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Feb 18, 2010 01:52 PM

Favorite Soy Sauce Brand to go with my xiao long bao sauce?

So I've tried searching this board with the tags: Soy Sauce, soy soauce brands, Best soy sauce etc. and almost nothing comes up with the exception of threads that feature soy sauce in their ingredients. Frustrating. I haven't had much success with searches here in awhile :(

Anyhow, I have about a dozen different soy sauces in my pantry as I live in Flushing and there are a plethora of Asian markets near me. However, I can never get the *perfect* taste with my dipping sauce for my xiao long bao.

Of course, I add rice vinegar, sugar, ginger etc, but the soy sauce itself is not quite right.

Any reccs?

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  1. How about none? ;-)

    Here in my city, XLB are served with only (usually) Black Vinegar and Ginger slivers - no soya.

    4 Replies
      1. re: fmed

        >> However, I can never get the *perfect* taste with my dipping sauce for my xiao long bao.

        Of course, I add rice vinegar, sugar, ginger etc, but the soy sauce itself is not quite right. <<

        Do you have a particular restaurant that you are comparing against? (Because, and not to harp, XLB dipping sauce doesn't usually contain soya...nor sugar. Only black vinegar and ginger slivers).

        1. re: fmed

          I think I'll just be doing that in the future. I was following a complete recipe from and it was my first time making them. They certainly don't need anything else, do they?

        2. re: fmed


          Black vinegar (sometimes red) and julienned ginger are all you need.

        3. It is really hard to get artisanal Chinese soy sauce in the US. The brands they sell in Chinese supermarkets are mediocre at best. I understand your frustration because high end Chinese foodstuffs are such a severly under served market.

          Nama Shoyu is my favorite soy sauce that is conveniently available in the US. Give it a try, it is less salty, more flavorful and classically Chinese style instead of wheat based derivatives.

          1. I don't have a brand to recommend but I made this recently:

            The Dipping Sauce (Combine and refrigerate)
            2 tablespoons of sambal (hot chili & garlic sauce)
            1/2 cup black vinegar
            1/2 cup soy sauce
            1 teaspoon sesame oil
            1 tablespoon of shaved ginger

            I didn't have black vinegar at the time (remedied that) so I used red. I don't think I'd use rice vinegar.

            1. Pearl River dark soy is my favorite. I really prefer the darker soy sauce, it has a great flavor that I can only describe as slightly smokey.

              7 Replies
              1. re: chef chicklet

                I prefer the dark also but you can't have too heavy a hand with it. Or I can't.

                1. re: c oliver

                  I feel my ankles swell just talking about it!

                2. re: chef chicklet

                  Pearl River brand is also my fave, but I don't like using the dark soy on some things that are overpowered by its assertive taste. They make a regular soy sauce which is my favorite.

                  I discovered black vinegar during the Fuchsia Dunlop COTM. Amazing what it adds to dishes!

                  1. re: oakjoan

                    oh black vinegar, that's so wonderful. I remember all the cooking that was going on with that book. You all did a magnificent job really researching and trying her recipes and condiments. I must make those hot salted peppers soon!

                    1. re: oakjoan

                      Your reminder of Fucshia Dunlop yesterday promped me to check her book out - Land of the Plenty, and I'm so looking forward to cooking from it.

                    2. re: chef chicklet

                      Dark soy sauce is too pungent for xiao long bao and not an appropriate condiment.

                      1. re: Pookipichu

                        All the more reason to eat it. It's the pungent taste I love, the other soys taste too watered down, no body. Just a matter of personal taste.

                    3. If you search for "shoyu", you'll find a lot more hits (although it will be heavily slanted towards Japanese and Hawaiian brands).

                      Here's an interesting article about shoyu:

                      I didn't have as much luck searching with the Chinese pinyin for soy sauce, but maybe the info on the sites you can find about shoyu will still help you decide what type and brand you want.

                      Here's a different chowhound thread about shoyu with some recommendations (for general use, not specifically XLB):