Here’s the best ever all-purpose stir fry sauce that you can make in just a couple of minutes, and can use it with vegetables, chicken, fish, meat, or tofu. It’s so easy to make and can be used to make stir-fries, to season meat and fish, or as a marinade.
Many different bottles of stir fry sauces are sold in the supermarkets, but I never buy them as they are usually either bland or contain too many unnecessary ingredients. Making your own homemade stir fry sauce is so easy, requires just 5 ingredients and a couple of minutes of your time.
I always make a batch of this sauce to store in the fridge for easy weeknight dinners. And the best part? It keeps well for months if stored sealed in the fridge.
Stir Fry Sauce Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Soy sauce – I use regular all-purpose soy sauce.
- Rice wine vinegar – a great seasoning, can be substituted with distilled vinegar or dry sherry, but rice wine is milder and sweeter.
- Sesame oil.
- Sugar – I usually use brown sugar, but you can substitute it with granulated sugar, honey, or maple syrup.
- Cornstarch – to thicken the sauce (cornflour in the UK).
Scroll down for the complete list of ingredients with the specified amounts.
The ingredients listed above are the main ingredients for a great tasting stir fry sauce. To take the sauce to the next level, you can add some extra flavorings.
- Add heat – go for sriracha, tabasco, cayenne or chili flakes.
- Sweet chili sauce.
- Fresh herbs such as basil, mint, or cilantro.
- Spices – I like adding Chinese 5 spices, paprika, or chili powder.
- Garlic and ginger.
- For a rich savory American barbecue-like flavor, add about a fourth cup of hoisin sauce to the mixture.
- If you’re a fan of oyster sauce (it doesn’t taste like fish at all! but it isn’t vegan), add about a fourth of a cup to the mixture.
How to Make an Easy Stir Fry Sauce
To make the sauce, I like to use a jar with a tight-fitting lid that I also use to store any leftover stir fry sauce. A Mason jar works great here.
To the jar, add the cornstarch and soy sauce and give it a quick whisk so that there are no lumps in the sauce.
Add the rest of the ingredients, screw on the lid, and give it a shake.
TIP: Every time you want to use the stir fry sauce, make sure to shake the jar very well as the cornstarch tends to settle at the bottom of the jar.
How to Use the Stir Fry Sauce
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After you make the sauce, here’s how you use it to make a veggie stir fry:
- In a wok or a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil, add grated ginger and garlic, and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the vegetables, if using bok choi then add just the stems (leafy greens go in later). And saute for 2 minutes stirring with a spatula or a wooden spoon.
- Then add any leafy greens that you’re using along with the noodles (if using), about 5 tablespoons of the stir fry sauce (or more if needed), about 5 tablespoons of water (this should be enough for a stir fry for 2 people), and cook together for one more minute or until the sauce has thickened and all of the noodles and veggies are well coated (you can add more sauce if needed).
- Remove from heat and serve.
I created a short video to show you how I made the stir fry sauce, and used it to make a vegetable and noodle stir fry. So be sure to give it a watch below!
For my stir fry that you can see in the pictures here, I have used the following vegetables: mushrooms, broccolini, bok choy, carrot, green beans, and purple scallions that I treated as a vegetable rather than an aromatic.
I used fresh egg noodles, but you can use any other noodles that you like or just serve the vegetable stir fry over rice.
You can also add your favorite protein to the stir fry and cook it before adding the vegetables, then remove it from the pan and set aside as you cook the rest of the ingredients, and combine everything at the end.
- Always make sure to shake the jar very well before using the sauce, as the cornstarch tends to settle at the bottom of the jar.
- If your sauce has not thickened enough, just thicken with a cornstarch slurry.
- Always start your stir fry by sauteing grated garlic and ginger, preferably fresh for a better flavor.
- The sauce always goes in last in the stir fry, so only add it after cooking the protein, vegetables, and adding the noodles.
- Store leftover sauce in the fridge in a tightly covered jar for up to 6 months providing that you don’t add any additional ingredients (just the 5 main ingredients listed above or in the recipe card + hoisin or oyster sauce if using).
- Freeze the stir fry sauce in individual portions using an ice cube tray, then add cubes to make stir fries, soups, sauces, or to flavor meat and even sandwiches.
More Easy Asian-Inspired Recipes
- Homemade sweet and sour sauce
- Egg roll in a bowl
- Crab kani salad
- Chinese scallion pancakes
- Mango sticky rice
- Ginger sauce