What is Fry Sauce?

G. Wiesen

Fry sauce is a condiment, typically found in Utah and Idaho in the United States (US), which is traditionally served with French fries, from which it receives its name. It is fairly similar to Russian dressing or Thousand Island dressing and is basically made using ketchup and mayonnaise. The amounts of each ingredient used can vary depending on the restaurant or location in which it is served, and a similar condiment can be found in many areas outside of the US as well. Fry sauce is traditionally served with French fries, but can also be used as a condiment on sandwiches, hamburgers, fried fish, and other foods.

Mayonnaise is one of the essential ingredients in fry sauce.
Mayonnaise is one of the essential ingredients in fry sauce.

While one restaurant in Utah claims it created fry sauce, recipes for salad dressing using mayonnaise and ketchup predate the creation of the sauce at the restaurant. Regardless of origin, the use of the sauce rapidly spread in popularity throughout Utah and Idaho, and can be found in restaurants in other regions as well. It is also fairly popular in the Pacific Northwest.

Fry sauce is meant to be enjoyed with french fries.
Fry sauce is meant to be enjoyed with french fries.

A traditional fry sauce recipe typically calls for one part ketchup added to two parts mayonnaise, in any size or quantity desired. This simple recipe is often prepared, but more complicated versions can also be enjoyed and may change the amounts of each ingredient or add other flavorings as well. Diced onion can often be added, and some recipes may call for soe hot sauce to be added to make the condiment spicier and balance out the sweetness of the ketchup.

In countries other than the US, fry sauce can go by a number of different names and is used as a condiment for a variety of foods. In Iceland and parts of Belgium, for example, it is called kokkteilsósa or cocktailsaus and was first used with prawns or shrimp much like American cocktail sauce. It has since been expanded to be used with French fries, pizza, and hamburgers.

A similar product to fry sauce is enjoyed in Germany, where it is called rot weiss or “red white” and comes packaged in squeezable tubes. In France, it is sometimes referred to as sauce américaine and can be found in some restaurants and markets. Fry sauce is commonly referred to as “burger sauce” in the United Kingdom (UK) and is often eaten with French fries or hamburgers.

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