Sat | Nov 27, 2021

Mrs Muamba's A labour of love

Published:Thursday | July 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Shauna Muamba with her line of premium Caribbean sauces, which are soon to reach a shelf near you. - Contributed Photos
Jerked chicken wings prepared with a jar of Mrs Muamba's Caribbean Jerk Sauce. Served with home-made pineapple coleslaw, it will certainly keep your taste buds wanting more.
A labour of love: Shauna shares a healthy laugh in the kitchen with her husband, former Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba, who inspired her to start her line of Mrs Muamba's Caribbean Sauces after he suffered a cardiac arrest on the field in 2012.
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A true Jamaican at heart, Shauna Muamba has taken her love for cooking and Caribbean flavours to the next level, and has now embarked on a mission to bring them to your kitchen cupboards - regardless of where in the world you are.

Born in England, Muamba relocated to Jamaica when she was eight years old. She told Food that the decision to launch her line of Mrs Muamba's Premium Caribbean Sauces came after her husband, English Premier League footballer Fabrice Muamba, suffered a cardiac arrest during a match in 2012.

He was fortunate to have survived after his heart stopped beating for 78 minutes. The owner of a Caribbean catering company at the time of the incident, Muamba said she had to make a decision between her family and her catering enterprise.

"I decided that as a mother and a wife, balancing the business didn't work for my family, and the idea of Mrs Muamba's Caribbean cooking sauce was born," she explained.

She said Mrs Muamba is a labour of love, and the range of sauces which replicate authentic Caribbean flavours are already available in 27 supermarkets in London, with plans to take the brand international.

The Clarendon College past student was quick to emphasise that she is not a chef, but a cook who picked up her skills from watching her family and friends and from the places she has travelled to.

"Food is a necessity and I've always found pleasure in cooking and feeding people. I've always loved cooking. Ironically, I have a degree in media and communications, and a master's in media enterprise -nothing to do with food, but they've really come in handy along my entrepreneurial journey," she told Food.

Muamba added that all the flavours were developed in her personal kitchen by "putting a bit of this with a bit of that" until she was happy with the final outcome.

She said while many of the ingredients used in the sauces are genuinely from the Caribbean, the authenticity of the line lies within her own upbringing.

"The sauces do have authentic Caribbean ingredients such as the Scotch bonnet peppers for the jerk sauce or the pineapples for the sweet and spicy sauce. However, the ultimate authenticity actually lies in me. Though I was not born in Jamaica, I spent many years of my life growing up in the Caribbean, and all my culinary prowess was honed in sweet Jamaica."

The five available flavours of Mrs Muamba's sauces on the market are Caribbean Curry, Sweet and Spicy, Caribbean Brown Stew, Caribbean BBQ and, of course, Caribbean Jerk Sauce. She notes that part proceeds from the sale of each jar goes to the Hearts and Goals foundation, which is the brainchild of her husband, Fabrice.

Mrs Muamba Caribbean jerk sauce wings and homemade pineapple coleslaw

"Love spice and looking for something to get those taste buds tingling - my Caribbean jerk recipe is the one for you!"

Serves 3-4

Preparation & cooking time 45 mins plus time to allow the meat to marinate - ideally overnight so that the flavours infuse

Ingredients

16 whole chicken wings

One jar of Mrs Muamba's Caribbean Jerk Sauce

Direction

1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4.

2. In a bowl combine the jerk sauce and chicken and marinate for at least 11/2 hours or preferably overnight. Place chicken in a greased baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes, 20 minutes on each side, basting occasionally with jerk mixture until done.

Pineapple coleslaw

20oz pineapple (thinly sliced)

275g (10oz) grated white cabbage

2 medium carrots grated

1 small onion grated

50g (2oz) raisins

4 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

Dash of hot sauce

Method

1. Mix pineapple, cabbage, carrot, onion and raisins together and season with salt.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar and white wine vinegar and hot sauce. Toss dressing with the pineapple and cabbage mixture.

"This is one that I regularly cook up when my friends are round!"

Mrs Muamba's Sweet and Spicy Sauce Shrimp with seasoned vegetable rice

"This is a winner with all my friends and family - sweetness from the pineapple combines perfectly with the heat from the scotch bonnet chillies - a winning combination if ever there was one!"

Serves 3-4

Preparation and cooking time: 20 mins

INGREDIENTS

4tbsp sesame oil

500g cooked shrimps

One jar of Mrs Muamba's Sweet And Spicy Sauce

3 cups cooked of chilled

basmati rice

1 onion chopped

3 cloves of garlic minced

Mixed vegetables - 1 cup (personal preferences allowed, I personally love sweet corn, broccoli, carrots and beans)

4 tbsp soya sauce

Method

1. Heat a wok over a high heat and add 2 tbsp of oil.

2. When the wok begins to smoke, add shrimps and cook for one minute and then pour in the sauce and simmer for three to five minutes or until slightly thickened, and then serve immediately with seasoned vegetable rice.

3. For the seasoned vegetable rice - heat remaining oil in a pan, add the onion and garlic and saute for five minutes. Add the mixed vegetables and saute a further three minutes. Add soya sauce then the rice and heat through. Fluff it with a fork and serve hot.