Turn Mundane Dishes Into Culinary Masterpieces

“Even just a few ethnic condiments that you can keep in your pantry can turn mundane dishes into a culinary masterpiece.”
Marcus Samuelsoon

Marcus, we like the way you think!

Ethnic condiments are the perfect way to experiment with ethnic cuisine and to enhance basic meals. They have a number of wonderful features that represent their great qualities:


Ethnic condiments make it easy to jazz up a basic, everyday meal and to add an exotic flavor to a variety of foods. Add Sriracha hot chili sauce (pronounced sir-rotch-ah or sear-raw-chah) to eggs, salad dressing, non-fat yogurt and cilantro to make a sandwich or burger spread. It works well on meat: mix with lime juice and onion to add a kick to chicken. There are so many options.

To make it even easier to try Sriracha just open a tin of Ocean’s Light Tuna Sriracha – it adds the right level of spice to any dish.  Try our other flavours - Thai Chili and Teriyaki. Let us help you discover ethnic flavours.


Ethnic condiments are rich with flavor, fulsome in taste. Their abundance of zest is reflected in their enjoyment around the world. In recent years they have grown in popularity and worked their way into the culinary mainstream.  This is no doubt due, in part, to Canada’s increased ethnic diversity which is fueling an evolution in Canadians taste preferences.

The popularization of the ethnic foods will grow as immigrants continue to come to Canada.  Ethnic condiments are a great way to try them out and discover the tastes you like.


If you like heat – you will LOVE ethnic condiments! Harissa, a fiery, salty chili paste from Tunisia, adds zip to almost anything. Traditionally, it is served with fish and meat dishes or alongside bread or couscous. Now available in Canada, it has been creatively mixed into every day dishes. Try it as a rub for roast pork or chicken, toss chopped vegetables with the paste before roasting, mix it with hummus for a vegetable dip or add it to a pasta tomato sauce.


There is a feeling of excitement and adventure that can arise when we try new things. Experimenting with new flavours is a way to bring a bit of adventure into our lives through food. We can explore a world of culinary variety by trying new taste sensations.

Part of a culinary adventure is learning about the history of the food. Where it comes from, how it was first manufactured and its native uses are just some of the unique, fun learning that can come with a bit of research.

Sharing new flavours with friends can be fun. Host a dinner party where you pick an ethnic theme for the evening. Thai, Cuban, African or Persian to name a few. Ask your guests to read about the culture and food prior to dinner so that, as a group, you can discuss the food and people of the chosen country.       


The taste of a new flavor can inspire a sense of adventure. Bringing new experiences to our senses can enliven our spirit and make life a bit lighter. Ethnic condiments can inspire you to learn more about a culture, experiment with different cuisines and enjoy life.


While adding a smidge of an ethnic condiment to a basic meal can be a great, “safe” introduction to a new flavor, cooking with ethnic condiments by incorporating them into a recipe is more of an adventure.

For example, pomegranate molasses is a traditional Persian ingredient. With the influx of Persians into Canada, pomegranate molasses is readily available in Persian owned grocery stores and some specialty stores. An absolutely mouthwatering dish is Fesenjan Persian Chicken Stew made with pomegranates, pomegranate molasses and walnuts.  Fesenajan is simply divine serves over Basmati rice. 

If you like Mexican food but want to try a different Mexican flavor, try chipotles in adobo sauce. These are a condiment of sorts in that some people take them straight from the can and serve along side enchiladas or tostados. They are great as a smoky crema to drizzle over tacos. Mix it with mayonnaise and sour cream to create a subtly smoky crema. 

Our favourite way to enjoy chipotles is with canned chunk light tuna. Mix canned tuna, Dijon mustard, parmesan cheese and mayonnaise then add chopped chipotle peppers and green onions and fold together.  Spread onto whole wheat bread and add lettuce for a delicious sandwich, or spread on crackers for a flavourful appetizer.