Spike up your ‘sauces’ vocabulary!

by Sanjeev Kapoor

Have you ever wondered your life without sauce – a pizza without a delicious saucy base, your favourite Indo-Chinese dish without a fiery flavour oryour burger without a sachet of ketchup on the side? All these and many more dishes would have been lifeless without the right amount of sauce in them. A good luscious sauce can add plenty of oomph and dress up a dish instantly. And we’ve been using various sauces from all around the world to flavour our dishes. But there might have been times where you would’ve been confused about their differences. Well, it’s time to learn a little more about them in depth and say goodbye to all confusions.


Here are some popular sauces withsimilarities and differences between them for just the right ‘saucy’ enlightenment for you! Read on.


Soy vs Oyster sauce

Soy sauce in Chinese and Japanese dishesis like ghee in our desi dishes. Generally prepared with just 3 ingredients – fermented soy beans, water and salt, it has a number of varieties in Oriental cuisines,each with a different flavour. Oyster sauce, on the other hand is a Cantonese specialty. The thick brown soy-based sauce is flavoured with oyster juice, salt, caramel and then thickened with copious amounts of cornflour. The flavour is earthy and it has a natural dark colour to it. Soy sauce has a thin consistency but oyster sauce has a thicker texture due to the starch present in it. They might have a similar colour but they are far apart from each other.

Tomato vs Marinara sauce

The 2 most popular sauces and you can easily get confused between them. Both are used extravagantly in Italian cuisine and they appear almost identical due to their colour. The real difference lies in their ingredients and preparation. Marinara sauce is a quick to prep sauce with ingredients like olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, chillies, oregano and basil leaves. On the contrary, tomato sauce is a pretty complex sauce to prepare,involving a ton of ingredients that are simmered until thick and rich in flavour.It may also vary according to the chef preparing it. Marinara is generally chunky in texture while tomato sauce can be of different consistencies depending on the maker’s choice.


Tabasco vs Sriracha sauce

If you like it the spicy way, these are the 2 sauces you should definitely know about. Sriracha sauce is made with red jalapeno peppers, garlic, sugar, some distilled vinegar and salt. On the other hand, Tabasco has a pretty long list of ingredients involved with tabasco chillies being the main ingredient. Sriracha is more like the ketchup consistency, thick and solid while Tabasco has a thin and liquid-like consistency.Tabasco has a dominant flavour of vinegar in it like the other Cajun sauces. But, Sriracha is major on garlic flavour apart from the typical chillies used to make it. Though, you cannot substitute them for one another but we are sure if you want to spice up your taste buds, any of these can definitely help you!


Teriyaki vs Hoisin sauce

Teriyaki is a popular sauce from Japanese cuisine while Hoisin is a part of the Chinese culinary world. Teriyaki is prepared with fish meat and some amount of soy sauce. Hoisin sauce on the other hand is made from fermented soybeans, sugar, vinegar, salt, chilli, garlic and sesame oil. Hoisin has a saltier taste because of the amount of vinegar present in it while Teriyaki is slightly sweeter.Hoisin is a fairly handy sauce and used in a lot of recipes making it a valuable contribution to the kitchen while Teriyaki sauce is mostly used in dishes distinct to this speciality. It’s pretty easy to get confused between the two since they are identical in colour, consistency and texture. All you need to do is take a closer look and you’ll know!

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.