Make a batch of the Best Stir Fry Sauce and you can make a stir fry meal any day of the week easily. Although you can buy stir-fry sauces off the supermarket shelf, many include ingredients that would never be used in stir-fry if you made it from scratch. Homemade stir fry sauce is easy to mix together ahead of time so you can make stir fry meals anytime you want. Simply choose a protein and vegetable (or several) to stir fry and you’ll have a complete meal.
I’ve been trying to come up with easy recipes for one of my boys who’s in college and cooking for himself. I’ve already posted an easy recipe for Pan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables and Healthy Ramen Noodle. This week, I’m shipping him a batch of an extremely versatile stir fry sauce that I’m calling The Best Stir Fry Sauce because it is my go-to combination of Chinese sauces and ingredients when I stir fry. I actually tried finding a good stir fry sauce at our local Asian grocery store, but couldn’t find anything, so I decided to make my own. I’m not sure why I never thought to do this for myself all these years.
Stir frying is a quick and easy, healthy meal, especially if you have ready made stir fry sauce handy. All you need are some vegetables (most supermarkets carry pre-cut stir-fry vegetable mixes if you don’t feel like doing any prepping) and a lean protein. I like to use garlic, ginger and/or scallions as aromatics, but you can use chopped onion too.
Basic Stir Fry Recipe
Here’s the basic formula for an amazing stir-fry that is healthier than takeout and absolutely delicious:
Choose a lean protein:
- Boneless chicken breast or thighs (cut into strips)
- Pressed tofu (sliced)
- Shelled shrimp
- Flank steak (cut into thin slices against the grain)
Choose a variety of fresh vegetables:
- Broccoli florets
- Cauliflower florets
- Red bell peppers (cut into strips)
- Sugar snap peas
- Snow peas
- Mushrooms (sliced)
- Carrots (sliced)
- Asparagus (cut into 1 1/2″ pieces)
- Bok Choy (cut into bite size pieces)
Choose one or more aromatics:
- Minced garlic
- Minced ginger
- Chopped scallions or chopped onions
Stir-Fry Method (serves 3-4 people, depending on how hungry you are):
- Marinate 1 pound of lean protein with 2 tablespoons Stir Fry Sauce; let sit 10-15 minutes or overnight
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large non-stick skillet or wok
- Add aromatics (1 teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon ginger, and/or 2 tablespoons chopped scallions/onions) and stir fry 10-15 seconds, until fragrant
- Add 6 cups of vegetables (cut into bite size pieces, if necessary), season with a little salt and stir fry 2-3 minutes, until crisp-tender; transfer to serving bowl
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in same skillet; add marinated protein to skillet and stir fry 3-4 minutes, tossing protein around to cook all sides (pressed tofu is pre-cooked, so if you use this, it only needs to be heated through)
- Add 1 tablespoon of Stir Fry Sauce along with cooked vegetables and 1/4 cup water, and toss well
Note: If you’re cooking for one person, simply halve or quarter the above recipe.
The Best Stir Fry Sauce
- 1 cup gluten free soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon organic sugar
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1/2 cup rice wine or sherry
- 1/2 cup oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons ground pepper
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl or blend in a blender. Store in refrigerator.
This sauce should keep for several months in the refrigerator.
Angie@Angie's Recipes says
It’s time for me to visit the Asia store…hopefully this weekend. Need to get some oyster sauce. A great sauce, Jeanette.
I love oyster sauce – it has so much flavor!
Great idea! I love your recipes because they are easy, delicious and healthy Thank you.
Thank you Elaine – I hope enjoy this one!
Patricia Holm says
Thanks Jeannete, this is just what I need. I’ll be making a batch tomorrow and I’m looking forward to some great stirfrys.
Patricia – this sauce makes it so easy to make dinner throughout the week. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am!
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
You must be so proud that your sun is cooking in instead of eating out often – and this stir fry sauce makes it easier and more delicious for him to do so for sure!
He’s learning on his own, so hopefully this stir fry sauce will come in handy 🙂
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
Now this is a fantastic idea! Perfect formula too! Just like curry, stir-frys are just the best to throw together!
Having some prepared sauces definitely makes it easier to cook dinner in a hurry 🙂
Thank you Jeanette for the great sauce.
Thank you Liz! Have a great weekend!
What would you use instead of oyster sauce? I am allergic to oysters
Patty – there is a vegetarian version of oyster sauce made with mushrooms. If not, you might just use more soy sauce instead of the oyster sauce or try substituting miso which has great flavor too.
This looks great – I will try adding a little heat, maybe Siracha? Or what would you suggest?
Sriracha or any kind of Chinese chili sauce would be great in a stir fry. You can also add some red chili flakes to the aromatics to make it spicy.
I am so looking forward to making this sauce and make a true Asian style stir-fry. I looked at another recipe of yours (a Thai chicken stir-fry) and noticed you used Fish Sauce instead of oyster sauce. I have some bottled fish sauce … would it be good to use that or is it worth going buying some oyster sauce? I bought this bottle a couple of years ago and never opened or used it.
I have also been trying to stay away from sugars and will probably use stevia glycerite (a thickened stevia) but not as much because stevia is very sweet. Do you have any thoughts about that as well?
Thanks for your great recipes.
Brenda – fish sauce is great in stir-fry. You can definitely use that instead of oyster sauce although it’s usually a lot saltier so I would use less if you’re substituting for oyster sauce, or reduce the amount of soy sauce. I’ve never heard of thickened stevia, but if you’re trying to use it instead of sugar, just use a little. The sauce is not meant to be sweet, just to balance the flavors in the sauce.
I made this for supper tonight. It was fantastic. I did not change a thing in the stir fry sauce.. I will be making this again for sure and I now have a “special stir fry sauce”. I used beef strips and 6 cups cut up veggies. Thank you.
Debbie – thanks so much for trying this recipe and so glad you enjoyed it! I’m using it tonight for our dinner.
Thank you Jeanette for this wonderful sauce recipe.
I hope you enjoy this Liz – it’s a great way to make an easy, healthy dinner.
Jeanette, thank you for the recipe. Having a few pre made things is so helpful, especially when cooking for just one or two.
A few years ago I started making jars of aromatics, both for convenience in cooking and because I can’t always find the ingredients looking fresh enough. Minced red chilies, garlic and ginger in a 3% brine, allowed to ferment briefly (for the preservative effect) before storing in the fridge. While the slightly tangy flavour is decidedly non traditional, it is still delicious and so handy.
Thank you for sharing , I always look forward to your emails.
Peggy – I love your idea of fermented red chilies, garlic and ginger – I have a sambal chili sauce in my refrigerator similar to that, but it doesn’t have ginger. I’m going to try your combination – it sounds very flavorful!
Made this tonight with boneless, skinless chicken breasts & a bunch of veggies. So good! We’re making stir fry a once a week thing now.
Christina – so glad this worked out well for you. It’s nice to have stir fry in the cooking rotation each week – super quick!
If you were adding yakisoba noodles, when would you do that?
I would add them at the end since they’re pre-cooked.
Thank you for this yummy recipe! I made it yesterday and I’m storing it in a mason jar in the fridge. It has completely separated into 3 or 4 layers… Is that all right? Do I just shake it before using it next time? Can I really keep it for months in the fridge?
So glad you like this stir fry sauce. The cornstarch and oil will separate so just shake or stir it before using. It should keep for a few months in the fridge.
That seems like a lot of cornstarch. Just confirming!
This is a large batch recipe. The cornstarch is a thickening agent that gives the final stir fry dish a nice thickened glaze. You can leave it out if you wish.
This stir fry sauce was amazing!!! I used mirin instead of rice wine because that is what i had. So delicious!!
Sara – so glad you enjoyed this versatile stir fry sauce! It’s my favorite go-to sauce.
hi! Great recipe 🙂 what can I use instead of rice wine/sherry?
You can use white wine or just leave it out.
ResQRinse Team says
This sounds absolutely delicious. We love the idea of having this ready-made and then just grabbing veggies and protein for a quick, healthy, and scrumptious meal. Thank you for sharing! Can’t wait to try this.
Thank you for sharing this great recipe 😉
I hope you enjoy this recipe!
This is excellent! Flavorful and savory, not weirdly salty or sweet. I add a little garlic and red pepper flakes for some kick but that’s just gilding the lily. Thank you, Jeanette!
Hello from Canada! That is a good balanced sauce that you have posted. I like the 2 tsp of black pepper and quantity of oyster sauce so I’ll adjust mine to yours.
Thanks for trying this recipe and letting me know how it turned out!
Where do I buy all the ingredients?
Can I buy all them in one grocery store?
I don’t eat sugar, what is the next option?
If I have all the required ingredients, I will try the recipe.
Thanks for sharing.
I don’t know where you live, but you may be able to find these ingredients in the Asian section of your grocery store. Otherwise, if you have an Asian grocery store near you, you can get the ingredients there. If you can’t have sugar, you can leave it out.