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Dressings, Dips and Sauces

Updated on August 13, 2017
Jaydoo profile image

Chris is a mother and wife. She has a job as a cook and baker, but also enjoys gardening, outdoor fun, and DIY crafts and home projects.

Let's Get Saucy.

Just about any dish can be made special by adding a great complimentary sauce. If you learn a few great sauces your friends will think you are a gourmet cook and many sauce recipes are easier than you would think to make. Sauces can dress up a meal, side dish, or dessert. A sauce is a liquid or semi-liquid food that is usually not served by themselves, but are added for flavor, moisture, and to make an ordinary food visually appealing. I sometimes use sauces to get my children to eat certain foods (although not always effective).

Sauces can be bought, such as soy sauce, or made in the kitchen, like white sauce. This lens is about those sauces that can be prepared in your kitchen. I will be featuring some of the more common sauces, salad dressings, dips, as well as some of my favorites.

Photo By Wikimedia Commons user TheBernFiles. (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Catalina Dressing

Here's a recipe I've been using for quite some time. It is one of my husbands favorites and every time I make it for company - they ask for my recipe. I found this recipe originally when I decided that I was going to make all of my own sauces, dips and salad dressings. I made a few modifications and now this salad dressing recipe is a definite keeper.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 dash paprika (I use a little more)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • small onion to taste
  • 1/2 cup vinegar (I use rice vinegar)
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup vegetable oil


  1. 1. Pour all ingredients into a blender in the order listed. Blend until well mixed. I use a blentec blender and it has a special dressing button that blends it perfectly.
  2. 2. Store the salad dressing in a jar or container in the refrigerator/
  3. 3. Mix before each use.
Cast your vote for Homemade Catalina Dressing
photo by Oldie (
photo by Oldie (

Dipping Sauce for Wontons or dumplings

Simple to make dipping sauce

This is a very simple recipe to make, yet it is a very tasty addition to fried wontons or shrimp or pork dumplings.

4 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon rice or white vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

few drops of sesame oil

chopped scallions (optional)

I make it right before I need it and it takes only minutes to prepare. I found the recipe on a bag of wontons but i added more water. I also sometimes add more sugar for a sweeter dipping sauce.

Tempura Dipping Sauce

Great for serving with fried shrimp and vegetables

Most of the ingredients I keep on hand all the time. I enjoy Asian sauces immensely, therefore I always keep rice vinegar on hand. I recently added mirin to my collection of staples because I've been running across more and more recipes that call for it.


1/3 cup water

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons mirin

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon rice vinegar (can substitute white vinegar)

1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (can substitute one small chili, seeded and chopped)

Here's the easy part: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Can be made a week in advance. Store in a resealable container in the refrigerator. Is suitable for serving with fried shrimp and vegetables.

Coriander is the seed from Cilantro
Coriander is the seed from Cilantro

Cilantro Yogurt

serve with grilled chicken, pork or beef

Here is an easy recipe for cilantro yogurt sauce that uses the freshest ingredients. To make this recipe with less fat than you can use low-fat sour cream. The fresh taste of cilantro is great with grilled meats.


3 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, about 3 large bunches

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

¾ teaspoon salt

½ cup plain whole-milk yogurt

½ cup sour cream

freshly ground pepper to taste


Place lime juice, cilantro and salt in a food processor and pulse to a coarse puree. Pour the mix into a bowl and stir in yogurt and sour cream. Add pepper to taste and stir well. Keep in a refrigerator until ready to use. Cilantro Yogurt can be made a day in advance.

Great served with grilled pork, chicken, or beef.

photo in public domain by

Did you Know?

A cook who specializes in sauce making is called a saucier.

What is your favorite sauce, dip or salad dressing recipe? I hope you have enjoyed my lens because I enjoyed making it and enjoy updating. Your comments will help me to make this lens even better. If you like it please let me know through your feedback or click on "Like".

I would love to hear from you. - Do You Have a Favorite Sauce Recipe?

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Yes, a sauce can turn really good food to divine! Thank you for sharing these tantalizing recipes!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I generally use ready made sauces, however I would like to make some of my own; loved the homemade recipes and would like to try some.

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      I have a sweet and sour sauce that is my absolute favorite. My mom gave me the recipe yet years later when she was having supper at my house she actually asked me for the recipe because it was so good. Lol..we sure change a recipe into our own as time goes by ;)

    • jolou profile image


      7 years ago

      I really like sauces also. The cilantro one sounds delicious.

    • lizziehumphreys1 profile image


      7 years ago

      i just love sauces! it totally changes a meal, especially salads :) i lovew honey and mustard sauce, yummy yummy! I never knew there was such a thing as a saucier!

    • verymary profile image


      7 years ago from Chicago area

      I so agree that a great sauce turns a meal gourmet. Basically anytime I've done a reduction (which isn't often!), the meal tastes special. I want to try your cilantro yogurt sauce!


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