Whenever I lead a dumpling class, I always prepare several sauces to serve with the dumplings we cook. Time and time again, my students tell me that their favorite sauces are my sweet chili sauce and this soy and vinegar dumpling sauce.
One of the key ingredients to my soy and vinegar dumpling sauce is Zhenjiang vinegar (or chinkiang vinegar, 鎮江香醋). Originating from China’s Jiangsu region, Zhenjiang vinegar is an aged black vinegar that is made from various grains, often wheat and rice. The flavor profile of the vinegar is tangy, rich, malty, and slightly sweet. You can find it in Chinese supermarkets or on Amazon.
If Zhenjiang vinegar is difficult for you to obtain, you can use rice vinegar instead. My original recipe uses rice vinegar, and many people enjoyed that version of the dumpling sauce. Do note that rice vinegar is more bright and tangy, so you might not need as much rice vinegar.
HOW TO MAKE SAUCE AHEAD
You can make this sauce up to 4 days ahead. Don’t add the scallions until the day you plan to consume the sauce. I find that the scallions tend to go a little funky when left in the dipping sauce for too long.
DISHES TO SERVE WITH THE DUMPLING SAUCE
- Chicken Potstickers
- Vegetable Potstickers
- Scallion Pancakes
- Tofu & Kimchi Dumplings
- Complete dumpling archives
Soy and Vinegar Dumpling Sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (see note 1)
- 1/4 cup Zhenjiang vinegar (or Chinkiang vinegar, see note 2)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon grated garlic (see note 3)
- 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 stalk of scallions, thinly sliced
- Stir all ingredients in a bowl. Let the sauce sit in the bowl for 15 minutes before serving. This gives time for the herbs and spices to infuse the sauce with its flavors.
- I typically use Lee Kum Kee’s Premium Soy Sauce, which has a little added sugar to balance out the saltiness of the soy sauce. If you taste the dipping sauce and think it is too salty, dilute it with 2 or 3 tablespoons of filtered water and taste. You can also add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to see if it balances out the flavors more.
- SUBSTITUTION: You can substitute Zhenjiang vinegar with rice vinegar. Rice vinegar is much more tangy than Zhenjiang vinegar, so I would start with 2 tablespoons or rice vinegar and add more if you want the sauce to be tangier.
- I like using a microplane zester to grate my garlic and ginger. If you don’t have one, you can mince both the garlic and ginger.