This is my classic dumpling dipping sauce that’s always a hit. Its tanginess cuts through any oiliness you might find in fried food, like dumplings. It’s great on pot stickers and scallion pancakes, but also grilled prawns and vegetables.–Hsiao-Ching Chou

A glass bowl filled with dumpling dipping sauce with pieces of scallion and cilantro floating in it and scattered around the jar.

Dumpling Dipping Sauce

5 / 2 votes
This dumpling dipping sauce is so much more than just flavored soy sauce. A mixture of soy sauce and rice vinegar that's been flavored with ginger, garlic, scallions, and a little chili sauce, it's perfect for dipping and drizzling on everything from grilled veg to scallion pancakes to egg rolls.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories16 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Rest30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes


  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce* or coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chili sauce (optional)


  • In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, scallion, garlic, cilantro, ginger, and chili sauce.
  • Let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, if possible, to let the flavors meld together. The longer the mixture rests, the more intense the flavor becomes. You can store the dipping sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


*Can I make dumpling sauce gluten-free?

You can make it gluten-free by using a gluten-free tamari or soy sauce. Make sure to read the label carefully because not all tamari sauces are 100 percent gluten-free. If you have a soy allergy, you can use coconut aminos to make the sauce. While coconut aminos are too sweet for stir-fries, it works well for the dipping sauce, where a hint of sweetness is balanced by the other ingredients. 
Vegetarian Chinese Soul Food Cookbook

Adapted From

Vegetarian Chinese Soul Food

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Serving: 2.5 tablespoonsCalories: 16 kcalCarbohydrates: 3 gProtein: 1 gFat: 1 gSaturated Fat: 1 gSodium: 709 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 1 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2021 Hsiao-Ching Chou. Photo © 2021 Clare Barboza. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

My go-to dipping sauce has always been a mix of soy sauce, chili sauce, and fresh ginger, so it was a great opportunity to shake things up a bit. This recipe for dumpling dipping sauce is one simple step, just mix and wait, but it brings so much flavor to the table. I definitely credit the wait for the memorable flavor. I’ve been eating it over the course of a week and the flavor continues to deliver, with only the cilantro slightly discoloring over time.

The sauce tastes more vibrant and nuanced than anything I’ve had from a jar. Heat lovers will likely want to increase the amount of chili sauce (sambal oelek, in my case), but this is a wonderfully balanced sauce that’s sure to please everyone at your table.

What a great quick dumpling dipping sauce. I used low sodium soy sauce as the base for my sauce as that is what I had on hand and thought I’d miss the sweetness of coconut aminos, sugar, or another sweetener. Instead, we all loved the sharp acidic tang.

The ginger and cilantro are a definite plus here. I could see me even doubling the ginger next time. The sauce was good after 30 minutes, but I did make it ahead of time and it was great after 4 hours of sitting at room temperature. I served with pork gyoza as a starter. I think this would make a great marinade for skirt steak maybe with a tsp of brown sugar for caramelization. I’ll definitely keep this sauce recipe on hand. I kept it in a covered container in the refrigerator and the onions and cilantro were still crisp and the ginger and garlic even more punchy.

For those who love dim sum and dumplings, this dumpling dipping sauce can be a great recipe. I tweaked it a bit, and I ended up loving it.

First, I am one of those people who thinks cilantro tastes like soap, so I rarely add it to anything but a fresh tomato salsa (for others to enjoy). Second, I like a bit of sweetness to counteract all the salty, so I added 1 tsp of aji-mirin and 2 teaspoons of white sugar. It wasn’t sweet, but those amounts balanced out the saltiness (and note that I did use low sodium soy sauce as the base, which I’d do next time as well). The last thing I did was use a chili sauce I had on hand, so I used garlic chili sauce and omitted the fresh garlic.

This recipe was super easy, and fast if you have all the ingredients in the pantry. I tasted it right after mixing, just for reference, and it had a super salty and intense flavor that was a bit much for me, so I added 1 Tbsp water to dilute it a bit. I let the sauce sit for 45 minutes and used it on my favorite store-bought pork gyoza. I ended up LOVING the sauce on the dumplings even though I’m not crazy about it all by itself. It has a bit of bite from the garlic chili sauce and vinegar, but the sugar and dilution mellowed it out. All in all, I really like the recipe and it’s easy enough to whip up prior to cooking dumplings, so it saves from buying a bottle that may not get used up (not to mention saving money and eliminating a lot of additives).

This dumpling dipping sauce got my attention and this recipe gave me a great final result! The things I like about this recipe are the combination of the flavors and the way it is put together: just chop, mix, let it sit, and it’s done.

I kept the sauce in a covered glass container and will refrigerate to use it again. The sauce will work perfectly with some grilled chicken and steamed white rice.

This recipe for dumpling dipping sauce beats my old one hands down. The garlic and sambal oelek work really well with the ginger and cilantro. I used low sodium soy sauce as the chili sauce is also quite salty. This dipping sauce was the perfect accompaniment with pork pot stickers.

The dumpling dipping sauce is a terrific sauce to accompany many kinds of Chinese food from dumplings, to scallion pancakes, to egg rolls. It has a wonderful full flavor, yet it is not over powering. I am going to put this on my “make often” list.

This is an easy-to-make, fresh dumpling dipping sauce that is useful not only for dumplings or scallion pancakes but is also perfectly suited to drizzling on rice (or a fried rice pancake). The small batch size is perfect and likely will be gone in a day or two as you realize how versatile it is. I admit I may be a tiny bit generous with the ginger. The suggestion to try coconut aminos was an aha-moment. I had never quite figured out how to best utilize it, but feel like I should. This exploited the slight sweetness in all the right ways and gives me another variation for GF sauces to share with folks who may be sensitive or who reduce their gluten consumption by choice.

Since I was leaning into the ginger-cilantro flavors, I was restrained with the heat, and just added a half teaspoon of sambal oelek, which was just right.

Well, if you’ve made this sauce twice in as many days, and you like it enough to consider drinking it, it needs the best rating you can give it. I have had my own dipping sauce “recipe” for years. I never measured anything, I just poured soy sauce, rice vinegar, and Chinese black vinegar into a bowl, stirred in some Asian chili sauce, and there I had it, a wonderful dipping sauce. Or so I always thought. When I first saw this recipe, I thought that it was a little fussy. After all, I had to do more than just pour ingredients into a bowl.

I didn’t think that I’d like the raw garlic in it, but I happened to have cilantro and green onions for another recipe, so I figured, “Why not?” Well, I’ll never be making my old reliable recipe again. This sauce is totally killer. My recommendation is to take the time to chop the green onion, garlic, cilantro, and ginger, and make the best damn dumpling dipping sauce that you could ever taste. And, BTW… the chili sauce shouldn’t be optional, it should be mandatory. I used chili garlic sauce from Vietnam.

I often prepare my own condiments for takeout meals at home, especially when they are Asian food. (Gloppy orange sauce in plastic and soy sauce that is just brown and salty . . . ah . . . NO and NO.) This dumpling dipping sauce was great for steamed dumplings from a favorite Chinese restaurant, and homemade ribbon pancakes I made the following day to augment the leftover dinner. Whether your dumplings come from a restaurant or your own kitchen, which take a bit of time to make, a quick (all of five minutes!), almost-no-recipe recipe for a dipping sauce like this one is wonderful to have under your sleeve.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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