4 Essential Condiments You Should Always Have in Your Kitchen

Jun 21

What’s a dish without the flavoring? While a common question in the kitchen is about which pots and pans you should always have, you rarely hear the one about which condiments you should always keep in your pantry or fridge at all times.

Whether they are store-bought or home-made, condiments are a great thing to have as they add a lot of flavor to the dishes that you cook, but knowing which ones to have and on which dishes they should be used makes all the difference.

1. Soy Sauce
This is perhaps the most versatile condiment that you can get your hands on, and almost all Asian households have a bottle of this dark sauce in their pantry. Some would even have two or three different types.

Aside from being added to food that’s already cooked, soy sauce also makes for an excellent ingredient in bringing out the flavors in many different recipes, and is also used as a sauce or marinade.

What you need to know about soy sauce is that it’s a broad category that includes both Japanese and Chinese soy sauce. The former is made with an even ration of soybeans and wheat, while the latter is made almost entirely from fermented soy.

2. Ketchup
Next to soy sauce, ketchup ranks number two in the condiment versatility scale. It can be combined with either soy sauce (which yields a barbecue sauce, provided that you balance it with other ingredients) or mayonnaise (great for oily finger foods, like fries, for an afternoon snack.

You can even make this yourself at home. While soy sauce is difficult to make, ketchup is much easier – there are a lot of recipes that you can look up online and tinker with to see what works for you.

3. Mayonnaise
This condiment made of oil, vinegar, and eggs actually has a fairly long history, but has made its way into a beloved condiment for deep-fried foods, or as a dressing for some salads. Unlike other condiments, this one in particular is easy to make on your own – no cooking required.

The three mentioned ingredients are all that you need to start making your own at home. However, do keep in mind that home-made mayonnaise tends to use the egg yolks, while store-bought mayonnaise gets away with egg whites by using powerful machines to mix the emulsion together.

4. Hot Sauce
For the ones who are always down for a little spice in their palate, a bottle of hot sauce will help to ramp up the flavor in every bite. There many different types of hot sauce, each with their own different textures and levels of spiciness – all you need to do is choose which one your taste buds like the most.

(Disclaimer: This list is compiled in no particular order.)

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