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Quick and Easy Mumbo Sauce

mumbo sauce on a spoon

What is Mumbo Sauce?

Mumbo Sauce is a fantastic condiment to have on hand for the summer BBQ season. And with the Victoria Day weekend coming up, this is the time to have lots of special condiments on hand.

Mumbo Sauce is made from white vinegar, sugar, pineapple juice, tomato paste, spices and soy sauce. It is one of the most flavourful BBQ sauces I’ve ever had: not too sweet and with a tiny hit of spice from the hot sauce and powdered ginger. You can adjust the hotness to your liking.

ingredients to make mumbo sauce

Where does this sauce originate?

Mumbo Sauce originated at Argia B’s Bar-B-Q in 1957 in Chicago. It eventually found it’s 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 that’s where it is a real treat. Many people who live in and around Washington or have visited the area love this sauce.

What do I serve it with?

If you ask someone in Washington what to eat with Mumbo Sauce – they will say, “everything”. I’m not actually a big BBQ Sauce fan, but I love this sauce. The pineapple and ginger flavours really shine in this sauce. It tastes fantastic on BBQ chicken, pork chop or pork roast, as well as hamburgers. And would be equally delicious on tofu or veggie burgers too. You could even use it in a stir-fry. We made a batch recently and used it as a dipping sauce with roast pork. It was so good.

Of course, the best thing about this sauce is that it you can make a jar of it in about 30 minutes. The ingredients are mostly pantry ingredients, except pineapple juice. But that’s not hard to find.

a jar of mumbo sauce

I really hope you are able to make a batch of this for this summer. I know you’re going to love it.


Quick and Easy Mumbo Sauce

Print Recipe
Serves: 2 cups Cooking Time: 10 minutes


  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp hot sauce



Place all ingredients in a medium size pot.


Bring to a boil.


Turn down heat and let it gently simmer for about 10 minutes.


You can cook it longer if you prefer a thicker denser sauce.


Let it cool in the pot for about 20 minutes.


Pour into a clean preserving jar or any glass container you have on hand. I always warm the jar with hot water first, so the glass won’t crack.


Place it on the counter until it is room temperature.


Store in the refrigerator.


This will keep for about 2 weeks. If it lasts that long.


Barbecued Jamaican Jerk Pork Sandwiches

jamaican jerk pork sandwiches

Summery weather is slowly fading, but we’ll still be able to barbecue for awhile. My husband and I used to go camping in the fall. The campgrounds are quiet and the bags have all but disappeared. The lake water was still warm and the evenings were quiet and still.  And whenever we camped, we always made Jamaican Jerk Pork.

It was fun getting ready for our camping trips. We would make the Jerk marinade the night before our trip, a family tradition, like making fruitcake at Christmastime.

Arriving at the campground too was always exciting. We would set up our tent and make it cozy with our foamies, sleeping bags and pillows. Luke would hang the clothes line and I would get the fire ready for dinner.

Homemade Jamaican Jerk Pork is so perfect for the barbecue, or campfire. Marinated cubes of pork in a spicy, aromatic marinade made with scotch bonnet peppers, allspice, fresh thyme and other ingredients. It is pure heaven. We always served the jerk pork in pita bread or wraps with fresh juicy local-grown tomatoes and crisp iceberg lettuce. The heat of the jerk with the fresh coolness of the vegetables are a perfect match.

ingredients for jamaican jerk pork sandwiches

Jamaican Jerk is really easy to make with white and green onion, thyme, soy sauce, oil and a few pantry spices.

herbs and spices for jamaican jerk pork sandwiches

Finely chop all of the ingredients in the food processor.

Barbecuing the pork is super easy. There are two ways that you can barbecue the pork. 1) either on skewers, 2) or in a perforated pan. I usually wrap the pita bread in tin foil and heat it gently by the fire.

jamaican jerk pork sandwiches

Place the grilled pork cubes, into pita bread or a wrap with pork cubes, grilled pineapple, tomato and lettuce.

So perfect!

Jerk Pork

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 12 hours + 20 minutes


  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped scallion
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground jamaican pimento (allspice)
  • 1/ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 hot pepper, finely ground (see Note)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 Tbspcidre or white vinegar
  • 3 pounds pork tenderloin
  • tomatoes
  • lettuce
  • grilled pineapple
  • pita bread
  • condiments such as BBQ sauce or salsa



Place all ingredients (except pork) in a food processor and blitz until everything is finely chopped.


Cube pork. Mix pork cubes and jerk marinade together. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.


Next day, thread cubes of pork on skewers and barbecue until meat registers 145 degrees F on a cooking thermometer. Meanwhile, warm pita bread in low oven (about 300 degrees) for about 10 minutes. Or, if you are cooking outdoors, wrap the pita in tin foil and place on top of grate to warm up. Don't get them too hot or they will just toast.


Place jerk pork in a bowl and serve with diced tomatoes, chopped lettuce and pita bread cut in half and popped open. Alternatively, you can place ingredients on top of pita and just roll up. Serve with your choice of barbecue sauce or salsa if you like.


The peppers you choose will depend on how spicy you want the jerk marinade. The most common hot peppers available in supermarkets are: jalapeno (mild to hot), serrano (hot), habanero (very hot), bird's eye chill peppers (very very hot). And remember! when working with fresh peppers, be extra careful and never rub your eyes, nose, or mouth when working with peppers. Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after cutting the peppers up. Another thing that works very well for seasoning this marinade is to add a tablespoon of a good store bought jerk marinade (such as The Shizzle Sauce (VooDoo Hot), Walkerswood, or Pikkapeppa Jerk Sauce, to name a few) and add a tablespoon to your homemade marinade. The store bought sauce won't go bad for months (unlike peppers) and adds extra flavour as well as some heat. You could also freeze tablespoons of sauce or peppers and they will keep for months in the freezer. Thaw them on the counter or microwave on low to soften up to use. You might wonder - well why not just use store bought jerk sauce? Because I still think this homemade sauce is better than any store bought sauce.

Recipe adapted slightly from Jerk, Barbecue from Jamaica by Helen Willinsky.


Focaccia Bread with Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Focaccia Bread with sea salt and black pepper on a plate with butter and knife and drink

The first time that I had focaccia bread was at a little sandwich shop in downtown Toronto. It was so delicious:  chewy, warm, fragrant with olive oil drizzled on top and crunchy with salt and rosemary.

Years later Ifinally learned to bake it myself, after I had bought Antonio Carlucci’s Italian Feast cookbook.The back cover of his cookbook shows four variations of focaccia bread, each one as delectable ss the next.

I don’t know why I waited so long to bake sme, as Focaccia bread is very simple to make. It only has one rise so there is minimal kneading, and it is baked flat  on a cookie tray – so no shaping! And in the summertime, we bake ours on a pizza stone on the barbeque, so you don’t even need to turn on the oven.

Focaccia Bread with sea salt and black pepper on a plate with butter knife and drink

Focaccia bread is delicious eaten plain at dinnertime, or you can use it for sandwiches.  You can also make killer breakfast sandwiches with a simple omelette nestled inbetween two soft warm slices of focaccia.

This bread is delicious at room temperature, but I love it when it’s soft and warm. To warm the focaccia, simply wrap some slices in tin foil and put in the oven on low for about ten minutes, or inside the barbeque for 3-5 minutes.

Focaccia is an excellent starter bread for beginners. This bread bakes up very fast and when baked on the barbecue has a lovely smokiness to it. Baking bread on the barbecue means you can bake anytime of the year.  And the crust is simply amazing; crunchy, hot, smoky. Yum!

Focaccia makes great picnic food. It pairs well with sliced meats, cheese, tomatoes, roasted red peppers and other pickled vegetables. And makes fantastic picnic food.

Sometimes on a hot summer night, we’ll just pack up all our picnic foods and lay them out in the backyard. A picnic in your backyard: nothing could be simpler.

Focaccia Bread with Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 15 - 20 minutes


  • For the Dough
  • 500 g (1 1/4 lb) strong white plain flour
  • 15 grams fresh yeast or 7 grams dry
  • 300 ml lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 g sea salt
  • For the Topping
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • coarse sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper (or chopped onions rosemary or other herbs)



Preheat oven to 475 deg F (with pizza stone) or preheat BBQ with pizza stone


Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Once yeast has bubbled up, add to flour along with the rest of the water, oil and salt. Mix everything together and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and springy. You can do this in your kitchen mixer with the dough hook.


Put the dough in a bowl that has been slightly oiled with olive oil. Place a damp cloth over top and leave it for one hour until double in size.


Knead the dough again after an hour to knock out any bubbles. Flatten the dough until it is an oval shape and about 1" thick. To create indentations, press your knuckles into the dough several times, keeping the indentations about 1 inch apart. Spread about half the olive oil over the dough. Sprinkle on the toppings. Leave to rise again for about 30 minutes, then pop in the hot oven or BBQ for about 15 minutes until the base sounds hollow when tapped, or when the bottom and top are a nice golden colour.

Adapted from Antonio Carlucci’s cookbook, Italian Feasts.