Get Saucy in the Kitchen: A Beginner’s Guide to Cooking Sauces

As we all know or might have guessed that I don’t do the norm, but as I’ve learnt throughout my culinary journey that ‘sauces play a very vital part in a dish. There are 5 sauces that you must understand and have ingrained into your mind, these are called the mother sauces. They are Béchamel, Velouté, Espagnole, Hollandaise and Tomato.

Béchamel – This is also referred to as white sauce, that consists of flour, whole milk and butter. Their are many ‘sister’ or ‘daughter’ sauces that can be made from this, such as Cream Sauce, Mornay, Nantua etc.

Velouté – Another Simple Sauce, that consists of butter, flour and stock. Chicken stock is usually the go to, but you can use either beef, fish or vegetable stock. Other ‘sister’ or ‘daughter’ sauces that can be made from this: Hungarian, Supreme, Venetian etc

Espagnole – This is also known as brown sauce where it is a roux (fat and flour) thicken stock, puréed tomatoes and mirepoix and celery. Other ‘sister’ or ‘daughter’ sauces that can be made from this: Demi-glace, Mushroom, Burgundy, Robert etc.

Hollandaise – A classic breakfast/brunch sauce known worldwide, I’ve even seen an avocado variation of this and once I have made it I will post it so be on a look out. This is a tangy creamy sauce made up of butter, lemon juice and raw eggs. It is somewhat tedious and a work of the arm to make, but very worth it. Other ‘sister’ or ‘daughter’ sauces that can be made from this: Béarnaise, Chiron, Maltaise.

Tomato – A classic and undoubtedly a base for most if not quite allot of sauces, being from an African background this is definitely a top contender. It consists of tomatoes thickened with a roux, pork, herbs and aromatic vegetables. Other ‘sister’ or ‘daughter’ sauces that can be made from this: Algerian, Provençal, Marinara etc.

Sauce Verje – A simple classic French sauce that comprises of mainly lemon juice, chopped tomatoes, chopped basil and olive oil. It pairs very well with seafood dishes. I like to add capers and other versions herbs depending on the fish. Seen in the picture on the left.

Salsa (Mango) – Another classic sauce/dip, this can be served fresh or cooked depending on what you want to use it for. It can be used for fajitas, stews, tortillas, nachos etc. It is mainly tomatoes, onions, herbs and chillies. Fun fact in kenya ‘Kachumbari’ is the east african version of salsa which is eaten on the side or as a salad. It originally comes from Indian though.

Chimichurri – This South American predominately Argentinian sauce that is absolutely amazing on red meat. As my culture has allot of meat eaters this is a refreshing way to add something to the meat. Personally this is all you need. It is comprised of chopped parsley, olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano and minced garlic. You can add chopped chilli if you would like.

Chimichuri Sauce

Their are many more sauces out to cover and explore, it once you have these mastered you can go to another level.


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