Yellow Sauce

Photo by Carmen Troesser
February 2018
Curry-based sauces are built layer upon layer spicy, creamy, a little sweet, a touch of salt. Pour this one over rice and chicken, tofu or anything fried. You can take the base in so many directions: use lime zest instead of lemon, or stir in a teaspoon of tahini for a nuttier flavor. Red or green curry paste can be sauteed in place of turmeric and curry powder. Leave out the lemon and use one teaspoon pungent minced lemongrass instead. Add a teaspoon of minced ginger or shallot with the garlic, or if you like it super spicy, try minced jalapeno, serrano or Thai chile instead of red pepper flakes.

Yellow Sauce


1 13.5-oz. can full-fat coconut milk
2 Tbsp. coconut or vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. turmeric
1∕8 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. brown sugar


Scoop the thick cream at the top of the can of coconut milk into a small bowl and set aside. Save the liquid coconut milk for another use.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, add the oil, curry powder, lemon zest, garlic, turmeric and red pepper flakes, and saute until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
Whisk in the soy sauce, brown sugar and reserved coconut cream and continue whisking until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.