Ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise are condiment staples for a reason. They’re tasty and pair well with a variety of sandwiches. They’re tried and true.
But let’s be honest. They can be a little boring. What about the adventurous eaters out there who to who like to push the envelope and explore new culinary possibilities?
You may be surprised just how many different condiment options are out there — and they can take a sandwich from being so-so to completely epic. It’s all about finding the secret sauce.
Here are some of the top condiments that can take your sandwich to new levels.
This simple yet delicious sauce mixes the best of both worlds and is perfect for those who like a bit of spice without it being overwhelming. Diana Rattray writes at The Spruce that chipotle mayonnaise is great on a sandwich or burger, and also serves as a tasty dip for chicken and fish.
It combines regular mayo, chipotle peppers, green onion, cilantro, lime juice and garlic to deliver a zesty, piquant taste.
Wasabi is one of those things that most people either love or hate. On it’s own, it packs a punch and can be less than palatable to your average tastebuds.
Although you typically think of combining it with sushi, it can actually make for an interesting addition to mayo. It’s really quite easy. The Epicurious team explains that wasabi mayo consists of five key ingredients:
- Soy sauce
- Lemon juice
- Wasabi paste
While their recipe revolves around adding wasabi mayonnaise to tuna slates, it also pairs well with a roast beef sandwich. Co+op stronger together points out that sliced roast beef on sourdough bread with hot pepper jack cheese and wasabi mayonnaise is a killer concoction with a delightful zing.
This is a sauce that’s very common throughout China and Vietnam. Regional variations can differ, but it typically includes soy beans, garlic and red chillies for a distinct flavor that definitely has a kick to it.
You’ll typically find it used as a dipping sauce for egg rolls or combined with stir-fry or noodles. However, many people are discovering the potential of hoisin sauce as a condiment on sandwiches.
It can be used on barbecue, turkey, fish and even meatloaf sandwiches. But Dennis Prescott at Food & Wine raves about the pleasures of combining hoisin sauce with buttermilk fried chicken for a hot, sticky taste. It’s unconventional but can really elevate a basic chicken sandwich to new heights.
Tonkatsu sauce is most commonly paired with fried pork cutlets, which are a Japanese favorite. However, it can also be used on a chicken sandwich, a croquette sandwich and even hamburgers.
Food blogger Namiko Chen explains that traditional tonkatsu is made of a plethora of ingredients and is fairly complicated. But you can make a simplified version by simply combining ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce and sugar.
Joshua Bousel also points out at Serious Eats that you can throw in some mustard and garlic powder to create an added layer of complexity.
Pesto has a long history that can be traced all the way back to ancient Rome. With its primary ingredients being basil and garlic, it’s usually found in Italian dishes like pasta, pizza and piadina (flatbread).
But don’t think that you’re limited to just these classics. Pesto is really quite versatile and works well on a turkey sandwich, chicken sandwich and even grilled cheese.
All Recipes recommends combining pesto sauce with provolone cheese, American cheese and tomato, then placing it between two slices of Italian bread for a fresh, aromatic grilled cheese sandwich.
Although this sauce originated in Thailand, it has really caught on in America and much of the western world in the last decade-plus. Major food chains like McDonald’s, Subway and Taco Bell are even incorporating sriracha into their menus.
It’s hot enough to have a little kick but isn’t so scorching that it brings you to tears. People especially love sriracha because of its versatility and ability to upgrade just about any meal.
BuzzFeed food editor Melissa Harrison even goes so far as to list 28 ways to use this “Swiss army knife” of condiments. She talks about putting it on veggie frittata, hot dogs, popcorn, garlic bread and even pickles.
She also mentions the grilled cheese with avocado and sriracha sandwich, which is the brainchild of MacKenzie Smith at Grilled Cheese Social. Her amazing recipe calls for
- Sliced avocado
- Multi-grain bread
- A medium boiled egg
- Casa Bolo Melange cheese
- And sriracha
Avocado is pound-for-pound one of the healthiest foods in the world. Kris Gunnars writes at Healthline that it has the ability to lower cholesterol, protect your eyes, relieve arthritis and may even help prevent cancer. It’s truly a superfood.
Avocado also happens to make for one amazing spread that can amplify the taste of several different sandwiches. Here are just a few possibilities:
- Chicken bacon avocado sandwich
- Cucumber and avocado
- Egg and avocado
- Avocado club sandwich
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, and there aren’t really any limits to what you can do with this condiment. You can put on avocado slices directly or make a spread. Natasha Kravchuk at Natasha’s Kitchen recommends mashing together two ripe avocados and adding 1/8 tsp of salt plus 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice to give the spread even more flavor.
Wait … what? Greek yogurt on a sandwich?
Although it may sound a little unorthodox at first, you would be amazed at just how well it pairs with many sandwiches. Some of the more common examples include egg salad, chicken salad, ranch chicken and turkey sandwiches.
Many people love the taste — and the fact that it’s a far more healthy alternative than mayonnaise. The All You team points out that even light mayo has more than triple the calories and more than 10 times the fat of Greek yogurt. If you’re health conscious, this is definitely the way to go.
You can use Greek yogurt straight up as a condiment, or you can give it a little something extra by mixing in a few other ingredients. Amy Engberson at Little Dairy on the Prairie explains that throwing in some mustard, salt, freshly ground pepper and paprika can make for a delicious sandwich spread.
When hearing the word “remoulade,” most people immediately think about one thing — a classic Louisiana po’ boy sandwich. It’s a distinctive tasting sauce with its key components being mayonnaise, lemon and garlic.
But there’s so much more that you can do with remoulade sauce that transcends your standard po’ boy. One of the more interesting combinations is the Cajun portobello sandwich with avocado and remoulade, as highlighted on Genius Kitchen. It combines what most would describe as three disparate ingredients and makes them into an innovative sandwich that really pops.
The first thing that usually comes to mind with hummus is pita chips and flatbread. It’s a delicious dip and makes for a healthy snack. Lizette Borreli even writes in Medical Daily that hummus can reduce blood sugar, reduce blood clots and lower cholesterol.
But look beyond simply using it for a dip, and the possibilities are endless. Julie R. Thomson at The Huffington Post offers 13 different ways you can incorporate hummus onto sandwiches. She has a juicy tomato and hummus tartine, a grilled hummus and caramelized onion sandwich, and a smoky tempeh and hummus sandwich, just to name a few.
Caramelized Apple Champagne Mustard
Looking to get really adventurous? This is one of the more exotic varieties of mustard you’ll find, and many people have found that it hits all of the right notes. The creators of this fascinating concoction, Herb ‘n Zest, explain that it pairs best with ham and fish and is great on grilled cheese, pastrami and tofu sandwiches.
OK, so this isn’t the healthiest sandwich condiment. But butter works particularly well on ham sandwiches, for example. Dorothy Reinhold mentions at Shockingly Delicious that this is the perfect way to prepare a sandwich with high quality ham where you don’t want the other ingredients competing with its flavor.
Daring to Be Bold
We may need to rethink what’s “normal” for sandwich condiments. These sauces and spreads prove that there are no limits, and thinking outside the box can yield some extremely mouthwatering results. While some of these condiments may raise a few eyebrows initially, daring to be bold can really pay off.
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