Brow Beat

The 30-Second, 3-Ingredient “Secret Sauce” I Drizzle Over Everything

Yes, everything.

A bowl of quinoa, avocado, and radishes.
Rocky Luten

I have a secret sauce. It’s not the one you’re thinking of—though I do love a good Thousand Island riff.

It’s a little big spicier, a little bit sharper, and a good deal more garlicky. And I physically can’t stop drizzling it over everything: Warm grain bowls, packed with a combination of roasted and raw, sliced vegetables. Seared salmon. Crispy chicken thighs. Sautéed greens that need a little extra somethin’. Great, hulking sandwiches. Broiler nachos. Salads of all shapes and sizes. And since takes less than a minute and only three ingredients to pull together, it makes the perfect companion most weeknights.

If my secret sauce were giving an Oscar acceptance speech, it’d have to start by thanking Huy Fong, a California-based company that makes and sells chile-based products. Huy Fong is perhaps best known for its Sriracha—the one sold in a tall bottle with a bright green squeeze-tip—but I go through its jars of chili garlic sauce like they’re water. The main ingredients listed on the condiment’s label offer some clues to its deliciousness (chiles, salt, garlic, vinegar), though the specifics (Are the chiles roasted? Raw? Anything special happening to the garlic?) remain the stuff of my wildest wonderings. “It was quoted by someone that it was easier to get into the Pentagon than into Huy Fong,” says the company’s website.

Next up, it’d give a shout-out to mayonnaise (haters, look away!), whose composition of emulsified oil, egg yolks, and some sort of acid make it a dreamy base for most any quick dressing. Hat tip to a dash of apple cider vinegar, for the perfect amount of tang.

And that—plus a little salt—is it. Really. My secret sauce is so simple, the Oscars wouldn’t even have to play it off the stage.

Magical Three-Ingredient Dressing

• 2 tablespoons Huy Fong Chili Garlic sauce (or similar)
1/4 cup mayonnaise (I use Sir Kensington’s or Duke’s or Hellman’s)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 large pinch salt, plus more to taste

See the full recipe on Food52.

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