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What Is Marie Rose Sauce?

By Angie Bates
Updated May 16, 2024
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Marie Rose sauce is an English creation made primarily from mayonnaise, ketchup, Worcester sauce, and salt. Originally called Mary Rose sauce, the name was adapted from Mary Rose to Marie in an attempt to make the name sound more French. This sauce is similar to both Thousand Island dressing and Russian dressing in that all are made from a base of mayonnaise and ketchup.

The origins of this sauce are a little unclear. One story says that sauce was created by an English chef in the 1981 who was providing food for a dive on a sunken ship, the Mary Rose, but Mary Rose sauce, or something very like it, was very popular with prawn cocktails in the 1970s.

A prawn, or shrimp, salad includes shrimp, lettuce, and fresh avocado. Sliced cucumber is also a common ingredient. Tomatoes, cheese, and olives are options for a prawn salad as well. The prawns should be peeled and deveined before use. Prepared shrimp is usually easily found in grocery stores, but shrimp can be peeled and deveined at home as well.

In addition to the original four ingredients, Marie Rose sauce may include hot sauce, sugar, and salt. Lime juice may be substituted for lemon juice. If ketchup results in too sweet a taste, tomato puree or tomato sauce may be used instead. Mayonnaise or other creamy dressings may be used depending on particular tastes.

Alcohol is also a common ingredient that is most often added to some versions of this sauce. Cognac or brandy are the most popular alcohols added. Versions that contain alcohol usually do not contain sugar. Marie Rose sauce is never cooked, so if alcohol is included, the sauce retains the alcoholic content.

Generally, the ingredients are simply mixed or whisked together in a bowl. Mayonnaise and ketchup are usually added in equal quantities, and the rest of the ingredient are added to taste. Marie Rose sauce may be chilled before use.

In addition to its original use as a shrimp cocktail dip, Marie Rose sauce may be used as a salad dressing or a vegetable dip. Mixing the sauce with tiny shrimp creates a seafood salad dressing. It is also often used as a condiment for fish and other seafood.

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