Fish Sauces

I watched him finish off a sauce by throwing in a segment of pink grapefruit and breaking it up with a whisk so the fruit infused the sauce with a perfect balance of acidity (always finish a fish sauce with citrus or vinegar). Marco Pierre White


Ketchup originated in China, the first recipe on record dates back to 544 A.D. It was originally a fish sauce called ke-tchup, kôechiapor kê-tsiap in Hokkien Chinese. In the early 18th century, the sauce had made it to what is now Malaysia and Singapore. The Indonesian-Malay word was kecap (pronounced “kay-chap”). English explorers took the sauce to the …

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True aioli is an emulsion created with just garlic and extra virgin olive oil. In fact, the name aioli translates to “garlic oil.” Garlic does not have strong emulsifying properties like egg yolk, so it takes a great deal of elbow grease to emulsify olive oil into the garlic, especially when using a mortar and …

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Tomato sauce 2

Add a couple anchovies to boost the savoury/umami flavor (it really doesn’t make it taste fishy!) Beth Bates

Tzatziki sauce

Red wine vinegar in tzatziki sauce for a depth of acid that lemons alone will not deliver. Christopher Stanton

Tomato sauce

When I make tomato sauce I add some unflavoured alcohol like vodka, to enhance the tomato flavour. Arie Litman

Seasoning a sauce

Seasoning a sauce comes at the end, if at all, and never during the process of making it. “By reducing [a sauce], it will become saltier. You can always add more salt in the end when your sauce has reached the proper consistency.” Chef Alex Ageneau of Paris Club

Saving burnt gravy

If you are making gravy and accidentally burn it, just pour it into a clean pan and continue cooking it. Add sugar a little at a time, tasting as you go to avoid over-sugaring it. The sugar will cancel out the burned taste.


In recipes that call for milk or water, try substituting more flavourful liquids. Try adding some stock instead of water, or even the water your cooked veggies in. Sour cream, buttermilk and yoghurt make good milk substitutes. Changing up the liquids in your recipes can add nutrition, while livening up a standby dish.

Worcestershire sauce

Worcestershire sauce, sometimes known as “Worcester sauce” is a savoury sauce that is often added to meat and fish dishes or, if you like your alcoholic beverages, the Bloody Mary cocktail. It may (or may not depending on how much you research your sauce choices) surprise you to learn that it’s literally made from fermented …

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Make pasta sauce stick

After you drain pasta, while it’s still hot, grate some fresh Parmesan on top before tossing it with your sauce. This way, the sauce has something to stick to. Giada De Laurentiis

Thickening a sauce without flour

Corn starch, potato starch, agar agar, tapioca starch, gelatin, egg yolks…the list goes on. Reduction, however, is something I must warn against. It’s not always the best option, especially if your sauce is already pretty strong. Plus, you may not have fond or protein in your sauce, and in that case, reduction will do nothing. …

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Pan sauces

When making pan sauces from vegetable fond, add a bit of mustard seed to aid in thickening. Fond produced from vegetables has little protein and will not thicken unless either starch or mustard seed are added. Mustard seed is better because starch dampens flavour too much. Johnathan Law, Restaurateur

Mistakes – Sauces

Adding too much starch to thicken sauces. A lot of people do this as well, I guess because of impatience? For a thick pouring sauce, you need at most 2 -3 tablespoons starch per cup of liquid, and that’s if your liquid doesn’t already contain proteins or some sort of emulsifying substance. It takes time …

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