Dim Sum Sauces

The following recipes are the most commonly used for dim sum (pot stickers, shumai, buns and soup-buns, et.al.). Due to their salt content, most of these sauces can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month or more.

Any ‘texture items’ or ‘fresh greens’ should be added ‘a la minute’.

Do yourself a favor and keep soy, sake, mirin, and rice vinegar as pantry staples. They’re all very shelf-stable and are required in most Asian cooking.

Love, Jimi

Sanbaizu Sauce

(Sauce, Dressing and Pickle)

  • 1:1:1 Ratio of Mixed – Shoyu (soy), Mirin (sweet cooking wine), Komezu (rice vinegar)
  • Common modern “dressing” style ratio is – 1:2:2 (same order as above)

Teriyaki Sauce

This is the real stuff, not the syrup from the grocery store.


  • Equal parts Soy, Mirin, Sake
  • 1 part sugar


  1. Heat all ingredients in medium sauce pan until boil (stirring constantly
  2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 min
  3. Allow to cool and store refrigerated in air-tight jar up to 3 months

Kaeshi Sauce

Traditionally used as a dipping sauce for soba, this also works with other dishes and even brushed over cooked or raw fish (i.e. nigiri).


  • 1 Cup soy sauce
  • 2.5 Tbs Mirin
  • 2.5 Tbs sugar


  1. Heat all ingredients in a sauce pan over med heat.
  2. When sugar has completely dissolved, turn off the heat and allow to cool.
  3. Store refrigerated in air-tight jar up to 3 months

Spiced Soy Sauce

Ingredients & Directions

  • 2 tablespoons sambal (or sriracha)
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Mix ingredients together.

Hoisin Sauce


  • 1 tablespoon oil for stir-frying
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 6 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • a few drops sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chile paste, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped peanuts


  1. Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high to high heat.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger and Stir-fry briefly until aromatic.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium and stir in the other ingredients.
  4. Heat through and remove from the stove.
  5. Cool and refrigerate.
  6. Alternately, only add the peanuts to top the sauce when served.

Potsticker Sauce

Ingredients & Directions

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese red rice-wine vinegar (or white if you can’t find red)
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh diced cilantro or bias-sliced green onion
  • Mix all together

Chinese Mustard

Ingredients & Directions

  • Place 1/4 cup dry Chinese mustard powder in a bowl.
  • Gradually stir in 1/4 cup of cold water.
  • Stir in 1/8 teaspoon of vegetable oil (or other neutral-flavor oil).
  • Cover the mustard and let stand for at least one hour.
  • Store in a small sealed jar, in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Traditional Chinese Soup Bun Sauce (Xaolong Bao)


  • 1 part soy sauce
  • 2 parts rice vinegar
  • Shredded ginger


  1. Mix vinegar and soy
  2. Add bit of ginger on top of the dipped soup bun
    • (Or you can mix the ginger in)

Jimi’s Ponzu-Scheme


  • 3 parts Soy Sauce
  • 2 part ponzu juice (sold in jars in Asian markets)
  • 1 part shredded ginger


  1. Mix all together and adjust according to strength of ponzu and ginger
  2. If you can’t find Ponzu, try lime/lemon juice blend (won’t be the same, but close)
  3. Also try substituting yuzu (use less—it is quite strong) for ponzu.
  4. Stores for about a week (+/- a few days) in the fridge.

Nuoc Mam Cham Version: 1

Both versions are often used for fresh and fried spring rolls, and cold noodle salads. You usually want something a bit stronger (tart) for fried foods.


  • 1/2 cup of warm water
  • 1 tablespoon rice or plain vinegar (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Thai chili pepper or jalapeno (at least)
  • 3 clove of garlic, use more or less according to taste
  • ~1/8 cup fish sauce, adjust to taste
  • Optional
    • Pickled carrots and daikon, optional.
    • Rooster chili garlic sauce or Sambal Olek (optional)


  1. Dissolve sugar in warm water, then mix everything together.
  2. Done.

Nuoc Cham Version: 2


  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 ½ tablespoons fish sauce
  • Optional Additions
    • 1 small garlic clove, finely minced
    • 1 or 2 Thai chilis, thinly sliced or
    • 1 teaspoon homemade chili garlic sauce (or store bought: tuong ot toi)


  1. Combine the lime juice, sugar and water, stirring to dissolve the sugar. It should taste like a decent limeade juice.
  2. Taste and adjust the flavors to balance the sweet and sour.

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