Demystifying the Brown Bottle: Maggi Seasoning Sauce

Posted on 16. Feb, 2012 by in Culture

Maggi Seasoning SauceI think that if every kitchen in the Netherlands was searched, eight out of ten of them would contain a bottle of Maggi seasoning. The first time I came across Maggi was at a Dutch birthday party. Vegetable soup had just been served and all around me the party guests were eagerly dumping loads of the brown seasoned liquid into their soup, curiosity got the better of me.

The following day, I decided to buy myself a small bottle of this strange item, of which nothing on the front gave me any idea of what it actually was. I got the treasured item home promptly opened it and poured a small drop onto my finger for a taste.

So, what is Maggi seasoning? Maggi is a dark, hydrolysed vegetable protein-based seasoning sauce, which is very similar to East Asian soy sauce without actually containing soy. It is used most often in soups and sauces.

The name is a bit confusing as Maggi is actually a Nestlé brand of instant soups, stocks, bouillon cubes, ketchups, sauces, seasonings and instant noodles. The full name of the seasoning sauce is in fact “Maggi-Würze”, however, in many countries “Maggi” is still used as the seasoning sauce’s name. Consider it a nick-name.

Introduced in 1886, as a cheap substitute for meat extract, it has become popular in countries such as the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. As to its taste, if you like soy sauce then you probably aren’t going to mind Maggi. I personally find you need to add quite a bit to really notice a distinctive “Maggi” taste but that might just be me.

So far, I have never seen a recipe that has an ingredient list that includes Maggi seasoning sauce on it and apart from adding it to vegetable soup, I can’t say I have really used the brown bottle much. So, I am curious. Do you have a bottle of Maggi in your kitchen cupboards and what do you use it for?

Tags: , , , ,

62 Responses to “Demystifying the Brown Bottle: Maggi Seasoning Sauce”

  1. Patricia 7 June 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    Many, many years ago I learned to cook with Maggi in Cincinnati at a Chef Gregory cooking class. Now I can’t live without it! So glad to see that it’s still around although not readily available in my local markets. Maggie was used in more than 50% of his recipes along with seasoned salt, garlic and MSG (let that last one go). They were called the “4 Friends”.

  2. Marianne 9 June 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    My parents are Dutch immigrants and I, too, was raised on Maggie. It is available in most stores here in British Columbia. A word to the wise – it wasn’t until I started reading food labels that I realized how high the sodium content is in Maggie.

  3. MawMaw 18 June 2013 at 5:56 am #

    I was introduced to Maggi seasoning by my Asian sister-in-law and all this time have thought it is Asian like soy sauce because, to me, it tastes so much like soy sauce.

    I add it to any Asian dishes I make and it seems to be a good addition to those dishes.

    Now, I find it’s Swiss made. Interesting.

  4. Michelle Newman 22 June 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    I was introduced to this sauce by some South African friends.
    A basic creamy mushroom sauce seasoned with Maggi, makes an already fabulous creamy mushroom sauce absolutely amazing.
    Fry up some sliced mushrooms in butter, add cornflour and cream until the pouring texture you require is reached. Then dash in a few (or more) drops of Maggie seasoning sauce.
    We were served this sauce as a starter with garlic baked potato wedges, but it’s also fab on chicken or steak.

  5. Nanette 17 September 2013 at 2:02 am #

    I found a recipe for Mongolian beef & it calls for Maggi seasoning. Never heard of it & went searching…that’s how I found you. Is it more like kitchen bouquet, a browning & seasoning sauce? Or more like soy sauce? I’d like to try this recipe and need the proper ingredient. thanks.

  6. Gisela Manning 30 September 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    I am German Origin, and immigrated to the United States in 52
    missed my Maggi a lot.
    Use it in Egg dishes, Soups, Final seasoning for Bratwurst etc,

  7. Karin A Crichton 11 October 2013 at 7:37 pm # – Maggi Seasoning is an ingredient in this Michelada recipe. I haven’t made them yet – only because I didn’t know where to look for Maggi Seasoning…now, I have found it and can’t wait to try this recipe!! Cheers!

  8. Madalina 20 October 2013 at 8:34 am #

    Here`s a recipe with this ingredient:
    I found it very interesting, not yet tried it.

  9. Sandy 21 October 2013 at 12:37 am #

    Here is actually a recipe by one of Australia’s well known celebritychefs and the show is not sponsored by Nestle It features Maggi!

  10. NYC Girl 4 November 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    Can you use Maggi seasoning instead of soy sauce, I want to make chicken satay and the recipe calls for fish sauce, which I cant use due to severe fish allergies. I was told I could substitute soy for the fish sauce and was wondering if Maggi would also be a substitute. Anyone?


  11. Madeline 23 March 2014 at 7:10 pm #

    Just used it in a Salisbury steak recipe.

Leave a Reply