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Updated on October 25, 2008

What is a roux?

A roux(prounce roo or rue) is the base of any sauce.Simply put it is cooked four and fat. But in thruth it is so much more. The roux is what thickens the sauce. Without the roux a sauce could not exsist, it sould simply be soup or broth. The roux also can add a nutty flavor to the sauce. If you were to simply add flour to a stock and try to make a sauce the sauce would taste like flour. By cooking the flour and making the roux you allow the flour to take on a whole new flavor. Not all roux is the same. Roux can be white, blond, brown and negro stages. The different colors are determined by the length of time it takes to cook. The darker the roux the longer it cooks. Also the darker the roux the less it thickens. A white roux would thicken a sauce much mor than a dark or negro roux. The type of roux you would use would be determind by the dish and the flavor you wish to acheive. Obviously you would not use a dark roux for a white sauce.

Making Roux

Roux is very simple to make. All it takes is equal parts flour to butter. I usually make a bit more roux than I need to ensure I have enough.

  1. Melt the butter.
  2. Slowly add the flour to the butter, whisking constantly.

  3. In about 2 to 3 minutes the roux will have loses its "flour" smell and begins have a toasty aroma.

  4. Continue cooking if you wish for a darker roux.
  5. Remove from heat once you've reached your desired color.


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    • luvintkandtj profile image

      luvintkandtj 7 years ago from USA

      Yeah in a butter fan myself. Lol

    • profile image

      Mark Peterson 7 years ago

      I find when making a darker roux, for such as in a Gumbo,

      I like to use margarine as opposed to butter, so that there is less potential for burning, although you do want

      that almost, but not quite burnt aroma for cajun cooking.

    • luvintkandtj profile image

      luvintkandtj 7 years ago from USA

      The roux is what makes the sauce. A bad roux means a bad sauce. Practice makes perfact :-)

    • Richard VanIngram profile image

      Richard VanIngram 9 years ago from San Antonio, Texas

      Good article, lovintkantj. There's a real art to making a good roux -- ain't nothing better when you can find a cook who can make the stuff well, I think. Thanks for reminding me -- it's been a long time since I've tried to make roux; maybe I'll get out the boiler and practice.