The Perfect Dumpling Sauce Recipe - The Woks of Life (2024)

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by: Sarah


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There are few single food items in this world more perfect than a Chinese dumpling. Chewy, thin dough wrapped around juicy, delicious fillings of endless variety, they’re delicious whether they’re fried, steamed, or boiled, and they’re ideally served with a deliciously contrasting dumpling sauce. I say “ideally” here, because all too often, dumplings don’t get the dumpling sauce they deserve.

A Good Dumpling Sauce Makes All the Difference

I too can be guilty of lazy dumpling sauce habits. I’ve been known to simply splash a plate full of dumplings with a bit of black vinegar, or spoon dollops of chili sauce on top with little thought given to making a full-on dipping sauce.

But I’ve come to realize the error of my ways, because a truly delicious dumpling sauce can make all the difference to your dumpling enjoyment. After crafting this sauce, and happily dunking fried dumplings into it to gobble down with the rest of my family post-photo-shoot on our last blogging day, I realized that the little extra time (literally 5 minutes) it takes to make a good dumpling dipping sauce can take an OK dumpling experience and elevate it to a truly great one.

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What Makes a Good Dumpling Sauce

The components of a good dumpling sauce are pretty simple, and it comes down to a balance of different flavors: salty, sweet, spicy, and a little bit of tang, or sourness.

The base of the sauce is soy sauce, which provides the salt factor and needs a little bit of thinning out with hot water. The sweetness comes from a little bit of sugar (the hot water helps dissolve it), while the sourness comes from a dash of rice vinegar.

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The spiciness comes from the addition of chili oil––preferably one with lots of chili flakes like our homemade chili oil––as well as garlic.

I really can’t emphasize the importance of the minced garlic enough. Raw garlic is spicy and sharp, and gives the sauce a much-needed lift.

The final ingredients are sesame seeds and a little bit of sesame oil, for a nutty richness that rounds out the whole sauce.

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Our love of dumplings at The Woks of Life is no secret.

We’ve posted many dumpling recipes, from our very first “The Only Dumpling Recipe You’ll Ever Need” to subsequent recipes offering very specific variations: vegetable dumplings, chicken and mushroom dumplings, pork and chive dumplings, and more.

We’ve received many requests for a dumpling sauce recipe over the years, and we’re finally delivering!

How to Make the Perfect Dumpling Sauce:

Cook up some Chinese dumplings…

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And while those are frying (or boiling, or steaming––get our full instructions on how to cook dumplings all those different ways), make the sauce.

Start by dissolving a teaspoon of sugar into a tablespoon of water. Then add 2 tablespoons soy sauce,1 teaspoon rice vinegar,1 teaspoon chili oil,1 teaspoon minced garlic,1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, and½ teaspoon sesame oil.

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Stir to combine:

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And serve this sauce with your dumplings!

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4.91 from 167 votes

Dumpling Sauce Recipe: How to Make Dumpling Dipping Sauce

This dumpling sauce recipe makes the perfect dipping sauce for taking your favorite homemade or store-bought dumplings to the next level.

by: Sarah



The Perfect Dumpling Sauce Recipe - The Woks of Life (11)

serves: 4

Prep: 5 minutes minutes

Total: 5 minutes minutes




  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil


  • Dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar in 1 tablespoon hot water. Then add soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili oil, minced garlic, sesame seeds, and sesame oil. Stir to combine.

  • Serve with freshly cooked dumplings and enjoy!

nutrition facts

Calories: 27kcal (1%) Carbohydrates: 2g (1%) Protein: 1g (2%) Fat: 2g (3%) Saturated Fat: 1g (5%) Sodium: 503mg (21%) Potassium: 19mg (1%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 1g (1%) Vitamin C: 0.2mg Calcium: 5mg (1%) Iron: 0.3mg (2%)

nutritional info disclaimer is written and produced for informational purposes only. While we do our best to provide nutritional information as a general guideline to our readers, we are not certified nutritionists, and the values provided should be considered estimates. Factors such as brands purchased, natural variations in fresh ingredients, etc. will change the nutritional information in any recipe. Various online calculators also provide different results, depending on their sources. To obtain accurate nutritional information for a recipe, use your preferred nutrition calculator to determine nutritional information with the actual ingredients and quantities used.

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You may also like…

  • Chicken Zucchini Dumplings

  • All Purpose Peanut Sauce

  • Whole Wheat Dumpling Wrappers

  • Plum Sauce

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About Sarah

Sarah is the older daughter/sister in The Woks of Life family. Creator of quick and easy recipes for harried home cooks and official Woks of Life photographer, she grew up on episodes of Ready Set Cook and Good Eats. She loves the outdoors (and of course, *cooking* outside), and her obsession with food continues to this day.

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