If all-purpose sauce were alive, it would certainly roll with a hipster crew because it is the most ironic of Filipino condiments. With a name like "all-purpose," you'd expect it to be capable of everything from topping ice cream to pre-treating stains, but in most Filipino households, all-purpose sauce serves only one purpose: to accompany lechon.
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Most aficionados of Southeastern Asian cuisine are already familiar with the pleasures of fish sauce, but few are ready to dive head first into the heady world of fermented shrimp pastes. It's a shame because whether you call it belacan, terasi, or bagoong, shrimp paste is an umami flavor bomb that can transform sambals and stir-fries into something otherworldly.
In Indonesia, everybody has a bottle of kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) in their pantry. We use it to make fried rice, stir fries, "sambals," to dip fried tofus and rice crackers—basically a staple condiment in the table to accompany meals. I can say that most Indonesians would agree that a plate of warm rice with fried eggs and sweet soy sauce drizzled on top is the ultimate comfort food, especially when there's no time to grocery shop or you're away from home.
When you just say "sauce" (pronounced so-su) in Japan, it usually means a thicker version of Worcestershire sauce. We recently discussed it here! It's an essential condiment in Japan. Without it, korokke (pictured) and tonkatsu will suffer. You can't make yakisoba and okonomiyaki. Some people even use it on sunny-side up egg or a bowl of rice.