If you like dumplings, potstickers, 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 potstickers 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.
Chinese dumpling dipping sauce
Let’s start with the classic Chinese dumpling dipping sauce. This recipe makes about 1/2 cup.
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
Hoisin Dipping Sauce
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
- Heat a wok or sauce pan on medium-high, add oil, then add garlic and ginger. Stir fry until the aromas bloom.
- Turn the heat to medium and add the rest of the ingredients. Cook until evenly heated then remove from heat.
- Allow to cool.
- Use immediately or put in a sealed container and refrigerate.
Sweet and Sour Sauce
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
- Mix the corn starch with the 6 teaspoons of water and stir until the starch dissolves, creating a slurry, then set aside.
- Combine the rest of the ingredients in a sauce pan or wok and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Stir the slurry before adding it to the boiling ingredients and stir the pot quickly until the sauce thickens.
- 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.
- 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.