History and Stories

McDonald’s Curry Sauce, so good it almost caused a riot – Food Origins

If anybody wonder in the upcoming weeks why people are carrying and buying bottles of McDonald’s curry sauce, you’ll understand after reading this article.

I have to admit that I don’t like most of McDonald’s offerings, even if writing the McLaoSai/McSpicy article makes it seem otherwise. But even I have to admit that I like McDonald’s Chili Sauce and Curry Sauce.

I would even go so far as to say those are the reasons to visit McDonald’s and not anything else on the menu. Or maybe I just like sweet things and I’m inclined to like anything with sugar in it. Don’t judge.

But less of me, and more of facts.

Summary of Curry Sauce Saga

The entire McDonald’s Curry Sauce tragedy that can be found from sm ong. You can also browse it on Reddit r/Singapore if that’s what you prefer. Here’s a modified summary that I also wrote for GoodyFeed:

  • Sometime in the 1990s, Curry Sauce was added to McDonald’s in Singapore.
  • Before 14 Nov 2011, it was truly a great time to be living in. People had UNLIMITED CURRY SAUCE privileges.
  • But alas, good times never last. 14 Nov 2011, Singapore unexpectedly ran out of curry sauce (!!!) #ripcurrysauce
  • A week later the curry sauce was back… but tasted different.
  • It just wasn’t the same. People cried. People rioted. The old sauce had peanuts. The new had soybeans.
  • From then on, unlimited curry sauce privileges were removed from the population and we had to ration curry sauces.
  • Times were bad, and people had to fork out hard earned money for a meager portion. Some even begged secondary school kids for curry sauce (evidence required).
  • Feb 2015, the sauce once again disappeared, this time due to a congestion at the United States West Coast ports.
  • June 2015, it returned.
  • July 2016, McDonald’s sold 375ml bottles of the stuff for S$4.50, limited to 4 per customer, Purchase with Purchase. Apparently sold out in a week or two.
  • 30 May 2019, McDonald’s to sell 375ml bottles again, for S$5.50, limited to 4 per customer, Purchase with Purchase.

What is McDonald’s Curry Sauce?


Curry but not really curry. Some has described it to be similar to German Curry Ketchup or Currygewürzketchup, though looking at the ingredients, it’s likely that they are similar recipes/products with rather different tastes.

Despite being called curry sauce, it doesn’t actually taste that much like curry. Nobody really knows why it’s called curry sauce. But we know its unique to the region, and maybe even Singapore.

Pre 2011 Curry Sauce, Source

It’s sweet, but only very mildly spicy, with a nuttiness that makes it kind of like a cross between satay and Japanese curry.

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In case you’re doubting my taste buds, a recipe by iEatiShootiPost uses packaged Japanese curry roux cubes and peanut sauce as an ingredient. And this also explains why the weirdos at SoraNews24 made Japanese Curry with McDonald’s Curry Sauce.

No one knows what the nutritional value of McDonald’s Curry Sauce is, but the ingredients include some spices used in curry, like Turmeric and Chili Pepper.


So how do we eat it? Dip nuggets in it, dip fries in it, pour it on burgers. Nobody really cares, just use it as you would ketchup.

Except you guys. You guys totally deserve all the judgement. Source

14 November 2011: End of Curry Sauce

This was the day McDonald’s released the following statement:

Before the statement, people already started noticing that some stores stopped giving the sauce. After the official statement, people started the #ripcurrysauce movement on Twitter. Surprisingly, there were a lot of comments asking for Mayo on the McDonald’s Facebook announcement.

“It’s more saddening than the death of Steve Jobs.”

Notably, it reveals that the sauce is made in the US, despite the sauce being not available there.

23 November 2011: End of Old Curry Sauce

About 1 week later, the curry sauce is back.

Except… it didn’t taste the same. People commented the new one is sweeter and more diluted.

The ingredients used were clearly different; the new one used soy beans and soy butter, while the old version had peanuts, which McDonald’s claim to be for allergy sufferers.

Top: New. Bottom: Old. Source

Not only that. We were also no longer allowed unlimited curry sauce privileges. And if you wanted more, you had to pay S$0.30.

Source: McDonald’s SG

Speculation: Why McDonald’s changed the recipe

There’s 2 reasons for this, though it’s all speculation.
First thing to mention for anything corporate would be price. Just checking online I don’t think the prices differ too much. Soy might even be slightly more expensive, assuming a 1 for 1 substitute. But then again, the pre-2011 recipe had both soy sauce (made from soy beans) and peanuts, so maybe if they make soy sauce in house it’s overall cheaper.
You know how there are labels on packaged food that says “may contain traces of nuts”? As long as food is produced in the same production line, the factory needs to put that for other non-curry sauce products as well, because there is a chance for small traces of peanuts or soy. Peanuts and soy are both top 8 allergies that people have in the US. Instead of having both, why not eliminate one so more people can enjoy products produced by the factory? Again, it’s all speculation since I don’t really know what else they produce there.
I could be wrong on both, but they seem plausible to me.

Feb 2015: Disappearance for 4 months

After a relatively peaceful 4 years, the sauce once again disappeared, this time due to a congestion at the United States West Coast ports.

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Unlike the 2011 incident, people during this period were a little more civil, but there was clear unrest within the population. 


June 2015: Once again, return of the sauce

Issue seems to have been resolved, curry sauce back to menu.

July 2016: Era of the 375ml bottle

McDonald’s started selling 375ml bottles of the stuff for S$4.50, limited to 4 per customer, Purchase with Purchase.

Nobody knows whether this was a good thing. McDonald’s were clearly using our addiction to the drug to fuel their corporate greed.

Local addicts didn’t care. It was apparently sold out in a week or two.

June 2019: 375ml bottles and the uncertain future

If McDonald’s knew how to do anything, it was marketing and controlling supply. Nearly 3 years after the previous sold out, thirst for the sauce is once again, at its height. Bottled supplies of the sauce run low. The July 2016 stock were basically non-existent at this point, and addicts had nowhere to go to. 

Except McDonald’s. 

30 May 2019, the evil M are to sell 375ml bottles again, but this time for S$5.50, a S$1 increase in price. It is still limited to 4 per customer, Purchase with Purchase.

I worry of the time curry sauce goes out of my economic capacity, but for now I can only pay up and pray McDonald’s don’t decide to bankrupt me by preying on my addiction. 

To McDonald’s: If the curry sauce sells out again, it’s clearly totally all me. I demand a commission. 

3rd June Update: Curry Sauce Sold Out

A mere 5 days after the release, the curry sauce has sold out. And for the work I did, I have received no commission. 

And perhaps worse than that, no curry sauce either. 

I warned people of the fact that the evil M was trying to squeeze our money. But I was wrong.

It turned out that the real evil was among us all along.

People saw the mass of addicts and decided that time was prime for a killing. These had no desire for the golden curry sauce, but they had a had desire for another equally golden, shiny object called money. 

The black market hoarded the curry sauce to resell them for twice the S$5.50 price tag to addicts willing to fork out the price tag. One such mastermind even had 79 bottles of the goods

As of writing, this particular merchant was left with 53 bottles. 

I cry for my fallen victims who don’t realise that the curry sauce bottles, at 375ml, is technically more expensive than the packets at 25 grams.

Estimated 25gram to 25ml, 375ml would require 15 packets to fill. At the price of $0.30, that is S$4.50 per packet. 

Perhaps the another update will be expected when September 2019, the date of expiry for the curry sauce, nears. 

This post is also found on reddit.

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