Asian Dipping Sauces for Almost Anything
Marty Martindale

In our home, the refrigerator’s top shelf on the door is called “Chinatown,” because it asianconcontains nothing other than the Asian ingredients we currently have on hand, and they are a lot of fun to experiment with.

We are not Asian but pretty much nose around approvingly at some of the seemingly never-ending delicious dipping sauces, which, we found, are not only delicious with spring rolls and other Asian foods but with plain, blanched vegetables, fruits or fish.

We are fully aware we are not capably endowed with inborn sensitivities to the yin-and-yan of flavors, or what they call, the “balancing of opposites.” However, it’s a fun challenge to do our best to balance or contrast the venerable  sweets-sours-salties-hots we find.

We also are mindful we are not making a lot of effort to delineate between food customs of the many Asian cultures — Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, and many others. If you wish to track these further, there’s a wonderful geographical chart of the Asian pantry.

(One non-Asian tip is you can save money on buying broth for ingredient for any recipe by mixing your own to taste. For instance, combine water, soy sauce, a dash of sesame oil and a bit of chili garlic sauce, and you are on your way!)

Below is a random list of popular Asian condiments. Many serve approximately the same taste function (salty, sweet, hot, sour).

  • Black bean sauce
    Cashew nuts
    Chili garlic oil
    Coconut milk
    Curry paste, red/green
    Dry sherry
    Fish sauce
    Five spice powder
    Fresh lime juice
    Green onions
    Housin sauce
    Lemongrass paste
    Mustard powder
    Oyster sauce
    Pad Thai sauce
    Peanuts, butter
    Pickled ginger
    Plum sauce
    Raw ginger root
    Raw sugar
    Red pepper flakes
    Rice vinegar
    Roasted sesame seed oil
    Roasted sesame seeds
    Satay sauce
    Shaoxing (Chinese cooking wine)
    Soy sauce
    Srirachi sauce
    Tamari (gluten-free, soy-type)
    Teriyaki sauce



These condiments are in addition to basic food items such as rice, noodles, wonton wrappers, rice paper, cornstarch, dried mushrooms, dried shrimp, tofu, other protein or and fresh produce.

Below are foodsites with dipping sauce recipes. However, feel free to concoct your own. Invite others to take part, too.

Marty Martindale

About Marty Martindale

Foodsite Magazine and Marty aim to help the cooking-challenged avoid dependence on others due to lack of cooking knowhow. We concentrate on quick breakfasts, portable lunches and “good-4-u” night meals. With readily available web translation, the magazine explains separate foods, a little of their history, their nutrition, suggested “go-withs,” serving ideas and links to foodsites with recipes.

Comments are closed.