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5 Savory Ketchup-based Sauces

Wait until you see what's in store for this little ketchup packet. See more heirloom tomato pictures.
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For a lot of people, it's not possible to really enjoy a hot dog, hamburger or a plate of french fries without this very popular condiment. After all, what complements hot, salty fries better than a cool dollop of sugary tomatoes? We're talking about ketchup, of course.

Most bottled ketchups contain a mixture of concentrated tomatoes, vinegar, sugar (or corn syrup), salt and spices. But while ketchup is already a sauce unto itself, the fact that you're likely to have it in your refrigerator right now is enough reason to start considering it as an ingredient in a variety of savory sauces. Read on to find out how ketchup-based sauces can make your meals more delicious.

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The secret to barbecue is always in the sauce.
The secret to barbecue is always in the sauce.
©iStockphoto.com/adlifemarketing

It's no ketchup, but barbecue sauce is a pretty popular condiment on its own. While you can buy it by the bottle on the same aisle as ketchup, making your own is simple -- plus, you can customize it to your tastes. Ketchup makes a good base for a sweet and savory barbecue sauce that you can use on everything from chicken nuggets to ribs.

Ingredients:

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  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder or dried onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • dash of cayenne pepper (or to taste)

Directions:

Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. This sauce tastes better if you allow it to sit refrigerated for a few hours so the flavors can blend. Taste and adjust the seasonings as you like. Store covered in the refrigerator.

If you enjoy eating seafood, you've surely noticed that cocktail sauce is typically on the table. At some oyster bars, customers might get the ingredients to a basic cocktail sauce along with their meal and mix the sauce to their tastes. That's the idea with this recipe, which provides a little bit of extra oomph to succulent fish, shrimp, clams and oysters.

Ingredients:

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  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Taste and adjust the seasonings as you like. Store covered in the refrigerator.

A Reuben calls out for a big splash of Thousand Island.
A Reuben calls out for a big splash of Thousand Island.
©iStockphoto.com/DreamBigPhotos

So where are the "thousand islands"? One legend states that the dressing is named for a vacation spot once popular with the wealthy -- a region located between New York state and Eastern Ontario in the St. Lawrence River. Supposedly, Mr. George C. Boldt, manager of New York's famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, enjoyed vacationing in this spot. He came across the recipe in the early 1900s (exactly how is in question) and put it on the hotel menu, where it became wildly popular.

Although it's one of many salad dressing options, Thousand Island is also used on Reuben sandwiches. A certain fast-food restaurant chain has a sauce that's "special," but is really a variant of Thousand Island. The lesson? There's no need to limit yourself to just pouring it over lettuce.

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1 large hard-boiled egg, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon green olives, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and stir until well mixed. You could also make this dressing in a food processor, starting with the unchopped vegetables and egg, and then adding in the other ingredients and pulsing until blended. Store covered in the refrigerator.

When you think Chinese food, you probably don't think ketchup, but that's because you haven't tried this sweet and sour sauce yet.
When you think Chinese food, you probably don't think ketchup, but that's because you haven't tried this sweet and sour sauce yet.
©iStockphoto.com/exyne

Sweet and sour dishes are a staple of Chinese-American cooking, but sweet and sour sauce is also a delicious savory dipping companion to foods like meatballs. You can use this sauce to glaze fried nuggets of chicken or pork, or pour it over stir-fried meats and veggies.

Ingredients:

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  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

Directions:

Whisk first five ingredients and 3/4 cup of the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil while whisking. Reduce heat to low, and let mixture simmer for a few minutes. Dissolve cornstarch in the remaining water and whisk until smooth. Add dissolved cornstarch to saucepan and whisk. Continue whisking and cooking sauce over low heat until it's thickened, about three minutes. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.

A rémoulade is a French condiment traditionally made with a mayonnaise base and flavored with a variety of spices, herbs and finely chopped vegetables. In Europe, variations are used to top french fries or roast beef sandwiches. While a version of white rémoulade is used in the United States too, a variation known as red, Creole or Louisiana rémoulade is also popular. Try it on shrimp and other seafood for something tasty and different.

Ingredients:

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  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Creole or whole grain mustard
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • dash Tabasco

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and stir until well mixed. You could also make this sauce in a food processor, starting with the unchopped vegetables and herbs, and then adding in the other ingredients and pulsing until blended. Rémoulade tastes better if you allow it to sit refrigerated for a few hours so the flavors can blend. Taste and adjust seasonings before serving. Store covered in the refrigerator.

UP NEXT

How Ketchup Works

How Ketchup Works

As people begin to prefer spicier sauces, what's the future of ketchup? Find out from HowStuffWorks.


Related HowStuffWorks Articles

Sources

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  • Moulton, Sara. "Cocktail Sauce." Television Food Network. 2007.http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sara-moulton/cocktail-sauce-recipe/index.html
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