Dips from around the world


Is that a dip or dipping sauce?

In some parts of the world, a dip might mean something you immerse crisps or tortilla chips into while watching television. This type of dip can also be found at a cocktail party, typically surrounded by breadsticks, flatbreads or crudités,  etc. They are considered to be there for nothing more than for filling a gap. In other words, a snack.

In other parts of the globe, dips may instead be understood to mean something that accompanies a meal as part and parcel of a dish.  The purpose here is to add flavour to a dish that forms part of a meal, either as a starter or main course.

Comparing the types of dips found on snack tables at a cocktail party and those that come with a  Risjttafel illustrates the point well.

The idea with snack table dips is that the accompanying breadsticks or crudités, such as carrots or celery, will be immersed in the dip and then eaten (quite often, there and then).  At a Rijsstafel, individual skewered items like meat, seafood or cheese are dipped, and are more likely to be eaten while sitting at a table. Individual pieces are consumed from the skewers after they have been immersed in the dipping sauce.

More dipping sauces

The Rijsttafel style of dips with Chillies is commonly found throughout South East Asia. Indeed. The Rijsttafel had its origins in Indonesia when the country was under Dutch rule. Other countries that have this style of eating include (among many others) Indonesia, Korea, Thailand. Vietnam, Malaysia and Laos Examples of these sauces include  Nam Jim Jaew and Nam pla wan (from Thailand), Jaew bongDips with Chillies. Skewered chicken (from Laos), Cincalok (from Malaysia), Mắm nêm (from Vietnam), Sambal Badjak from Indonesia and  ssamjang from Korea

Dips with Chillies may be hot or cold. Hot dips with Chillies include Spicy Queso dip from Mexico and  Chicken Satay from Indonesia. While not traditionally spicy, there is no reason that Chip Shop curry sauce ( a hot dip  from the United Kingdom)  cannot be made with Chillies added

Hot Chips are dipped in various adding sauces  around Europe, but particularly in the Netherlands and Belgium. Andalusian (a Belgian sauce made with mayonnaise, tomatoes, garlic, shallots, and spice). Other typical Belgian Frites (hot chips) sauces are Samurai (made from mayonnaise, ketchup and harrisa) and Pili Pili ( a dipping sauce made with Chillies, with or without mayonnaise)


Some other iconic dipping sauces and dips with Chillies are closely associated with particular countries. Guacamole from Mexico, Sriracha from Thailand, Aji Verde from Peru and Molho apimentado from Brazil  are good examples