How To Make Stir
To make the sauce itself, all you have to do is stir together a few ingredients. Its that easy! The trick is to get all the food cooked first, so lets start there.
As a rule of thumb, I use about 5 cups of fresh veggies and 1 pound of protein with this amount of sauce. It leaves enough sauce to pour over rice, but not too much.
First, cook up your protein in a few tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. When its nearly done cooking, add veggies and saute those for about 5 minutes. Youll want your veggies to be crisp-tender when you add the sauce.
Meanwhile, whisk together:
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
Once its whisked, pour it over your cooked protein and veggies over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Allow it to simmer for 5 minutes, or until thickened.
Serve over brown rice or rice noodles and sprinkle on some garnishes if youre feeling fancy. I like green onions for a crisp, fresh taste.
How Is It Used
Low sodium soy sauce can be used interchangeably with light soy sauce Your dish will simply contain less sodium and be less salty.
We recommend using it in certain dishes where a lot of soy sauce is required to braise meats and/or make a sauce. This way, you can get the deep flavor of soy sauce while keeping the dish from becoming too salty.
A good example is Chicken Adobo, a Filipino braised chicken dish that can call for 1/2 cup or more soy sauce. Low Sodium Soy Sauce is crucial to making a flavorful Chicken Adobo with a rich color that also isnt too salty.
Is Light Soy Sauce The Same As Low Sodium Soy Sauce
Some brands use the term light or lite to refer to their low sodium soy sauce products.
The term, light soy sauce, however, refers to a thinner and lighter colored Chinese soy sauce and is not the same as low sodium soy sauce. Our Chinese recipes call for soy sauce, regular soy sauce, or light soy sauce, and we are always referring to Chinese light soy sauce . Find out more about Chinese light soy sauce here.
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Best Stir Fry Sauce To Buy
For a quick, easy, and well-balanced meal, you can never go wrong with a stir fry dish. Sear a protein, saute a few vegetables, cook up some rice, and finish it off with a delicious sauce.
The sauce is arguably the most important ingredient of the stir fry. The sauce gives it flavor and takes the dish from a bowl of chicken and broccoli to a savory dinner.
Por Kwan Pad Thai Sauce
The Por Kwan Pad Thai Sauce is originally made for Pad Thai recipes which is a mixture of rice noodles, shrimp, chicken, or extra-firm tofu, bean sprouts, red bell pepper, roasted peanuts, green onions, and a few other ingredients stir-fried with fish sauce, soy sauce and a few other liquids.
But later on, people tried to use for chicken BBQ recipes and it gave the chicken BBQ a very unique and delicious flavor, so they also tried it on beef, pork and seafood BBQ recipes as well as vegetable kebabs.
Ingredients include sugar, glucose syrup, onion, and peanuts so watch out if you have allergies!
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What Is A Stir Fry Sauce
You may have noticed that some of our top stir fry sauces are labeled by the manufacturers as other sauce descriptions such as teriyaki and orange sauce. What makes a sauce a stir fry sauce?
Just as the proteins and vegetables in a stir fry dish are versatile and flexible, the sauce can also vary in flavors. There isnt a specific component that identifies it as a stir fry sauce. However, a stir fry sauce is typically made from soy sauce which gives it the Asian-cuisine taste.
Other ingredients are added to the soy sauce to give it either a deeper depth of flavor, add sweetness, or thicken the sauce. The following ingredients may be included in the sauce:
- Cornstarch to thicken the sauce
- Water to dilute it out
- Chili powder for heat
- Honey or sugar for sweetness
- Rice vinegar for flavor
- Ginger for flavor
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A Little Bit Of Stir Fry History
Stir-frying is a cooking method that is uniquely Asian and it originated in China.
The Chinese term is translated in English as stir-frying food in which ingredients are fried in a small amount of very hot oil while being stirred in a wok.
Believed to have been used during the Han dynasty between 206 BC 220 AD, but the primitive cooking technique was only used for drying grain and the extravagant stir-frying method that we know today would not be developed until after a thousand years during the Ming dynasty .
Western countries would not hear about stir-fry or Chao until 1945 when Yuen Ren Chao published his book How to Cook and Eat in Chinese.
After World War II the entire North American continent, as well as Europe, catches on to the stir-frying fever and Chinese, Japanese, Korean and other Asian food slowly became mainstream cuisines.
The Stir-Fry Sauce
Most Asian stir-fry sauces are made of a mixture of soy sauce, chili powder, ground bell peppers or jalapeños, corn starch, pepper, salt, tomato sauce, and a few other exotic ingredients.
They can be used for vegetables, chicken, beef, shrimp, and pork.
There are a lot of stir-fry sauces that are manufactured by big companies, but you can also find plenty of home-made stir-fry sauce and recipes.
Health Benefits of Stir-Frying Food and the Stir-Fry Sauce
The herbs and spices that are used to create stir-fry sauce are also loaded with tons of health benefits!
Be Mindful Of Other Dietary Restrictions
Low-sodium soy sauces may also be organic, and you may want to choose these if you have concerns about soybeans treated with pesticides or GMOs. However, low-sodium soy sauces do not necessarily cater to supplementary dietary restrictions like kosher or gluten-free, so make sure to check the labels.
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Is There A Bottled Stir Fry Sauce Without Cornstarch
Although cornstarch is gluten-free, you must remember that adding too much cornstarch to anything isnt healthy.
Therefore, its a good idea to avoid products that contain cornstarch as you never know how much of it is used. Finding great bottled stir fry sauces without cornstarch is not an easy task.
Most stir fry sauces have cornstarch added in order to thicken the sauce.
Kikkoman is one of the few brands which doesnt use cornstarch in their sauces.
Therefore, if youre on the hunt for a healthy stir fry sauce, its the best option.
In the same light, Premier Japan Organic Wheat-Free Hoisin sauce is also an organic, cornstarch-free option although its a bit more expensive.
What Is Low Sodium Soy Sauce
Generally, low sodium soy sauce is soy sauce that has had about 40% of the salt removed after brewing.
In other words, if a regular soy sauce has about 1000mg sodium per tablespoon, the low sodium stuff has about 600 mg.
Keep in mind that there are both Chinese and Japanese low sodium soy sauce brands. For Chinese cooking, try to find a low sodium version of a Chinese soy sauce.
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Kikkoman Takumi Stir Fry Sauce
We love the taste and the texture of the Takumi Teriyaki Sauce from Kikkoman, one of the best stir fry sauce brands. The sauce has a deep flavor and speaks of authenticity. The sauce is on the thicker end of the consistency scale so it will coat your food well.
It is also perfect for marinating meat, chicken, or fish, in addition to being fantastic for a stir fry sauce. We also like it as a dipping sauce. The sesame seeds bring it up a notch both in presentation and in taste.
The teriyaki sauce is made from soy sauce, mirin , garlic, ginger, onion, and sesame seeds.
Chicken stir fry and the Lee Kum Kee orange sauce are a match made in foodie heaven. The sauce will give your dish a genuine Asian-restaurant taste with minimal effort. We found this orange sauce to be the best stir fry sauce to buy for chicken. We also like that it comes packaged in six separate packets for easy storage and usage.
The texture is on point: thick enough to coat the chicken but thin enough to pour the sauce out easily. Coat your cubed chicken in cornstarch before frying it to take it to the next level.
The main ingredients in this condiment are sugar, soy sauce, orange juice concentrate, milk, and spices.
This stir fry sauce does not contain soy sauce as most others do. Its main ingredients are evaporated cane juice, rice vinegar, ginger, blackstrap molasses, and spices.
Think About The Recipe And Consider Differences In Taste Texture And Ingredients
Most soy sauce brands carry low-sodium versions. However, there can be some key differences between soy sauces from various countries of origin. Before choosing a brand and type, youll want to verify the type of dish youre making and what type of soy sauce it calls for.
Match Recipes and Soy Sauces With Country of Origin
Some recipes favor Chinese soy sauces while others taste best with Japanese versions. You can usually find this information in the list of ingredients, the cooking directions, or by researching the recipe online.
For instance, sushi often favors Japanese soy sauce while Chinese stir-fry or marinated chicken recipes may taste better with Chinese soy sauce.
Determine Whether You Need a Dark or Light Soy Sauce
Both Chinese and Japanese soy sauces can come in light and dark versions. This usually applies to the appearance and color of the sauce. Light soy sauces tend to be amber in color and thinner in consistency. Dark soy sauces are more likely to be a dark, deep brown and thicker.
However, dark Chinese soy sauces tend to have a sweeter taste than dark Japanese soy sauces. Dark Chinese soy sauces also tend to have a thicker consistency or texture.
Japanese soy sauces that are dark can have a richer taste than their light counterparts, and the light ones tend to be sweeter than dark Japanese soy sauces.
Generally speaking, darker soy sauces are best for marinating and adding color to foods. Lighter soy sauces tend to add flavor or saltiness to recipes.
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Understand The Product’s Label
Manufacturers usually label low-sodium versions with the words low sodium or reduced sodium. However, there is no set definition as to what level of sodium constitutes low sodium.
You will probably have to find products and compare the sodium content per serving. A typical soy sauce will contain around 879 to 920 milligrams per tablespoon, while low-sodium versions generally only contain less than 750 milligrams per serving, and some contain far less than that.
Further complicating matters is the fact that soy sauces can come in light and dark versions. Low-sodium soy sauces are not the equivalent of light soy sauces. Light soy sauces are just lighter in taste and thinner in color, while only low-sodium means the actual sodium content is lower.
There are multiple types of soy sauces, including Japanese, Chinese, and Thai. Japanese soy sauce tends to be clearer in color and thinner in consistency than Chinese versions. Thai soy sauces are closer to Chinese soy sauces in terms of how people use them to either add color or flavor to food.
While some of these soy sauces are labeled as light or light color, only those with the label low-sodium or less sodium contain less salt per serving. Sometimes you might see Japanese soy sauces labeled as usukuchi, which means light taste.
And, if youre not able to find a low-sodium soy sauce at the grocery store, you can also dilute a regular soy sauce to reduce its content per serving.
Other Sauces That Can Be Used For Stir Fry
Sauces labeled for dishes other than stir fry can make an excellent condiment for your stir fry too.
- Teriyaki sauce is usually a sweeter sauce that is meant for you to brush on chicken, meat, fish, or vegetables before you grill them, but you can use it for stir fry too. It has origins in Japanese cooking. Teriyaki sauce is made from soy sauce and mirin and has a sweet and salty flavor. We covered teriyaki sauce extensively in our best teriyaki sauce article.
- Hoisin sauce is a thick, spicy sauce that is used mostly in Cantonese-style cooking and in stir fry foods. Its made from fermented soybean paste and usually has garlic, vinegar, sugar, chiles, and sesame as ingredients too.
- General Tso sauce is a versatile sauce that goes well with almost any protein and vegetable combination, but we particularly recommend it if youre making a tofu stir fry. It is a pungent sauce that is heavy on garlic and chili. Its made from soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, ginger, red pepper flakes, and spices.
- Plum sauce is a Cantonese-style sweet and sour sauce. It is much sweeter than other sauces typically used for stir-fries and will give your dish a very different taste. It can go well with a chicken and pepper stir-fry. Plum sauce is made from plums or other sweet fruits such as peaches, apricots, and pineapples, plus vinegar, sugar, ginger, and a little chile peppers for some spice.
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Finding Good Stir Fry Sauces At The Supermarket
Supermarkets usually have entire isles for Chinese and other Asian food products and you might think that youll be able to find a good bottled stir fry sauce by simply going to one.
When it comes to stir fry sauces, there are many products from Asia with different prices, qualities, and ingredients.
Unless you know exactly what youre looking for, you will be confused when youre staring at an aisle full of sauces of varying ingredients, colors, texture and taste and you might find it even harder to find one if youre looking for something specific like a healthy vegan sugarfree stir fry sauce.
Chances are, you will run out of patience and pick one without knowing exactly what youre buying.
Its the same when it comes to Hoisin sauce.
From what weve seen, supermarkets sell all kinds of Hoisin sauces. Most of them taste nothing like traditional Hoisin sauce.
Some of these products are imported straight from Asia and there are times when you wonder whether the information provided about the ingredients is trustworthy.
If youre on the hunt for a cheap stir fry sauce to cook dinner on the same day, then the supermarket might work. However, finding a good product usually involves luck and most importantly, trial and error.
Therefore, if youre opting to shop for stir fry sauce at the supermarket, be prepared to try many brands before you find a quality product, which also tastes good.
Koon Chun Hoisin Sauce
A lesser-known brand, the Koon Chun Hoisin Sauce is best known for its strong and sweet flavor compared to the other brands in this list.
It is quite a thick sauce, but very balanced in the use of sweet, salty, and spicy ingredients where these elements do not overwhelm each other.
If you want a hoisin stir-fry sauce thats also good for all other things including a glaze for BBQ meats and seafood, dipping sauce, vegetables, and salads, then all you need is the Koon Chun Hoisin Sauce!
Get this unique hoisin stir-fry sauce on Amazon.
Ingredients include sugar, soybean paste, garlic, and other spices.
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Will Asian Food Shops Work
Some cities have Asian shops where you can purchase ingredients including spices and sauces, but youre always taking a gamble.
Most products at such stores are imported directly from Asia. Some of them cant even be found on the internet.
Therefore, its hard to trust the ingredients that are mentioned as well as the quality.
Its simply not a good idea to walk into an Asian food store if youre not sure exactly what youre looking for or dont know a thing or two about Asian food products.
Due to those reasons, its a good idea to shop for items like these on the internet. You can easily find trustworthy product reviews as well as first-hand user feedback on e-commerce sites such as .
If you wish to have the item quickly, there are various shipping options too. For example, one-day shipping.
Alternatives To Kikkoman Teriyaki Sauce
From my experience, Premier Japan Organic Wheat-Free Hoisin sauce is a good alternative to Kikkoman Gluten-free Teriyaki sauce, however, its slightly on the pricey side.
Furthermore, Premier Japan Hoisin sauces taste is much different from the taste of traditional Hoisin sauce.
It doesnt matter if you like it and just want a tasty meal. I could be a deal-breaker if youre a purist though.
Lets take a look at the pros and cons of these products as well as situations where one might do better than the other.
Tastes much like traditional Teriyaki sauce Affordable A product made in the United States
Finally, its a product made in the United States, therefore its more trustworthy than products imported from elsewhere, especially Asia.
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