Making Asian sauces can be daunting, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the ingredients and techniques. But worry not, as there are plenty of easy healthy sauces you can create in your kitchen. From marinating to seasoning, to dips, and even to dishes like stir-fries, soups, salads, and noodle dishes, there is a sauce here that can be made for any recipe.
With even few basic ingredients like soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, and sugar, you can create a vast range of sauces that will add flavor and depth to your dishes. So why not try and see how easy and rewarding it can be to make your own Asian sauces at home?
- Spicy Asian Sauces
- Sweet Asian Sauces
- Salty Asian Sauces
- Creamy Asian Sauces
Spicy Asian Sauces
Gochujang is a spicy Korean sauce made from fermented soybeans, chili powder, and glutinous rice. It has a thick consistency and a sweet and spicy flavor that can be used as a marinade for meat, as a dipping sauce, or as a condiment for bibimbap.
Doubanjiang | Broad Bean Paste
Doubanjiang, also known as broad bean paste, is a spicy and salty sauce made from fermented broad beans, chili, and soybeans. It’s commonly used in Sichuan cuisine and adds a unique flavor to dishes such as mapo tofu and kung pao chicken.
General Tso’s Sauce
General Tso’s sauce is a sweet and spicy sauce commonly used in Chinese-American cuisine. It’s made from soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and chili flakes. You can also use it as a glaze for chicken or tofu or as a dipping sauce for egg rolls or spring rolls.
Chili Oil (Chili Crisp)
Chili oil is a fiery condiment made by infusing oil with chili flakes. It’s a popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine, adding a spicy kick to dishes like dumplings and noodles. To make your own chili oil, you can heat up some oil and add chili flakes, garlic, and Sichuan peppercorns to it.
Yúxiāng, also known as fish-fragrant sauce, is a spicy and sour sauce commonly used in Sichuan cuisine. It’s made from pickled chili, ginger, garlic, and peppercorns. Yet, despite its name, it doesn’t contain any fish, so you can use it as a dipping sauce for hot pot or as a condiment for stir-fry dishes.
Sweet Asian Sauces
Teriyaki sauce is another popular Japanese sauce often used as a marinade or glaze for meats and vegetables. It has a sweet and savory flavor and is made with a combination of ingredients that are commonly found in Japanese cuisine. The sauce is versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, from stir-fries to grilled meats.
Tonkatsu sauce is a sweet and savory Japanese condiment that pairs perfectly with breaded and fried pork cutlets. It has a thick and smooth texture and is often used as a dipping sauce. The sauce is a staple in Japanese cuisine and can also be used as a marinade or glaze for meats and vegetables.
Kyeoja is a spicy Korean dipping sauce that’s typically served with dumplings or other fried foods. It has a bold and tangy flavor thanks to the mustard base, with a kick of heat from the chili peppers. The sauce is a staple in Korean cuisine and is often made with a combination of traditional Korean ingredients, most commonly served alongside Korean barbeque.
Gochujang aioli is a fusion sauce that combines the Korean chili paste, gochujang, with the French sauce, aioli. It has a creamy texture and a spicy, garlicky flavor that pairs well with tons of dishes. The sauce is a very popular condiment in Korean-American cuisine and is often used as a dipping sauce or a spread for sandwiches.
Salty Asian Sauces
A tangy and sweet sauce, tamarind sauce is a popular condiment in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine. It’s made from the pulp of the tamarind fruit and is often used as a dip or marinade for meats and vegetables. With its unique sour and sweet flavor, tamarind sauce is a more than capable ingredient that can add a delicious twist to your dishes.
Fish sauce is a pungent and salty condiment that’s commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine. Compared to soy sauce, this sauce is made by fermenting fish with salt and water, resulting in a liquid high in umami flavor. The sauce is a staple in Thai, Vietnamese, and Filipino cuisine and is often used as a seasoning in marinades, sauces, and stir-fries.
Soy sauce is a dark, salty, and savory condiment that’s widely used in Asian cuisine. It’s made from fermented soybeans and is often used as a seasoning in marinades, sauces, and stir-fries. The sauce is the most common on the list and used in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean cuisine. It also comes in different varieties, including light, dark, and tamari soy sauce.
Ssamjang is a Korean dipping sauce used in Korean barbecue. It has a savory and slightly sweet flavor and is made with a combination of fermented soybean paste, chili paste, and other seasonings. The sauce is often served with lettuce wraps, where the meat is wrapped in lettuce and topped with the sauce for added flavor.
Hoisin sauce is a thick and sweet Chinese sauce that’s commonly used as a glaze or a dipping sauce. It has a complex, sweet, and savory flavor, with a hint of spice, and is made from a combination of ingredients, including soybeans, garlic, vinegar, and sugar, and is a staple in many Chinese dishes.
Creamy Asian Sauces
Japanese Kewpie Style Mayo
Japanese Kewpie style mayo is a creamy and tangy mayonnaise that’s very popular in Japanese cuisine. This condiment also boasts a rich and savory flavor profile with a smooth texture that sets it apart from traditional American mayonnaise. It’s a versatile ingredient that’s often used as a topping for sushi rolls, a dip for tempura, or a spread for sandwiches.
Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce
Thai peanut dipping sauce is a creamy and nutty sauce that’s commonly used as a dip for spring rolls, satay, and other appetizers. It has a sweet and spicy flavor balanced by the peanuts’ richness. The sauce is also a key ingredient in Thai cuisine and is made with a combination of ingredients, including peanut butter, coconut milk, and chili paste.
A spicy and savory compound butter, Gochujang butter is a variation of its saucy form. Its rich and creamy texture, combined with a bold flavor that’s both sweet and spicy, makes it a versatile addition to many dishes. This butter is often used as a topping for grilled meats or vegetables or as a spread for bread, and it adds a delicious kick to any meal.