How To Make Mumbo Sauce

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How to Make Mumbo Sauce -DC’s Famous Mumbo Sauce


  • Mix and simmer. Mix all the ingredients together in a pot, preferably with a whisk in order to break up clumps of tomato paste and ginger powder. Simmer on low, do not boil, for about 20 minutes to marry the flavors and thicken it a bit. Taste and adjust to your preferences. Like it hotter, be my guest.
  • Serve. When it is time to serve, you can drizzle it on the food or serve it in a bowl for dipping. Or both. Mambo Sauce can be refrigerated for months. If you’ve had it in the fridge, toss it in the microwave for 20 seconds or so to take the chill off.


  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes until sauce has thickened.
  • Refrigerate Cool for 1 hour then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  • Freeze Cool for 2 hours then transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then bring to room temperature before serving.



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Other Popular Variations Of The Mumbo Sauce

One very popular variation of the mumbo sauce is the Chinese mumbo. The preparation and ingredients are largely the same as in the original mumbo sauce recipe except for the addition of lemon juice, ketchup and honey.

Preparing Chinese mumbo sauce is a cinch all you need is to add your lemon juice, honey and ketchup to the other mumbo sauce ingredients , mix thoroughly in a bowl and then transfer to a sauce pan placed over medium-high heat.

Reduce heat to medium-low as soon the mixture begins to bubble and occasionally stir until mixture thickens. Allow to cook for 10 minutes, remove the sauce pan, turn off the heat and allow to cool for another 10 minutes and pass sauce through a fine strainer to remove any chunks.

Note: for the Chinese mumbo sauce, corn starch slurry was not used. It just goes to show you how much this sauce can vary theres no need to add corn starch to your list of ingredients if you dont want it.

Theres also Capital City mumbo sauce, distinguished by the addition of whiskey. Then theres the Kens mumbo sauce, popularly found in various Chinese takeouts in DC. For the purposes of this post, well cap it off there, but suffice it to say, the variations just keep on going after that.

How To Make Mumbo Sauce Sauce:

To make this homemade mumbo sauce, simply

  • Place all the ingredients into a saucepan and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Depending on how you want to use the sauce, you may want to simmer it longer so that its thicker.
  • Use it right away or refrigerate it for later. Allow it to cool before serving.
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    Mumbo Sauce: The Taste Of Washington

    Across the southern United States, regional factions are locked in debate, vying to be named the champions of barbecue. In eastern North Carolina, simple spicy vinegar reigns supreme, while in the western part of the state, the smoked pork shoulder is served with a vinegar and tomato mix. As you move west, the shoulder becomes substituted first for ribs in St. Louis, and then beef brisket in Texas with the thick brown mop sauce with which most Americans are familiar: a mixture of tomato, Worcestershire sauce, and beef stock. In South Carolina, the sauce is mustard-based, while in Alabama, it is white and made of mayonnaise. But Washington, a city perpetually in limbo between the north and the south, is not known for its barbecue.

    Instead, there is mumbo sauce.

    What exactly is mumbo sauce? There is little consensus. Is it tangier, sweeter, or spicier? Should it be neon orange, ruddy brown, or blood red? Is it even spelled mumbo or is it mambo? What is clear is that mumbo sauce is fundamentally made of vinegar, tomato paste, and hot sauce, with a flavor and consistency halfway between a tomato-vinegar barbecue sauce and the duck sauce ubiquitous in Chinese-American restaurants.

    The proportions, as well as the use of additional flavors, depend on where its made. While it can be eaten on anything, its most frequent vehicles are fried chicken wings, french fries, and fried rice. Over the years, it has become a district icon.

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    How To Make Your Own Dc Mumbo Sauce At Home

    How to Make Dc Mumbo Sauce (Or Is It Really Chicago Mumbo ...

    BOWIE, Md. – In DC, you can’t have wings without mumbo sauce– but have you ever made it yourself? In honor of National Chicken Wing Day, we asked the pros– Charles and Stephanie Smith, owners of Chuck’s Wagon BBQ in Bowie, Md.– to show us how it’s done.

    If right now you’re asking yourself, ‘What’s mumbo sauce?’– we can help. It’s a tangy, spicy sauce that many residents of the DMV consider to be local .

    For years, DC wing lovers have doused their fried chicken wings with the tomato-based, reddish sauce, but it goes well with much more than that. It’s a little different from place to place, depending on who is making it and the ingredients that are used.

    But one thing that’s always the same? The deliciousness. Is your mouth watering yet, or is that just us?

    MUMBO SAUCE: A D.C. ORIGINAL…?You’ll find mumbo sauce in chicken wing carry-outs and Asian restaurants all across the DC area. Locals will tell you it started in the District, though there’s been a bit of a debate over the years when it comes to exactly when and where it originated.

    Chicagoans would argue mumbo sauce didn’t start in DC at all. Instead, a Chicago barbeque restaurant called Argia B’s claimed they started it–and the restauranteur’s family has stood up to protect the name. They went after the company formerly known as Capital City Mumbo Sauce for trademark infringment– a case they won. Capital City is now known as Capital City Mambo Sauce, which is available online and in several local stores.

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    Secret Recipe Mambo Sauce

    The Secret Is OUT!!! I have been making this for many years… My Father Charles Sullivan, named it Mambo Sauce because it tastes so good it made him want to dance! The SECRET part of the name was because everyone wanted the recipe and I only gave it to special people…. and loved to tease my brother Jim with…

    Provided by Colleen Sowa

    1 gal can diced tomatoes
    4 large onions
    6 large jalapeno peppers
    6 can tomato paste
    12 – 14 can water
    2 c brown sugar
    2 Tbsp each: mustard powder and prepared yellow mustard
    8 clove garlic
    2 Tbsp garlic powder
    1 1/2 tsp each: ground cayenne pepper, ground red pepper and ground black pepper
    2 tsp canning salt
    1 tsp liquid smoke flavoring
    1/2 c each: worcestershire sauce and soy sauce
    1 1/2 c cider vinegar
    1/2 c lemon juice
    1/2 bottle tabasco sauce


    Where Does This Sauce Originate

    Mumbo Sauce originated at Argia Bs Bar-B-Q in 1957 in Chicago. It eventually found its way to Washington, D.C. where it has become the No. 1 condiment of that city. No one is really sure how it got to Washington, DC. But thats where it is a real treat. Many people who live in and around Washington or have visited the area love this sauce.

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    How To Make Dc Mumbo Sauce

    HOW TO MAKE MUMBO SAUCE | Recipe | Washington DC or Chicago?

    Washington D.C., is the nation’s most international city populated by long term locals and many many imports. Much of the local population comes and goes with the political tides. According to the Washington Post, only 15 percent of the white population was born in D.C., while only 60 percent of the black population was born there.

    As a result, there aren’t many indigenous local dishes, but there is one concoction the locals proudly claim as their own: Mumbo Sauce.

    Theresa Vargas, in an article in the Washington Post in July 2011, wrote “The Italians may have their marinara and the French their bearnaise, but for many D.C. natives, the sauce that captures the flavor of home is called mumbo. Few can tell you how it’s made or where it originated, but they know this: If you grew up in one of the mostly African American areas of the city, you’ve likely known the taste your entire life. If you didn’t, you probably have no idea what it is.” It is so popular there is even a band named Mumbo Sauce, and another group, Soulful, has an album named Mumbo Sauce .

    In Mumbo sauce the tomato base plays bass in the background with the vinegar and sugar playing the lead. Mumbo sauce is most popular on chicken wings, but it works on just about anything deep fried. That may sound odd, but remember, in the Deep South, fried chicken and fish are often served with honey. I’ve always found honey to be a bit cloying, but the vinegar in Mumbo Sauce is a great knife for cutting through fried foods.

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    Mumbo Sauce Recipe: Sweet And Tangy

    Never will I forget the first time I had mumbo sauce at a carryout in Chicago as the sauce for my fried chicken wings. Disclaimer: I am not making any claims about where the sauce comes from, and I plead objectivity and neutrality. I just happened to have it in Chicago.

    In case youre wondering what Im talking about, the precise origin of the sauce remains a sore subject to this day. Anyway, no matter. What matters is the sauce itself.

    Mumbo sauce was a true delight to discover if you can imagine discovering a new condiment like ketchup or barbeque sauce, but with a specific sweet and tangy taste, youre somewhere close to the mark. If youre nowhere near Chicago, IL or Washington, DC, cities where the sauce is a flagship of local food culture, you can still try this special sauce by means of a recipe.

    Dont fret: you dont need any unusual ingredients to make this sauce. On the other hand, a standard ingredient list was not enough I had to try several different methods of making mumbo sauce before figuring out the best one. After this work, here are the fruits of my labor: an amazing mumbo sauce recipe.

    For todays post, I am going to show you everything I gathered in my research on the famous mumbo sauce, from its controversial trademark issue all the way to how I prepared my own special extra tasty mumbo sauce.

    How To Make Mumbo Sauce The Best Recipe

    Making your own homemade mumbo sauce is quite easy its just a matter of mixing the right ingredients together and heating it til it thickens, and voilà: mumbo sauce.

    Ten restaurants or joints making mumbo will probably result in nine different outcomes, as every carryout and restaurant make slight adjustments to mumbo sauce ingredients, depending on what their customers like or what their main entrées are.

    All the more reason you should make yours.

    Ill let you in on a little secret. I have tasted some of the best mumbo sauce in both Chicago and DC, and I have since set out to create the ultimate version, the one with the best features of them all. As previously mentioned, mumbo sauce doesnt have any recipe set in stone, so for the purposes of this post, I will use the following ingredients. Even these can vary, though, as I like to experiment a lot.

    I usually try this recipe on my fried chicken wings one of my all-time favorite things to eat. Ive also done it with shrimp, grilled sweet and sour pork, barbeque ribs and pulled pork.

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    How Do You Make Mumbo Sauce

    Mumbo sauce recipes can also contain sweeteners other than sugar, such as pineapple or orange juice, and can call for tomato paste rather than ketchup. They may or may not contain soy sauce, ginger and water, and they can be made with either plain white vinegar or dark vinegar. Mumbo sauce originated in Washington, D.C., but the name came from a barbecue sauce first used in Chicago, where it was created and trademarked as Mumbo sauce by Argia B’s Bar-B-Q. Some believe the original sauce was brought to Washington by a Chicago native. The Washington variations of the sauce are considered to be some of the few recipes that are indigenous to the city, which is known for its transient population. The sauce is used in many restaurants in the Washington area, including inexpensive take-out places without seating to upscale establishments, and each often uses its own privately held recipe for the sauce. The sauce is typically served on fried chicken and French fries or on the side for dipping. Source:

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    Related Information

    You Can Order Dc Mumbo Sauce


    Capital City Mambo Sauce made by Arsha Jones in her Annapolis, MD, home, and you can order it from her website. Just click my link.

    Chucks Wagon BBQ, on Main St. in Upper Marlboro, MD.

    Some restaurants sell it by the bottle on premises. Among my favorites is Smokeys at 4714 14th St. NW, Washington DC 20011 in Petworth. She calls hers Mambo Sauce.

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    Copycat Capital City Mumbo Sauce

    Mumbo sauce or Mambo sauce depending on who you ask is a bright red condiment that is tangy and sweet.

    You can find this sauce at every Chinese and soul food restaurant in D.C. Each restaurant has its own variation and the sauces can vary in consistency, sweetness, and tanginess.

    Mumbo sauce is the best on chicken wings! But you can dip fried shrimp and french fries in the sauce. Some even like to pour over rice.

    We worked hard to recreate this sauce so we can always have some on hand. We use it for pretty much anything that is fried!

    However you decide to use the sauce, Im sure well all agree that its finger lickin good!

    How This Dc Condiment Grew Into A $2

    The origins of mumbo sauce are in dispute. Some say the tangy-sweet condiment originated at Wings N Things in DC others claim its from Chicago. The same is true for the recipe, adapted from one District kitchen to the next as it gained popularity in the 1980s and 90s. One thing is clear to Petworth native Arsha Jones, who founded Capital City Mambo Sauce with her late husband, Charles, in 2011: New York has pizza, Philly has cheesesteaks. Washington has mumbo sauce.

    Jones remembers saving up a few dollars as a kid to buy wings and mumbo sauce at a carryout on Georgia Avenue. Decades later, while pregnant with her fourth son, she experimented with recipes in her Annapolis kitchen to avoid traveling to DC to get it. Soon Arsha, then a web designer, and Charles, an Army veteran, were selling mumbo sauce online to homesick DC natives. From there, they began supplying mild and spicy sweet bottles to stalls at Eastern Market and mom-and-pop shops in DC. Capital City Mambo Sauce is now a $2-million company, and its product is available at more than 1,000 retailers including Walmart and Safeway.

    But while it may be the most successful mumbo-sauce company, it isnt the only one. Five years ago, the Joneses settled a court battleand forfeited the right to call their product mumbo saucewith Chicagos Select Brands, which trademarked the name in 1958.

    This article appears in the issue of Washingtonian.

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    Homemade Mumbo Sauce Ingredients

    • Ketchup. Ketchup is the primary base for making mambo sauce, though you can also use tomato sauce or tomato paste as a substitute. Ketchup brings extra tang and flavor, however,
    • Vinegar. I use white vinegar, though apple cider vinegar is nice as well.
    • Soy Sauce.
    • Hot Sauce. Use your favorite Louisiana style hot sauce. I like to use Valentina Hot as a good sauce mixer, though Franks is great, Tabasco or Crystal. I like to use a thicker hot sauce.
    • Sugar. I use palm sugar for mine, though you can also use brown sugar or granulated white sugar. Some recipes call for quite a lot of sugar. I prefer to use less for a less sweet version, though please use it to your own personal tastes.
    • Spices. I use cayenne or heat and flavor. Use paprika for a milder version. You can include other spices to make it your own, including garlic, salt, black pepper, ginger, dried herbs and others.

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