sauces_webAmber King | Maybe you haven’t heard of a progressive dinner, or dining (my favorite) having multiple courses at different places, or involving having multiple course meals usually with a theme in varying locations.  I love building on flavors and ideas and with the summer ripe upon us it’s nice to have some quick go to recipes for late snacks, impromptu BBQs or social gatherings. I wanted to make some Asian meatballs the other day and realized that I needed sauce. I like to make my own because it’s amazing and fresh, and to make big batches to share. The sauces are great together or they are versatile alone as well.  Sauces are  also an amazing way to use fruit that’s turning to fast on you.  So here are my summer sauces for every meal. And the meatballs were great too…

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Sweet Thai Chili Sauce

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar (or substitute white vinegar)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. sherry, dry
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 to 1 Tbsp. dried crushed chili (1 Tbsp. makes spicy-hot sauce)
  • 1+1/2 Tbsp. organic cornstarch dissolved in 3-4 Tbsp. cool water


  1. Place all ingredients – except the cornstarch-water mixture – in a sauce pan or pot. Bring to a rolling boil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and let boil for 10 minutes, or until reduced by half.
  3. Reduce heat to low and add the cornstarch-water mixture. Stir to incorporate and continue stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens (about 2 minutes).
  4. Remove from heat and taste-test. You should taste “sweet” first, followed by sour, then spicy and salty notes. If the sauce isn’t sweet enough, add a little more sugar. If not spicy enough, add more chili.
  5.  Pour sauce into a small bowl or jar and serve as a condiment with chicken, fish, and seafood, or as a dip with finger foods such as chicken wings, shrimp, or spring rolls. Also makes an excellent marinade for grilled chicken, fish, or seafood.

Plum Sauce

  • 15-20 small to medium plums
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup red onion finely chopped
  • 1 Tbls. grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbls. sweet chili sauce (see above)


  1. Slice plums in half and discard pits. Cut each half into about 6 chunks.
  2. Mix plums in a saucepan with garlic, onion, ginger, soy sauce, and chili sauce.
  3. Heat on medium for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Blend well with an immersion blender and add water to thin if desired.
  5. Store in the freezer up to six months or the fridge up to two weeks

Hosin Sauce (Chinese BBQ Sauce)

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce (tamari)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter or black bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon honey or molasses or brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 20 drops Chinese hot sauce, habanero or jalapeno (or Thai Chili Sauce)
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


Combine all ingredients well in blender or heat slightly and mix well, best when allowed to sit and marry the flavors to deepen them.  Delicious on Peking duck, mu shu pork and spring rolls

Hawaiian BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup your own Plum Sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup of your own hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbls. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ground dried ginger
  • 4 Tbls. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Cracked pepper, to taste


Combine all ingredients well in blender or heat slightly and mix well, best when allowed to sit and marry the flavors to deepen them.  Amazing over meatballs of your choosing with pineapple, onions and bell peppers.

From my table to yours and a fridge full of new sauces! Enjoy!