Dipping Sauces for Dumplings

If you like dumplings, pot stickers, gyoza or other filled dumpling, you’re going to want a dipping sauce. You’ve probably noticed a little cup of the stuff comes with your order of pot stickers at the Chinese take-out. If you’re having dumplings at home, whether fresh homemade dumplings or frozen, making your own restaurant style dipping sauce is really simple.

Let’s start with the classic Chinese dumpling dipping sauce. This recipe makes about 1/2 cup.

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce (I recommend low sodium Tamari)
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar (in a pinch you can use red wine vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon chili sauce (you can substitute several dashes of your favorite hot sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon chopped scallions (green onions)

Directions:

  1. Whisk in a mixing bowl or large measuring cup to combine the ingredients. Pour into a sealable container. Put in the refrigerator for at least one hour, even better overnight, to allow the flavors to mingle. For a smoother sauce, put in blender before refrigerating.
  2. If you want something a little stronger in flavor and heat, use two teaspoons of chili sauce and add in about 1/2 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil.

Another version is not only a dipping sauce, but it goes great on meat, chicken or any seafood. It’s a Hoisin Dipping Sauce.

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil for stir frying
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 6 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • a dash sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili paste or 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped peanuts
  1. Heat a wok or sauce pan on medium-high, add oil, then add garlic and ginger. Stir fry until the aromas bloom.
  2. Turn the heat to medium and add the rest of the ingredients. Cook until evenly heated then remove from heat.
  3. Allow to cool.
  4. Use immediately or put in a sealed container and refrigerate.

Another type of dipping sauce for Asian food is the well known Sweet and Sour Sauce for dumplings, fried meat and seafood or egg rolls.

  • 6 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili or hot sauce or to taste
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 6 teaspoons water
  1. Mix the corn starch with the 6 teaspoons of water and stir until the starch dissolves, creating a slurry, then set aside.
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a sauce pan or wok and bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Stir the slurry before adding it to the boiling ingredients and stir the pot quickly until the sauce thickens.
  4. Remove from heat and use as soon as it cools a bit. If the sauce comes out too thick, stir in some water to loosen. If too thin, add another teaspoon of corn starch with the pan on the heat.
  5. Store any unused portion in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

There are lots of other sauce ideas you can come up with. I love to experiment with making sauces, like a Mad Scientist. I add a little of this and a bit of that and taste to see what I’ve got. It usually comes out pretty good.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. You might surprise yourself.

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