When brother and sister team Ken and Toan Huynh of Saucey Sauce Company served their mom's fish sauce-based dipping sauces to their Brooklyn friends, they were happily surprised by the response. "Everyone wanted to take some home," Ken says. They entered their "Ultimate Fish Sauce" in the 2011 Next Big Small Brand competition and, despite not making it to the finals, were encouraged by the feedback and tasters' responses to give the business a go.
Of fish sauce, Ken says, "it's the ketchup of southeast Asia. Everyone has it on their table." The Saucey Sauces are ready to serve out of the bottle or can be used for cooking. While dumplings seem like a natural match, Ken uses the sauces on french fries and sushi, to marinate chicken or tofu, or as a dressing for raw or cooked vegetables. The Huynhs currently have three flavors on offer: Spicy Garlic, Fresh Lemon (which Ken describes as "a little lighter, good on salads"), and Sweet Ginger. Ken likes to play up the sweet notes in the latter by simmering half a bottle with a bit of brown sugar; it becomes what he describes as "a little caramelly" and pairs well with fish. Two more flavors are in the works: cilantro/lime and wasabi.
Ardent fans may benefit from joining the Sauce-Head Club, which the Huynhs started after realizing that some of their Hester Street Fair customers were buying multiple bottles every week. A three-month membership ($29.95) gets subscribers automatic delivery of spicy garlic and fresh lemon sauces each month—a nice discount, since each bottle sells for $6.99 on the Saucey Sauce site—plus VIP access to tastings they host and occasional samples of new products they're working on.
The Huynhs will be showcasing their sauces, including the experimental Spicy Garlic Extreme, at the Columbus Circle Williams Sonoma on Nov. 19 from 2-4. Or visit their site for recipes and a full list of vendors.
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