Egg roll sauce
This easy homemade egg roll sauce recipe rivals store-bought versions in both taste and healthy ingredients. This thick, sweet and tangy sauce is so simple—mix it up in just 3 minutes! My naturally-sweetened eggroll sauce is similar to Chinese plum sauce sans ginger.
This no-cook egg roll dipping sauce is perfect with my rice paper egg rolls or these keto potstickers in a daikon wrap. Want another Asian dipping sauce for egg rolls and other appetizers? My dumpling dipping sauce is coming soon!
This versatile Asian dip sauce uses the natural sweetness of fruit and the tanginess of pickled plum and vinegar to achieve a beautifully balanced depth of flavor in minutes. Here is all you need to make a healthy sweet and sour sauce for egg rolls at home:
- Apricot jam: Peach jam will also work as a natural sweetener and thickening agent.
- Japanese pickled plum (umeboshi): You can also use Chinese pickled plum in a jar with seeds removed. It is sweet, salty, and a bit sour, giving a great depth of flavor. (see product here)
- Apple sauce: I use unsweetened applesauce for a mellow sweet apple flavor. It also helps give the sauce a nice consistency.
- Rice vinegar: This gives this Chinese dip sauce a pleasant tanginess.
- Pickling liquid from the plum (optional): Add a few drops of the pickling brine from the plums to thin the eggroll dipping sauce to your desired consistency.
Substitutions and variations
- No pickled plum: If you can’t find pickled plum, add a little more vinegar with a small pinch of salt to taste.
- Premade plum paste: If using a plum paste (product) instead of whole pickled plums use a 1 to 1.5 tsp ratio.
- More zesty flavor: Add a half teaspoon of grated ginger and garlic. It’ll taste more like Chinese duck sauce (or plum sauce).
- Extra savory: Add soy sauce for extra umami flavor or mix in garlic powder, ginger, green onions, onion powder, and toasted sesame oil for added savory flavor.
More information on pickled plum
The two most popular types of Asian pickled plum in the West are Chinese preserved plum and Japanese umeboshi. There are two versions – sun-dried (乾酸梅) or pickled in brine (醃漬梅).
To make sweet sauce for egg rolls, you’ll want to use the version pickled in brine, not the dried snack version. Often, the pickled plums are sold in a jar, soaked in brine. Chinese pickled plum flavor can range from just salty to salty and sweet. Japanese umeboshi uniformly tastes salty, and sour with a hint of sweetness.
Despite the name “plum”, the pickled fruit is more closely related to the apricot. In this recipe, I use Japanese umeboshi.
To use whole pickled plum in a sauce, remove the seed and use a fork to mash it into a paste. You can also use a small fine strainer and a spoon to press the plum through the sieve to make a fine paste.
How to make egg roll sauce
This Chinese dipping sauce recipe for eggrolls couldn’t get any easier! There’s no cooking, chopping, or grating involved. The instructions are simply to mix the ingredients to your desired taste and serve!
- In a small bowl, mix the jam, plum, apple sauce, rice vinegar, and sweetener (if using) until there are no clumps. Adjust to taste. The sauce should taste sweet, sour, and a little salty with a hint of pickled plum flavor. Thin the sauce with a few drops of pickled plum brine if desired.
How to make ahead, store, and reheat
This recipe is so quick that you can easily whip it up last minute. It’s so delicious though, that you’ll want it around at all times! Luckily it stores well for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Here’s how to store and serve leftovers of this easy Asian dip for egg rolls.
- Storage: Store extra egg roll dip sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Serve (after refrigeration): The sauce will thicken in the fridge. To thin the sauce before serving, add a teaspoon of water or apple juice to taste.
What to serve with egg roll dipping sauce
This simple Asian dipping sauce is not only a good sauce for egg rolls. It goes well with almost any appetizer or party finger food! If you are wondering what to dip egg rolls in, here are some of my favorite pairings.
- Serve it with dumplings and wontons. These TikTok-inspired rice paper dumplings are crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle. Plus they’re low-carb! Keep an eye out for my shrimp wontons with gluten free wonton wrappers, coming soon!
- The perfect dip for party foods: Wow your party guests by drizzling this sauce on my 15-minute rice paper Vietnamese pizza. Or use it as a dip for crunchy Taiwanese popcorn chicken or this healthy and festive chicken lollipop recipe!
- Types of pickled plum: Use a pickled plum variety that is soaked in brine, not dried. This will provide the salty, sour flavor the sauce needs.
- How to use whole pickled plum: Remove the plum seed before mashing or pressing through a sieve.
- Plum alternative: If you can’t find pickled plum, increase vinegar and add a pinch of salt. Premade umeboshi paste can also be substituted with a 1:1.5 tsp ratio.
- Season to taste: Adjust seasoning to achieve a sweet, sour, and salty balance. Add more vinegar and/or salt if needed.
- Healthier ingredients: Peach or apricot jam provides fruitiness and sweetness. Unsweetened applesauce thickens without adding more sugar.
Egg rolls pair well with sweet chili sauce, sriracha, Chinese hot mustard, keto teriyaki sauce, sweet and sour sauce, homemade egg roll dip sauce, and Chinese plum sauce. These sauces provide a balance of sweet, spicy, savory, and sour flavors that complement the egg roll filling.
A healthier version of homemade sauce for egg rolls is made with jam, pickled plums, vinegar, and seasonings. Common ingredients include apricot jam, Chinese pickled plum or Japanese umeboshi, rice vinegar, sugar, and pickled plum liquid.
The Panda Express egg roll dipping sauce is their classic sweet and sour sauce which contains water, sugar, lemon juice concentrate, vinegar, tomato paste, soy sauce, xanthan gum, and paprika extract (for color).
More dipping sauces for egg rolls you might like
It’s hard to say that this recipe is the BEST dipping sauce for egg rolls and spring rolls—simply because there are so many amazing Asian dipping sauces to try! What do you dip egg rolls in? Here are some of my favorite egg roll dipping sauce ideas!
- Whole30 peanut sauce: A thick and nutty sauce made with almond or peanut butter.
- Gluten free hoisin sauce: This sweet, tangy, and savory sauce can be used as a dip or stir-fry sauce.
- Vietnamese dipping sauce (Nuoc cham): This light Vietnamese dipping sauce is a perfect balance of sweet, savory, and tart.
- Nam jim jaew (Thai chili dipping sauce): For a spicy egg roll dipping sauce try this salty, spicy, citrusy, and funky Thai sauce.
- Chili garlic sauce: This subtly spicy and smoky sauce is the most popular sauce recipe on my blog!
Egg roll sauce recipe
- In a small bowl, add all the ingredients from jam to sugar, if using. Mix well until there are no clumps. Adjust the seasoning to taste. The sauce should taste sweet, sour, and a little salty at the same time with pickled plum flavor.
- Japanese or Chinese pickled plum tastes salty, sour, and with a hint of sweet flavor. To use it, remove the seed and use a fork to mash it into a paste. You can also use a small fine strainer and a spoon to press the plum through the sieve to make a fine paste.
- If you can’t find pickled plum, add a little more vinegar with a small pinch of salt to taste. If using premade umeboshi paste from a tube, use 1 to 1.5 tsp.
- The two most popular types of Asian pickled plum are Chinese preserved plum and Japanese umeboshi. For making sauce, use the version pickled in brine, not dried (in a snack bag). Chinese pickled plums taste salty to salty-sweet while Japanese umeboshi is salty, and sour, with a hint of sweetness. Despite the name “plum”, the fruit is actually more akin to an apricot. To use, remove the seed and mash or press through a sieve into a paste.
- Store the sauce in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. To thin the sauce, add a teaspoon of water or apple juice to taste.