I think they had one of the most dramatic and lovely presentations I have ever seen on Dragons’ Den. They came on the show with their family and even brought a boat that was like the one their mother used to sell products from in Vietnam. That symbol is on all the packaging of all of their sauces.
Nghia Tran and Jenny Ferguson’s story is one of refugees in the ’80s. The recipes from the product came from Tran’s mother-in-law and are all MSG-free. That is right. MSG-free!
Their projection for 2016 was $150K and they asked for 100K for 20%. Despite loving the taste of the sauces, all of the Dragons said no. Most of them cited that there was nothing unique about them so they were out. I guess they forgot that they are all MSG-FREE???!!!
Do you know how rare it is to be able to eat Asian food without MSG? I am constantly having to cook Asian food from scratch because of Reg’s sensitivity to it. It is in absolutely everything, including non-Asian food. It is a blight in the food market. What Little Saigon has done is extraordinary! But… Would I like the sauces?
I thought the perfect tool for testing all of these sauces would be some spring rolls for dipping.
But I did it and it was tasty without being overpowering!
Their hoisin sauce is dark and luscious.
I had heard good things about their peanut sauce from people who had bought their products.
I can totally see why, it is AMAZING!!! So creamy, nutty, savoury and tasty. Damn! This one was my favourite.
I left the chili oil until last because I was worried it would burn off my tastebuds.
Holy crap it was hot! I wish I had read this first: “Warning: our chili oil is a lot spicier than the average chili oil because we only use whole fresh chilies in our production process… Using whole chilies allows us to curate a spicy taste like no other.” No kidding!!!
Reg tried everything but the fish sauce since he is not a fan and he liked everything!
I did not want to stop there so I decided to compare my store-bought fish sauce and hoisin sauce to theirs. OMG, they were right, you should not dunk a spring roll into regular fish sauce. Blech!!! But theirs? Lovely.
Their hoisin was so much better than the stuff I had too. Mine had an acidic edge and bite to it that was not pleasant but theirs was rich and smooth. Absolutely perfection.
I tried putting the chili oil to the test with my spicy noodles.
Unfortunately it did not work well as a Sriracha replacement but did add a lovely kick to my navy bean soup the other day.
You can absolutely tell that Little Saigon sauces are made with TLC and not MSG. These are superior sauces to what you buy off the shelf, proving that you do not need all that MSG crap to have fantastic Asian food. I wish the Dragons had seen that. I truly feel like they missed out on a great foodie opportunity.
I give these sauces five out of five wooden spoons and wish this family a ton of foodie success! They deserve it.