A stack of saltine crackers
Saltines Are The Unexpected Solution To Runny Sauces
By Kalea Martin
When it comes to thickening a runny sauce, heating it on the stove is not ideal for sauces with ingredients you want to remain uncooked, and adding thickening agents like cornstarch or flour can give it a raw, pasty flavor if they aren't cooked. However, crushed saltine crackers can be a better-tasting alternative to thicken any sauce.
Per Julian Medina, chef and owner of El Fish Shack in New York, the restaurant mixes saltines into its aji verde sauce to thicken it while preserving the citrusy flavor of the lime juice. To use this method on any other sauce, pulverize the saltines and add them a little at a time, letting them absorb the excess liquid and thicken the sauce.
Saltines are already fully cooked, meaning you can add them to any sauce without cooking away the raw flavor. As they're made of 67.8% starch, saltines can thicken sauces because their starch granules expand and absorb any liquid they come in contact with, thereby gelatinizing the liquid.