Thousand Island Dressing - Quick Recipe Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Thousand Island Dressing - Quick Recipe

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This dressing is really more of a cold sauce. Although the easiest method would clearly be to buy it in a bottle at the supermarket, it is preferable to make your own as you're more likely to use up the individual ingredients than a whole bottle of dressing. It is normally eaten with cold prawns or other pink fish, like salmon. At parties is it quite common to serve prawns and Thousand Island dressing in small vol-au-vent cases.

What You'll Need

You should get hold of the following items - or alternatives - to make the dressing:


  • Mayonnaise - Homemade if you wish, or out of a jar.

  • Tomato Ketchup - Again, homemade if you wish, or out of a jar. Do not use tomato purée. It is not the same thing and the result will be too bitter and too dry.

  • Lemon Juice - Fresh out of a lemon ideally, but out of a bottle will do.

  • Worcestershire Sauce - Which really has to come out of a bottle because the ingredients are copyright.


  • A mixing bowl of appropriate size.

  • A spoon that will fit in the neck of the mayonnaise jar.

  • A sharp knife - if a real lemon is being used.


Please take note that there are no quantities included in the ingredients list as the ratio is entirely dependent on taste. Indeed, tasting the dressing as you make it is the most important part of the recipe. You will only know if something is wrong with the dressing if you try it for yourself.

  1. Take the mixing bowl and using the spoon put some mayonnaise in it. The amount of mayonnaise will vary depending on the food it is being served with, but a good size dessert spoonful per person (for a main meal) is good starting point. More can be added later, if necessary.

  2. Add ketchup to taste. About a sixth of the quantity of mayonnaise is a good starting point. It is always better to start with a little less and add more, rather than attempting it the other way around.

  3. Add a good squirt of lemon juice and a splash of Worcestershire Sauce, then mix the ingredients together until a uniform pale pink colour is attained. Do not be alarmed by small lumps that come from the mayonnaise. The lumps will normally vanish by the time all the ingredients are mixed, and any that do not can be removed with your spoon and thrown away.

Ratios of ingredients vary greatly depending on the brand and whether fresh ingredients are used. Once the initial ingredients have been mixed together you are most likely to need to add more lemon, but do not add more before mixing because the mixture is likely to split.

As stated before, it is vital that you taste the mixture before experimenting with adding more of anything. Add more mayonnaise if the taste makes you wince. Add more of everything except mayonnaise if you cannot taste anything at all. Add more lemon juice if can't taste any lemon. Add more Worcestershire Sauce if you dare! Too much and you'll just get a grey sauce.

To Serve

Keep the sauce refrigerated until ready to serve. Keeping the sauce for more than 24 hours is not recommended. Leave it as late as possible before serving to add any fish you might be using the dressing with. Fish should be completely cold and if necessary dried on kitchen towel/paper first as water will make the sauce look like it has curdled. A bed of green salad and a sprinkle of paprika adds a professional touch and will impress your granny.

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