Easy Stir Fry Sauce

This stir fry sauce only takes a few minutes to put together and it's so handy to have on hand for those super quick meals. You can make it right in its own storage jar and it adds serious flavor to any stir fry that you throw together.

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Looking down on a jar of stir fry sauce with a wooden spoon and an open lid next to it.

Why Make Stir Fry Sauce?

If you like stir fry dinners and like short cuts, you should make a stir fry sauce. It takes merely minutes to put together and whether you make it days ahead of time or just minutes ahead of time, it saves you a couple of important steps in putting one of the fastest dinners possible on the table. Grab a jar and your ingredients and get ready to save yourself some time by making an easy stir fry sauce.

Ingredients surrounding an empty mason jar on a countertop.

How to Make Stir Fry Sauce

The flavors that we want in a stir fry sauce are salty, sweet, spicy and robust. To get all those flavors, we add soy sauce (salty), honey and oyster sauce (sweet), chili flake (spicy) and garlic, ginger and sesame oil (robust). Then, the sauce is balanced out with some rice wine vinegar. Finally, because we want this to be a sauce with a little body, add some stock (chicken or vegetable) and some cornstarch. The cornstarch is there to thicken the sauce, but that won’t happen until you put it in the pan and it gets hot. Put all these ingredients into a jar and just shake. It’s that easy. 

A hand grating fresh ginger into a mason jar with other ingredients.

Variations of Stir Fry Sauce

Once you know why the ingredients are included in the sauce (salty, sweet, spicy or robust), you can vary your ingredients to suit your own taste. If you don’t like sesame oil, leave it out; or if you love sesame oil, add more! If you like spicy foods and want more kick, try Sriracha sauce instead of (or as well as!) chili flake. No oyster sauce on hand? There are a few substitutes you could use. The flavor won’t be exactly the same and you should taste as you go to suit your own tastes, but here are some suggestions:

  • Hoisin sauce. Use ¼ cup.
  • Hoisin sauce and soy sauce. Use 3 tbsp of hoisin and 1 tbsp soy sauce.
  • Sweet soy sauce (aka kecap manis). Use ¼ cup to replace the oyster sauce AND the soy sauce in the recipe.
  • Soy sauce and brown sugar. Use 2 tbsp of each.

As for other flavors, as long as you can find a reason to add it, you can add it. Pineapple juice, orange juice, lemon zest all add a different flavor to a stir fry. Make it your own!

A hand pouring stir fry sauce over vegetables, shrimp and noodles in a large skillet.

How to Use Stir Fry Sauce

There’s a simple equation to a stir fry. You can read all about how to stir fry here, but that basic equation is:

1 pound protein + 6 cups chopped vegetables + 1 cup stir fry sauce

This makes a stir fry for roughly four people served on rice or noodles. You decide what protein (shrimp, chicken, beef, pork, tofu) and vegetables (beans, peas, peppers, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli) and stir fry them quickly (in batches if necessary). Then, add your sauce and toss over high heat for just another minute or two, and plate. It’s one of the quickest meals ever.

An open jar of stir fry sauce on a countertop.

How to Store Stir Fry Sauce

Because this recipe for stir fry sauce includes chicken stock, it’s limited to 1 week in your refrigerator. You could get around that by leaving the chicken stock out of the sauce until you are ready to use it. The rest of the ingredients can stay mixed together in a jar in your refrigerator for several weeks. 

Stir Fry Sauce

  • Prep Time: 5 m
  • Total Time: 5 m
  • Servings:
    ¼ cup servings


  • ½ cup chicken stock or vegetable
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 clove garlic minced or grated
  • 1 inch fresh ginger grated
  • ¼ cup oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried chili flakes


  1. Combine the stock and cornstarch together in a mason jar or a small bowl. Shake or whisk together. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk or shake to combine.
  2. Refrigerate and store for up to a week. Whisk before using to loosen the cornstarch.
  3. To use for a stir fry, add 1 cup of stir fry sauce to 6 cups of stir-fried vegetables and 1 pound protein (tofu, chicken, shrimp, beef or pork). Toss together over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes and serve.

  4. To use as a dipping sauce, bring all the ingredients to a boil in a small sauce pan and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until sauce thickens.
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Comments (22)Post a Reply

    1. Hi Amy. You could substitute it with half the amount of hoisin sauce. You could also just omit it all together and add a little more soy sauce and sesame oil to the sauce. Add and additional ½ tablespoon of cornstarch also as the oyster sauce does help thicken the sauce.

  1. 5 stars
    Meredith, you blew me away with this simple sauce recipe! This is the best basic condiment ever and should be kept in the refrigerator alongside the ketchup and mustard. I have been stir-frying for about 60 years, using many lovely stir-fry sauces geared to the individual recipes I was cooking. But when I saw your all-purpose Asian sauce, I had to try it right away. When I tasted it….oh yes! Perfectly balanced!

    For my first try, I added some of the sauce to a last-minute, off-the-wall Egg-Fried Rice recipe. I needed a darkish version for color on the plate so I added a little dark soy sauce. I think I will have to double the sauce recipe. It will be wonderful in simple vegetable stir-frys and marinades.

    I’m looking forward to experimenting by using it in a cucumber salad and as a vinaigrette salad dressing and for marinating steamed vegetables to be served cold as a side dish…I have some blanched cauliflower in the refrigerator that is calling to be dressed with your Asian sauce.

    Thank you, Meridith! Apologies for being so effusive. You just hit the right button.

    1. Sure you could give that a try. It’s so quick to put together though that you might just prefer to make smaller quantities fresh each time.

  2. This sauce is also amazing as a dipping sauce for gyoza (pot stickers)!!!!! Just the best sauce to keep on hand. Thank you for the recipe. : )

  3. 5 stars
    Awesome stir fry sauce! I didn’t have oyster sauce so I subbed some fish sauce & hoisin. Added a couple dashes of sriracha for a kick & extra garlic.

  4. 5 stars
    Meredith, I have been looking for a recipe like this for some time. This is awesome and is so versatile. How long is it safe to store refrigerated?
    Thanks so much for sharing this and your pups’ adventures! They are adorable!!!

  5. 5 stars
    Your group of stir frys are amazing but I thank you for the oyster sauce substitute. I could never find one and passed up lots of recipes many thanks

  6. 5 stars
    Omg this is the best stuff ever! So easy and I was not sure I would like the recipe but was hoping I would so I made a double batch if you love Chinese food you need this recipe

  7. 5 stars
    Just had to make this stir fry sauce when I saw the recipe. I had everything to make it in my pantry except the oyster sauce, so I did without it. No time to run to the store, so my stir fry was a “what’s in the pantry/fridge/freezer” kind of thing and ended up being a pork tenderloin (sliced thin), bell pepper, mushroom, jalapeno pepper and scallops meal. Also found a packet of Thai noodles among my pastas and…..voila……with your stir fry sauce it turned into a delicious meal in under half an hour. I LOVED it! By the way, I had no sauce left over. If you want extra for later, better make a double batch.

    1. Hi Cathy, fish sauce is fishier and lacks the sweetness of oyster sauce. You could certainly add a little (like 1 tsp) if you don’t have oyster sauce on hand. I’ve also given some other options for substituting the oyster sauce in the post above.

  8. You said to substitute brown sugar for oyster sauce, but didn’t say how much…..tablespoon, teaspoon, 1/4 cup???

  9. 4 stars
    Hi Meredith….you earn 10 **********stars for this one! I have so needed this in my forever delicious sauce recipes. My kids will eat steamed broccoli only this sauce.
    I had a recipe before for stir fry but yours beats that one “hands” down.

    1. You can freeze chicken stock for up to three months. You can freeze stock in ice cube trays and then just defrost the amount you need.

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