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Asian Sauces

Amazing Asian Plum Sauce

Word of Caution: birds eye chilies are very delicious but also very hot (spicy) adjust the heat level of this sauce to your desired liking by adding them sparingly and repeat the spice adjustment stage until you reach your heat tolerance level. With that word of caution out of the way birds eye chilies are one of the nicest tasting of the chilies but you do need to use caution it is recommended to wear plastic gloves while handling them to protect yourself and always wash your hands after extremely well and keep them away from your eyes.

With all that said if you love Asian food then this sauce is one you need to master to fully enjoy it. Plum sauce like many Asian sauces is both sweet and spicy and has a lovely taste that it imparts into food and is mainly used as a dipping sauce but feel free to cook various dishes with it as a featured sauce right in the recipe. I made this recipe as I was doing a trio of shrimp appetizers for our sister site on that subject and it dawned on me I needed a good plum sauce to serve them with so I set out to make this one so it would have a dipping sauce to serve the various appetizers with.

Plums are a wonderful fruit to use in sauces and you can use it in differing amounts of hot and sweet depending on the dish you are making. It is not just a fruit to use in dessert preparation or the making of jam and is rather commonly used in Asian cooking. Feel free to adjust the heat up or down as you like it I only recommend one of the birds eye chilies so as not to purposely overdue the heat it is always better to start tame and then adjust up to your heat threshold as it is harder to tame it then to increase it so if you like fiery Asian sauces don’t complain it is to wimpy just adjust it up I make many of these sauces with kids in mind and mine don’t have the heat threshold that me and my husband do. Continue reading

Sesame Teriyaki Chicken with Japanese Teriyaki Sauce

If you asked people to name their top favorite Asian food dishes I bet at least one of them has teriyaki sauce in them. This sweet and tangy sauce is a common favorite among Asian food lovers for a number of reasons but mainly because it just tastes so good. Now most people when making a teriyaki dish will just opt for a store bought sauce in a bottle but you can make your own homemade teriyaki sauce with little to no effort and just a few ingredients. The outcome is a true teriyaki sauce that is very flavorful without all the extra stuff they put in it and a major one my version is missing that is in many commercial prepared ones is the MSG.

I almost never make a recipe with it anymore as it is one of my most commented on recipes that called for it and I know there are a number of people with an MSG issue and therefore have made it a point to not ever use it in a recipe again if I can help it. So if one of the reasons you steer clear of Asian food in general and teriyaki recipes in particular is because of MSG you will not need to worry about it in this recipe.

See I do read every legitimate comment and I am sensitive to others needs so I try to learn from every recipe I make and every piece of feedback I get. I know I cannot make a recipe that will make a hundred percent of the people happy but this doesn’t mean I don’t try it will happen one day but in the meantime I strive to make recipes that most will like if not downright love and try when possible to adjust them if a I get a legitimate concern with a real solution that does not ruin the recipe in the process. Now don’t send me ones that say fried chicken isn’t good for you I got that we all, know that and although I wouldn’t tell you to eat it seven nights a week in most cases once in awhile is no real harm if it is pick another site. My aim is to make tasty recipes that are appreciated by most and alter when possible for individual needs. Continue reading

Chinese Shrimp in Dark Lobster Sauce Boston Style

This sauce is something of an anomaly because it does not contain lobster! It is however a Cantonese -style dish with an American twist which has been served in American-Chinese restaurants in the United States since the 1950s. There are other variations of the dish with a light, or even white, sauce, but this one is especially rich and tasty, which is why it is many people’s favorite.

The dish is based on ground pork and shrimp and the sauce features ingredients like soy sauce, sesame oil, fermented black beans, garlic, ginger and more. Most of the ingredients should be easy enough to find, but you might have to visit a specialist Asian food store for the fermented black beans. You will also need unsweetened oyster sauce for this recipe, not the cheap sugary kind you can get from any grocery store but the real Chinese kind. This sauce is rich and thick, bursting with Chinese flavors. Instead of the stock, use wonton soup powder to make a fishy stock if you want, or just your favorite type of stock.

This recipe is best served with eggs on top, and you will see beaten eggs are added on top of the finished sauce, then very hot oil goes over the top of the eggs. This is to ensure they are cooked. The eggs will still be a bit runny but that is fine. If you do not want eggs, simply leave this step out, or else serve the dish with omelet strips if you prefer your eggs more done. This recipe is great served with your choice of white rice or noodles, and either green beans or your favorite vegetables – perhaps broccoli, mushrooms, bell pepper, or a simply vegetable stir fry with bok choy and some colorful veggies in there too. There are quite a few ingredients in this sauce but get everything prepared before you start to cook, and you will find this an easy sauce to make. Continue reading

Thai Tom Yum Sauce Paste

This tom yum sauce paste can be used as a sauce or marinade. The recipe makes quite a thick paste, or a slightly thinner one if you add a tablespoon or 2 of coconut milk to the food processer with the other ingredients. It is amazing with chicken, pork, fish or seafood. You can apply this sauce paste to your meat before baking or grilling it.

With fish, shrimp or chicken, simply rub the mixture over it and then cook until done. With steak, you can leave it on for an hour or so, and allow the lime juice to help tenderize it. This is of course unnecessary with poultry or fish. If you are cooking dinner for two people, use half the paste as your marinade and turn the remainder into a tasty sauce by putting it in a pan with 3 or 4 tablespoons of coconut milk or heavy cream. Bring it to a simmer but do not let it boil else you will ruin the fresh flavor. Drizzle it over the cooked meat or fish, or try it over baby potatoes or steamed or boiled white rice.

You can also use this sauce paste to make soup. Bring chicken stock to a boil and add a few tablespoons of this sauce paste at a time until it is tasty and spicy enough, then add fish sauce to taste, as well as tofu or shrimp, and some veggies. Pour in some coconut milk to give your soup a lovely creamy taste. If you like, you can even double or triple this recipe since it keeps in the refrigerator for a while and the amazing sauce it makes for your chicken or fish is surely something you will want to repeat. Continue reading

Spicy Indonesian Sambal Sauce

Sambal is a chili sauce which usually includes ingredients like garlic, shallots, sugar, lime juice, and shrimp paste. It is popular in many Asian countries, especially Indonesia and Malaysia. There are lots of varieties of this chili sauce and sambal is often served with grilled or fried fish, fried chicken, and some kinds of soup. Traditional tools such as a pestle and mortar are used to make it, but the food processor is a quicker, easier way to get the same kind of coarse puree. You can get readymade sambal but making your own ensures the best, freshest flavor.

Different Kinds of Sambal

There are literally hundreds of types of sambal, varying depending on the kind of chilies used, as well as the other ingredients in the sauce, plus the region where it is made. Habanero, cayenne, Lombok and cayenne chilies all work well, and you can use any of those in the following recipe, or even dried New Mexico chilies if you soak them first. Some sambals include sugar and/or fruit, while some include salt. The ones with shallots and spices can resemble a chili-based salsa. Sambal can be a smooth puree, a coarse relish, or somewhere between the two.

Sambal oelek is one of the most common types, and this version includes fresh red peppers as well as salt. Manis is a milder, sweeter variety with fried peppers, salt, sugar, and Indonesian spices, while brandal is also mild and has peppers, onions and Indonesian spices. Sambal badjak is made with garlic and onions, and sambal tjampoer has shrimp flour, garlic and onions. Once you have tasted homemade sambal you will definitely want to make your own instead of buying a jar. The fresher flavor is just so much nicer. You can also freeze sambal, so make a big batch of it and then you will have plenty and you can have some whenever you fancy it. Continue reading

Easy Wasabi Sauce

This easy sauce is made with mayonnaise, wasabi powder or wasabi paste, a little milk, and a pinch of sugar if you want to add some sweetness. Half mayonnaise and half sour cream would also work, and you can either use the regular kind or the reduced-fat type if you prefer. Do not use Miracle Whip though because it is too sweet. This wasabi sauce is really tasty served with seared tuna steaks or smoked salmon. It would be lovely with sweet potato fries too.

If you are looking for appetizer ideas, consider a small piece of seared tuna with some avocado and lemon slices on the plate and a dollop of this wasabi sauce. This would look great and taste really good. Make this sauce in advance if you wish, and just keep it covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator until required. If you want a very light flavor, you can reduce the amount of wasabi. The opposite is also possible if you wish to increase the wasabi taste. Add more milk for a thinner sauce.

Wasabi is also known as ‘Japanese horseradish’ although it is not in the horseradish family. Horseradish is sometimes used as a wasabi substitute though. The root of the wasabi plant is used to make the fiery green wasabi condiment. The hotness of wasabi stimulates the nose (like mustard does) instead of the throat (like a chili pepper does) and you can buy it as a paste, a powder or, in some places, a solid root which will be finely grated before use. Continue reading

Authentic Vietnamese Nuoc Cham

This tasty sauce is quick and easy to make, and requires no cooking. You can make it just before serving it, or make it hours in advance. It is fine left at room temperature until required. The flavor of the sauce is bold and vibrant. It is great served with unsalted, lettuce-wrapped snacks which could do with a little zing.

A delicate Asian appetizer of bean sprouts, shrimp, chopped peanuts and carrot, wrapped in a lettuce leaf, would be great if you serve this as a dipping sauce. If you like, you can use half Japanese rice vinegar and half lime juice instead of just the lime juice. This will make a slightly milder tasting sauce.

Known as ‘nuoc cham’ in Vietnam, this sauce is something every Vietnamese cook knows how to make, and the ingredients are so simple as well. You will need to combine water, lime juice (freshly squeeze if possible) and sugar first of all, and adjust the quantities if you need to. You must let your palate be the judge of this sauce, tasting a little to see if the sour/sweet balance is right. Once you have done that, add some fish sauce to give it a nice fishy, salty taste.

If you want, you can also add a minced garlic clove and a thinly sliced red chili, or you can add a little chili garlic sauce, either something you have prepared yourself or a commercial one. Just taste a little and your taste buds will tell you if you have got the quantities right. Then you can serve it as a dipping sauce or else just spoon a little over a lettuce-wrapped snack. You can also add some to a Vietnamese noodle or rice dish. Continue reading

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hello, I'm Christine. Thanks for dropping by and welcome to Amazing Sauces. Food is a very important part of our family's lives, and I find a homemade sauce often finishes a dish perfectly. Whether you are making something with chicken, beef, pork, vegetables, an appetizer, or even a dessert recipe, a sauce is often the ideal finishing touch.

You will find many sauce recipes here, all conveniently in one place, from the classics like tomato sauce, béchamel sauce and cheese sauce, to gravies, marinades, and unusual ideas for sauces too like ginger-plum sauce or gorgonzola sauce.

Some sauces can be drizzled over the meal, while others are best served on the side. Some will work as a dip or sauce, while others are great for basting, marinating or adding a splash of color to a recipe. Try our creamy gravies with your breakfast, one of our international steak marinades for a sophisticated spin on dinner, or learn how to make a classic béarnaise or rich red wine sauce to complement your dish.

Thanks for visiting,


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