Monday, October 1, 2012

Fry Sauce

Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning) by Vertical Horizon
A song about leaving someone you love - or them leaving you.  Or leaving some"thing" you love - which is the case today.  When we moved from Utah 10 years ago I was sad to leave my favorite purveyor of Fry Sauce.  Not that there isn't Fry Sauce here in Washington - just not THAT Fry Sauce - the best Fry Sauce I'd ever had - at Best Burger on Riverdale Road in Ogden.  Sigh!  Don't mock me for going all sentimental until you've tried it!  And I'm going to help you out but save you the cost of the trip to Ogden.  I think I've come up with a very close, if not perfect, rendition of my own.

I remember the first Fry Sauce I ever had.  I had flown to Utah to share Christmas with my boyfriend (who would become my fiancĂ© before I returned home.)  He took me to a fast food place called Arctic Circle and asked if I wanted some Fry Sauce.  I was from Heinz territory, mind you, and the thought of putting anything other than ketchup on my fries was baffling to me.  Yet I dipped . . . . and dipped . . . . and dipped!  And the dipping in Fry Sauce has continued ever since!  

Not all Fry Sauces are created equal, I learned.  Some are watery and weak attempts.  

Then one day, while living in Ogden, Utah, I heard about Best Burger.  People raved about the burgers.  "You gotta try the burgers at Best Burger!!!," they'd command.  So I obeyed.  They were moan-inducing, drip-down-your-hands juicy burgers that rocked my world.  But wait!  Their fries were equally amazing!  I asked myself, "Could this be the Eden of Burgerdom???"

Then one day I went while I was in the process of losing 40 lbs. and asked for a burger with no sauces and no Fry Sauce to go with the fries, of which I'd only eat 10, then throw away the rest.  

If I had that "Debbie Downer" sound from SNL, it would go right here when I took my first bite.  The burger was good - but not the best.  The fries were lackluster.  I was sad.  Very, very sad.  That's when I knew that the proper name of the place should be Best Fry Sauce instead of Best Burger.  You see, the burgers were laced with the Fry Sauce as well.  That's what gave them that over-the-top, slightly smoky flavor.  The thick-cut fries, I realized, were mere vehicles for the consumption of even more Fry Sauce.  

They remained part of my "weight loss" eating habits, believe it or not.  Only, now that I knew what it was I REALLY wanted, I opted for their very delicious veggie burger with mushrooms but ate only half  - as well as only a few fries - with sauce, of course - and I ate it less frequently.  But a world without that Fry Sauce was not an option!

Each time I go back to Ogden for a visit I try, usually successfully, to go to Best Burger (Best Fry Sauce) on Riverdale Road.  If you're ever there, check it out.  You'll find the fry sauce in a huge pump container on the counter up front next to the soda fountains.  There's a ketchup pump as well, which, I'm guessing, never gets used.

Until your trip to Ogden, though, you're only five ingredients away from making an awesome copy yourself.  Prepare to be dipping SOON!   Or do as I do and lay out each fry and squirt a line of Fry Sauce aaaallll the way down the top.  
Fry Sauce
makes about 1 pint
Printable Recipe Card
1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. ketchup
1/4 onion, grated, juices reserved
1 t. liquid smoke
pinch of kosher salt

Use that funky side of your grater that you've probably always wondered what it was for.
Grate your fourth of an onion over the surface into a bowl to collect all the juices and pulp.  It kind of looks like the ice from an Icee - but don't be tempted to take a mouthful!
You should have about 3 - 4 tablespoons of puree and juice, combined.  Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, ketchup, 2 T. of the onion puree/juice, liquid smoke, and the pinch of salt until well blended.  Taste and add more of the onion puree/juice, if desired.  I used a white onion but a sweet onion would work well, too.  Dip and squirt away!


  1. Oh HEAVENLY HEAVEN. I'm from Utah too. Fry Sauce Capital of the World. This sounds SOOOOO good. Thanks for sharing. :)

    1. You're welcome, Melanie! I like the smoky flavor in this recipe. It becomes just a little addictive, though!

  2. I put Heinz in with the fry sauce and then dip into the border, creating a half heinz/half fry sauce swirl.

    1. Hmmm. I've done the "border" trick with mayo and ketchup but never with ketchup and fry sauce. I'll try it next time!

  3. No, what you need to do is Sriracha on the border and swirl the fry sauce and Sriracha together. mmmm

  4. I know I am behind everyone else here- but I finally made this tonight. Mmm-Mmm!!! I am sure this is the first time I have ever used liquid smoke in anything (sigh... I know...) but now that I have a bottle, perhaps I will just have to make a bunch of fry sauce. ;) Thanks for sharing!

  5. Hi Janice,

    I was wondering if I could use your fry sauce photo for a non-profit ad. We're the Association for Utah Community Health (fry sauce is quite popular in Utah) and we're trying to create a funny ad featuring fry sauce. Was hoping you'd let us use the great photo in the middle Please write!