One can cook or bake anything from scratch, whether it’s a burger bun or a steak. However, when it comes to condiments, some of us cannot understand how to make them. The main concern is usually related to their taste, i.e., whether it tastes as good as the store-bought one?
But what most people don’t know is that homemade condiments taste as good as anything else. In fact, it is a lot easier to make condiments from scratch, as they don’t require much time or too many ingredients for preparation. Before we go ahead and learn how to make the best condiments at home, let’s first talk about what exactly condiments are.
What are Condiments?
Some people often confuse condiments with sauces. In simple words, a condiment is any spice, sauce, or blend of specific ingredients. It can be a sauce, but not all sauces are condiments.
The main purpose of a condiment is to add a distinct flavor to a dish; however, some condiments are also used to complement specific dishes. Normally, condiments are added to the food after the cooking process is completely done, or they are served alongside the food, so if the one wants to add some, they can for taste.
Sometimes, condiments are a necessary ingredient but can only be added to the food right before serving, for example, the sauces in a burger or a sandwich. A few condiments are also used while making food, such as soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, barbecue sauce, sour cream, and compound butter.
Essential Tips for Making the Best Condiments at Home
The sauces used as condiments can be made at home, as other condiments such as spices need nothing to be prepared. So here are some tips that you can use to make the best homemade condiments:
Always Use Fresh Ingredients
Most condiments have an explicit flavor that only comes from specific ingredients, and the freshness of these ingredients matters a lot. So, make sure you only use the best ingredients. For example, you cannot use week-old celery to get a fresh-tasting condiment; it will taste as wilted as the celery itself. The odd flavors only get enhanced when mixed with other ingredients, making it taste funny.
Don’t Forget to Taste the Condiment
While making the condiments, most people think that it’s fine to complete the whole process first and taste it in the end. Don’t do that, as some ingredients cannot be added when you have already finished making the condiment. To avoid this, ensure that you taste as you go. For example, if you are making grainy mustard dip, you’ll have to taste it while preparing it because the lack or excess of any ingredient can change the whole flavor of the sauce.
After you have finished making the condiment, you can taste it once again and check whether you need to add any more ingredients or not.
Thicken the Condiment With or Without the Starch
While making sauces/condiments, sometimes you may feel the need to thicken it up. Several methods are used to thicken the condiment; however, using starch is the most common way.
For this method, you need to understand that you cannot simply put the starch powder in your sauce and expect it to thicken perfectly. There will be lumps everywhere, and your sauce will be ruined for good. Instead, try mixing up starch powder in some water and keep whisking the sauce while adding it.
Another method is to make a roux first, i.e., a mixture of butter and starch powder/flour. This mixture is then added to the sauce to thicken it up. Lastly, you can just simmer the sauce until it thickens, without the use of starch or roux.
Easy Homemade Condiment Recipes
Now that you know the tips for making the best condiments, here are some great condiment recipes that you can try at home:
Why buy store-bought ketchup when you can make your own with almost zero refined sugar and all-natural ingredients? On top of everything, it will taste amazing!
- Olive oil – 1 tbsp.
- Diced onion (medium) – 1
- Star anise – 1
- Cinnamon stick – ½ inch
- Garlic cloves (minced) – 2 or 3
- Ripe tomatoes – 4 pounds
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
- Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp.
- Black pepper (freshly ground) – 1 tsp
- Paprika powder – 1 tsp
- Chili powder – 1 tbsp.
- Celery salt – 1 tsp
- Fish sauce – 2 tsp
- Apple cider vinegar – ¼ cup
- Honey – 1 tbsp.
- Take a large deep pan with a heavy bottom.
- Add oil and heat it up at medium flame.
- Sauté onion for a few minutes until soft and add garlic as well and sauté for another 2 minutes.
- Now, tie star anise, cinnamon stick, coriander, cumin, mustard, and cloves in a tea ball or cheesecloth with a string.
- Add all the remaining ingredients to the pan along with the spice bag and let it simmer at low heat for at least forty-five minutes or until it thickens.
- When you see that the mixture has gotten the ketchup-like consistency, simmer it while stirring occasionally.
- In the end, taste the ketchup and adjust the seasonings according to your requirements.
- You can also use a blender for an even smoother consistency.
2. Horseradish Sauce
Finding the best Horseradish sauce can be a struggle, so try making it at home as it’s easier and quite convenient as well. The recipe given below is easy to follow and doesn’t call for any hard-to-find ingredients.
- Homemade Mayonnaise – 1/3 cup
- Heavy cream – 2 tbsps.
- Sour cream – 1/3 cup
- Garlic cloves (minced) – 1 or 2 cloves
- Horseradish (freshly ground) – 2 to 3 tbsps.
- Lemon juice – 1 tbsp.
- Sea salt – ¼ tsp
- Grab a bowl and add all the ingredients to it.
- Mix the ingredients properly.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before use.
3. Sriracha Sauce
Sriracha sauce is a type of chili sauce or hot sauce made from a blend of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, and other ingredients. If you like spicy sauce, this one is for you.
- Cooking oil – 2 tsp
- Hot chilies – ¼ pound
- Garlic cloves (chopped) – 4
- Mild chilies – ¼ pound
- Palm sugar – 2 tbsps.
- Rice vinegar – 4 tbsps.
- Hot water – ½ cup
- Take a frying pan and heat the oil over medium heat in it.
- Now add the garlic and chilies to it, and turn the heat low.
- Cook it for around 7 to 10 minutes, and keep stirring while doing so.
- Now add all the other ingredients to it.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings.
- Now transfer the whole thing to a blender and blend until smooth.
- You can store this sauce in the refrigerator for two weeks.
Condiments are a must-have, and it’s not necessary to spend a fortune on store-bought ones. It is easier and healthy to make your own condiments at home. This way, you can keep them healthy and tasty all at the same time.