First things first. You have to love the name. Tiger Sauce. So simple. To the point. And the packaging follows suit with that in your face, sort of retro tiger growl. Ironically, Try Me brand’s Original Tiger Sauce is more of a sweet hot sauce than something with big cat bite. But how does it stand up in terms of flavor and balance? And how usable is it beyond the obvious sweet sauce use cases? Let’s break it all down.
There’s a pretty big ingredient list here, so let’s start jump right into it. Ingredients are: Cayenne peppers, sugar, distilled vinegar, water, salt, crushed red peppers, xanthan gum, chili peppers, caramel color, sodium benzoate, hydrolyzed corn protein, tamarind extract, natural flavor (contains anchovy), oregano, cumin, and garlic powder. It also contains fish.
Cayenne peppers lead the list, but, as mentioned, this isn’t a big heat sauce. In fact, the heat is surprisingly little for cayennes being so high up in the list. Rather, it’s that sugar and vinegar that follow that take center stage to Tiger Sauce’s flavor. You taste those cayenne peppers at first bite, but they immediately are met with the vinegar and sugar combo that makes those endorphins in your brain go haywire.
Tiger Sauce is that sweet and tangy mix that’s so addictive in sauces and marinades. It reminds me of General Tso’s sauce, as it has that sugary tang kick that keeps you coming back for more and more. It’s hard to stop. Seriously.
The garlic powder and other spices are more of an afterthought that you’ll notice after a few bites. They add a touch of depth to the flavor profile of Tiger Sauce. But really this sauce is all about that sugar and vinegar.
With a name like Tiger Sauce, you’re likely expecting at least a moderate kick to the sauce. No such luck. It’s a mild heat which quickly dissipates. The spiciness hits on the back-end and you feel it the more you eat it, but it’s merely the younger-warming type. The sugar and vinegar really drown out the kick of the peppers, so they don’t come at you with anywhere near full force.
Tiger Sauce doesn’t report a Scoville rating, but if we had to guess it’d be in around 500 Scoville heat units. That’s less than eating a fresh poblano pepper and nowhere near the potential provided by cayenne peppers (30,000 to 50,000 SHU.) It’s maybe half the heat of Sriracha.
So, the balance isn’t what I expected for the name, but when you get past that it’s truly an enjoyable sauce. Just not a “hot” sauce.
It’s excellent if you’re looking for something family-friendly. Everyone in the family can try it, and if they love tangy-sweet, they’ll go nuts for it.
Sweet sauces are often more versatile than you first think, and that’s definitely true with Tiger Sauce. Because it’s a thin sauce, it’s perfect as a chicken or pork marinade. And it also livens up Tofu a ton. That sweet tang kills it in the morning with eggs and toast too. It’s delicious on tacos and don’t forget it with seafood, especially shrimp. Tiger Sauce makes for an excellent alternative to cocktail sauce.
This is the kind of sauce you can easily experiment with because it’s not too hot or too sweet. It’s just loaded with flavor and a very eatable warmth.
As I started — gotta love the label. That roaring Bengal tiger looks cool, sort of retro 70s between the font and the coloring. It reminds me of what high school mascots look like. This bottle is easy to spot and definitely makes a statement. You can also see the fresh peppers through this thin sauce in the glass bottle. It just looks inviting.
If you love sweet and tangy sauces like General Tso’s sauce, then Tiger Sauce is a slam dunk. We expected something spicier (and the balance could be better there), but this a sauce that everyone can enjoy. (Amazon)