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This delicious Chinese garlic sauce is perfect as a dipping sauce or for flavoring almost any Chinese dish you want to make. It’s quick, easy, and an excellent addition to anyone’s home kitchen.
Chinese garlic sauce typically gets sent home with Chinese takeout. It’s often served for dipping dumplings, and just generally adds great flavor to any Chinese dish. It’s not always the healthiest stuff, but this recipe changes all that.
What Is The Tastiest Chinese Sauce?
While this is subject to opinion, I’d absolutely have to vote for Chinese Garlic Sauce. The flavor it imparts to any foods you use it on is amazing. Especially for garlic lovers!
What Is Chinese Garlic Sauce?
Chinese garlic sauce is a versatile and flavorful condiment that is a staple in many Chinese kitchens. This sauce is made with simple ingredients, including fresh garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. The sauce is known for its strong garlic flavor and is often used as a dipping sauce for dumplings, as well as a flavor enhancer in stir-fries and noodle dishes. Chinese garlic sauce is easy to make at home and can add a delicious kick to any meal.
How Much Sugar Is In Chinese Garlic Sauce?
Typically, quite a bit from what I can tell. But I wasn’t able to find an actual number to share here. I do know it can be pretty sweet in restaurants though. Thankfully, this easy recipe uses only 1 tbsp. of whatever sweetener you want to use. One of the following would work great:
- Coconut sugar
- Monk fruit
- Maple syrup
Is Chinese Garlic Sauce High In Calories?
As I mentioned, I can’t speak for the restaurant varieties, but for this particular recipe, the calories are only 48 calories per tablespoon. Grant it, that can add up if you are adding half the recipe to a chicken stir fry, but it’s still relatively low.
Chinese Garlic Sauce Variations
- You can add beef broth to this for more depth of flavor. Chicken broth works too.
- Some people enjoy adding fresh, minced ginger to this. If you want to try it, add a teaspoon or so. Let it sit to absorb flavors, and then stir and taste. Add more if you like.
Tips & Additions
- If you make the sauce without cooking it, you may want to consider cutting the amount of garlic in half. You can always stir in more if needed. I love a lot of garlic, but not everyone will like such a strong garlic flavor.
- You can easily make this in a glass jar with a lid. Simply put everything into the jar and shake well. It’s a great way to store it in the fridge as well. You’ll use fewer dishes that way!
- You can easily add sesame seeds to this recipe for extra flavor, or simply sprinkle them on your dish for garnish.
- While this doesn’t fall under the parameters of this blog, some people love to add alcohol to this dish. Something like dry sherry or Chinese rice wine is the typical go-to. If you go this route, definitely follow the stovetop method for making this sauce.
How Is This Recipe Different?
With most recipes, you would sauté the garlic a bit and then add the other ingredients to warm everything up. Instead of doing this, I mix everything together and let the cooking happen when I use the sauce.
That being said, if you want to use it as a dip where you won’t be heating it, you can go either way. This sauce is delicious as is or heated.
Can This Be Made Vegan?
Surprise! It already is! That being said, if you want to add broth to this, stick to vegetable broth.
Can This Be Made Gluten-Free?
Yes! As long as you purchase gluten-free ingredients, this will be gluten-free. There are no wheat-based products called for in the recipe.
How To Use Chinese Garlic Sauce
- Shake or stir the sauce well before using.
- Use as a stir-fry sauce for vegetables or meats. Add during the last few minutes of cooking.
- Drizzle the sauce over noodles, rice, or other dishes as desired.
- Use the sauce as a dipping sauce for dumplings or other appetizers.
What Does This Recipe Pair Well With?
Here are some suggestions, especially if using this for stir fry.
- Bean sprouts
- Asian noodles
What Is Chinese Garlic Sauce Made Of?
Light-flavored oil – This can be any healthy you like as long as the flavor isn’t overpowering. Good choices would be avocado oil or sunflower oil. I used coconut oil. Avoid highly processed vegetable oil or corn oil.
Pressed garlic – Pressed is best for flavor. But in a pinch, you can mince the garlic too. I used an entire head of garlic for this. But it was a LOT of garlic. You can start with half a head and add more as needed.
Soy sauce or coconut aminos – I used coconut aminos for this. You can also use tamari. If using soy sauce, opt for low-sodium soy sauce.
Rice vinegar – Found in the ethnic aisle of most grocery stores, or with other kinds of vinegar. Rice wine vinegar works too.
Sweetener – This can be any sweetener you are comfortable using.
Red pepper flakes – These are optional, but they add a nice “kick”. Adding this will definitely make this more of a Chinese “hot sauce”.
Sesame oil – This is roasted sesame oil.
Arrowroot powder – Optional to thicken the sauce if you want to cook with it and have it be more of a glaze. Cornstarch will work too.
How To Make Chinese Garlic Sauce
Place all the measured ingredients into a mixing bowl.
Whisk well to combine. (Or use a jar with a lid and simply shake everything once the lid is on securely.
Let it sit for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld and enjoy. Whisk or shake before using.
Sauté the garlic (add ginger here if using) in the oil for 1 minute. Make a slurry from the starch and coconut aminos, then add all the ingredients to the pan or pot. Stir until the sauce has thickened.
How To Store Chinese Garlic Sauce
Store this in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to a week.
If you want to freeze extras, it’s best to do so in an ice cube tray for individual portions that are easy to use in cooking. Once frozen, transfer to an airtight container and store for up to 4 months. If thawing before use, you may need to reblend this with a whisk.
For this recipe, you’ll need a garlic press, a mixing bowl, and a whisk. Click any of the images here to be taken to that product on Amazon. (Affiliate links)
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Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe Card + Video
Chinese Garlic Sauce
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- 1 Mixing Bowl
- 1 Whisk
- ¼ cup light flavored oil
- ¼ cup soy sauce (or coconut aminos if you avoid soy)
- 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp. sweetener (any will do)
- 3 tbsp. pressed garlic (this is approximately a full head of garlic)
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. arrowroot powder (optional if you want o use this as a thicker glaze in cooking)
- Place all the measured ingredients into a mixing bowl
- Whisk well to combine. (Or use a jar with a lid and simply shake everything once the lid is on securely.
- Let it sit for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld and enjoy. Whisk or shake before using.
- Sauté the garlic (add ginger here if using) in the oil for 1 minute.Make a slurry from the starch and coconut aminos, then add all the ingredients to the pan or pot. Stir until the sauce has thickened.