Stand-up comedian and now self-help author Nat’s What I Reckon is waging a vendetta against “jar sauces” – but we think it’s good to have well-made, delicious and easy-to-use cooking shortcuts in the pantry to do your flavour heavy lifting.

There’s no shortage of Australian-made condiments, sauces and seasonings out there right now. There are exciting small-batch brands and producers going head-to-head with the supermarket stuff and winning on flavour, as well as online stores, or purveyors, curating the best. Here are some of our picks.

THE AUSSIE PRODUCERS

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Cornersmith
A pioneer in small-batch pickling and fermenting, Sydney cafe Cornersmith sells a wide range of house-made products online. That includes chilli jam, lime marmalade, tomato relish, smoky onion jam, lemon Worcestershire sauce, spiced prunes and smoked chilli sauce. You can also grab tools and equipment for making your own preserves.
cornersmith.com.au

Umami Papi
Chilli oil is as versatile as they come. Broadsheet already has a round-up of Australian-made chilli oils here, but Melbourne-made Umami Papi gets a special nod thanks to crunchy bits of garlic, onion and shallot, and heat from three different types of chilli.
umamipapi.com.au

Jimoto Foods
Sydney chef Max Smith (Cho Cho San) loves checking out all the sauces at Japanese grocers, but isn’t a fan of all the thickeners, emulsifiers and preservatives. His own artisanal sauce brand, Jimoto Foods, doesn’t have any of them, and the range includes teriyaki sauce, yuzu and chilli sauce, miso hot sauce, and a spicy ume and lime. There’s a ponzu in the works, too.
jimotofoods.com.au

By Alice
Former Masterchef contestant and now cookbook author Alice Zaslavsky has launched a new range of products designed as shortcuts to get you to flavour town with minimal fuss. There’s only one item available for now – a “burgundy bombshell” spread made from just organic Australian tomatoes and black garlic called Tumami – but there are others on the way.
byalice.com.au

Hotluck Club
Gaspar Tse started making hot sauce in his spare time during lockdown – now it’s his permanent gig. The range includes a mushroom and black garlic XO sauce, kimchi hot sauce, mega f*sh sauce (a vegan take on the Southeast Asian staple), a chilli salt made from the hot sauce chilli mash, and a mild quince salsa produced in collaboration with Rico’s Tacos in Sydney.
hotluck.club

Mabu Mabu
Torres Strait Islander chef Nornie Bero of Melbourne’s Mabu Mabu makes her own seasonings and sauces for the cafe and its sibling bar and eatery, and they’re available online. Shop hot sauces, marinades, spice mixes, pickles, chilli paste and teas all made with Indigenous ingredients and flavours.
mabumabu.com.au

Bodega Deli
Pia Hambour has worked at some of New York’s best eateries, including Mission Chinese Food and cult Brooklyn pizzeria Roberta’s. Both have influenced Bodega Deli, a line of condiments and pantry items including chilli oil, hot sauce, fried chicken seasoning and spice mixes for curries. The Bee Sting – a hot honey infused with habanero – is inspired by a popular Roberta’s pizza.
bodegadeli.com

Honourable mentions
This ramen-flavoured spice blend from Gewurzhaus gives you full-bodied flavour without cooking your broth for 14 hours. Melbourne chef Tom Sarafian’s famous hummus has returned by the jar with local stockists only for now. And we can’t stop slathering our toast and crumpets with this marbled wheel of umami-flavoured butter from Pepe Saya and Oomite.

THE CONDIMENT PURVEYORS

Condimental
Cameron Stephens launched Condimental as “a first-aid kit for boring food”, with products you can always rely on to make any basic meal sing. You can sign up for a seasonal subscription and get a box of five new products every quarter, or buy them individually. It’s well-stocked with sauces, truffle salt, chilli pastes, chutneys, pickles, ferments, vinegars and more.

Mat’s Hot Shop
While Mat Garthwaite’s online store Mat’s Hot Shop stocks flavourful third-wave hot sauces from around the world, Australia is well-represented with bottles from Dangermates Chilli, Dingo Sauce Co, Crack Fox, Sabarac, The Fermentalists, SSB Chilli and the Mat’s Hot Shop house label. Garthwaite tastes every sauce and writes helpful, entertaining notes for the site.
matshotshop.com

Co-Lab Pantry
Virtual grocer Co-Lab Pantry launched last year when heaps of Melbourne restaurants were bottling sauces, jarring peanut butter, vacuum-packing ready meals and making their own pivot products. Now it stocks items from more than 100 venues, restaurants and businesses around Victoria, including Chotto Motto crispy chilli oil, Burn City Smokers barbeque sauce, Four Pillars marmalade, Entrecote herb butter sauce, Lagoon Dining strange flavour dressing and more.
colabpantry.com.au

Drnks
As its name suggests, Drnks specialises in bevs – specifically natural or biodynamic wines. But the website has a selection of “not drnks” that includes fried shallots from Simon Johnson; chicken salt, taco rub and barbeque pepper from Fancy Hank’s; anchovy and chilli oil from Lulu’s Remedy; hazelnut spread from Messina; and fermented curry paste from Angie’s Food.
drnks.com

Additional reporting by Pilar Mitchell, Sarah Norris, Nick Connellan, Emma Joyce, Che-Marie Trigg and Scott Renton