We love a good dipping sauce, and we especially like these 23 dipping sauces from around the world because of their versatility. By all means, dip away with your favorite healthy finger foods. But remember some of these sauces can do double duty as marinades for or toppings on your favorite beef, poultry or fish dishes. Add them to soups of all kinds, too — including vegan and vegetarian, because we leave no one behind.
This is El Salvador’s version of Mexico’s pico de gallo. (Guatemala has a very similar salsa called chirmol as well.) The Salvadoran salsa includes radishes, tomatoes, cilantro, onion and lemon juice.
No monkeys are harmed in the making of this South African barbecue sauce.
This hot sauce from Peru is made with queso fresco, red and green rocoto peppers and an Andean herb called huacatay (pronounced “wah-kah-tie”), which is also known as Peruvian black mint.
This fiery sauce originates in Portugal by way of Africa. Especially popular in southern Africa, the sauce is made with piri piri, a type of bird’s eye chili from Africa.
We bet you can find a jar of this hot sauce in nearly every Colombian cooks’ refrigerator. My Colombian Recipes is spot on about calling it an absolute must for Colombian empanadas and the perfect dipping sauce for fried plantains. Heck, spoon some over a plate of white rice and go to town.
A gardening disaster that forced Cook Sister food blogger Jeanne Horak-Druiff to pick her tomatoes while they are all still very green resulted in this wonderful recipe for chutney. “If life gives you green tomatoes, make chutney!” she says. And we’ll take two jars, please.
You bet we’ve written about chimichurri before and if we could make a bottomless jar of it, boy howdy, would we ever. Depending on the recipe, chimichurri can be quite thick and creamy, or a little more liquid-y. The recipe we chose from A Beautiful Mess gets the consistency somewhere in between, and we think it’s perfect. Although many top their grilled flank steaks with chimichurri, it complements fish, poultry and, yes, plain old white rice. And you can dip fried green plantains or fried yucca into it. It’s that versatile and delicious.
This creamy sweet and spicy dip gets its kick from the trademarked peppadew sweet piquante peppers, which are grown in the Limpopo province of South Africa.
When it comes to hot sauces, Peru is not messing around. This hot sauce is made with yellow chili peppers, and some oil, vinegar, salt and sugar.
This spicy tomato pepper relish has its origins in the townships of Johannesburg, South Africa.
You don’t have to wait until Cinco de Mayo rolls around to whip up a batch of mole sauce. Although there are different kinds of mole — and that’s a roundup for another day — we love this mole poblano (the one that includes chocolate in its ingredients) from Closet Cooking.
Mushrooms figure prominently in Russian cuisine, and are the star ingredient in this creamy, cheesy sauce recipe from Cooking Melangery.
Eat Like a Girl’s recipe for chorizo jam is sure to add a slightly sweet and definitely spicy kick to anything from toast to chicken kiev.
Talk about versatile, ezme is actually considered a salad in Turkish cuisine. In fact, it’s commonly served as a side with kebabs at kebab restaurants. But just look at it. It’s almost begging for you to grab a piece of lavash (a Turkish bread that is similar to tortillas), and dip right in.
Okay, so this one isn’t so much dipping sauce as it is Latin America’s version of French mirepoix. Sofrito is popular in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, you name it — and it will vary by country and even by region. But the basic formula is to sauté diced garlic, vegetables and spices/herbs in olive oil on medium to high heat so you can season certain dishes with the sofrito afterward.
This hot sauce hails from North Africa and tastes great on everything from falafel to grilled meat.
Pebre is Chile’s version of chimichurri, except it is traditionally served with warm bread or choripán, which is a chorizo sandwich made with crusty bread.
Serious Eats scores big with this recipe for traditional mojo sauce. The Cuban sauce is perfect for dipping fried green plantains. It’s absolutely delicious, and once you take the first bite, you won’t be able to stop. So if you’re planning on kissing someone afterward, make sure they eat lots of it, too. Mojo’s base is sour orange juice, and the tartness is cut by a lot of garlic. Like mole, there are various types of mojo that are just as delicious as the original. But that, too, is a roundup for another day.
This Bavarian beer and cheese dip is absolutely a must for your next Super Bowl party. Dip veggies or pretzels in it or use as a spread on a slice of your favorite bread.
Tahini features prominently in Middle Eastern, Turkish, Greek and some North African cuisine, and is pretty versatile. Use it as a dip or add it to a hummus wrap.