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.

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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. 

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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? You could substitute some brown sugar. 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!

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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.

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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:
    4
    ¼ cup servings

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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 (4)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.

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