Quick no-cook sauces are the ace up the sleeve of countless private, personal, and professional chefs. They can take a dish from simple to mind blowing in a matter of minutes. And the ones that I have chosen for this particular "gettin' saucy" post are the easiest of the easy and can be made in five minutes or less each.
Why IS the secret in the sauce?
I could seriously write a blog post for each of the following no-cook sauces individually. Each one listed has a multitude of uses, ranging from simple dip to salad dressing, marinade to condiment. More importantly, what really makes these help take your meals from "shine" to "sparkle" is the aspect of flavor layering.
A Very Brief Explanation on the Aspects of Taste
Human beings experience five primary taste sensations: sweet (ex. sugar, apples), sour (ex. lemon juice, sourdough bread, vinegar), salty (ex. salt, soy sauce), bitter (ex. black coffee, raw chocolate, endive), and umami/savory (ex. seaweed, blue cheese, shiitake mushrooms). It is in combining these aspects that we get a more full-bodied flavor experience. If you have ever tried unsweetened dark chocolate, you probably weren't impressed. But take that same chocolate and add sugar and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt and VOILA! Deliciousness!
Photo credit #anovafoodnerd @joelcym via Instagram
This is what adding a sauce to your meat, fish, or vegetables often does - multiplies the number of flavor layers in your dish. Steak is considered primarily umami on its own. Add chimichurri, and you are introducing hints of sweetness (sweet red pepper), bitterness (fresh cilantro and parsley), sourness (red wine vinegar), and saltiness (salt!). All of a sudden, ALL of your tastebuds are activated and you are experiencing "the perfect bite".
Nine Popular No-Cook Sauces to Try Now
In less than five minutes, you can transform your chicken into a meat-sterpiece. Change the cuisine of your batch-cooked proteins every day. Bring your sandwich or potato salad to an incredi-level! The possibilities and combinations are endless, and I can't wait to hear how you food nerds "get saucy" yourselves...
All of the sauces below are vegetarian if not vegan, and easily convert to accommodate a number of special diets. If your particular dietary restrictions are not covered, please do shoot me a message in the comments and I will work on a version especially for you.
Also, this is clearly not the COMPLETE list of no-cook sauces out there... But it should give you a delicious "taste" of what's available and have you looking forward to "gettin' saucy with Chef Nicole" again in the future.