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This dumpling sauce recipe is super easy to make and only requires a few pantry staples that you probably already have on hand. It makes a big difference in how your dumplings taste, so if you’re looking for a way to step up your dumpling game, this is it!
Growing up, every Sunday was dubbed “dumpling Sunday” because my mom would make dumplings for lunch every Sunday. For whatever reason, it became a tradition in our household and we would come to expect it. Sometimes she’d make dumplings from scratch and sometimes she would use the store-bought ones from the Chinese grocery store. Whichever we had, she taught me how to make dumplings (or potstickers) extra crispy!
Whenever we went to the Chinese grocery store, we would always grab a bottle of dumpling sauce. Believe it or not, dumpling sauce can make or break your dumplings. Just putting soy sauce on your dumplings doesn’t cut it – you had to have dumpling dipping sauce with it which is why I’m here today to share with you the best dumpling sauce recipe!
What makes a good dumpling sauce?
Five simple ingredients that you likely already have on hand make a good dumpling dipping sauce because of components combined that give the ultimate flavor profile. It’s a little sweet, a little salty, a little tangy, and a little spicy.
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the exact measurements, scroll down to the recipe card below.
- Sweet soy sauce – soy sauce is the base of this recipe. If you can’t find sweet soy sauce (it’s getting harder to find), you can use soy sauce + granulated sugar.
- Black vinegar – I LOVE black vinegar. It’s different than rice vinegar and it’s a bit more acidic but it 100% transforms a dish with its complexity and umami earthiness. In Taiwan, we splash a little bit of black vinegar on seafood stews/soups or vegetables to seriously transform the flavor. You can absolutely tell the difference. It’s like all the flavors of the dish get enhanced. This is one I highly recommend you do not skip and find. Rice vinegar just doesn’t cut it.
- Sesame oil – this gives a rich nuttiness to the sauce.
- Chili crisp – I love the one from Trader Joe’s and always have a jar or two in my pantry as backup. It’s not very spicy at all (to me) but it gives the dipping sauce a slight hint of heat.
- Fresh minced garlic – another ingredient I am begging you to not skip. Asians love fresh garlic on dishes. We thinly slice a piece of garlic and eat it with Chinese sausage (IYKYK) and with this dumpling sauce, you’re going to want 2-3 cloves of freshly minced garlic. It is spicy and sharp and just gives it that extra flavor.
How to make dumpling sauce
This may be the easiest recipe ever! All you have to do is mix all the ingredients together and adjust to taste!
Of course, you’re also going to want to make crispy potstickers to go with it!
How to store
If you’re making a bigger batch of this dipping sauce, you can put it in a glass jar and seal it tightly and keep it at room temperature in your pantry. I would not recommend adding the fresh garlic until you are about to serve it because raw garlic just sitting in a jar with improper canning and storage can cause botulism.
Need dipping ideas for your dumpling sauce? Try these!
The Best Dumpling Sauce Recipe
- 1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce, see notes below for more info
- ½ tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon black vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ tablespoon chili crisp
- 2 cloves finely minced fresh garlic
- In a shallow bowl, mix all the ingredients together.
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