prefab: condiments for your burger

Lest we incur the wrath of Tony Bourdain, practical home cooks can use semi-homemade ingredients. There’s nothing wrong with augmenting ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce, or mayonnaise.

Spicy aioli: garlicky mayonnaise, goes great with anything fried. Raw garlic makes it spicy by itself, but for me the hotter the better.

Mayonnaise 1/2-1 cup
2-6 cloves of minced garlic
Vinegar-based hot sauced (my favorite is Crystal)
Salt to taste

Smoked ketchup: another great condiment for burgers, french fries, fried pickles

Tbsp of vegetable oil
2-3 tsp of smoked paprika
Mix these well until they form a paste. If you need/want to add water, do so. This will prevent clumping of the paprika.
Ketchup 1/2-1 cup

Curry mayonnaise: great on burgers or serve with chicken for chicken salad or sandwiches
Make a paste out of curry powder like I describe with the smoked paprika
1/2-1 cup of mayonnaise

Spicy mustard sauce: this one goes back to the college days. Great as a dipping sauce for sausages/brats during football season as an appetizer.
1/2-1 cup of mustard (plain yellow)
Dales marinade or Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco or hot sauce of choice to taste

Asian barbecue wing sauce: make as a dipping sauce, toss fresh fried wings in this sauce or use as a condiment for burgers or chicken.
1/2-1 cup of barbecue sauce. My favorite in order is: Maull’s Kansas City Style (found in Missouri) followed by Sweet Baby Ray’s.
2-3 tbsp of fish sauce
juice of 1 lime
sriracha to taste


I’ve made ketchup, and I routinely make my own mayonnaise. Ketchup is a pain in the you know what. Making mayonnaise is much faster than it takes me to go the 3 blocks to the grocery store and buy it. Cheaper too. The key ingredient is fresh, neutral oil and eggs you trust. Easier said than done.
I really want to hear what the rest of you do in a pinch when you need a dipping sauce. It’s really about balancing sweet, spicy, savory and trying to augment, not overpower. Bring on the comments!


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