How long would a simple homemade dipping sauce made of soy sauce, olive oil, sesame oil and a whack of fresh garlic last in the fridge?
May 4, 2009 12:03 PM   Subscribe

How long would a simple homemade dipping sauce made of soy sauce, olive oil, sesame oil and a whack of fresh garlic last in the fridge?

I ask because I made a massive batch of potstickers over the weekend and froze them. I expect to be unable to resist their deliciousness and eat them all over the next 2-3 weeks. I like to eat them with the dipping sauce I make, but I don't want to have to remake it every time, especially since it gets better the longer it sits. And because I am lazy.

So how long would a little jar of soy sauce, olive oil, sesame oil, and sliced/crushed fresh garlic stay edible?
posted by gwenlister to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've kept such sauces for up to a week in an airtight container with no problems whatsoever. I bet you could go longer.
posted by mrmojoflying at 12:06 PM on May 4, 2009

It's probably fine. But if you dipped into the stored portion, there may be morsels of dumpling floating in it that could affect the flavour, at least.
posted by maudlin at 12:08 PM on May 4, 2009

A while.

If you are dipping potstickers in there, consider adding some of the following: rice wine vinegar, a little chili sauce, green onions, or fresh ginger.
posted by charlesv at 12:09 PM on May 4, 2009

Response by poster: I would be pouring a little out on to my plate when I eat it, so no worries on the morsels floating in the remaining sauce.

Fresh ginger would probably be kick ass. I also usually had hot chili flakes to the sauce as well, but i didn't include it in my ingredient list as I didn't think it would alter the fridge life. ;)
posted by gwenlister at 12:14 PM on May 4, 2009

I make salad dressing with similar ingredients and keep it in the fridge for a couple months without problems.
posted by Kololo at 12:16 PM on May 4, 2009

Best answer: Since everything else is shelf-stable, the only thing you have to worry about it the garlic developing botulism (as has been observed in garlic oil being left at room-temp; that's why garlic is never used in herb-infused oils meant to be left on the counter).

When raw garlic is stored in oil, Clostridium botulinum bacteria can grow. These mixtures must be refrigerated to slow bacterial growth. After 3 weeks of refrigeration, the increased number of bacteria will become a food safety hazard. Therefore, these mixtures should not be refrigerated longer than 3 weeks.

I know you've got more ingredients in it, but based on that information, I'm going to give it three weeks in the fridge.
posted by Juliet Banana at 12:19 PM on May 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

I think it would last way longer if you either kept the garlic out until you wanted to consume the sauce. It's hard to imagine that refrigerated mixture of soy sauce and oils would go bad anytime soon, but it would probably get a little dicey once you start adding garlic (and ginger and whatever else) if there were no preservatives. But I don't know...since soy sauce is mostly salt, maybe that would keep it okay for longer than one might expect?
posted by Maisie at 12:19 PM on May 4, 2009

Yeah, normally you just check to see what the shortest time you'd keep any one ingredient is and keep the mix for only that long, but in this case the combo of garlic and oil can do bad things.

I think using garlic powder instead of fresh isn't so bad in terms of bacterial growth, though I could be mistaken.
posted by magikker at 12:46 PM on May 4, 2009

I agree with the add-garlic-later crowd. If you're lazy then you can get some minced garlic to use for this. Something about crushing your own garlic under a knife, however, is too therapeutic to pass up.
posted by monkeymadness at 1:22 PM on May 4, 2009

Best answer: OH, OH, OH. I wonder...

I make my potsticker dipping sauce with soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame seed oil, sesame seeds, and chili garlic sauce. It adds an amazing spicy, garlicky kick. I'm going to assume because it keeps indefinitely in my fridge that the resulting mixture would keep almost forever as well.
posted by Juliet Banana at 2:02 PM on May 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

One should be prudent regarding Botulism but to put it in perspective botulism is quite unusual (20-30 cases per year of foodborne botulism), soy sauce is not a particularly hospitable environment for growth of the bacteria and you plan on eating it in 2-3 weeks. Keep the garlic out but during the nex three weeks you stand a greater chance of being hit by lightening than getting Botulism from eating pot stickers with your sauce.
posted by rmhsinc at 2:59 PM on May 4, 2009

Response by poster: The whole point to making it ahead is so that the garlic flavour can really saturate the sauce, so leaving the garlic out would completely defeat the purpose. ;) And garlic powder is pretty disgusting, IMO, and wouldn't really work in this case flavour-wise. LOL

I'm going to go with the three week estimation. Thanks!
posted by gwenlister at 3:13 PM on May 4, 2009

Response by poster: Also, I think I'll try the chili garlic sauce as well! I've seen that at the grocery store before and have be itching for a reason to buy it.
posted by gwenlister at 3:20 PM on May 4, 2009

Could you freeze it? The big bags of frozen pot stickers we get at costco come with little packets of dipping sauce frozen right in the bag with the potstickers.
posted by BoscosMom at 3:50 PM on May 4, 2009

I've also made such a dipping sauce using garlic syrup (it's sweet, but VERY garlicky) that I bought at a farmers' market. The syrup itself is stored in the pantry instead of the fridge, so if you used that to get your garlic flavour it would probably last quite awhile.
posted by Pomo at 6:07 PM on May 4, 2009

Okay, 1 more thought. What if you mixed together the soy sauce and oil and split it into 2 or 3 jars. You could put the garlic in the first jar and then use it for the first week. Then at the beginning of the 2nd week, you could toss some garlic in the 2nd jar. Then third week, same thing.
posted by Maisie at 6:29 PM on May 4, 2009

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