Dim sum dipping sauce - your favourite recipe?

Title says it all. TIA

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Black vinegar, hot oil, grated garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce.


Ketchup and Stubbs original, grated garlic and ginger, rice vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, a dash of Worcestershire, and red pepper flakes or Franks hot sauce.

It comes together a little different each time as I just kinda do it by taste to balance the sweet/salty/acid/spicey. If I use Franks, I’ll cut back on the ketchup and vinegar.

Garlic/ginger are optional as it is great without it, but adding it takes things up a notch.

At the risk of being drummed out of the onion patch, I use curried butternut squash soup as a dim sum dip. There are loads of recipes for this type of creamy, pureed soup. My preference is one that includes chicken broth and apple, but Panera’s vegetarian version, called Autumn Harvest Soup, is excellent too.

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It must have black vinegar.

Tamari, garlic, chillies, sesame oil* and black vinegar.
Also love fresh ginger in the dipping sauce.

(* only a tiny amount. I love it but one drop too much makes me nauseous.)

In Hong Kong and Macau locals sharing the same table made comments about me adding chillies and stuff to my dipping sauce. Theirs were simple, usually containing soy sauce and black vinegar.

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I should mention that I’ve been using the crispy chilli from a jar of Lao Gan Ma, thinned down with a little soy sauce. The idea was mentioned by klyeoh on my thrread asking about what to do with the Lao Gan Ma - IIRC a lunch guest of his had used it like that. It’s nice but I’m bored with it and need a change - hence the thread.


Soy sauce mixed with spicy yellow mustard. My favorite for dipping steamed buns.


I don’t dip most types of the assorted dim sum I order. (My dim sum order has been curated down to a number of favourite dishes, and only a couple are dumplings that would be dipped)

I do dip my gyoza and various boiled, steamed or fried dumplings at home.

My usual dipping sauce for Asian dumplings is soy, a shake of vinegar ( I use white balsamic or rice vinegar), a dash of sugar and a little hot pepper. Sometimes I add a little sesame oil. Sometimes some toasted sesame seeds, as well.

I will be adding chili crisp next time.


Soy, vinegar, chili
Depending on my mood more can be added, like sesame oil, ginger, garlic etc

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I don’t use dipping sauce for most dim sum. For certain dim sum however dipping sauces are expected like a touch of oyster sauce for radish cake or Worcester sauce for dim sum beef meatballs or black vinegar for soup dumplings (aka XLB). Beyond all the standard combinations, then probably not much.


Agree. Those ones all come with the matching sauces at the restaurant. I don’t make those ones at home!

The only types I make at home are frozen or fresh dumplings or frozen char siu bao ( I don’t dip baked or steamed bready bao). I’ve had homemade shu mai but it would have been soy sauce on the side, if anything, and I can’t remember exactly.

The cheung fun, ham su gok, nor mai gai, cuttlefish in curry sauce, beef balls, lo bak go, jin deui (no sauce, obv), I leave to the professionals.


Same. Mostly because I never make nor eat dim sum at home. As accomplished as I am as a home cook, dim sum is just a bridge too far. I’ll leave that to the pros! At a restaurant I don’t really use sauces either, but if I do it will be either some soy/vinegar/chilli sauce.


The same soy/black vinegar/chilli crisp base as everyone’s suggesting but the addition of sugar (if you wanna heat to dissolve, or use 2:1 simple syrup). Also, garlic/ginger and a touch of sesame oil.


Really depends on the Item. A good fermented Chili Sauce is the only thing that I use in general way at Dim Sum when having certain Dumplings ( Shui Mai, Har Gow, Chui Chow Fun Gor etc…).
For Xiaolongbao Black Vinegar and Shredded Ginger
For Jiaozi, Gyoza, Manud type Dumplings 2:1 Soy : Vinegar with Garlic, Chilies (or Sambal Olek), Black Pepper (with Mandu), Scallion, Sesame Oil, Toasted Sesame Seeds. Sometime just White Vinegar and Chili Oil.


Dim sum does need not nor require dipping sauce.

Dipping sauce on dim sum is like ketchup on steak.


I’m a brown, rather than red, sauce with my meat sort of bloke.

(Now, there’s a thought. Brown sauce let down a little with Worcestershire sauce. Could just work with the dim sum, as an Anglo Chinese thing.

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Harters, are you taking about only dipping dumpling type dim sum?

I think you might be using the term dim sum differently than the term dim sum is used by most English speakers in North America.

In my experience, dim sum refers to the meal and tea itself, sometimes called going for Yum Cha (Drink Tea) instead , usually between 10:30 am and 2 pm. My dim sum order for 2 or 3 people is usually around 2 dishes per person plus 2 for the table. Of those 8-10 dishes, only 3 or 4 would be dippable food items. Many of the dumpling centres have subtle or interesting herbal flavours that might be masked by a dipping sauce. I tend to get a seafood dumpling with chive, or chiu chow dumpling with peanut, and a sauce with ginger or chilies would overwhelm the dumpling’s flavour.

There are quite a few places that are more like dumpling houses, which might have 8 -10 dumplings to an order, with a dozen types of dumplings and maybe green onion pancakes on the menu. The dumpling houses have black vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, chili oil and chilies on the table, for people to mix their own dipping sauce. The dumpling houses tend to be serving Mainland -style boiled, fried or steamed dumplings, not Hong Kong or Cantonese -style dumplings.


Back when I lived in So Cal there was a dim sum restaurant on Ocean Park Blvd that did dozens of dim sum. My favs were the Cha siu bao, Jiaozi, and Shumai.

They had six sauces on the table, one of which was pretty close to what I posted above. The other five included a spicy garlic chili oil, a fruitier almost jam like, a gingery sweet vinegar, a sesame heavy vinegar chili oil, and an oniony soy vinegar.

They were all great, but I wish I could remember all of them better as I’d be hard pressed to replicate several of them (especially the fruity one).

Beef Balls (陈皮牛肉球) and Beancurd Skin Shrimp Rolls(鮮蝦腐皮券) are always served with Worcestershire Sauce at Dim Sum the Places that I have been to.

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