Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Technique Tuesday: The Slurry

Ever wonder how chefs make such delicious, thick sauces? The two most popular ways are through the use of a roux (coming soon to a Technique Tuesday post) or a slurry. A quick way to differentiate between a slurry and a roux is the appearance of the sauce. A roux will create an opaque sauce, whereas a slurry leaves sauces shiny. I typically use slurries to thicken sauces for asian dishes or when I make fruity dessert sauces.

The slurry is made by combining equal parts cold water/stock and cornstarch. This mixture is added to a sauce, which is then brought to a boil and reduced to a simmer. Slurries work fast; it only takes a few minutes at most to thicken a sauce using this method.
A few things to remember about using the slurry technique: 1) combine the water and cornstarch in a small bowl, NOT in the pan; 2) use cold water only; 3) do not overcook the sauce after adding the slurry or you may end up with a thinner sauce than you anticipated; and 4) make sure you completely combine the water and cornstarch before adding it to the pan.

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