Chinese Style Orange-Sesame Sauce

I have been playing around with this sauce recently. It is quite rich and dark in flavour – a current obsession of mine in the kitchen. Wintery flavours. This sauce is orangey with the depth of soy and a hint of sesame. It has sweet overtones. It goes well with anything deep fried – tofu, cauliflower, pakoda – or grilled items – eggplant slices for example – or roasted or stirfried veg – broccoli, cauliflower etc.

Use it as a coating sauce, dipping sauce (although it is quite thick) or spread the sauce on a plate and place ingredients on top of the sauce. I love roasted slices of eggplant and deep fried tofu on the sauce, scattered with tons of spring onions (scallions).

Today I made some deep fried cauliflower and coated them in the sauce for a delicious snack.

Similar recipes include Miso and Ginger Dressing, Orange Star Anise Sauce, and Chilli Soy Sauce.

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Mandarin and Star Anise Flavoured Soy Sauce

It is mandarin season and one of the things we do at this time of the year is to dry the skins from our home grown mandarins. They are used during the year in teas, stocks, soups, sauces and anything else I can justify throwing a little into.

We also make an orange flavoured soy sauce, simply by soaking the soy with the skins and some star anise. Why not try it? Use the soy sauce as you would use normal soy sauce for extra flavours.

Similar recipes include Chilli Soy Sauce, and Sesame Chilli Soy Sauce.

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Sauce de Tomate | French Tomato Sauce

France is full of sauces. If you are going to categorise French food broadly, you might say – meat, sauce, butter, baked goods. It is pretty accurate – one of my comprehensive books on French cooking contains 2 salads (and some vegetable recipes). To be fair, the salads can be the base for many variations. And to be more than fair, I have spent time working in France so know that there is a large variety of salads. But, yes, meat is the focus.

So, with a love of French food, we pick and choose from amongst the cuisine, and make to our vegetarian style.

This is a beautiful version of a Tomato Sauce – one to add to our many tomato sauces – and, like the others, it freezes very well. Similar to many French recipes, there is a base sauce, beautiful on its own, and a few variations of sauce that can be made with the addition of one or two more ingredients.

Similar dishes include Freeze Tomatoes for Winter, Italian Tomato Sauce, Another Italian Tomato Sauce, and Spiced Tomato Puree.

Browse all of our Sauces, and all of our French recipes. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Collection: A Huge Collection of Recipes for Dips and Spreads

Who said dips are dead? Certainly not in our house. They are generally easy to make, are great snacks, and fill hunger gaps. They are gorgeous for guests. We layer them with other ingredients in main meals. Or simply eat them out of the bowl while standing at the fridge. Sssshhhhh!

Browse all of our Dips and Spreads, and all of our Collections. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.

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Tomato Crème Fraîche Pasta Sauce (and Dip, Sauce and Salad Dressing)

Years ago, around 1998, I made a spur of the moment dish that turned out to be a winner.  It came together on a Spring evening while hunting around for something to serve with dinner. It is amazing!

The sauce for this dish takes about 3 minutes to prepare and 3 minutes to make – less time than it takes to cook your pasta. It is a dish that has multiple uses and you will love it for its simplicity, clean fresh taste, and versatility. You can even make your own Crème Fraîche.

I rarely use the microwave except for defrosting items from the freezer. You too? Yet this dish is so non-fiddly if it is made in the microwave I am loathed to change the method. 1 dish only – no oil, no sauteing, no mess. We need more such dishes!

Similar recipes include Avocado Salsa, Green Tomato Salsa, and Salsa Verde.

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Glossy Strawberry Sauce

When strawberries are plentiful make a brightly coloured sauce to drizzle over desserts, icecream, cakes and anything with chocolate in it. It is very easy to make — simply whiz the strawberries with lemon and sugar. Add some liqueur if you wish. It is a bright and Summery sauce that adds vibrancy to any dish.

Similar recipes include Macerated Strawberries and Passionfruit, Strawberries with Lemon, Mint Raspberry Sauce, and Strawberries with Sticky Balsamic.

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Sesame – Chilli – Soy Dipping Sauce (with my favourite Chinese Vegetable Dumplings)

I do love a good dipping sauce. Think – steamed vegetables, fried vegetables, dumplings, tofu, noodles, spring rolls, summer rolls, sizzling rice squares. The perfect sauce will lift your dish to new heights.

There are many varieties of dipping sauce, and the Japanese or Chinese style ones have their respective core set of ingredients. For Chinese it is soy, toasted sesame oil, Chinese vinegar perhaps, and some ginger and spring onions. Today’s dipping sauce is another variation on that theme. So very very good.

The sauce is perfect with these vegetable dumplings that I get from the Asian grocery in the freezer section – I put them in a flat pan with a little water and a little oil, and cover the pan. As the water simmers, the dumplings defrost and steam, and when the water evaporates they crisp on the bottom. Flip them over if you wish for a nice crispy top. They are also delicious steamed or even very gently microwaved.

Similar recipes include Soy and Sesame Dipping Sauce, Rice Squares in Dipping Sauce, and Chilli Soy Dipping Sauce.

Browse all of our Dipping Sauces and all of our Chinese recipes. Our Late Autumn dishes are here.

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Hawaiian Chilli Water

Oh my, this has become my favourite drizzling sauce for this Winter – over soups, vegetables, into dals, on tofu and paneer, on rice, in sandwiches and sauces, with lentils and bean dishes — anything! I mix it into amazing dressings. It is a condiment or hot sauce that is very popular with Hawaiians and has a range of variations on the common base of chillies, garlic, vinegar, salt and water. As well as a condiment, it is also used as a drink to sip, and as a sauce. Many Hawaiian homes keep Chilli Water on their table, and guest will bring a bottle of their own home made Chilli Water to leave with the host.

Why does it work? We know that an acid or sour flavour – vinegar, lemon juice, bitters, tamarind etc – enlivens any dish. Chilli adds interest and heat. Salt brings out flavour. Garlic adds bite and deeper flavours. If you add bay leaf or soy sauce they provide grounded earthy flavours (umami). All of this in one bottle of sauce that is composed mostly of water!

Similar recipes include Grilled Pineapple with Chilli and Basil, A Collection of Chilli Pastes and Sauces, and Chilli Olive Orange Salad.

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The Best Miso-Peanut-Coconut-Chilli-Turmeric Sauce

This is a totally magic sauce – it makes every dish you use it in very special. I use it in a hundred different ways – so many, you might want to make a double recipe. It will keep for 2 – 3 weeks in the fridge and it reheats easily.

The sauce is a combination of sweet, chilli and sour, with the tempering of the coconut milk and peanut butter. The sour flavours are layered in a tantalising way – you have palm vinegar or rice vinegar, lime juice, umaboshi and tamarind, and yet it is not too much. The sweet is layered with sweet soy and palm sugar. The heat comes from fresh green chillies and red chilli jam or paste. I usually have this one and this complex-flavoured one on hand – you can use what is in your cupboards, or you might like to make one of these so that you have some on hand. As always, because chilli pastes vary in heat level (and so does your tolerance), adjust the amounts in the recipe to your preference.

The sauce is a brown one though, or beige rather, from the soy, sugar and tamarind. But don’t mind that, it is delicious. Normally I would throw a heap of coriander leaves on top of the dish, but thanks to the record-breaking heatwaves we have had, the coriander fields are burnt to a crisp. However, do scatter some chopped peanuts over the top of your dishes using this sauce.

How is this sauce used? I drizzle the sauce on soups. Dunk noodles in it. It makes a wonderful sauce for deep fried tofu, or baked sweet potato, or steamed snake beans (or all 3 together). It goes beautifully drizzled over steamed, grilled or baked vegetables. Mix it through salads, especially Gado-Gado.  Pour around steamed dumplings.

You might like to read our Very Special Turmeric Recipes.

Similar dishes include Fried Tofu in Sweet Peanut Sauce, and How to Make Nut Butters.

Browse all of our Peanut recipes and Peanut Sauces. Or explore our Late Summer dishes.

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How to Make Bechamel Sauce | White Sauce

Bechamel is a classic French sauce made from butter, flour, and milk, stock or wine, made to compliment the foods they are served with. Sauce Bechamel, a gorgeous creamy sauce, has a number of traditional variations. In addition (and every French person might turn in their grave over this) it is very common in parts of the world (such as Italy and India) to use it in toasted sandwiches with a variety of other fillings. And it is incredibly delicious in this latter day variation.

Some of us who are old enough remember our Mothers making cauliflower drenched in white sauce. We have come a long way since then!

Luckily Bechamel sauce is very easy to make.

Similar recipes include How To Make (and Freeze) Beurre Manie.

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