marinade or actual sauce than it is hot sauce. Although the primary ingredient is cayenne pepper, it's is a very sweet and tangy sauce, with a thicker consistency than many marinades. Upon first taste it seems very sweet and citrusy, but once it hits the back of your throat suddenly the cayenne pepper grabs hold and you realize where the "tiger" part comes from. The company who makes the sauce claims it has 28 ingredients, but will not list all of them. Some of the key flavors I think are Worcestershire sauce, tamarind (mainly for color), and some sort of pickled vegetables. Some people have become so into the sauce they have tried making their own from scratch, with mixed results.

Favorite Use: Make a marinade for flank steak using tiger sauce, garlic, cilantro, and orange juice and let it sit overnight. Flavor is extraordinary, with a nice combo of sweet, citrus and heat.

Most Unusual Use: I like this sauce so much I dip vegetables and pita into it, although you have to be able to tolerate the heat for this. Also, try mixing it into a crab cake mixture to accentuate the natural sweetness of the crab, and to give some spicyness without a spicy mayo.

Feel the Tiger

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