Saucing up your seafood basket
  |  First Published: October 2013

Adding dipping sauces to seafood will add extra dimensions of texture and flavour to your meal. A variety of seafood on a platter (or basket) and multiple sauce options will always look impressive.

Citrus Sauce

This is a simple to prepare sauce that has a great burst of flavour.


1 cup orange juice

1/4 cup sugar

1 star anise

Good pinch of chilli flakes


Simmer the orange juice and sugar until reduced and slightly syrupy. Add the star anise and chilli flakes to the sauce and stir well to combine. Excellent with fish or drizzled onto freshly shucked oysters.

Peanut Lime Dipping Sauce

This sauce has a touch of satay about it. This is a great dipping sauce for fresh prawns, crumbed prawns, crumbed strips of fish and/or grilled calamari.


1/3 cup crunchy peanut paste

3tbsp hoisin sauce

3tbsp white wine or stock

1tbsp soy sauce

2tbsp fresh lime juice

Lime zest

1 small red chilli, finely chopped (or 1tbsp) chilli jam


To make this dipping sauce, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Allow them to stand for an hour to let the flavours blend. This sauce will thicken while standing so you may need to thin a little with wine or stock before serving.

Coriander and Lemongrass Sauce

This sauce is best served either hot or at room temperature.


100g coriander leaves

2 golden shallots, peeled and finely diced

1 lemongrass stalk, split in half lengthways

1 small tin coconut cream

50g butter, chilled and cut into small cubes

Freshly ground salt and pepper

Coriander leaves, for garnish


Place the coriander leaves, stalks and roots as well as the golden shallot, lemongrass stalk and coconut cream into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Take care not to boil the sauce or it may split. At the completion of the cooking time, remove the lemongrass from the saucepan and discard.

Transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender and blitz until smooth. Sieve the contents of the blender into a clean saucepan. Bring to a simmer and add the butter, a cube at a time, whisking continuously as you add the butter. Season to taste.

Add the extra coriander leaves to the sauce, stir well and pour the sauce into a serving dish.

Citrus Sweet and Sour Sauce

1/2 cup vegetable stock

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

4tbsp tomato sauce

4tbsp brown sugar

2tbsp soy sauce

1tsp chilli paste

1 clove garlic, crushed


To make the sauce, place all of the ingredients in a non-metallic bowl and whisk vigorously to combine. Refrigerate for at least an hour before use to allow the flavours to blend.

Ginger Dipping Sauce

This sauce can be made several hours before use. Please keep the sauce at room temperature for serving.


2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine (or white wine)

1/4 cup Chinese black vinegar (or rice wine vinegar)

1tbsp honey


To make the sauce, grate the ginger into a small pile onto a very clean tea towel (or cheesecloth). Gather the corners of the tea towel up in your hands and squeeze the ginger flesh over a bowl to extract all of the juice. Discard the ginger pulp.

In a small saucepan, bring the soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine, vinegar and honey to the boil. Continue to boil for about a minute. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the contents to cool completely. Now add the ginger juice to the pan and stir. Pour the sauce into a serving bowl and cover until ready to use.

Beer Sauce

2 golden shallots, peeled and sliced very finely

1tsp cracked black pepper

300ml pale beer

200ml thickened cream

1tbsp flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped


In a saucepan, place the shallots, cracked black pepper and beer. Bring to the boil and continue to cook until the liquid in the saucepan has reduced by two-thirds. Add the cream to the contents of the saucepan, reduce the heat to a simmer, and continue to cook for a further five minutes.

You want the consistency of the sauce to be such that it will lightly coat the back of a spoon. If the sauce is too thin, continue to heat in order to reduce it down, until the desired consistency is reached.

Sieve the sauce through a fine meshed sieve into a serving bowl and then gently stir in the finely chopped parsley flakes.

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