Amy Wong’s Three-Flavour Sauce

This is another handy sauce from Amy Wong’s Savoury Sauces: Favourite Cooking Hacks, which I bought in Penang a few years ago.

But there are more than three flavours at work in this sauce. There is sweet from Thai sweet chili sauce and sugar; sour, from tamarind paste; spicy from fresh red chilies; salty/umami from Chinese bean paste; lemony from lemongrass; and garlicky from a lot of garlic.

The ingredients are all listed by weight, so having a small digital scale will make it easier. (If you can, default to the metric measurements given in case I have screwed up the conversion to standard measurements.)

Once you have collected the ingredients and blended them, you have just two steps to do. Pretty easy. I made a half batch of the recipe to try it out, and ended up with about 2 pints (4 cups) of sauce:

Amy Wong’s Three-Flavour Sauce

  • Clockwise from top left: sugar, lemongrass,Thai sweet chili sauce, garlic,fermented bean sauce, fresh red chilies
    Clockwise from top left: sugar, lemongrass,Thai sweet chili sauce, garlic,fermented bean sauce, fresh red chilies

    90g / 3.2oz fresh red chilies, blended

  • 125g / 4.4oz lemongrass, blended or pounded
  • 100g / 3.5oz garlic, blended
  • 150g / 5.3oz bean paste
  • 250ml / 1c oil
  • 200g / 7oz Thai chili sauce
  • 150g / 5.3oz tamarind paste, mixed with 250ml / 1c of water
  • 50g / 1/4c chicken stock powder
  • 90g / 1/2c sugar
  • 1.5T white vinegar
  1. Heat the oil in a wok and stir-fry all the ingredients over low heat until fragrant.
  2. Add the tamarind water and the seasonings and bring to a boil.
A batch of Three Flavour Sauce in the wokA batch of Three Flavour Sauce in the wok
A batch of Three-Flavour Sauce in the wok
My Improvisations:

Since I didn’t have any stock powder and generally avoid stuff like that, I just added some homemade chicken stock that I had in the freezer.  You could also use vegetable stock or veggie stock powder if you want to keep it vegetarian/vegan.

How to Use It

In her book, Amy Wong has a few example recipes for how to use this sauce, among others, one with steamed enoki mushrooms and fish, another stir-fried with spare ribs and tomatoes.

I’ve found it makes a great Pad Thai noodles sauce with the addition of a bit of fish sauce.

Tonight I broiled some eggplant slices after brushing them with oil, then topped them with a couple of pan-fried salmon fillets, and then poured some heated up 3-flavour sauce over it. Yumm!

Salmon and eggplant in 3flavour sauce
Salmon and Eggplant in Three-Flavour Sauce