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11 Simple and Delicious Sauces for Fish

From shell-incased scallop sauces to the tasty raw options of sushi sauces, my quest for delicious fish sauces knows no end. But what about all fish in general? All fish deserve that oozing creamy layer of flavor and delight to be topped with them. Well, I’ve got some of the best sauces for fish sauce lined up just for you. I loved making each as they’re just so simple and convenient to make. 

Some fish sauces you can make are a lemon butter sauce, hollandaise sauce, a wasabi sauce, and a classic tartar sauce. But this isn’t all the tasty fish sauce world has to offer, so let’s jump in.

A plate of delicious fried ruby fish topped with sweet and sour sauce.

🧑‍🍳 Best Fish To Eat

Salmon: Salmon is the most popular fish choice thanks to its rich flavor, high omega-3 fatty acid content, and versatility in cooking.

Tuna: Tuna is prized for its meaty texture and mild flavor. Just ideal for sushi, grilling steaks, or searing for salads.

Cod: Cod is known for its mild taste and flaky texture. You’ll often see it used in the British classic, fish and chips.

Sardines: Sardines are nutrient-dense fish packed with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and vitamin D. You can enjoy them grilled, smoked, or canned in oil.

Trout: Trout gives that nice delicate flavor and tender texture that’s perfect for grilling whole or filleted, pan-searing, or baking.

📌 Popular Fish Dishes

Grilled Salmon: Grilled salmon is the pinnacle of classic fish dishes. It’s known for its tender and flaky texture and often seasoned with herbs, lemon, and olive oil.

Fish Tacos: Fish tacos are delicious crispy grilled fish fillets served in soft tortillas with fresh toppings like cabbage slaw, pico de gallo, and creamy avocado.

Fish and Chips: A true British classic. Good old fish and chips. These consist of battered and deep-fried fish fillets served with crispy potato fries and a tasty tartar sauce for added zest.

Sushi and Sashimi: Nothing beats the fine taste of thinly sliced raw fish. Sushi and sashimi showcase raw fish slices served atop vinegared rice (sushi) or on their own (sashimi).

A plate of egg benedict with grilled salmon and a creamy lemon butter sauce.

💡 Most Delicious Fish Sauces

Honey Balsamic Dressing

Sweetness and tangy are just what the fish ordered with this honey balsamic dressing. It really does give a delicious balance of both sweet and tangy elements. The best part is you can throw this sauce together with little to no ingredients, as all you need is honey and balsamic vinegar. It’s a sauce that’ll pair exceptionally well with flaky white fish, like cod or halibut, letting the skin soak in the tasty flavors.

Cilantro and Lime Sauce

For those who enjoy that tad bit more freshness and herby notes, a Cilantro and lime sauce gives exactly that. The basic blend of lime juice, fresh cilantro leaves, garlic, and just a smidge of olive oil is a perfect match for stronger-flavored fish like salmon. The tartness of the lime juice does exceptionally well in bringing the sauce together by evening out that subtle earthiness from the cilantro. It’s a truly simple balance of freshness and herbiness for any fish lover.

Hollandaise Sauce

The French have some of the best sauces around and their Hollandaise sauce is a prime example of delicious elegance. It’s the most well-known and well-used fish sauce around, boasting that rich and irresistible buttery flavor. The simple mixture of egg yolks and butter is paired with a splash of lemon juice for that bonus tangy punch. A classic steaming hot pan-seared salmon or trout will get a nice oozing creaminess in every bite with this sauce.

Beurre Blanc, Beurre Rouge, and Beurre Noisette

Another great classic French sauce you should dabble in making is a Beurre blanc. This buttery and rich delight is a simple yet flavor packing combo of butter, vinegar, and shallots. It’s actually the foundation for many different sauces like a beurre rouge, which swaps white wine for red. Beurre noisette is another variant that uses this base. It uses browned butter to add a fantastic nutty aroma to fish. Each can be used as a uniquely delicious sauce for fish.

Lemon-Butter Sauce

You can’t get more delicious and simpler than a classic lemon butter sauce. It’s so simple yet combines melted butter and freshly squeezed lemon juice so well. You can even switch up the butter to create a brown butter sauce or toss in some other herbs and tang to make it just perfect for you. You could even throw in some garlic to create a garlic lemon butter sauce. These sauces will pairs very well with flaky white fish, draping it in a smooth, tangy blanket.

Tartar Sauce

Where would fish and chips be without this sauce? Tartar sauce is the fish sauce to use. Nothing beats its rich and creamy goodness with a delicious punch of tang in every single bite. Just rustle up some mayonnaise with ingredients like diced pickles, capers, and a dash of lemon and you the perfect dipping or pouring sauce for fish. The crispy skin of battered cod or fish is no match for the tangy richness and creamy texture of this sauce.

A plate of fish and chips topped with a spoonful of creamy tartar sauce.

Romesco Sauce

Tomatoey delight made with the most basic pantry ingredients. Romesco sauce is both on paper and on fish, a truly delicious sauce. When a rich combination of roasted red peppers, almonds, garlic, and tomatoes is pulled together, you know it’s going to be a great sauce. The rich texture oozes a fantastic tomato, tangy, and nutty flavor into the skin of grilled and pan-seared fish. You really get the best of every world with this tasty fish sauce.

Dill and Parsley Sauce

If the fresh and herby nature of a cilantro sauce isn’t enough to tickle your fancy, then a classic dill sauce or parsley sauce will. Dill has a great grassy, sweet taste that tastes even better when paired with a splash of lemon juice and creamy elements like sour cream or yogurt. If that isn’t enough, then a simple but truly delicious parsley sauce is what you need. With a mild yet refreshingly clean taste made from finely chopped parsley, garlic, and olive oil, you can’t go wrong.

Wasabi Sauce

Sushi is no stranger to this perfect blend of spiciness and creaminess. You can’t go wrong with a great spicy sauce, and a wasabi sauce proves just that. The pungent flavor of wasabi paste mixed with mayonnaise and soy sauce is perfect for classic dishes like sushi and sashimi. But the flavors of this sauce can be used with any fish dish you want a pungent splash of heat and creaminess with. You can also make the sauce with light soy sauce substitutes, as these create milder flavors.

A plate of raw salmon with a sauce bowl of creamy wasabi sauce.

Sandefjordsmør

Being hard to pronounce won’t affect how downright tasty this sauce is. Sandefjordsmør is a classic Norwegian fish sauce with quite a unique infusion. It’s a rich and creamy butter sauce infused with fish stock, lemon juice, and parsley. The flavors alone pair beautifully with the natural taste of any fish. But that velvety texture? Even better! Sticking to the recipe is great, but I found that tossing in some of your favorite spices and herbs is great for a bonus flavor boost. 

Salmoriglio

That classic Italian refinement shines best in the delicious Salmoriglio sauce. It’s a traditional Southern Italian sauce with just about everything you’d expect from an Italian sauce. Some classic flavors of oregano paired alongside some lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic. The charred smokiness of the grilled fish allows the zesty, pungent, and herby deliciousness of this sauce to seep into the very crevice. It’s a really fantastic sauce with simplicity and flavor all in one.

🧐 FAQs

What is a common fish sauce?

A common fish sauce is Worcestershire sauce, known for its savory and umami-rich flavor derived from anchovies and various seasonings.

What are good dipping sauces for fish?

Good dipping sauces for fish include tartar sauce, aioli, and lemon butter, each complementing the delicate flavors of the seafood with tangy, creamy, or citrusy notes.

What sauce goes well with fish and chips?

Tartar sauce is a classic and popular accompaniment for fish and chips, offering a creamy and tangy flavor that complements the crispy and savory nature of the dish.

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