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Maggi Seasoning Sauce

2 Ratings: 3.5
A Nestlé brand condiment that is a thin, brown liquid.

Maggi seasoning sauce is a NestlĂ© brand condiment that is a thin, brown liquid. In parts of Europe, including German-speaking countries as well as the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, and France, "Maggi" is still synonymous with … see full wiki

1 review about Maggi Seasoning Sauce

Maggi: The Myth, The Legend, The Sauce

  • Jun 21, 2009
Rating:
+5
A few months ago, my parents sent me on a grocery escapade for them.  On the list were the usual culprits -- eggs, milk, bread, etc, etc, but in the middle of the list, there was something new and unfamiliar -- Maggi seasoning sauce.

"Mom, what's Maggi and why do you need it?"
"Oh, it's like soy sauce.  We never bought it when you were growing up because it was too expensive, but we grew up on it, and your dad has been CRAVING it lately."
"Oh, okay, thanks, mom", with a hint of sarcasm in my voice.

(Maggi isn't that expensive; my parents are just being Chinese.  At Ranch 99, it was $6.99 for a large bottle made domestically, and $13.49 for a large bottle imported from Europe.  Significantly more than your 99 cent bottle of generic soy sauce, but it's not gonna break bank.)

My mom also told me that it came in a bottle with a square base and a long neck, and that the label and cap were yellow with red font.  So off to Ranch 99 I went, in search of this elusive seasoning sauce.  When I got to the sauce aisle of Ranch 99, I immediately found it.  I mean, there aren't too many sauce bottles with boxy bases and really long necks.  Plus, the sauce was pretty much on the shelf in spades because of its horrendous yellow yolk-colored label and cap, and not to mention, bold red font.  It was kind of hard to miss.  The bottle and label also looked very old school like Tabasco's does, and as I reached for it, I felt a strange sense of familiarity.  Do I know you from somewhere?  Have I had you before?  Because it feels like I've know you all my life. -- Thoughts and emotions conjured up by the humble, old school-looking sauce bottles.

Maggi Family

Even if you've never heard of Maggi before, I bet you've at least seen the bottle a few times.  I looked at the nutritional value and ingredients of Maggi compared to that of regular soy sauce.  Nutritional value looked about the same, except Maggi managed to have much more sodium than the rest.  And on the ingredients front, they also looked the same, but instead of being made of soy, Maggi is made of wheat and gluten.  I took the bottle back to my parents', dropped it off, and thought nothing more of it.

A few months later, I had my second encounter with Maggi.  I was in Hong Kong for a family reunion and was cooking dinner when one of my French relatives came into the kitchen and said, "Don't season the dishes with sauce soy, use this" and took two miniature bottles of Maggi seasoning sauce out of her makeup bag.  One was regular French Maggi, and the other was garlic Maggi.  She says that she never travels without them.  What... the... heck?!

My third encounter with Maggi occurred a few weeks later, when I was in Nanjing.  I sat next to a group of Malaysian tourists at a hotel breakfast buffet.  As soon as everyone got their food and settled down at the table, everyone, and I mean EVERY single person, busted out miniature Maggi bottles from out of their purses, backpacks and what have you.  At this point, every expletive that you can think of flew through my head.  I'll keep it PG for Lunch, but it went something like, "What the *BLEEP*... How the *BLEEP*... Holy *BLEEP* *BLEEP* *BLEEP*".  Needless to say, my mind was completely blown.  I had to get to the bottom of this sauce (well, not literally considering I know how much sodium is in it now, but you know).

As soon as I got home from my 14 hours overseas flight, before I even unpacked or took a nap, I immediately googled Maggi, and boy, was I surprised at what I found -- a cult-like following online.  Um... this is a condiment, not a camp-style film or vintage car, but I read on about the mystique of Maggi.  Apparently, Maggi was founded by a Swiss man named Julius Maggi in 1872, and in 1886, the Maggi seasoning sauce was invented.  It's almost as old as Tabasco

According to Wikipedia, Maggi is huge in the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan, India, Nigeria, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.  And my parents tell me that it's very popular in China and Vietnam as well.  From this eat drink & be merry blog entry, I also found out that it's pretty popular in Poland, Mexico, and even Jamaica.  Just check out these pictures from the Jamaica episode of No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain that I found on the blog:

Maggi Sauce in No Reservations Jamaica Episode

Maggi Sauce in No Reservations Jamaica Episode

Maggi Sauce in No Reservations Jamaica Episode


Crazy, huh?

Of course, I HAD to try this magical sauce.  Since it's suppose to taste like soy sauce, the first time I had it, it was over scrambled eggs with prawns over rice.  IT WAS SO FRIGGIN' GOOD.  Considering how much more sodium is in Maggi than in other soy sauces that I've compared it to, Maggi somehow tastes less salty and more sweet.  It was actually pretty tangy.  With the exception of sushi and sashimi, I've been using this magical wheat/gluten sauce in place of all the recipes that I had once used soy sauce in, like soups, salad, rice dishes, etc.  A couple of my favorite uses of Maggi are for tuna tartare and vegetarian gravy.  Its really made a world of difference.

  • Tuna Tartare Sauce: Maggi seasoning sauce, Tonkatsu sauce, wasabi, lemon juice, and sesame oil.
  • Vegetarian Gravy: margarine or butter, chopped onions, minced garlic, flour or starch, Maggi seasoning sauce, water, and pepper.  Cook it over the stove.

I don't have measurements because 1) I don't use them for sauces, and 2) It's really up to what flavor and consistency that you want that you should use to decide how much of each ingredient to add.  Those are just a couple examples of what Maggi seasoning sauce is really good for.  Since Maggi is so pungent, just a few dashes of it to season should do.  It even says on the bottle, "a few dashes are sufficient"!

Phew!  I didn't know that I had so much to say about Maggi!  Who knew that an 1886 Swiss wheat/gluten sauce recipe could establish such a loyal international following?
Maggi

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August 13, 2010
Hi, I'm a housewife who cooks a lot! and have never used Maggi seasoning sauce. It is called for in a recipe I'm doing tonight--a peanut pea salad! I'll have to let you know how it turns out. I'm on the way to the store now to get the Maggi. Hope my hubby likes it. I'm sure I will. Back later! Claudia
August 13, 2010
Oooooh, that sounds tasty! Yes, I'd love to hear how that turns out! And perhaps even snag the recipe! ;P Thanks for reading!
 
February 14, 2010
You are HILARIOUS! No, Malaysians don't travel with Maggi. I think they do with Sambal Chili! As with Indonesians. Maggie is ex in the U.S. though. It's much cheaper in Asia. I do know many Chinese love Maggi with fried eggs! Try it on boiled eggs too, you might just like it ;-)
August 13, 2010
I'll have to try the boiled eggs, and Sambal Chili, too!
 
January 18, 2010
my parents always thought highly of this sauce too and your post really cleared things up for me! hahaha thanks a lot!
January 19, 2010
Haha, I'm glad I was able to demystify Maggi sauce for you! Do you have any Maggi stories? :P
 
December 11, 2009
Hey, Devora, I hope you don't mind, I linked this review to my lumpia recipe
January 19, 2010
Whoa, didn't even notice this comment, but always feel free to link away! :)
 
June 23, 2009
Great review. I'd love to get your take on Sriracha. I have to think you have some Sriracha recipes up your sleeve.
June 24, 2009
Thank you, Butter :)  Shhhh, don't tell anyone, but I'm actually not that big a fan of Sriracha; I much prefer Tabasco, and my favorite use of it is putting it into mac 'n cheese!
June 24, 2009
Ha. I'll make sure to keep it on the downlow. I love the Tabasco on the mac 'n cheese, as well. Sometimes with a little ketchup even (I know, low class... but hey, its good). I like the Sriracha and Cholulu on chicken, generally... tapatio on pizza and a wide variety of sauces on Mexican food. As you can see, I have very refined hot sauce taste.
June 25, 2009
Whoooa, ketchup?  That's a combo that I would've never thought of!  And wow, you know your sauces!  I must admit, I've been stuck in my Tabasco ways, but have recently decided to break my streak and try other hot sauces.  I really like Louisiana Hot Sauce now.  It's amazing on mac 'n cheese, and crawfish, and shrimp etoufee!
June 25, 2009
Absolutely... tobasco in ketchup. Only way to eat fries. It's tough to have ketchup without out.
 
June 22, 2009
wonderful review, Devora! you continue to surprise me, I've been using this seasoning for quite a while now and you do a terrific job in writing the depthness of this product. Consider me very impressed. Great job in throwing some personal experience as a kid, I can totally relate!
June 24, 2009
Thanks, Will! :)
 
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