Is there anything that resembles the state of Utah more than a murky mashup of ketchup and mayo? Unexpectedly, no. According to Kasey Christensen, chief operating officer of Arctic Circle Restaurants, the fast food company where fry sauce was created, consumers who adore it as a beloved staple of Western American comfort cuisine view it as much more than just a condiment.
If you haven’t tried what Christensen refers to as the “ultimate” dipping sauce, fry sauce is really just ketchup and mayonnaise mixed together in equal amounts. Fry sauce stands out for its simplicity despite having the same appearance as the “yum yum” sauce found in Japanese steakhouses. The Thousand Island sauce, which has a mayonnaise base and a sour flavor created by Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, or chili spices, and is accentuated with a variety of minced pickles, onions, olives, and bell peppers, may be mistaken by some for fry sauce. But unlike Thousand Island, which is thick and packed with ingredients, fry sauce maintains it light thanks to its smooth smoothness and seldom use of minced additives.
Fry sauce was created in 1940 and has since been customized by a variety of people, incorporating influences from all around the world. It may soon experience a surge in popularity comparable to that of Sriracha.
According to Christensen, the tangy-savory-creamy mixture has a long history that dates back to the 1940s and a chef by the name of Don Carlos Edwards.
Similar to the prevalence of mobile eating today, Edwards began his career in Salt Lake City operating a food cart, delivering hamburgers, fries, and cold drinks to throngs of people who would queue up for his menu. Although Edwards was well-liked at fairs and rodeos all throughout the state, his goal had always been to own a physical business and have a long-term presence in Salt Lake City. When he opened Don Carlos’ Barbecue, that dream came true.
One day, Edwards blended his famous white sauce, which is made with mayonnaise, with ketchup in the back of his restaurant and began pestering regular customers and close friends to test it. According to Christensen, Edwards demonstrated fry sauce to almost everyone who would watch. “Once upon a time, that pink sauce was even spread on our hamburgers. Years later, we reversed the practice and encouraged consumers to save the fry sauce for their fries instead of putting it on their sandwiches.”
In the early 1950s, Edwards finally transformed his barbecue restaurant into the first Arctic Circle sites. Fry sauce is still the pride and pleasure of Arctic Circle after more than 65 years, and it has expanded throughout most of the West Coast and Northwest.
That does not imply, however, that Don Carlos Edwards was the only inventive person to make a sauce with a ketchup and mayonnaise foundation. Fry sauce, devised by none other than a Nobel Prize winner, not only left its stamp on the American West but also has an odd second life as salsa golf in Argentina. Before the similar thousand island dressing appeared in a New Orleans cookbook in 1900, the condiment quickly spread over Central America, eastern Europe, the Balkan nations, and a few countries in the Middle East.
Salsa golf was developed around the middle of the 20th century, making it the first instance of the mixture in South America before making appearances elsewhere. In contrast, Edwards didn’t thought to produce his fried sauce until the 1940s.
Argentine biochemist and physician Luis Federico Leloir is said to have discovered his version of fry sauce while on vacation in eastern Argentina. Leloir is most known for finding the metabolic capabilities of sugar nucleotides, for which he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1970. In Los Sabores de la Patria by Vctor Ducrot, it is stated that Leloir made the decision to forego the traditional mayonnaise when he was vacationing in Mar del Plata with friends and coworkers. The chemist couldn’t help himself and asked his waiter to bring him a variety of unusual ingredients from the kitchen, including vinegar, lemon, mustard, sugar, and ketchup. Soon, “salsa golf,” named after the restaurant at the golf resort where they had dinner, had been invented.
Soon after, salsa rosada appeared in Colombia and spread to deli meats, chips, fries, and hamburgers (even Goya would pick it up as one of its products). It is frequently used as the dressing for ensaladade repollo, Costa Rica’s version of coleslaw. Additionally, mayoktchup is frequently referred to as the island’s official condiment in Puerto Rico. Likewise, fry sauce has spread across Europe. Fry sauce, for instance, was also influenced by fast food culture and is commonly served with bratwurst or currywurst in Germany. This meal is called pommes rot-weiss, according to Pedro Leao in his book Keys to Understand German Business Culture. In Icelandic culture, fry sauce is one thing, but koktelissa—or Marie Rose sauce—is something quite else.
Christensen is unaware of Don Carlos Edwards’ ancestry or family background, but he insists that Edwards was born and reared in Salt Lake City and that neither Brazilian nor salsa golf culture had any impact on Edwards. That doesn’t mean he is unaware of alternative theories about fry sauce or other attempts to stake a claim to what he claims is Arctic Circle’s unique claim to fame.
A laundry list of ingredients
Christensen claimed to have never heard of salsa golf, but he frequently encounters what he claims to be fried sauce that has been given a different name or additional ingredients. “Most people who stopped by the booth commented, “Oh, that’s Raising Cane sauce, I recognize that sauce,” while I was recently in Dallas, Texas, talking to some people about Arctic Circle products, including our fry sauce. However, that sauce is entirely distinct from fried sauce “He claims that the primary differential is the fiery kick in Raising Cane sauce.
What then is included in Arctic Circle’s version? “We’ve never made pickle juice in ours, to start with. not ever, “He claims. Christensen claims that aside from that, there are few hard and fast rules when it comes to fry sauce.
There is no secret about the fact that we adhere quite closely to the recipe’s very foundation, which calls for an equal mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise, he explains. “We don’t use pickle juice here, and there is a specific ratio of salts to spices. In addition, there are numerous varieties of fry sauce available today that weren’t available in the past.”
While many other recipes call for components like spicy sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, sugar, and other spices and flavorings, Christensen carefully chose his wording while describing Arctic Circle’s version.
Even corporate chains must participate in the fry sauce trend in Utah and the other Western States, according to Christensen, if they want to compete. In addition to the upmarket Denver-based burger business Smashburger, which was formed about ten years ago and is renowned internationally for its smashing technique when it comes to their hamburger patties, he identifies corporate behemoths McDonald’s and Five Guys as participants in the fry sauce game.
With an emphasis on strong geocoded preferences that we can incorporate into our products, he says, “As a brand, we attempt to localize our menu.” “Fry sauce is one of the unique features of our restaurants in Salt Lake City that makes them stand out to people looking for a burger and fry establishment in Utah. We’ve capitalized on the popularity of fry sauce, which is widespread here.”
However, Smashburger deviates from industry norms and offers a fry sauce that is a combination of the chain’s ranch dressing and ketchup. According to Ryan, Smashburger customers like the change of pace when ranch complements the creamy component of fry sauce.
We do have the traditional combination of ketchup and something creamier, but our mayo is especially eggy and powerful, so the two together were a little too much for him. “On the basis that ranch dressing is essentially mayo that has some herbs added, we gave it a try. Why not come up with a creative way to use this idea of fried sauce?”
Ryan isn’t coy about specific components, but Arctic Circle hasn’t shared the complete fry sauce recipe, in large part because they want to uphold the tradition that Edwards established so many years ago, according to Christensen. They also strive to distinguish themselves from rivals and imitations. We’re convinced in our history and knowledge here that Arctic Circle was the genesis of fry sauce before it ever got popular anywhere else. “Some other chains and restaurateurs claim as well that they created fry sauce.
In the near future
Fry sauce is still a staple at Arctic Circle 70 years after it was first introduced, and Christensen claims that it isn’t just a passing fad. In reality, he claims that the chain’s dining rooms consume close to 50,000 gallons of the sauce annually, with self-service pumps consuming two gallons on average per day.
That doesn’t even take into account the drive-thru or the 16-ounce bottles that are sold in stores, he claims. Within the past ten years, Arctic Circle started selling bottles of its renowned fry sauce at retail locations. According to Christensen, a portion of the proceeds from each bottle sold goes to Arctic Cares, an internal foundation supporting suppliers, staff members, franchisees, and distributors in need.
Even outside of the Utah market, Arctic Circle faces opposition in the bottled fry sauce business. Since its introduction to major shops like Walmart, Target, the western grocery giant Winco Foods, and Albertsons in 1991, Some Dude’s Fry Sauce has gained popularity. Stephen’s Gourmet, the same company that gained notoriety in the hot cocoa industry, is one of the most recent entrants into the market for fry sauce dominance. It is widely regarded for the consistency of its blend and content and is offered in all Associate Food supermarkets in Utah.
No bottles available for you? Christensen did provide advice for people eager to purchase a bottle of Utah’s finest wine. Arctic Circle answers written inquiries from clients and followers outside of their actual market.
Ryan thinks Nashville hot chicken right now is an excellent illustration of how regional cuisine is becoming more and more popular in the food market. The fry sauce craze in Utah is another.
Fry sauce was quickly added to the menu at each of the six Salt Lake City stores once Ryan and Smashburger entered the city’s market in 2009. Later on, restaurants in Boise and St. George, Utah, followed suit and added fry sauce to their menus. According to Ryan, it has also briefly appeared at Smashburgers in Nevada. Even while he has observed fry sauce being offered in independent burger shops in Minneapolis, Chicago, and even Denver, he is unclear if the practice will spread to other cities. He feels that his consumers outside of Salt Lake City should be upsold fried sauce.
In the 1950s, Utah residents would queue up outside Arctic Circle to view cutting-edge equipment that created soft-serve ice cream for only 15 cents each cone (it currently costs just 89 cents, in case you were wondering). But one enduring holdover from that time is fry sauce, which will continue to be a mainstay in the West for years to come.
I think part of why fry sauce is so ingrained in this place is because we started here so long ago; after all, Utahns tend to stick around Utah, he claimed. These elements—heritage, nostalgia, and the fact that we never departed from the original recipe—could be the reasons why fry sauce has come to be a mainstay for our business and for our clients across the state and the nation.
So the real query is: when can we anticipate burger establishments outside of the West serving fried sauce? Will people in America ever dunk their fries in this seductively pink sauce outside of the west coast? “It’s more of a specialty item than a “must have,” in my opinion. And throughout time, numerous skills have advanced and turned into a need in kitchens, “Ryan claims. “Fry sauce has been long overdue, but we’ll simply have to wait and see with this one.”
What liquids are used in stir-fries?
Stir in the sauce or seasonings and continue cooking. You’ll need about 3 tablespoons of sauce for a simple stir fry. The majority of the liquid will evaporate while cooking, leaving only the flavors. You’ll need around 1/3 cup of sauce and may want to add some cornstarch or flour to it if you plan to serve the stir fry over rice or other grains.
It’s simple to add soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, or pre-made stir-fry sauces to the dish, and most stir-fry recipes call for a certain combination of liquids.
A little bottle of soy sauce and some sliced ginger or garlic will produce a wonderful, simple stir-fry sauce if you don’t actually have a sauce planned.
What can I flavor a stir-fry with?
Spice up your stir-fry instead of using a salty sauce with:
- herbs: cilantro, oregano, and basil.
- spices: cardamom, cumin, and coriander.
- Broth with less or no added sodium.
- fresh ginger, garlic, or lemongrass.
- pure fruit juice
- orange zest
- Soy sauces with less salt (
How can stir-fries mimic restaurant flavors?
Stir-fries are one of my favorite quick-and-easy weekday meal ideas. It’s a terrific method to put together a unique, 30 minute dinner that doesn’t require a recipe (including prep time).
Do You Need a Wok to Stir-Fry?
Really, only a small frying pan or cast-iron skillet will do. However, if you intend to cook a lot of stir-fries or prefer the old-fashioned method, it is worthwhile to purchase one. The majority of woks are manufactured of carbon steel, which is more lightweight and durable than cast iron but similar in appearance. These pans are better for quick cooking since they can get hotter than stainless steel skillets. After seasoning, the pan also imparts wok hei, a smokey, burnt scent that can elevate your stir-fry, to your cuisine.
The wok’s sloping sides are the main distinction between stir-frying in a skillet and a wok. They enable you to concentrate the heat on the objects in the wok’s bowl by allowing you to push cooked food up onto the sides.
You must seek for a Western, flat-bottomed wok if you don’t have a gas burner (like this one). Get an adaptor ring so you can lay the classic, round-bottomed wok straight over the flame if you cook on gas and wish to use it.
What Kind of Oil Do You Use?
Use any oil with a high smoke point; because they can sustain temperatures of up to 400°F, vegetable, canola, and peanut oils are all excellent choices. Olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, and butter should all be avoided since they can burn and give your food an unpleasant flavor.
What Meats and Vegetables Are Best?
Even if the meats and vegetables are already cooked, you can still use them. You won’t run the risk of overcooking leftover chicken because you stir-fry items in batches while you wait for the broccoli to finish cooking.
Think about including the following ingredients when developing a stir-fry recipe:
- elements with a strong aroma, such as garlic, ginger, green onions, chiles, and spices. Usually, these additives are added to the oil first to flavor it. You won’t need much; each person, a few teaspoons to a tablespoon of aromatic components offers a significant quantity of taste.
- proteins cut into little, bite-sized pieces, such as beef sirloin, chicken, shrimp, pork loin, or tofu. They cook more quickly and have a lovely exterior sear because to their size. Make a stir-fry vegetarian by substituting tofu or include more vegetables. Per person, you should aim for 3 to 4 ounces of protein.
- either fresh or frozen vegetables. Here, the options are endless: Use any garden-fresh vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, zucchini, or asparagus, or stick to tradition by using canned bamboo shoots or baby corn. To ensure equal cooking, it’s ideal to stick to two or three vegetable options and chop everything into uniformly sized pieces. Similar to beef, 3 to 4 ounces should be sufficient for each person.
- A good stir-fry needs sauce because it gives the food its sweet, sour, and salty characteristics. Alternatively, you can prepare your own sauce using oyster sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, and stock. Per person, aim for 2 to 3 tablespoons. (Start with these essential Asian sauces.)
- finishing touches like toasted sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, a drizzle of spicy sauce, or fresh cilantro. Although they are not necessary, they give the dish’s final product more texture and flavor. 2 to 3 teaspoons each person is a fair quantity, just like the sauce.
The Best Easy Stir-Fry Recipe
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon of garlic mince
- 1 teaspoon of ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon of white-only minced green onions
- optional 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
- cut into bite-sized pieces, half a pound of meat
- Vegetables weighing half a pound, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 cup stir-fry sauce, either homemade or purchased.
- Chopped nuts and/or fresh herbs, 1/4 cup
- optional cooked rice or noodles
Step 1: Cook the rice or noodles
Prepare your stir-fry ingredients in advance if you intend to serve it with rice or if you want to add noodles to make it more filling. It’s important to have everything prepared because the meat and vegetables cook so rapidly.
Step 2: Chop your ingredients
Your meat should be cut into bite-size pieces. Try freezing tender meats for 20 minutes to harden up the outsides if you’re having problems slicing them. Clean the cutting board before slicing the vegetables into uniform pieces and setting the meat aside in a basin.
Step 3: Cook in batches
If you put everything in the pan at once, the food will steam rather than have a nice, crisp exterior. The ideal way to stir-fry is in batches, giving the pan time to warm between each addition.
A wok or cast-iron skillet should first be heated over high heat until it is almost smoking. Add the garlic, ginger, green onions, and chili flakes to the oil (if using). After 15 seconds, remove the aromatics and place them in a basin.
Add the meat and, if necessary, cook it in batches. Cook for 1 to 3 minutes, tossing frequently, or until the meat is well cooked. Let the pan warm while you remove the meat to a bowl.
Cook the vegetables for 2 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are crisp-tender. Give the meat and aromatic spices a brief stir in the pan before serving. Add any rice or noodles you’re using right away.
Step 4: Sauce and serve
Last but not least, stir in the sauce and add it to the mixture. Let it boil and simmer for a minute. Your work here is finished after all the components are shiny and well covered. Enjoy with the herbs or peanuts as a garnish on each serving.