You’ve tried bao.
You know the deal: soft, fluffy, delicious buns, with a sweet or savory filling.
You love them.
You know that you want to serve them to dinner guests, but you’re stuck on the sauce.
Something that’s not too spicy, but has just enough kick to make it exciting.
Maybe something with a little sweetness to balance out the flavors?
Consider this your go-to guide for what sauce to serve with bao buns.
What Sauce to Serve with Bao Buns (15 Sauces)
No matter how you feel about them, bao buns are here to stay.
And it’s all thanks to their soft, doughy centers and their crispy, buttery crusts.
If a bun is your thing, you’ve got to try these sauces:
Sriracha is the perfect sauce for your bao buns, because it combines sweet and savory flavors all in one.
It’s a great topping for any kind of meat, and it also goes well with chicken, shrimp or tofu.
Sweet and sour sauce is a great choice for your bao bun because it has a tangy flavor that cuts through the rich pork belly or chicken.
Plus, who doesn’t love sweet and sour sauce? It’s one of the best sauces there is—and the perfect topping for your traditional bao bun!
Peanut satay is a more exotic choice than the sriracha or sweet and sour.
It’s got a nutty flavor that complements pork belly without overpowering it.
Plus, peanut satay is delicious on chicken or tofu as well, so it works well if you’re serving a mix of meats at your gathering!
Soy (or tamari)
Soy sauce is great for any Asian-inspired dish or just something different.
You can use it to marinade meat and make sure it gets a good flavor, or you can dab some on your rice to give the rice a boost.
Hoisin sauce is a rich and flavorful combination of spices that adds an unexpected kick to your meal.
It’s fantastic as a dipping sauce for dumplings, but it’s also perfect as a marinade for meats and vegetables.
We can also recommend teriyaki sauce for your next order of bao buns.
Teriyaki is made from a base of sweetened soy sauce flavored with sake or mirin and ginger and garlic.
If you want to add some sweetness to your dish, this may be the one for you.
Sweet chili sauce is a staple of Thai cuisine.
It’s a sweet and spicy sauce that blends tons of chili peppers (think of it as the Asian ketchup or BBQ sauce).
It goes well with bao buns because of its sweetness.
The sweetness of the bun is cut by the spiciness of the chili, resulting in a bold and fun burst of flavor.
Pesto sauce is an Italian sauce made from basil, pine nuts, garlic, and parmesan cheese. Its flavor is nutty and rich.
Serve it on bao buns and you’ll get a smooth and creamy texture that’s not too overpowering.
The flavor also pairs well with the softness of the bun.
Wasabi mayonnaise sauce is something you might find at a sushi joint.
The sauce combines mayonnaise with wasabi for a creamy yet spicy condiment that’s perfect for dipping or spreading all over your favorite food.
Use this on your bao bun to add a new dimension to your taste buds!
This recipe makes a great replacement for store-bought Worcestershire sauce, which can be full of preservatives and additives.
It’s easy to make and you can use it in all sorts of dishes, not just bao buns.
This dressing is delicious on salads, but it also tastes great with bao buns!
You can vary the recipe based on what herbs you like: dill, basil, chives, or oregano would all taste great!
Tartar sauce is traditionally served with fish and chips; however, we think it tastes great with bao buns too!
If you’re looking for a lighter alternative to mayonnaise, try substituting Greek yogurt or even a non-dairy alternative like soy yogurt.
We love chili oil! It’s delicious, but it can be a little spicy—just the way we like it.
It goes great with anything, but we especially like it with bao buns because it gives the bun a bit of a kick.
If you’ve never had the stuff before, here’s a tip: make sure you have something to chase the spice with, like some plain noodles or even just water.
You’ll be glad you did!
Sometimes simple is best.
This is a more mild sauce that will add just a little bit of kick to your meal without overpowering it.
If you’re serving bao with an under-seasoned dish, this may be the perfect way to spice things up.
Plus, there’s something about the lime and cilantro combo that just makes us feel like we’re having something extra special!
To make a chili lime vinaigrette, simply combine lime juice, olive oil, sea salt, garlic powder and crushed red pepper flakes together in a bowl until they’re well-incorporated.
Add the vinaigrette to any salad or grain dish for a zesty new taste!
We know what you’re thinking—but wait! Don’t knock it till you try it.
This ketchup recipe is made with fresh tomatoes and has just the right amount of vinegar and sugar added to give it that perfectly balanced taste that makes everything better.
Try adding some mustard powder for an even more zesty kick!
What Sauce to Serve with Bao Buns (15 Sauces)
- Sweet and Sour
- Peanut Satay
- Soy (or tamari)
- Teriyaki Sauce
- Sweet Chili Sauce
- Pesto Sauce
- Wasabi Mayonnaise Sauce
- Homemade Worcestershire Sauce
- Ranch Dressing
- Tartar Sauce
- Chili Oil
- Chili Lime Vinaigrette
- Pick your favorite sauce from this list to serve with your tasty buns.
- Prepare the rest of your meal.
- Be ready to munch in less than 20 minutes!