Sometimes, you just have to be a little extra. I mean, okay. You could be perfectly fine on your own, but there’s a bit of magic to be found when you take something and make it even better than it already is. For all the regular life-related stuff, it’s called self-improvement. When it comes down to the stuff on your plate, it’s called sauce.

Ah yeah, it’s a bit of a balancing act- which in itself comes with its own set of risks. After all, in the confusion of seeing (or making) things change, you just might lose yourself. Yes, even with food! A dash might be all it takes, but sometimes you just need to let the sauce take the wheel. All is fair in life and condiment use.

In a country like the Philippines, we’re spoiled for choice as far as food enhancement goes. The gamut runs from subtle to flavorfully dense. Let’s go down that culinary rabbit hole, shall we?

Soy Sauce

This is probably the top dog when it comes to sauce life in the Philippines, and for good reason. Soy sauce, locally known as toyô, goes well with practically anything and turns any lowly slab of meat into a beautiful play of savory flavors. Toyô also has the distinction of being an incredibly flexible platform that takes incredibly well to the addition of kalamansi and/or fresh chili.

Vinegar

We sure love our fried stuff, don’t we? Think lechon kawali, chicharon, or golden-brown pork chops. You could imagine how oily that stuff gets, and it would be great if you had some acidity to contrast that with. Vinegar brings a uniquely sour twist to your meal, and helps curb the umay factor.

Bagoong

You know you grew up in a Filipino household if you accidentally dug into a plate full of bagoong thinking it was corned beef. I’ve been there, and it was surprising to say the least. Made of fermented fish and salt, bagoong famously pairs well with dishes like bagnet, ripe mangoes, and kare-kare.

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What are some of your favorite sauces? Chances are, we have a bottle of the good stuff on our site. Head on over to http://karton.ph for some great, saucy finds!

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