Tips & Techniques

Your Favorite Fridge-Door Condiments

January 30, 2016

​This time of year, when farmers market offerings seem thin and warm sustenance wins out over whimsical creations, mealtimes can get a bit monotonous. Those endless lentil soups and hearty pastas could use some perking up. Nancy resourcefully turns to the condiments "lurking in her fridge door," adding Sriracha and sesame oil to otherwise non-Asian dishes.

But why stop there? She asked the Hotline for condiments that can take a dish from dull to dynamite and luckily, you all are full of ideas:

Jarred and Tinned Fish

  • Pro tip: Tinned fish can be used as a seasoning, rather than the main event. Chef June suggests adding a few anchovies to your next batch of ratatouille for a umami blast.

  • In terms of tuna, Ortiz—a Spanish brand of tuna hand-packed in olive oil—was deemed the overwhelming favorite. Creamtea calls it "delicious, elegant and addictive."

  • Don't forget the oil! Oil from premium jarred tuna is a "game-changer," according to ChefJune. (Speaking of leftover oil, substitute sun-dried tomato oil anywhere you’d use olive oil!)

Preserved Lemons


Hot Sauces

  • EmilyC sings the praises of Gochujang sauce. The Korean chili paste "enlivens practically anything—eggs, sandwiches, leftover pasta, mashed potatoes, etc."

  • Susan W used a little Thai chili paste in Merrill's broccoli and lemon soup with an over-easy egg. She deemed it "outstanding," and we believe her.

  • Kristin W. is a fan of Frank's RedHot sauce.

All Things Pickled (and Vinegar!)

What are your condiment pro tips? Tell us in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Sara
  • Diana
  • ghainskom
Annie Crabill

Written by: Annie Crabill


Sara February 20, 2016
I am addicted to Ume Plum Vinegar. It is bright and tart. I use it on everything, but especially love it on a bowl of grains and greens and also avocado toast.
Diana February 3, 2016
Bulldog sauce & kewpie mayo are great to have in the fridge. Both can jazz up a simple bowl of white rice.
ghainskom February 1, 2016
Anchovies. Secret weapon of choice.