Fish Sauce Recipes



Fish is very versatile and tasty on its own, but sometimes, the flavour and experience can be enhanced with the addition of a sauce.

The use of a blender or processor makes life a little easier, but most of these sauces can be made without.

Here you will find fish sauce recipes for the classic Hollandaise and Béarnaise including instructions on how to make them in your blender.

Mayonnaise, with variations to make seafood cocktail sauce and tartare sauce - plus a blender recipe.




4 cloves garlic - peeled
1/2 tspn salt
1 egg yolk
2 tspns lemon juice
6 fl oz(175ml) good olive oil

Crush the garlic with the salt - put onto a board and use a large knife with the blade flat - then mix together until you have a really smooth paste.

Place this into a bowl with the egg yolk and lemon juice and beat together. Gradually add the olive oil, incorporating thoroughly before adding the next few drops - you will get a thick mayonnaise type sauce.


Alfredo Sauce

3 oz (80g) butter
1/4 pint (150 ml) cream
3 oz (90g) grated fresh parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
chopped fresh parsley

Put the butter and cream in a pan and stir over a low heat until they are thoroughly combined - don't allow the mixture to boil, as it will separate.

Take the pan from the heat and stir in the parmesan - return to the low heat and stir for a minute or so.

If you decide to make this a seafood alfredo, then add your mixed seafood (225g/8oz) at the same time as the cheese - taste and season.

Stir in the chopped parsley and pour the sauce over boiled fettucine or a pasta of your choice.


Barbecue Sauce

1 large onion - peeled and diced
2 tbspn olive oil
1 clove garlic - peeled and crushed
4 oz (100g) tomato puree
2 tbspn Worcester Sauce
2 tspns sugar
1 tbspn lemon juice
glass of wine - red or white

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic until softened.

Add the puree, worcester sauce, sugar, lemon juice and wine and simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce is thick.

Taste and adjust seasoning as required.

You can use this barbecue sauce to marinade your seafood if you like (you will need to let it cool though) or just baste your food as it cooks.

It works equally well with meat.

When we had barbecues, we would have a mixture of meat and fish.

I would brush the fish/meat with the sauce as I turned it and then the remainder was served with the barbecue so that people could put some on their plates - it is particularly good on potatoes.

There are three methods of making this sauce - the traditional, the quick and the blender.



Cheese Sauce

2 oz (50g) butter
1 oz (25g) plain flour
1 tspn English Mustard powder
3/4 pint (425ml) milk
salt and pepper
6 oz (150g) grated hard cheese - mature cheddar type

Melt the butter in a pan - take off the heat and mix in the flour and mustard powder.

Return to a low heat and cook for one minute - stirring constantly.

Add the milk gradually - stirring all the time with a wooden spoon, making sure that each quantity of milk is incorporated smoothly before adding the next.

If you're careful in adding the milk, you won't get any lumps - if you do get lumps, then either whisk with a balloon whisk or sieve the finished sauce.

Cook over a very low heat for about 6 minutes.

Add the cheese and stir until it's melted into the sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning.

You can make this cheese sauce in an 'all in one' method.

Put all the ingredients (they must be cold) into a saucepan and put on a low heat.

Using a balloon whisk, constantly whisk the mixture until it begins to thicken - then take a wooden spoon and get right into the edges of the pan.

Whisk and stir until the sauce is thick.

Then cook about 6 minutes over a low heat, stirring occasionally.

Add the cheese and mix in until it's melted.
Blender Method Put all the ingredients (except the cheese) into the blender and process until smooth - then follow the method as above.

This cheese sauce is so versatile.


Garlic and Wine Sauce

6 cloves garlic - peeled
3/4 tspn salt
2 egg yolks
3 tspns lemon juice
10 fl oz (300ml) good quality olive oil
Cooking liqour as above
Handful of freshly chopped parsley

Take the garlic cloves and crush them with the flat blade of a large knife. Mix to a paste with the salt - really smooth.

Put the garlic paste into a bowl with the egg yolks and lemon juice and whisk together well. Incorporate the oil slowly until you get a nice thick mayonnaise type sauce.

Add the cooking liqour and parsley - mix together well and pour over the cooked fish or shellfish.


Crab Cake Sauce

4 tbspns fresh herbs, eg basil, dill, coriander and parsley
2 tspn lemon juice
grated rind of 1 lemon
4 tbspns mayonnaise or creme fraiche

Dip the herbs into boiling water for about 10 seconds, then refresh (run under cold water)

Drain and put all the ingredients into a blender and process until the herbs are finely chopped.

I would prepare this in advance and allow it to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes for the flavours to infuse.


Marinara Sauce

1lb (500g) prawns (shrimp)
8 oz (250g) scallops - cut in half
8 oysters
small can (45g/1.5oz) anchovy fillets - drained and cut into small pieces
14 oz (400g) can plum tomatoes
8 fl oz (250ml) white wine
2 tbspns olive oil
2 cloves garlic - peeled and crushed
1 onion - peeled and finely chopped
1 tbspn tomato puree
1 tbspn chopped fresh parsley
1 tbspn chopped fresh mint
black pepper - to serve
grated fresh parmesan - to serve

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the scallops for 1 minute - remove and set to one side.

Add the garlic and onion and fry until softened.

Add the tomatoes, wine and tomato puree and simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened.

Add all the seafood and cook for a further 2 minutes or so.

Stir in the parsley and mint and serve over hot pasta.

This seafood marinara recipe is very quick to make - the choice of seafood is yours - try some mussels, crab meat, clams - your choice.



Piri Piri

4 tbspns lemon juice
5 fl oz (125ml) olive oil
4 red chilli peppers - chopped
1 tspn salt
3 fl oz (75ml)wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic - peeled

Put all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix for a few seconds.


Store the sauce in a jar in the fridge for about a week to allow the flavours to amalgamate.

You then use this sauce to season your cooking.

Take a basic tomato sauce - look on the Seafood Sauce Index - and add piri piri sauce to taste - carefully! The fact that you've used whole chilli peppers - with the seeds - can make this sauce quite fierce - add a teaspoon of it and taste - you don't want to take the lining off the roof of your mouth!


Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

2 large red peppers - cut into four and deseeded
1 tbspn olive oil
1 tspn red wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove - peeled and crushed
2 tbspn yoghurt or soured cream
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to Gas Mk 7, 425F or 220C. Put the peppers into a roasting tin, sprinkle with oil and bake for about 25 minutes, until the skins are black and the pepper is beginning to soften.

Put the peppers into a polythene bag and leave a few minutes - the skins will then 'sweat' off.

Rinse under a tap and scrape away any remaining skin.

Put the peppers, wine vinegar and garlic into a processor and blend until smooth.

Put the puree into a bowl and stir in the yoghurt or soured cream - taste and adjust the seasoning.

This roasted red pepper sauce recipe is absolutely delicious as a dipping sauce or dressing for a lot of fish dishes. I find it particularly good with crab cakes, but it's also great with a plainly cooked fillet of fish.

If you don't want to switch the oven on, then place the cut peppers skin side up under a grill and cook until the skin has blistered - then follow the instructions as below


Savoury Butter

4 oz (100g) butter - softened
1 clove garlic - peeled and crushed
handful chopped parsley

Simply mix the ingredients together - roll into a sausage shape and chill in the fridge.

So easy but so effective.

1 tbspn garlic puree
1 tbspn tomato puree
Juice and rind of 1 lemon
Juice and rind of 1 lime
Juice and rind of 1 small orange
Fresh chopped parsley
Fresh chopped dill
Fresh chopped watercress
Fresh chopped sorrel
Cayenne pepper to taste
Fresh chopped chives
Few cracked fennel seeds
Coarsly crushed black peppercorns
Fresh chopped thyme
Use just one or a mixture to make it different every time.



2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 pint (300ml) olive oil
1-2 tbspns white wine vinegar
salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and lemon juice

Take a DRY mixing bowl. Put your egg yolks and mustard in and beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes creamy.

Gradually, whilst you are beating, add the olive oil - initially just a drop at a time, beating all the while to incorporate it.

As the mayonnaise begins to thicken, you can pour more oil in at a time. IF the mixture does begin to separate, then beat another egg yolk and add it to your mix a bit at a time, beating all the while.

Once all the olive oil has been added, add your wine vinegar to taste - start with one tablespoon and then add a little more if you want.

Try it now and add salt, pepper, cayenne and lemon juice to taste.


Blender Mayonnaise

2 whole eggs
1/2 tspn dijon mustard
2 tbspns white wine vinegar
1/2 pint olive oil
salt, pepper, cayenne and lemon juice

Put the eggs with the mustard and one tbspn vinegar into the blender. Process for about 20 seconds.

Keep the machine going and pour in your oil slowly. Continue to blend for about a minute until the mayonnaise is thickened.

Add the other tablespoon of vinegar and season to taste.

Once you have your mayonnaise, you can now add 1 tbspn tomato puree, a dash of tabasco sauce, a squeeze of lemon juice and there you have, the perfect seafood cocktail sauce recipe.

Your mayonnaise base can be used to make tartare (tartar) sauce


Tartare Sauce

1/4 pint (150ml) mayonnaise
1 tspn lemon juice
1 finely chopped gherkin
1 tspn finely chopped capers

It is important that the ingredients are at room temperature, the eggs are MORE than 3 days old and your mixing bowl is dry. If you follow those basic instructions, your mayonnaise will thicken and not curdle. 



Hollandaise Sauce

3 tbspns white wine vinegar
2 tbspns water
6 peppercorns
4 oz (100g) butter
3 egg yolks
lemon juice

In a small saucepan, put the vinegar, water and peppercorns - bring to the boil and simmer until the liquid is reduced to about 1 tbspn.

Strain and cool.

Melt the butter.

Beat the egg yolks.

Put your cooled vinegar in a bowl and place it over a pan of simmering water - make sure the bottom doesn't touch the water or the eggs could start to scramble.

Beat in the egg yolks, then very slowly, the melted butter, stirring constantly.

Taste, add lemon juice and salt.

If the mixture thickens too quickly, just remove it from the heat.


Blender Hollandaise

4 egg yolks
2 tbspns white wine vinegar
2 tbspns water
6 oz (150g) melted butter
salt and pepper

Put your egg yolks, vinegar and water into the blender.

Turn on and whilst it is running, add the melted butter slowly. Process until thick.

Add salt and pepper to taste.


Bearnaise Sauce

1 tbspn each finely chopped shallot, tarragon, and parsley
4 tbspns tarragon vinegar
4 tbspns dry white wine
4 peppercorns
6 oz (150g) butter
3 egg yolks
salt and cayenne pepper


Take a small saucepan and reduce (by boiling rapidly) the shallot, herbs, vinegar, wine and peppercorns to about 2 tbspns.

Strain this and leave it to cool.

Beat the eggs until they're creamy and frothy and melt the butter.

Put your vinegar liquid in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.

Beat in the egg yolks.

Slowly add the butter, beating all the while until the sauce is creamy and thick.

Season with salt and cayenne to taste.


Blender Bearnaise

1 tbspn finely chopped shallot
2 tbspns white wine vinegar
6 peppercorns
3 egg yolks
2 tbspns lemon juice
6 ox (150g) melted butter
salt, pepper and cayenne

Put the shallot, vinegar and peppercorns into a pan and reduce to about half by boiling rapidly.

Strain and cool.

Process the egg yolks and lemon juice until creamy and add the vinegar.

Keep the processor running and add the melted butter slowly - it will thicken into a creamy sauce.

These seafood sauce recipes are ideal with poached fish.



Tomato and White Wine Sauce

1 tbspn olive oil
1 onion - peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic - peeled and crushed
1 14 oz (400g) can peeled plum tomatoes
1 tspn tomato puree
1 small glass white wine
1 tbspn fresh chopped basil - or dried to taste
salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the onion and garlic until softened.

Add the tomatoes - break them up into a pulp - and the tomato puree and white wine. Simmer for about 15 minutes until thickened.

Add the basil and taste - adjust seasoning.

This tomato sauce is so versatile - from here, you can add canned fish or defrosted seafood to make a pasta sauce.

You could add some defrosted prawns (shrimp) and serve it over boiled rice.

You could use it as a pizza base tomato sauce - add some canned pilchards, sardines, anchovies, mixed seafood and mozzarella cheese.

You could fry off some monkfish or halibut cut into chunks and add that to the sauce - serve with boiled potatoes and vegetables.



1/4 tspn mustard powder
1/4 tspn salt
few twists black pepper
1/4 tspn sugar
1 tbspn wine vinegar
2 tbspns good olive oil

Put all the ingredients into a screw top jar and shake - the jar that is, not you!

If the dressing is left to stand, it will separate - that's not a problem, just shake it up again!

You can add any (or more than one) of the following ingredients as you prefer.

garlic - to taste, you can use garlic salt, but then leave out the ordinary salt.
1/2 tspn curry powder
freshly chopped parsley
freshly chopped dill
freshly chopped chives
1 tspn worcester sauce
1 tspn dijon mustard - leave out the dried mustard if you prefer
1 tbspn finely chopped olives - green or black, your choice
few ounces or grams crumbled blue cheese