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Stir Fry is only as good as the sauce that its cooked in and this Stir Fry Sauce recipe is GOOD! There are many different variations of Stir Fry, and this one is a fabulous, all-purpose sauce that goes with just about any combination of protein and vegetables. It is well balanced featuring sweet, spicy, garlic and ginger flavors. Whisk it together while your veggies are cooking and then pour it over the top to create your sauce. It’s that easy! Delicious served with Pork Potstickers, Healthy Fried Rice or Quick & Easy Chow Mein.
Stir Fry Sauce Basics
This recipe has a bit of a small list of ingredients needed but all add important elements that make this sauce so delicious. Here’s what you will need:
- Soy Sauce: for that salty bite
- Broth: use chicken, seafood or beef stock, depending on the protein you’re adding…or not adding. Veggie stock is fine too!
- Brown Sugar: used to help coat and caramelize the stir fry
- Sesame Oil: for that delicious toasted, nutty flavor
- Corn Starch: to thicken the sauce as it cooks
- Garlic: for flavor
- Ginger: use fresh or powdered…whatever you have is fine!
Fresh Ginger versus Dried Ginger
So, after blogging 10+ years, I’ve come to realize that ginger can be quite the controversial ingredient. Some people love it and some people hate it! If you’re in the ‘hate it’ group, feel free to omit completely from this recipe. If you love it, you can use either dried or fresh ginger. If you have fresh ginger, you’ll probably know that it’s a little spicier than the dried kind and has more of a bite. But the dried ginger tastes more concentrated without that bite. Regardless of what type of ginger you use, start with 1/2 teaspoon and work your way up from there. You can always add more but can’t take it away.
Pro tip: use a microplane for grating your ginger and garlic. It’s the best $15 you’ll ever spend.
How to Make Stir Fry Sauce
The beauty of this sauce is it’s a cinch to make! You literally measure and pour all the ingredients into a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk it all together and pour it over your stir fry right before you’re ready to serve. It takes about 1 minute on high heat to get the sauce to bubble up and thicken creating that classic salty-sweet stir fry sauce goodness that coats the meat and veggies. After that, you’re ready to serve!
Make the Sauce
In a small bowl measure and whisk together soy sauce, broth, brown sugar, cornstarch, sesame oil, ginger and garlic.
Pour Sauce Over Stir Fried Veggies and Protein
After you have stir fried your veggies and protein to your liking on high heat, pour sauce overtop your ingredients and stir. After about 1 minute, the sauce should thicken and coat all ingredients.
Serve hot with rice.
Stir Fry to Sauce Ratios
In the recipe card below, I say to use about 1/2 pound meat (shrimp, chicken, pork, etc..) and 2 cups of veggies for the amount of sauce this recipe makes. If you like things more ‘saucy’ or want to have extra sauce to pour over your rice, feel free to double this recipe.
If you like thicker sauces, whisk in an extra 1/2 to 1 tablespoon cornstarch. This is the thickener in the stir fry sauce, so add more if you’d like more.
You are the master of your Stir Fry domain!
Here are a few tasty veggies and other stir fry ingredients that taste great with this sauce. The sky is basically the limit when it comes to creativity and the beauty of this recipe is it tastes delicious regardless of the combination of ingredients you come up with. Also, be sure to check out my shortcut stir fry recipe that includes using frozen stir fried veggies! It’s a really fast dinner idea.
- onions, shallots, garlic, green onions
- broccoli, cauliflower
- snow peas, sugar snap peas
- zucchini, yellow squash
- green beans, shaved Brussels sprouts
- water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, baby corn (with the canned vegetables)
- chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, tofu
- chow mein noodles, cashews, chopped almonds
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. After that time, the texture of the veggies really starts to change and get mushy.
Making the Sauce Ahead of Time
If you want to make the sauce and freeze for later before you add to any veggies or protein….you totally can! Whisk the sauce ingredients together and place in a freezer safe, sealed container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Love speedy dinners? Try these other family favorites:
- Homemade Alfredo
- 15-Minute Creamy Balsamic Chicken
- Simple Chili
- Southwest Chicken Chop Salad
- Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese
- Ramen Stir Fry
Stir Fry Sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3/4 cup broth kind dependent on the protein you're using in your stir fry
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger or 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 cups stir fried veggies onions, carrots, broccoli, peppers, etc.. see post above for ideas
- 1/2 pound protein of your choice chicken, beef, pork, seafood, etc..
- In a small bowl measure and whisk together soy sauce, broth, brown sugar, cornstarch, sesame oil, ginger and garlic.
- After you have stir fried your veggies and protein to your liking on high heat, pour sauce overtop your ingredients and stir. After about 1 minute, the sauce should thicken and coat all ingredients.
- Serve hot with rice.
I didn’t love this sauce because I felt that it lacked flavor. It is a very mild sauce and did not thicken as much as I was hoping. It is an adequate base sauce and I think if I were to make it again I would bump up the soy sauce, use more sesame oil and/or possibly add some oyster sauce or hoisin sauce for extra flavor. Bumping up the amount of ginger and garlic might help some too. I can see where a sauce like this would be good for fish or seafood because it wouldn’t overpower. But for our pork dish tonight it did somewhat disappoint.
Great basic sauce! I only used 2 tsp of cornstarch though. I found 1 T made the sauce too thick.