Chef Boss Cooking Sauce Review – Kung Pao + Hot Garlic
Chef Boss’ Hot Garlic Cooking Sauce is convenient to use and delicious to taste. Read about our full experience
Oriental cooking can be daunting if you do not have the correct sauces. Apart from good quality soy and vinegar, you will also need a chilli and oyster sauce as well. Now, if you’re someone who cooks Chinese food regularly, these pantry staples will always be there and restocked when needed. But for those who do this occasionally, collecting so many items for one dish may seem like a waste. That’s where pre-made sauces come to rescue.
We tested the hot garlic cooking sauce by Chef Boss to know more about its taste, texture, consistency and the convenience it offers. Here is our Chef Boss Hot Garlic Cooking Sauce review.
Our Review Factors
What were we looking for in the Chef Boss Hot Garlic Cooking Sauce? A convenient to use, fresh tasting sauce with a balance of heat, tang and garlic.
Here are the parameters we set –
A hot garlic sauce has a fine balance of heat and tang along with a robust garlic flavor. This is followed by a slight sweetness. We were looking for a fresh tasting sauce with a balanced seasoning level.
2. Texture and consistency
Packaged cooking sauces, especially oriental-style sauces, can end up looking very gloopy, have a thick consistency and a gelatinous texture. We wanted a semi-thick, flowy gravy which has the ability to coat all the vegetables/chicken/paneer/tofu appropriately. How did this cooking sauce by Chef Boss perform?
Is this convenient to store and use? Do we need more ingredients from our pantry or this sauce is all we need?
What are the main ingredients used to make this sauce? Natural or artificial flavorings used? Any undesirable additives, preservatives and color?
Price, packaging and shelf life were also supporting parameters.
Chef Boss Hot Garlic Cooking Sauce – Detailed Review
1. Hot Garlic
In this section we discuss our observations and all the information we gathered during our review –
Price and packaging
The Chef Boss Hot Garlic Cooking Sauce comes in a red and blue pouch pack which is not resealable. We received this as a sample in our MOJO Box (Back to School Edition).
A 175 gm pack is priced at Rs 75/- and makes 4 servings.
This cooking sauce contains – Water, Liquid glucose, Chilli paste (6.5%) Thickener (INS 1422), Tomato paste (4%), Garlic (chopped and dehydrated – 4.5%), Edible vegetable oil (refined soybean oil), Iodised salt, Sugar, Ginger (chopped), Soy sauce, Spices and condiments, Corn starch, Onion powder, Yeast extract powder.
The cooking sauce contains flavor enhancer (INS 627, INS 631), preservatives (INS 211, INS 224), anti caking agent (INS 551), acidity regulators (INS 260, INS 514 (ii)), and stabilizers (INS 415) too.
This also contains natural food colors (INS 160 c, 150 d) and added flavors.
This is definitely not meant for regular consumption owing to the many additives in it.
How We Made It
As per the pack this can be ready in 10 minutes using 2 easy steps.
- Lightly toss 100 gms of chopped veggies and 200 gms paneer in a pan with 1 tbsp oil for 5 mins or till cooked.
- Add 175 ml of water and the entire contents of this pack.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes till the sauce becomes thick.
- Garnish with chopped spring onions.
We followed the same method, but swapped a few vegetables and paneer with onions, carrots, peas, potatoes and bottle gourd.
Reading the instructions and executing the process were both seamless. From your own pantry you would only require water and a choice of fresh ingredients (veggies/protein).
Taste, Consistency And Convenience
When made as per the measurements provided on the pack, the consistency of the gravy is semi-dry. The gravy is able to coat the veggies with ease. It is neither gloopy, nor too runny.
Talking about taste, there is nothing industrial or artificial about this sauce. It tastes very close to the hot garlic sauce we would make at home with quality ingredients. A few key observations –
- The salt levels are balanced.
- Spice levels are medium-high.
- There is a desirable tanginess, but doesn’t have a sour zing.
- Not overly sweet.
- Robust garlic flavor.
- Lacks soy flavor.
- Authentic hot garlic sauce flavors – Good balance of sweet, tangy and spicy.
Is this sufficient for 4, as mentioned? The answer for this depends on two things – appetite of the individual and how many other dishes are being eaten alongside. This would be sufficient for 2 adults with a side of rice or noodles. If aiming to serve this to 4 people, you would need a side like spring rolls, chilli potatoes, dimsums.
Chef Boss’ Hot Garlic Cooking Sauce is easy to use and eliminates the fuss around collecting several ingredients to make an otherwise complex tasting sauce. Considering that no other ingredients are required apart from the fresh produce/choice of protein this is super convenient.
- Very easy to use. Thumbs up for convenience.
- No extra ingredients needed for the sauce.
- You can experiment with lots of recipes using the same sauce base.
- We liked the balance of flavors. This is sweet, tangy and spicy.
- The ingredient list could have been better.
- No storage instructions on the pack. So once opened, you have to consume this in one go.
Need a quick and easy way to cook an absolutely smashing desi-style hot garlic gravy with veggies and a protein of choice? This is a pocket-friendly option to do so.
2. Kung Pao
Price & Packaging
A 200-gram pouch of Chef Boss Kung Pao cooking sauce is priced at Rs 75/-. This holds four servings and has a shelf life of nine months.
Water, liquid glucose, garlic paste (5.5%), soya sauce (water, gur, sugar, iodized salt, wheat, soybean (10%)), sugar, thickener (INS 1422), tomato paste (4.5%), ginger paste (4%), edible vegetable oil (refined soybean oil), iodized salt, red chilli paste (2%), acidity regulators (INS 260, INS 330), spices and condiments, flavor enhancers (INS 627, INS 631), stabilizer (INS 415), yeast extract powder, preservatives (INS 211, INS 224).
How we made it
We sauteed some onions and tomatoes with paneer in oil. In another pan, we mixed the Kung Pao gravy with some water. Once an even consistency was achieved, we added the sauteed veggies and protein to the gravy, cooked it for a few minutes, and it was ready to be served.
Taste, Consistency, Convenience
Typically, Kung Pao is known for its complex and interesting flavor profile. Dominant on Sichuan pepper heat, Kung Pao sauce also has some sweetness and a mild sourness to it. Moreover, aromatics like ginger and garlic are constants. A deep soy flavor ties all these flavors together.
We followed the recipe as provided on the back of the pack. It resulted in a semi-dry gravy that coated the veggies and paneer cubes well. It wasn’t too thin or flowy.
Taste-wise, this had a favorable balance between salt, sugar, and ingredients like soy and garlic. The salt was balanced with a slight hint of sweetness. The umami flavor of soy and earthy warmth of garlic were quite prominent.
Sichuan peppers, with intense heat, are among the key ingredients of Kung Pao sauce. Sadly, this sauce by Chef Boss did not have this heat. Because of the lack of heat, it tasted like a regular homemade Chinese sauce.
That said, this is a convenient product as it does not call for collecting a dozen different ingredients, weighing, and measuring them.
- This is a beginner-friendly product.
- The consistency was quite good.
- We liked the overall flavor profile.
- It is an economic product.
- The heat Kung Pao sauce is renowned for was missing.
Looking for a ready-to-use flavor-loaded sauce? Chef Boss’ Kung Pao is a low-on-heat variant.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some interesting FAQs on Chef Boss Hot Garlic Cooking Sauce.
Yes, this contains INS 211 (helps to preserve acidic foods) and INS 224 (potassium salt of sulphurous acid) which are both preservatives.
There is no information provided about this on the pack. We recommend not storing this for re-use. It is best to consume this in one go once opened.
Yes, this is a vegetarian sauce. You can add paneer, veggies, tofu, or chicken separately.
No. The spice levels are medium as the mild sweetness and tanginess balances it out.
The pack mentions that this serves 4. As per our experience, this is sufficient for two people with average appetites when served alongside noodles or rice.
What did we love? The balance of hot, sweet and tangy flavors, delicious notes of garlic and the superb convenience. All you need from your pantry are veggies, protein of choice and water. No sauces and no seasonings.
Though the Kung Pao sauce had a remarkable flavor profile, the lack of heat was a let-down.
Do note that this is meant for occasional consumption.
Hot garlic, kung pao, schezwan or black bean – which is your preferred choice of sauce with noodles and rice?