This homemade mumbo sauce recipe, aka "mambo sauce", is a tangy DC-style wing sauce with the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. So easy to make!
We're cooking up our version of Homemade Mumbo Sauce, my friends. Would you care to try some? If you've never heard of mumbo sauce, this is a recipe you need to try.
What is Mumbo Sauce?
Mumbo Sauce, or Mambo Sauce, is a popular sauce/condiment from Washington, DC, particularly Capital City. It is a tangy tomato-based sauce that is much like a barbecue sauce or a Chinese sweet and sour sauce.
The origins of mumbo sauce seem to be in dispute, with some saying the sauce originated in Chicago. However, today it is widely used in Washington, DC, where it is commonly served with fried foods and soul food, especially chicken wings.
You'll find different versions of the sauces created from cook to cook and restaurant to restaurant, with variations in consistency, seasonings, sweetness and heat levels.
You can find some popular brands to try, or make this homemade version that is super easy to make with simple ingredients.
Let's talk about how we make homemade mumbo sauce, shall we?
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 Frank's 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.
How to Make Mumbo Sauce - the Recipe Method
Whisk. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a medium sized pot.
Heat. Heat to medium and cook, stirring a bit, for 10 minutes to let the flavors combine. Remove from heat.
Cool and Serve. Cool and serve, or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Boom! Done! Your homemade mumbo sauce is ready to serve! What are you going to do with yours? Wings? French fry dip? Tangy BBQ sauce? Let's hear it!
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Play with the Ratios. Feel free to adjust the ingredient ratios to make it your own. Prefer sweeter? Use more sugar. Want a milder version? Cut back on the hot sauce. Vary up the spices. This is your sauce. Pineapple juice is a popular addition as well.
- Serving Ideas for Mumbo Sauce. Mumbo sauce is popularly served with French fries and fried chicken wings, though you can use it on just about anything. Splash it over fried rice.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy my homemade mambo sauce recipe. Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you. Keep it spicy!
Buy Mambo Sauce
Try these popular brand mambo sauces.
- Capital City Mumbo Sauce (affiliate link, my friends!)
- Sweet Mama's Mambo Sauce (affiliate link, my friends!)
Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes
- Homemade Ketchup
- Homemade Chili Sauce
- Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce
- Yum Yum Sauce
- Homemade Cocktail Sauce
- Peri Peri Sauce
- Homemade Buffalo Sauce
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Homemade Mumbo Sauce Recipe
- 3/4 cup ketchup or use tomato paste as a substitute
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup hot sauce I used Valentina Hot, but use your favorite Louisiana Style
- 1/4 cup sugar I used palm sugar, but try granulated white sugar or brown sugar - use up to 3/4 cup to taste for sweeter
- 1 tablespoon cayenne use paprika for a milder version
- Whisk all of the ingredients together in a medium sized pot.
- Heat to medium and cook, stirring a bit, for 10 minutes to let the flavors combine. Remove from heat.
- Cool and serve, or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.