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Make Me a Sauce!

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I'm going to be cooking a little stir-fry of rice noodles, shrimp, and some vegetables, and I wanted an "Asian"-inspired sauce. Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, etc. all work to my western palate. Ideally, I want it to be a little thick and viscous. These are the ingredients I have at hand

Soy Sauce
Fish Sauce
Rice Vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar
Balsamic Vinegar
Sesame Oil
Peanut Oil
Lime Juice
Ginger
Garlic
Star Anise
Cinnamon
Brown Sugar
Srirachi
Dried Red Peppers

Feel free to mix and match. Any suggestions? It doesn't have to be anything "authentic," but if it tastes good, it tastes good. Thanks!

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  1. got any peanut butter on hand? (and maybe some coconut milk?) i'd do a Thai peanut sauce.

    plenty of recipes depending on your taste preferences:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/531715
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/411870
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/285476
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/456487
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/400848

    2 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Agreed, peanut butter would work beautifully. I always do a cheater/quickie version with just pb, soy sauce, hot water, and chili paste. Easy peasy.

      GHG, you're the archives guru! :)

      1. re: LauraGrace

        if only i could figure out a way to get paid for it, right? ;)

    2. Take the first three ingredients, add a little peanut oil or sesame oil, some ginger, a taste of brown sugar and garlic and a few dashes of dried red peppers. Finish with a few squirts of sriracha.

      1. Given your list of ingredients and your desire for a sauce that's "a little thick and viscous," you're missing the critical ingredient: Corn starch! Use any combination of liquids you like -- shoyu or soy sauce, mirin or shaoxing wine, a little fish sauce if you like,, a touch of sesame oil, some fresh ginger juice -- then turn it into a slurry by adding corn starch. Add it towards the end of your stir fry by pushing food up the side of the wok before adding the liquid, then stirring the sauce in the well until it thickens. No cornstarch and you won't have a thick sauce. But don't overdo the cornstarch or you'll get a gummy mess! About a couple of teaspoons per cup of liquid. Good luck! Oh, and LOTS of recipes on the web.

        1. Caroline1 is right on about the corn starch. However, if you don't have corn (or potato) starch on hand (to use as Caroline1 described), you can sort of work around it by tossing in a bit of flour towards the begining of the stir fry.

          You do have the ingredients for a good "sauce," though. I'd take the fish sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, garlic, ginger, sriracha [and corn/potato starch if you have it] and mix - I'd personally add a touch of sugar to the mix to balance things out, but it's up to you. Toss in towards the end of the cooking process. Finish with a few drops of sesame oil after the heat is off.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ali

            another thickening alternative is ground, toasted rice powder. it's easy enough to make at home by toasting dry rice and whizzing it in a spice or coffee grinder...and it adds great flavor and body to the sauce.