The Sauce Review

 photos Atlee Hickerson

photos Atlee Hickerson

words Kim Hickerson

I love sauce it is great to put on stuff or to help make a boring meal interesting in a short amount of time. I try to pick ones with ingredients I recognize filled with natural preservatives.

My sauce of choice, I keep a miniature bottle in my purse for those many occasions when the restaurant I’m at doesn’t have any on hand. I’m not brazen about it but I do sneak it out of my purse when needed. It has just the perfect vinegar to pepper ratio, in wonderfully shaped bottle with a nice wooden cap.


Caribbean One Stop Sauce - Savory
After using a delicious Jerk Chicken paste from this company, I became curious about this sauce that ingredients promise flavors of mango, banana, tamarind along with the classic jerk chicken seasoning, I gave it a first try on some chicken thighs served with brown rice and fell in love with this simple burst of sweet and savory in one bottle.

Sesame Sauce - Tuong Me
I use sesame oil as a precious sparing commodity and sesame sauce to toss with iceberg lettuce or poor over soba noodles and serve, it does pack a lot of flavor and is a little on the sweet side so it works great to season sides served as a balance with savory dishes.

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Tom Yum Paste
So technically not a sauce, but an amazing pantry staple, use it to make a quick tom yum soup or as a saucy seasoning after you dilute with water for tofu, fish, shirmp or chicken. As a homemade broth it contains many flavorful ingredients such as lemongrass, fish sauce, crushed peppers, kaffir limes, galangal this jar is basically all of those things mashed together with a little oil. I’ve made it form scratch before and I don’t feel like I lose to much from using this flavorful paste. I am a big lemongrass fan and love the way that flavor pops from this sauce.

Sambal Oelek by Hoy Fung
Chili Garlic Sauce like the more attractive brother in the “rooster sauce” family those familiar with Sriracha, will want to give this a try. It’s a denser fresher tasting version, they both have there place in my pantry. I tend to use Sambal Oelek, more while I’m cooking stir-fry, chicken or fish then as something I squeeze on after the fact. Use a spoon to dish it out. It’s less sugary and more head than sriracha and doesn’t get that crusty bit on the squeeze top that “rooster sauce” has.