How to Make Chinese Dumpling Sauce

Four Chinese dumpling sauce recipes from northern to southern China. You won’t go wrong with any of them!

Four Chinese dumpling sauce recipes from northern to southern China. You won’t go wrong with any of them!

Whenever I’m traveling in China, I am always amazed by the fact that people from different provinces have such different eating habits.

Let’s take dumplings as an example. The dumplings that I’ve been eating growing up are northern style dumplings. They are usually bigger in size, have paper thin skin with a giant filling that contains meat and vegetables. Like I mentioned in my last post, we consider dumplings a staple and serve them as a main dish. We emphasize that the dumpling filling should be flavorful enough, so you can enjoy them even without any dipping sauce. There’s many northern style dumplings that call for a very simple sauce, sometimes only served with vinegar.

MY LATEST VIDEOS

On the other hand, southern style dumplings (especially Cantonese dumplings) focus on delicacy and variety. They are smaller in size, contain less filling, and are usually served as appetizers. The dumplings are usually served with a more flavorful sauce that might contain more than 10 ingredients.

There is no right or wrong, and the options are endless. At the end of the day, it really depends on your personal preference.

Let’s look at some of the dumpling sauce recipes below and see how different they are!

Dumpling sauce recipes

Northern dumpling sauce

This is the sauce my family uses for all the homemade dumplings. It’s super simple and brings out the great flavor of boiled and steamed dumplings.

To make 4 servings, mix 2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar + 1 and 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce + 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

Four Chinese dumpling sauce recipes from northern to southern China. You won’t go wrong with any of them!

Spicy dumpling sauce

A rich and flavorful sauce that you usually find in Chinese dumpling restaurants. If you like bold flavor, this is the sauce for you!

To make 4 servings, coarsely chop 1 clove garlic, 1 piece ginger, and 1 sprig cilantro. Mix them on the cutting board and finely chop and mix them, to let the flavors combine. Transfer them to a bowl, add 2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and 1 to 2 teaspoon homemade chili oil or hot sauce to taste.

Four Chinese dumpling sauce recipes from northern to southern China. You won’t go wrong with any of them!

Shanghai style dumpling sauce

You usually see this dumpling sauce when eating soup dumplings. But it goes well with many northern style dumplings too, especially ones made with red meat. It cuts the grease and makes a heavier dumpling taste more balanced.

To make two serving, mix 4 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar + 2 tablespoons thinly sliced ginger strips + 1 teaspoon sugar

Four Chinese dumpling sauce recipes from northern to southern China. You won’t go wrong with any of them!

Cantonese style dumpling sauce

I learned about this sauce from Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo. Cantonese restaurant always serve spring rolls and other dim sum with this sauce.

To make 4 servings of the sauce, combine 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, 3 tablespoons chicken stock, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons finely shredded ginger, 1 and 1/2 tablespoon shredded green onion (white part), and a pinch of white pepper. Marinate for 30 minutes before serving.

Four Chinese dumpling sauce recipes from northern to southern China. You won’t go wrong with any of them!

Tibetan momo sauce

I came across this dumpling sauce in the cookbook All Under Heaven by Carolyn Phillips. She calls it Tibetan salsa (Tsal). Some chefs call it sepen. The sauce is made with tomatoes, red chili pepper, garlic, green onions (or onions), salt, oil, and cilantro. Sounds a bit like Mexican salsa doesn’t it? The sauce is designed for Tibetan momo, which is quite similar to the northern dumplings I’m familiar with.

More dumping recipes

Disclosure

Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Share:
Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my Austin, Texas kitchen.

Never Miss a Recipe!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

11 thoughts on “How to Make Chinese Dumpling Sauce

  1. Pat C.Wilson

    you right, people from different province have different eating habits. knowing these recipe of making dumpling sauce so you got a point of impressing them. I also visited Vietnam and Thailand,…and I found that Asian people have so many types of dumpling sauce. xD

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Definitely! I believe there are many delicious dumplings sauces in Vietnam and Thailand, and they must taste very different. It surprised me too when I was researching dumpling sauce recipes. I only gave a few examples here otherwise the post will get too long 🙂

      Reply
  2. Stan Douglas

    I have been a subscriber for some time , and I like to print your recipes that I like , or wish to try out . Unfortunately , as there is no ” PRINT ” command on your page of dumpling sauce recipes , this makes things a little inconvenient . but , other than that , I like your recipes , and hints , most helpful . Please keep up the good ( excellent ) work .
    Best Regards,
    Stan

    Reply
  3. Lars D

    HI Maggie! I love your blog and have been an ardent reader and supporter for a long time. Although your comment in the article about Tibet being part of China is hurtful, disrespectful and subversive towards us the Tibetan community who lived in exile in India while our parents generation were ruthlessly massacred by China and our ancient motherland forcefully taken from us. Could you please make that edit in your article where you mention ‘..food culture can be so different in one country, yet…’. I’d also implore you to read up on Tibetan history. Much thanks!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Lars, thanks for your honest comment and apologize for being culture-insensitive. I grew up in Beijing, where it’s written on textbook that Tibet and Taiwan are a part of China. My family is still living in China so I try to stay away from the topic in public. I’ve made the edit according to your suggestion.

      Reply
  4. Beth

    Last night I made vegetarian pot stickers (I made some minor tweaks to a recipe by Ming Tsai I found online) and I served them with your Northern Dumpling Sauce. Your sauce tasted great — next time I might use a tiny bit less black vinegar but the sauce was still authentic and yummy and I will definitely make it a gain! My husband dipped his pot stickers in oyster sauce — he really likes that sauce and said it tasted different (in a good way) cold.

    It took me FOREVER (I’m embarrassed to say how many hours) to prep and make the pot stickers but it was fun and worth it. I froze the leftovers and it makes me happy to know that on a night when I don’t feel like cooking I have a meal ready to go.

    Reply