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Chinese restaurant dipping sauce?

You know when you go to a normal everyday Chinese food restaurant and order eggrolls, fried shrimp or bbq pork, and it comes with the little bowl of ketchup-y dipping sauce, hot mustard and sesame seeds? I have been searching for how exactly to make the ketchup-y stuff. Googling brought up nothing but duck sauce and bbq sauce recipes.

Its not 100% ketchup, its not sweet and sour sauce or duck sauce (i dont think... never had duck sauce). It just tastes like sweet and tangy, kinda spicy ketchup (but not at ALL like cocktail sauce). its red like ketchup, has the texture of it too. But I'm pretty sure it's not just ketchup.

Anyone know how to make it?

I tried mixing some ketchup with soy sauce, some sugar and hot chili sauce, but that was definitely not it.

Thanks for all the suggestions! I believe that the recipe for Tonkatsu sauce that yamiko posted is close to what I was looking for!


( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 26th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)
The three different chinese places I eat use regular old ketchup.

I wanna taste the stuff you are talking about
Jan. 26th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
wouldn't that just be silly if it were regular ketchup I was having all along?
Jan. 26th, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC)
could it be that you are maybe tasting the mustard mixed in?

I can't have the mustard so one time I asked for the "red stuff" and seeds without mustard.. The waitress told me it was just ketchup.

Jan. 26th, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC)
I thought that too when I came up with nothing in my recipe searches.

I haven't been to a Chinese place that served the sauce I'm talking about in a while, I can't really remember it that well.

I used to think it was ketchup when I was little, but as I got older, it tasted slightly different. Maybe it just was the mustard mixing in with it.
Jan. 26th, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC)
You could be thinking of sweet chili sauce.... Maybe. But it's Thai, that I understand.
Jan. 26th, 2008 10:54 pm (UTC)
Don't think its that, although maybe some of that is mixed in with the ketchup. Have to try that one next.
Jan. 26th, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC)
could it be hoisin sauce? it's used a lot like barbeque sauce is in the USA.
Jan. 26th, 2008 11:14 pm (UTC)
Don't think so, hoisin is too dark
Jan. 26th, 2008 11:02 pm (UTC)
Duck sauce is orange, so I doubt that's it...
(I know it's Wikipedia, but bear with me)

Do you think it's ketchup-based? I've never been served sauce with that consistency with egg rolls at a Chinese restaurant, but now I'm curious too!
Jan. 26th, 2008 11:14 pm (UTC)
I'm 99% sure its ketchup based. (for all i know, it was ketchup all along, lol)
Jan. 26th, 2008 11:06 pm (UTC)
Jan. 26th, 2008 11:16 pm (UTC)
that could be it, or very similar. i'm going to make some and see. thanks!!
Jan. 26th, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC)
Okay, I just made some of this. It's pretty darn close, from what I can remember!

Jan. 26th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
Could it be plum sauce?
I used it before while making Thai Chicken Pizza and it's pretty spicy and a bit tangy.
Jan. 26th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
nope, not plum sauce. its definitely ketchup based.
Jan. 26th, 2008 11:16 pm (UTC)
no, sriracha makes flames come out of my eyeballs. the stuff at the restaurants definitely don't do that *grin*
Jan. 26th, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC)
sweet chili sauce.

it has bits of relish and has a sweet taste. not spicy at all. we cooked with it in class. its like a mix of cocktail sauce + ketchup. mmm... idk im assuming thats it.
Jan. 27th, 2008 01:28 am (UTC)
Huh. Must be a regional thing. I've never gotten any sauce alongside eggrolls in any of the Chinese restaurants I've been to here, or while on vacations elsewhere.
Jan. 27th, 2008 02:04 am (UTC)
Maybe its an Oregon/NW thing because by husband is originally from Maine and he had never had this stuff before moving here.
Sep. 4th, 2009 11:45 pm (UTC)
I know exactly what you are talking about
I love that dipping sauce also. I have only lived in Washington and Oregon and every Chinese place has it. I heard they make their own so therefore, you can't buy it. It has to be ketchup based and I have looked everywhere for a recipe. I'm pretty sure it doesn't have the hot mustard in it because I hate that stuff. I will try the recipe you did.
Jan. 27th, 2008 03:53 am (UTC)
One of the chinese restaurants I go to puts plum sauce on the table for the egg rolls. I actually bought tonkatsu sauce in a squeeze bottle at one of the many asian grocery stores in the area (yea for a large chinese/thai etc community). Now I just have to get some thin boneless pork cutlets or pounded chicken breast strips to make them with. :)
Jan. 27th, 2008 04:12 am (UTC)
Could it be chili sauce? Heinz has one that I use, and it really does taste just like spicy ketchup. If I ever want to give it more of a kick, I just add some dry mustard (or, if I don't have it, I just add dried mustard to ketchup).
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 27th, 2008 02:45 pm (UTC)
*grin* good to know i'm not the only one who has had this stuff!
Jun. 26th, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
I love that stuff too. I've been trying to figure out what it is, and I asked a chinese co-worker of mine yesterday. He said he thought it was just regular old ketchup! I'm wondering if the extra spice I thought it had was just from some of the mustard leaking over. :-) It is uber delicious though, especially with the sesame seeds and everything. MmmMmmmMmmmm. :-)
Jun. 26th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
Ketchup, sugar, vinegar and water with a dash of Tobasco. I have a Chinese co-worker who's family owned a Chinese restaurant here. I asked her about it a couple months back :)
Jun. 26th, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC)
Awesome. :-)
Jan. 10th, 2009 06:15 am (UTC)
chinese dipping sauce
I tried this... with a bit of twearking the how much of this and that this is it! Thanks! I can't believe what a mystery it is!
Jun. 26th, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC)
Could be. I'm from Washington, and we have it at a lot of the Chinese places here.
Jan. 27th, 2008 07:04 am (UTC)
I must say I'm ecstatic that I've never been served ketchup in a Chinese restaurant.
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )


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