Nuoc Cham, Peri Peri Sauce, Romesco Sauce, Mahammara, Sambal Sauce, International Sauces | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures Nuoc Cham, Peri Peri Sauce, Romesco Sauce, Mahammara, Sambal Sauce, International Sauces | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
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TIP OF THE DAY: International Sauces On Everyday Favorites ~ Part 2 Of 3

Vietnamese Dipping Sauce
[5] Nuoc cham is the national condiment of Vietnam. Here’s the recipe from Gastronomy Blog (photo © Gastronomy Blog).

[6] Peri-peri sauce is the national condiment of Peru. Here’s a recipe (photo © Flavor And The Menu).

[7a] Romesco may be the most famous sauce in Spain (photo © Chef Aida Mollenkamp).

[7b] Muhammara, a Syrian nut-based sauce, can be used on everything from pizza to sandwiched. Here’s a recipe from Food 52 (photo © Food 52).

[8] Sambal is an all-purpose condiment from Indonesia. Here’s the recipe from McCormick (photo © McCormick).


This is Part 2 of a three-part article on 12 international flavors that can be used as sauces.

The idea is to enhance your home cooking’s flavor profile by adding international-inspired sauces to chicken, fish, meat, meat, poultry and other everyday foods.

You can make the sauces from scratch, or purchase them at specialty stores.

Thanks to Flavor & The Menu, that presents new ideas for cuisine to restaurant chefs , for the inspiration for this article.

Some are thin like marinade, others are pastes that can be thinned with broth, oil or water.
The 12 sauces include:

  • Part 1: Chermoula, Fruit Sauce, Makhani, Middle Eastern Hot Sauces.
  • Part 2: below, Nuoc Cham, Nut-Based Sauces, Peri Peri, Sambal.
  • Part 3: Savory Caramel, Tahini, Tamarind, Yogurt-Based Sauces.
    5. NUOC CHAM

    This vinegar/fish/chile-based dipping sauce is the Vietnamese “mother sauce.”

    In Vietnam, is used with everything from pork dishes to spring rolls. It’s very adaptable beyond Vietnamese cuisine.

    This bright red, sweet and salty sauce is not too spicy, anc can be used:

  • With simple fish and seafood dishes, including crudos.
  • With grilled pork and chicken.
  • As a dipping sauce for crudités and fried finger foods (including French fries!).
  • Mixed into yogurt or mayo for a dip.
  • Drizzled over greens and grains for a dressing with a kick.
  • In a vinaigrette for cooked and raw vegetables.
  • As a general condiment.
    Here’s a terrific recipe.

    As vegan fare becomes more mainstream in the U.S., more nut-based sauces are substituted for dairy-based sauces.

    Two notable nut-based sauces are:

  • Romesco from Spain, made with almonds and red pepper.
  • Muhammara, a Syrian red sauce that traditionally sees walnuts, pomegranate, roasted red pepper and breadcrumbs. Here’s a recipe.
    These sauces work with everything, including grains and proteins. We like romesco:

  • With fish, chicken and steak.
  • With grilled/roasted vegetables, especially cauliflower, eggplant and potatoes. It’s a winner with charred cauliflower steaks.
  • On sandwiches and burgers—including veggie burgers.
  • As a dip with artichokes, crusty bread, flatbread/breadsticks, potato chips.
  • As a pizza sauce.
  • Recipe: Warm Cauliflower & Bacon Salad With Romesco Sauce.
  • Recipe: Romesco Sauce & Dip.
  • Recipe: Make a roasted vegetable sandwich with arugula, cucumber, feta, and romesco as the spread. Use focaccia if you can.
    7. PERI-PERI

    The national condiment of Peru, peri-peri sauce (also spelled piri-piri) is made in medium to hot levels of spiciness. The more chiles, or the hotter the variety of chiles used, the hotter the sauce.

    Original peri-peri uses the African bird’s eye chile (the African word for the chile is peri-peri). Milder sauces may use only cayenne and serrano chiles.

    To a base of red wine vinegar and oil, garlic and lemon juice are added, plus other seasonings, which often include paprika or tomato paste for flavor and color, onions and herbs.

    Each company and home cook has their own recipe.

    Peri-peri is also used as a cooking sauce. Here’s a recipe.

    Peri-peri gained popularity in the U.S. through restaurants like Nando’s Peri-Peri, a South African-based chain serving barbecue chicken marinated in the sauce. Use it for:

  • A a spicier, more chile-forward alternative to sweet barbecue sauces for grilled, rotisserie or smoked dishes.
  • As a dipping sauce for breads.
  • As a bread spread for sandwiches.
  • In marinades for meats, meatier fish and vegetables.
  • On falafel, chicken shawarma, tacos and wings.
    We recently used it in a refined dish of octopus, potatoes, fennel and olives.

    As with all recipes, the only limit is your imagination.

    8. SAMBAL

    Sambal is an Indonesian chili sauce or paste, a mixture of different chili peppers with garlic, ginger, lime juice, palm sugar, scallion, shallot, shrimp paste. It is an all-purpose condiment in Indonesian cuisine.

    Sambal could be the next trending hot sauce. According to Datassential, which monitors food trends, menu mentions of sambal have gone up 47% over the last four years.

    Sambal’s bright, hot heat from chiles and tangy lime juice have just a touch of funkiness from the shrimp paste. It can easily move beyond Southeast Asian cuisine to global mash-ups and modern American cuisine, such as:

  • Burgers, chicken, fish and vegetable sandwich spreads.
  • Dips, sauces, marinades.
  • Eggs.
  • Fried chicken and fish.
  • Rice and other grain dishes.
  • Shellfish and meat dishes.
  • Soups and stews.
    You can start by mixing sambal with ketchup or mayonnaise for a dip or spread.

    Stay tuned for Part 3: Savory Caramel, Tahini, Tamarind and Yogurt-Based Sauces.


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