His breakfast consisted of a side-dish, a broiled fish with Reading sauce, a scarlet slice of roast beef garnished with mushrooms, a rhubarb and gooseberry tart, and a morsel of Cheshire cheese, the whole being washed down with several cups of tea, for which the Reform is famous.
-Around the World in 80 Days, Jules Verne
Recipes like Reading sauce are some of my favorites. They’re the ones we can no longer find on supermarket shelves, so can only be made at home. When I say no longer, I mean it was once available in the 1700s, 1800s, right up till 1962, before the factory shut down. Recreating this recipe is a look, or more specifically, a taste, into another life. Considering Reading sauce was just as common as Worcestershire sauce, it’s a sobering reality that what we know as part of our every day, and take for granted, can so quickly disappear. It made me wonder, what recipes will future generations come across and have nostalgic enjoyment in re-creating that we know so well?
Reading sauce is a spicy more-ish type of sauce, that goes well with fish, beef or poultry.
- 1 cup water
- 1 small green onion, chopped
- 300 mL walnut pickle
- 180 mL soy sauce
- 1.5 tsp mustard seed
- 0.5 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
- 0.5 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 anchovy
- 1 bay leaf
- In a medium-size saucepan over medium heat, please send the green onion and the liquid from the walnut pickle.
- Bring it to a boil, and continue to simmer until it's reduced – approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
- In another medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, place the pickled walnuts, soy sauce, mustard seed, chill powder, ginger, cayenne pepper and the anchovy.
- Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for approximately 30 minutes.
- When the green onion and the walnut pickle liquid have reduced, pour it into the other saucepan and stir well.
- Continue simmering for another 15 minutes.
- Turn off heat, let the mixture cool, before pouring it all into a closed glass jar.
- Place in the fridge and let stand for several days.
- Place a strainer over a bowl and press through the sauce, so only the liquid is left.