Potstickers are an easy appetizer or main dish that you can make from scratch or buy in the freezer section. Make this homemade potsticker dipping sauce for a special extra touch that comes together in just minutes.
We want to eat well and save money. Making your own Take-Out Fake-Out dishes can allow you the best of all worlds. This Potsticker Sauce is a great way to jazz up your meals without the high cost of eating out. Add it to your list of 40+ Romantic Dinner Ideas to Cook at Home.
When you’re looking for a quick and easy meal, it’s pretty normal to look toward the freezer section of your grocery store. There are so many tempting entrees, appetizers, and desserts that lurk there. Unfortunately, their pictures often look better than their actual contents.
However, one practically fail-proof freezer section item is the frozen potsticker. They cook up quickly, are available in pork, chicken, and meatless varieties, and give you that restaurant feel without the pricy bill.
Potstickers are one of our family’s favorite quick and easy convenience meals. While getting out of debt years ago, I discovered it as an easy, fun fix that didn’t break the bank.
I confess, I don’t make the dumplings from scratch. I buy a bag from the freezer section. But, I do make the potsticker dipping sauce.
A homemade potsticker dipping sauce comes together in just a few minutes, yet it elevates a humble frozen food to something extra special. Potstickers are great served on their own for a game day appetizer or part of a Rice Bowl are definitely high on the list of favorite good cheap eats.
Why Make This
It’s an affordable option. A ginormous bag of frozen potstickers or gyoza costs about $10 and can serve our family at least twice, making it a pretty decent bargain for a convenience food.
It’s delicious. Dipping sauces can range from savory to sweet, nutty to soy-based. This potsticker sauce is made up of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, pepper, and red pepper flakes. It’s a perfect mix of savory-sweet with a little kick from the ginger, garlic, and red peppers.
It’s a quick fix that feels special. It is so nice on a busy night to get rice cooking in the instant pot, toss a bag of stir-fry veggies into a skillet, and start some potstickers in a pan. Mixing up a flavorful potsticker dipping sauce takes little time and is one way to enjoy the flavors you love without a lot of hassle.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Potstickers and Dipping Sauce:
frozen potstickers – You can make your own, but frozen potstickers are a nice cheat. Ling Ling is a great name brand, while ALDI and Trader Joe’s both sell their own labels fairly affordably.
neutral oil – You can use whatever neutral cooking oil you normally use, such as avocado, canola, or sunflower.
soy sauce – I like to use low sodium soy sauce or sometimes tamari if I need to make the sauce gluten-free. If you’re avoiding soy, coconut aminos are a fair substitute.
rice vinegar – Rice vinegar is traditional and offers a little bit of sweetness and acid together to help balance the sauce.
sugar – I use granulated sugar or honey to add just a little extra sweetness to the potsticker sauce recipe. You can also use brown sugar if that’s what you have.
sesame oil – This is a very flavorful oil and also the priciest ingredient in this dipping sauce recipe. A little goes a long way. You’ll find best pricing at an Asian market or possibly Trader Joe’s.
aromatics – Fresh garlic and ginger really bring the flavor to this sauce. You can use the jarred variety, but fresh will usually have the best flavor. Remember you can freeze both garlic and ginger, so if you won’t use up all that you bought, toss them in the freezer.
pepper – Both black pepper and red pepper flakes give this potsticker sauce a little bit of spiciness. If you want to level up, you can stir in some sriracha sauce as well.
Optional garnish: If you want to dial up the aesthetics, garnish the sauce with slivered green onions or toasted sesame seeds.
Potsticker sauce comes together quickly! Here’s how to make it:
- Combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in a saucepan or microwave-safe dish.
- Heat over medium heat or microwave until hot.
- Stir to combine.
- Transfer the sauce to a small bowl before serving with potstickers. The sauce is also good with egg rolls.
Potstickers are delicious with soy sauce or a special dipping sauce. You can make your own or choose from a variety of bottled sauces. Frozen dumplings sometimes come with a sauce packet, but homemade is best!
Potsticker sauce usually features soy sauce, rice vinegear, sesame oil, and seasonings like red pepper flakes.
Potsticker sauce is vegan provided no animal products like fish sauce or oyster sauce are used. Also, you may want to make sure you use a vegan sugar.
More Take-Out Fake-Outs
Hungry for more ideas? Check out my post over on The Kitchn about 10 different things to do with frozen potstickers.
Potsticker Dipping Sauce
- 2 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 16-ounce package frozen potstickers
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 clove garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (chopped)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the potstickers, according to the package directions.1 16-ounce package frozen potstickers, 2 tablespoon neutral oil
- While the potstickers are cooking, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and peppers in a glass dish and microwave until warm. Alternatively, heat over low heat in a small sauce pot.⅓ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup rice vinegar, 2 tablespoon granulated sugar, 2 tablespoon sesame oil, 3 clove garlic, 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (chopped), ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Serve the potstickers with the dipping sauce.
This post was originally published on December 30, 2010. It has been updated for content and clarity.
I wish you had included the directions for making the sauce.
The directions are on the recipe card.
Best potsticker dipping sauce ever! Clean, and perfectly complimentary!
What is that noodle dish and recipe in the background? (the pic with the cookies?) I’ll be trying the recipe tonight. Thanks for the recipe!
That’s Homemade Vegetable Chow Mein .
Randomly bought some Sunday for the Super Bowl, but we did not need them. Cooked them last night with some fried rice and they were a big hit. I think I did them once years ago, but now they going on the regular menu. Plus, they are a great frozen backup meal when tired.
Yay! So glad you enjoyed them!
This sauce is delicious! However, after making it for two, we have some leftover. How would you recommend storing it, refrigerator or freezer? We didn’t doubled dip… 🙂
If you can use it up in the next four days, fridge. If not, freezer.
Sesame oil for me is confusing to purchase, the dark one is very strong and all recipes never seem to elaborate on which oil to use, can you help with this, love to know what to use and when
I buy the sesame oil that is in the Asian foods section. It is probably considered dark.
My friend, who is from China, taught me how to make potstickers years ago. I’ve not done it in a long time, but I should. It’s definitely something to get the kids in on and it’s not hard. You just sort of get a little assembly going and make tons of them. They are very good and I think very affordable. As I recall you just use the wonton wrappers, egg, ground meat, green onions, and some spices. Mix the filling together kind of like meatloaf or meatballs, then fill the wonton and pinch them closed with water. Then boil or fry. You’d want a recipe, of course, but I can tell you it’s easy if a little time consuming.
Potstickers are probably my hands-down favorite convenience food, and I’ve also bought them many times, mostly from TJs. I never grow tired of them but my husband is not a big fan of them.
Hey Jessica, we try to avoid soy. Do you think this would work with amino acids instead of soy sauce? That is my go-to replacement for soy sauce. Thanks!
I think it should work just fine, especially if you’re used to using it. Make a small batch first and taste it?
A ditto with Susie on the homemade potstickers! There’s some preservative in the commercial ones that doesn’t sit well, so we make our own (in HUGE batches). It’s very, very easy once you get the hang of folding the pleats. I do use purchased wrappers (about $2 for 60). My recipe is very similar to the one Susie linked. I use a food processor to whirl the cabbage (I use regular green, not Napa), some carrots, green onion, and already-chopped fresh ginger, and I do overwork the mixture just a tad so it holds together really nicely.
I spent $10 on our last batch… and made nearly 100 potstickers, so it serves us really well. They freeze like a dream, and cook from frozen exactly like the bagged ones do.
I am 100% with you on the simplified holiday meals! We do “party food” inexpensively with homemade treats, and everyone loves it.
Wow! That is impressive. I may have to try them now.
No homemade potstickers for us post kids, either, though Alton Brown has a great recipe. But Trader Joes has awesome frozen ones…
I’ve discovered a great recipe for potstickers. It is flexible, easy, and makes a ton so you can freeze them for future meals. I start with the recipe found here: http://www.freezerdinner.com/recipes/mmmmm-pot-stickers/ but I tweak it to include whatever veggie I have on hand. I’ve read that the secret is to “overwork” the sausage so it will hold together. I just toss the ingredients it in the food processor while I get everything else together. I cook them by dropping them in boiling water. when they float to the top, viola! It impresses the kids every time.
Please give me the recipe for the pot stickers… thanks ever so much,
I buy them frozen at Costco. 🙂
What is neutral oil?might be a silly question but it confused me…lol
Whatever doesn’t have flavor. Olive oil is usually flavored so that’s not a great option. But, avocado, canola, or vegetable are neutral oils.
@AllieZirkle, Yum! Last nite we had potstickers & fried rice from the leftover brown rice from dinner the prior night. (repurpose with a purpose!) Hubby wanted to try the included sauce. Next time we’ll try your sauce because the included sauce was too twangy for the little kiddos. This is definitely a good cheap eat for a mid-week meal!
This sounds oh so good! I think we’ll need to add this to our dinner list for next week, once the kiddos are back to school. I’m sure we’ll need a quick go-to dinner one of the nights.