You’ve probably seen this on the menu of your local Chinese hundreds of times, but what is OK sauce? And while you may think this sauce is a Chinese import you would be wrong, very wrong.
OK sauce is actually a British sauce, yeah that’s right, as British as a cup of tea. It was first produced by George Mason & Company before being acquired and manufactured by Colemans. The sauce dates back to before WW1, although the exact date of the first production is hard to find, but it is believed to have been around 1880.
The original form of OK sauce contained raisins, sugar, herbs, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, shallots and more. It was a pure sauce, not thickening agents or anything else was added.
OK sauce is an award-winning British sauce. All the way back in 1911 it won a gold medal at the festival of empire exhibition. The festival of empire was held to celebrate the coronation of King George V and was held at the crystal palace.
OK sauce began to lose popularity throughout the 20th century and was removed from sale in the UK in 1990. It is, however, still produced for the Asian market. There is no real reason for why it disappeared from UK shelves apart from losing out to HP and non-brand brown sauces.
One thing I haven’t been able to discover is why exactly OK sauce has become a staple of British Chinese restaurants. Its become so associated with the Chinese market that the bottle now how Chinese writing on. Why this happened, I can’t seem to find any explanation, despite frantic googling!
What is OK sauce?
Time to answer the big one, what is OK sauce. Well simply put it is a fruity brown sauce. The sauce is heavily associated with Chinese restaurants and takeaways in the UK but is a 19th-century British sauce. It is a traditional competitor to brown sauce and found a lot of success in some regions of Britain. Over the years it has slowly lost market share to its main competitor HP sauce while simultaneously becoming incredibly popular in Anglo-Chinese food.
Where to buy OK sauce?
You may be surprised, but you can get it on Amazon. Check the link below.
- Fruity sauce
- Contains no artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners
- Product life: unopened: 12 months
- Product life: opened: 6 weeks maximum
Is Peking sauce the same as OK sauce?
No, they are different sauces with different ingredients. Peking sauce is a Chinese sauce mainly associated with duck and pork. The sauce itself is a dark reddish-brown. The name comes from the fact that this is a regional sauce from Beijing. Peking was the early English name given to Beijing in the 17th and 18th centuries. Although an old English name for the capital it is still in use today, notably in Peking University as well as the food dishes.
What does OK sauce taste like?
OK sauce is very similar to brown sauce in both taste and appearance. If you can imagine a fruity brown sauce then you’ve got OK sauce.
OK Sauce Recipe
So now you have learnt all about okay sauce and your tastebuds are definitely tingling. You are undoubtedly wondering how to make your own. Well worry not you greedy sod, we have our very own delicious recipe down below for you.
- 250ml Water
- 4 Tablespoons Brown Sauce
- 4 Tablespoons Red Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Brown or White Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice
- 2 Tablespoons Cornflour
How to make the sauce
Add everything but the cornflour to the pan and bring to a boil. Once boiled allow to simmer for a minute or two.
Once you have left it to simmer for a while you are ready to add in the cornflour. If you have the patience sieve it in as this vastly reduces the chances of it clumping together. You can add more or less cornflour depending on the thickness of sauce you are after.