10 Thickening agents for Sauces



Refined wheat flour cooked with the same quantity of clarified butter is reffered to as roux. This word probably comes from the French word rounge which means red.

The colour of roux depends on the degree to which it is cooked and the usage of each roux is also defined.

White roux

It emits an aroma of baking bread and is used for making white sauce and for Thikeningof the cream soups.

Blond roux

It emits the flavour of toasted nuts and is used to make veloute sauce and can also be used in certain cream soups.

Brown roux

It emits a deeply roasted aroma and used for prepare brown sauces. The darker the roux, the stronger is the flavour.


It is used for meats such as beef and lamb. White and blond roux have the same Thickening power.


A mixture of cornstarch, potato flour or arrowroot and water reffered to as slurry. It is generally used in Chinese and other Asian sauces and is added to give a shine to the sauce.

One should be careful in adding the slurry to the hot liquid as it instantly thickens when added to the boiling liquid.


Usually one part of egg yolk and three parts of cream are whisked together and used to thicken the sauces. The purpose of the liaison is not only to thicken but also to enrich the sauces.

One has to be very careful while adding the liaison as it should be added into a hot liquid but never boiled again as the egg will curdle.



It is rarely used these days because of health reasons; but blood was very common thickening agent used in the olden times. Dishes that use blood as Thickening agents are called ‘jugged’ for example jugged hate.


Butter is also used in many sauces to provide the thickness to the sauce. Cold butter when whisked into a hot sauce gives a shine and thickness. This is also known as ‘ mounting of sauce’ or monster au beurre in french

Vegetable or fruit purees

Starch from fruit and vegetable purees used in a dish provides the thickening to the dish and hence require no other thickening agents.


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  1. Pingback: 6 Types of Mother Sauces and their Derivatives - Good Cheer

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