This tangy sauce provides the perfect balance of heat, acidity, savoriness and sweetness to dumplings. It can also be used over noodles, wontons or mixed with fried tofu. My dear friend Bini taught me how to make home made dumplings for Lunar New Year several years ago. It’s a lot of work but oh, so fun to do with a big group of friends. I cheat and buy frozen dumplings in the freezer section of my grocery store to save time. They are not as delicious as Bini’s but ALOT easier. Freezer-section dumplings come in chicken, pork or vegetable varieties and are the key to an easy weeknight meal (or a great party appetizer).
Pair the dumplings with this tasty sauce and you’ll be hooked!
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time:15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (I like the low sodium variety)
- 2 tbsp water or broth from dumplings (if boiling dumplings)
- 1 tbsp Chile garlic sauce (I use “Tuong Ot Toi Vietnam” or you can use Go Chu Jang which is a Korean chili pepper sauce)
- 1/2 tbsp chili oil
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp chinese black vinegar (or Worcester sauce)
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- chopped fresh scallions (cut on a diagonal)
- chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- 12 pieces store-bought or handmade dumplings
- Wash and chop the fresh ingredients (cilantro, scallions, garlic)
2. Mix all except the last ingredient (dumplings) together in a small bowl.
3. Prepare handmade or store-bought frozen dumplings based on your preference (steamed or pan-fried). The package often tells you how to prepare them. Check out the process at the end of this post on steaming and pan frying dumplings.
4. Pour the sauce over the plated dumplings and garnish with more scallions and cilantro. You can also dip the dumplings into the sauce if you prefer. Adjust the chili oil or chili garlic sauce to your heat preference. Enjoy!
Preparing Chinese Dumplings
Boiling (option 1)
- Fill a pot two-thirds with water and bring to a boil.
- Add the dumplings, so they can fit in a single layer.
- Cook them until they float (about three minutes)
- Fish them out of the pot and drain them.
Pan Frying (option 2)
Using a small amount of oil, you can pan fry frozen dumplings. Cooking frozen dumplings is a process that takes between 20 and 25 minutes and is best done with a non-stick pan with a thick heavy bottom to distribute the heat better.
- Add two tablespoons of vegetable oil to a pan and heat on medium-high heat.
- Add the frozen dumplings and cook for 2-4 minutes on each side. Don’t move them too much. You just want them browned.
- Add boiling water to cover half the height of the dumplings and bring to a boil.
- Cover the pan and let the dumplings steam until their bases are golden and the water has almost evaporated.