Michelin Star-Style Upgrades For TikTok Pink Sauce At Home

While the bright color of the sauce initially piqued interest, the controversy that followed catapulted TikTok's pink sauce to a viral sensation. A Miami-based chef known as Chef Pii influenced throngs of curious viewers over the past year to order chicken fingers and search for the Pepto-looking dipping sauce once the photogenic product hit retail shelves. 

Rather than add to the self-reporting sauce critics online, Michelin-starred chef Ludo Lefebvre created an upgraded "French" version of TikTok's pink sauce that we can make at home. Chef Lefebvre is most recognizable from his three seasons on ABC's cooking competition, "The Taste," but the French chef has established himself on both sides of the pond as a pioneer in the culinary arts. 


Let me show you how to make the only #pinksauce you need.

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While he's collected prestigious awards for his upscale cuisine, he is also known for his fried chicken food truck, which makes him an expert in this area as well. Although the OG pink sauce contains dragon fruit to give it its signature color, Lefebvre's recipe primarily contains ingredients you stock in your pantry and still delivers the contrasting color fans are looking for.

How to make Michelin-starred pink sauce

Ludo Lefebvre's TikTok video is without audio, but users can pull up a transcript to see what's in his "French" version. Why this is a "French" version can only be attributed to the chef's background since the base of the sauce is decidedly American, using our favorite condiment, ketchup. The chef starts by making a sauce similar to Thousand Island dressing, which — we know from experience — is great on hamburgers. 

He combines mayonnaise, ketchup, sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and Espelette pepper, which may not be a familiar ingredient. Espelette is a French chili pepper that's relatively mild in heat. In a pinch, hot paprika or cayenne pepper could be used. Paprika will add a smokiness to the dish, and cayenne is hotter than Espelette, so use less. Similarly, if you don't stock sherry vinegar, it can be substituted with rice vinegar or a one-to-one ratio of apple cider vinegar and water. Sherry vinegar is more acidic and less sweet than balsamic, so avoid using that. Plus, balsamic's dark hue will ruin the pinkish color you're aiming for.

How to use pink sauce

Mayonnaise and Dijon mustard are emulsifiers, so the sauce will be thick. Add water to thin the sauce if desired. Although we don't think it's needed, if the shade of the sauce isn't what you wanted, add a touch of red food coloring to make it pop.

Aside from the chicken tenders that TikTok users dipped into the sauce, chef Ludo Lefebvre enjoyed it with French fries and recommends preparing the pink sauce for fish, vegetables, burgers, and tacos. In an episode of "The Mind of a Chef," the secret sauce he slathers on his fried chicken sandwich looks like a version of his pink sauce — which, he admits, is slightly orange. You could also be cheeky and pair it with Lefebvre's rack of lamb with baby vegetables.

To allow the flavors to marry, prepare the sauce a few hours to a day in advance. Stir it, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Unlike store-bought condiments that last months, homemade ones should be consumed within a few days and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Pink Sauce can now be found online through Dave's Gourmet for $9.99 a bottle. With the list of ingredients printed on the label, the mystery surrounding the bubblegum pink sauce has dissipated. Ranch flavoring and preservatives are added to Pink Sauce to keep it shelf stable — whereas Chef Lefebvre's version is more natural and perishable.