Clever condiments for every meal

Homemade kimchi mayonnaise. | Priya Hutner

The medium rare burger is plated, served on a brioche bun, lettuce, tomato, maybe a pickle and possibly accompanied by a side of fries. An assortment of ketchup, mustard, mayo or perhaps an aioli is served with the meal.

What topping do you lean toward? What do you dip your French fries in? What is the difference between a condiment and a sauce? I personally love a good quality Dijon mustard with my burger.

Condiments are considered a topping. They enhance the flavor of prepared food. Ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise are some of the most common condiments. Sauces are, well, saucy. Sauces are partially liquid and generally added to food. One might argue the point, but a sauce and a condiment are two different animals in the food world.

What about hot sauce, soy sauce or hoisin sauce? They, too, are considered condiments and not sauces. In the world of cooking, condiments are a topping that enriches the taste of the food.

Harvest time
I love condiments and enjoy experimenting with them. As the seasons change, there are several ways to create new flavors and add to standard condiments. For the gardeners, it’s harvest time. Temperatures are starting to dip and herbs are beginning to bolt. It is time to pick the sage, mint and oregano before the first freeze. I dry some herbs and add others to condiments such as herbed mayonnaise or aioli.

Fruit can also be made into condiments. End-of-the-season peaches are unique and delightful. Think of a peach relish on roasted chicken. Or try peach, apple or pear syrup on pancakes, and, yes, syrup is a condiment.

Salsas are also considered a condiment. Pear, apple or peach salsa are fabulous on tacos and tortilla chips.

Pickled vegetables & relishes
Pickles and pickled vegetables are also considered condiments. I recently made pickled jalapenos when I purchased a large bag of peppers. I use them in a seven-layer dip and they add the perfect amount of spicy punch to this dish.

Pickled red onions, another condiment, are always in my fridge. Pickled onions are delicious on tacos, sandwiches and baked potatoes.

Try Priya’s recipe for Pineapple Salsa at

Pickled vegetables in almost any form add a nice flavor to many dishes.

Relish is also a winner. Add relish and ketchup to mayonnaise and, voila, a great condiment is prepared and perfect for a turkey sandwich or any type of sandwich.

Kimchi, Sriracha, chili sauce and wasabi give Asian food a delicious flavor and add spice to a meal. Asian nori bowls with seasoned rice, seared salmon and vegetables topped with chili garlic condiments and kimchi are among my favorite meals.

Kimchi mayonnaise
From the kitchen of Priya Hutner

Homemade mayonnaise
1 egg
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 T white wine vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
¼ t coarse salt
Pinch of pepper
1 C oil (avocado, canola or olive)

In a food processor, add egg, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix for 30 seconds. Add 2 T of oil. Blend into the mixture. Slowly add remaining oil until the ingredients emulsify, about 3 minutes. Store mayo in a jar in the fridge.

Easy Kimchi
1 large head napa cabbage, 2-3 lbs.
½ C daikon radish, peeled & cut into matchsticks
5-6 green onions, sliced into ½-inch pieces
1 C kosher salt
4-6 gloves garlic, finely minced
3 T fresh ginger, grated
1 t sugar
2-3 T Gochugaru or red pepper flakes
4 C water
2 T fish sauce or salted shrimp paste (optional, but traditional)

Cut cabbage lengthwise and place in a large bowl. Salt the cabbage and let sit for 30 to 60 minutes. Squeeze excess water that is produced.

Place the cabbage in a container and cover with water. Let it sit for a few hours.

Mix remaining spices together for a marinade and add remaining vegetables. Mix with cabbage and place in a container, covered with salted water. Seal jar and let ferment for one to five days. Serve with everything. Refrigerate after opening.

Kimchi Mayo
½ C homemade mayo (can substitute vegan mayo)
¼ C kimchi, chopped small (can use store-bought)

Using homemade mayo, store-bought mayo or vegan mayo, add ½ cup to the food processor and add the kimchi. Mix for 30 to 40 seconds until blended. Store in the fridge until ready to use.