Halal Cart White Sauce
Homemade Halal Cart White Sauce tastes just like the stuff you find in the famous NYC chicken and rice bowls. This simple white sauce comes together with ingredients like lemon juice, dried parsley, white vinegar, sour cream, and mayonnaise. It tastes just like the stuff from Halal Guys!
White sauce is what makes my chicken over rice bowls so incredibly irresistible!
Layers of creamy and tangy flavors speckled with black pepper and some parsley for color. Honestly, I could squeeze all of this sauce onto one serving, but rest assured, I don’t. What makes this so dangerous is that this sauce recipe uses mostly pantry and refrigerator staple ingredients and comes together in minutes. So it’s easy to put together a batch for my one pan halal chicken rice bowls.
The flavors in the food cart-style white sauce pair beautifully with the turmeric, cumin, coriander, and other spices that I use to marinate the chicken thighs for my bowls. Fluffy basmati rice cooked in seasoned chicken broth is the base. Then we top it with seasoned, pan-seared chicken. And lots of white sauce. The sauce even doubles as a dressing for the crisp lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers I like to use on my bowls. And to finish it off a squeeze of hot sauce.
Ingredients for halal cart white sauce:
- Sour Cream: I like to use and suggest using full fat sour cream for this recipe. The natural tang of sour cream is elevated when we add white vinegar and lemon juice to the sauce ingredients. To make things a little lighter, you can use plain yogurt here if you’d like.
- Mayonnaise: You want to use a good quality mayo for this recipe. Good quality mayo is typically made by emulsifying egg yolks with an oil, such as soybean or canola oil and an acid. I do suggest using a full-fat mayonnaise so that the sauce has a nice creamy taste that just makes all the other flavors dance on your tongue! If you’d prefer to make the sauce a little lighter, my suggest would be to swap the sour cream for light sour cream or yogurt and leave the mayo as is. Unfortunately, products like miracle-whip make this sauce overly tangy with all the other acidic ingredients in the sauce and will not yield the best sauce.
- Distilled White Vinegar: Adds the perfect amount of acid to the sauce. If you happen to not have distilled white vinegar on hand, apple cider vinegar does make a decent substitute. However, my first choice is white vinegar for this recipe!
- Lemon Juice: Fresh lemon juice adds a natural sweetness and tang. It really brightens up all the other ingredients in the sauce.
- Sugar: helps balance all the acidic elements in this white sauce. It’s the secret ingredient that makes the sauce so incredibly delicious. Don’t worry, the sugar doesn’t actually make the sauce sweet, so you won’t really know it’s there. However, it will balance the acid so you aren’t getting a big punch!
- Dried Parsley: Adds color to the sauce. Feel free to use fresh parsley if you don’t usually keep dried parsley on hand! I use 1 tsp of dried parsley, but you could replace that with roughly 2 teaspoons of fresh.
- Salt + Pepp: The bread and butter of any recipe. You can also season lightly with garlic powder if you’d like but I find for us, the sauce is perfect without it – and I very seldom say something doesn’t need garlic!
How to make halal cart white sauce:
- Making the sauce. Add the sour cream, mayonnaise, white vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, dried parsley, salt and pepper to a medium bowl. Add a splash of water and use a whisk to whisk the sauce ingredients together. If the sour cream is cold from the refrigerator, it might breakdown into small lumps. Gently continue to whisk the sauce until it becomes a smooth consistency. You can add the sauce to a squeeze bottle (just like they do at the food carts) so that it’s easy to squirt the sauce onto your bowls! Serve over homemade chicken and rice bowls with hot sauce.
FAQs about this recipe:
- Can I swap the sour cream for greek yogurt? I haven’t tried replacing the sour cream with greek yogurt yet, but this is something on my list to try! Plain yogurt does work fine, so my best guess is that greek yogurt will work here too. If you beat me to it, I’d love to know how it went for you!
- What does halal white sauce taste like? It’s a bright, slightly tangy sauce that really elevates a nicely seasoned chicken or lamb. The closest thing I can think of is a more refined ranch dressing!
- How long can the sauce be kept once made? You can keep the sauce in a squeeze top bottle for up to 5 days once it’s prepared. Make sure to keep the sauce refrigerated when not in use.
- When are you going to share the chicken over rice recipe? Don’t worry it’s coming this week! 😉
- ½ cup full-fat sour cream (see notes)
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons EACH: water, lemon juice AND sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- SAUCE: add all the ingredients listed above to medium bowl and whisk to combine. If the sour cream is cold from the fridge, it’ll take a few seconds longer to whisk. Don’t over whisk or you run the risk of the sauce become too thin. Serve with homemade chicken or lamb over rice.
- sour cream: I have tried swapping the sour cream for plain yogurt (whole milk) and it worked just fine. I haven't tested it with greek yogurt yet, but I do think it should work.