My Swiss Army Knife Of Stir Fry Sauces
Restaurant Secret: you know when you go to a packed Asian restaurant or take out during lunch hour and youre handed a plate of fresh-out-of-the-wok stir fry 5 minutes after ordering? I hate to disappoint you, but the cooks standing over the flames arent throwing together 10 ingredient sauce mixes for every single dish.What they actually use are ready made sauces as a base, then add additional flavours for different dishes.
These all purpose stir fry sauces are closely guarded secrets of restaurants you wont uncover them simply by googling, thats for sure! Today Im sharing mine. I call him Charlie . Perfected and tweaked over years, Ive been loyal to Charlie for a decade .
The brilliant thing about Charlie is that you make him just by combining the ingredients in a jar, them just store him in the fridge where hell happily reside for weeks months even. Then you simply heat some oil in a wok, throw in whatever proteins, vegetables and noodles you want, then throw Charlie in with some water and hell magically transform into a thick, glossy sauce that lusciously coats your stir fry. Hes great plain, but so versatile too add heat, herbs, fruity sweetness or some tang. Ive provided some of my favourite variations in the recipe below.
In the recipe below, Ive provided the basic formula for using Charlie and Ive also written a separate post on how to Build Your Own Chinese Stir Fried Noodles.
Id love to know what you think if you give Charlie a go! Nagi x
Easy Stir Fry Sauce Recipe
If youre looking for a simple and easy stir fry sauce recipe then you are going to flip for this sauce. With rice vinegar, garlic, brown sugar, and a few other ingredients you are going to have a flavorful sauce that is perfect for mixed vegetables or pork. Makes about 2 cups. Why I love
If youre looking for a simple and easy stir fry sauce recipe then you are going to flip for this sauce. With rice vinegar, garlic, brown sugar, and a few other ingredients you are going to have a flavorful sauce that is perfect for mixed vegetables or pork. Makes about 2 cups.
How Do You Make Stir Fry Sauce From Scratch
Making stir fry sauce from scratch is as simple as adding the corn starch, sesame oil, and soy sauce to a jar.
Close the lid, and shake to combine and you are done!
If you do not have a mason jar, simply whisk the ingredients together in a bowl.
This sauce does not mess around.
It is bold, so flavorful, and a little bit goes a long way.
If you make the whole batch, it will be enough to flavor 6 8 generous servings of food.
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Tips For Garlic Chicken Stir Fry
The veggies are cooked first, then removed from the pan and the chicken gets seared to golden brown perfection. Cooking them seperate will ensure the chicken gets done and the vegetables dont over cook.
- Faster: For even quicker prep, used bagged broccoli florets which are usually washed and already to go. Mushrooms can also be found presliced. It makes preparing the dish a breeze.
- Pepper: I used a yellow pepper, but you can use whatever color you wish. Try red, or orange peppers, or a mixture. Green peppers will have a different flavor and so I do not recommend them.
- Chicken: You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs too. Whichever one you use cut your pieces into the same sized pieces. They will cook more evenly.
Variations For Your Chinese Stir Fry
I used chicken breast, broccoli, mushrooms and yellow bell peppers in this dish. You can easily substitute in your familys favorite vegetables.
- Vegetables: Other great choices are snow peas, asparagus, zucchini, carrots, beans, water chestnuts, or even celery.
- Protein: Exchange the chicken for pork, beef, shrimp or tofu.
- Vegetarian: Make it vegetarian by using no chicken and vegetable broth instead of chicken.
- Sweetness: Exchange the brown sugar for the same amount of honey. It will had a nice flavor.
- Zing: Add a teaspoon of ginger to give a bit more spice. It is so good!!
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What Stir Fry Sauce To Use
For this stir fry vegetables recipe, I use the stir fry sauce recipe that I now use for all of my stir fry recipes: my 3 ingredient homemade stir fry sauce .
It is ridiculously simple, no fancy long ingredient lists, and tastes incredible every time!
As long as you use it with fresh garlic and ginger the sauce is a winner every time.
Im so glad I discovered this recipe, it has seriously changed my life and we make way more stir fry recipes now more than ever before.
You can read my post on how do you thicken stir fry sauce? for more about why this sauce is the perfect easy choice for making homemade stir fry recipes.
Would you just look at that big beautiful pan of veggies?
This recipe easily serves 4 people, and makes a huge amount of veggie stir fry.
The pan pictured is called a Jumbo Cooker.
I purchased one more than a decade ago and Ive been a big fan ever since.
I believe Im now on my third jumbo cooker since I started using them!
Its a well used and well loved pan in our house, and perfect for making huge stir fry recipes in!
How To Stir Fry Vegetables
Heres how to make this vegetable stir fry recipe:
- Heat oil in large wok. To ensure your oil is hot enough, add a drop of water to the pan if it sizzles, its ready!
- Add longer-cooking vegetables. Add mushrooms and onions, and stir fry until both are soft.
- Add remaining vegetables. Add the broccoli, snow peas, and bell peppers. Season with salt and pepper, and stir fry until veggies are crisp-tender.
TIP: Green veggies will turn bright green when they are crisp-tender.
- Add garlic. Push the vegetables to the sides of the wok and make a well in the center. Add the butter and let it melt, then add in minced garlic. Let it sizzle, without stirring, and stir into the vegetables.
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Garlic Chicken Stir Fry
This garlic chicken stir fry is a quick and easy dinner thats perfect for those busy weeknights. Cubes of chicken are cooked with colorful veggies and tossed in a flavorful garlic sauce for a meal thats way better than take out!
What Is In Our Stir
Chinese brown sauce gets its name from the color of soy sauce and especially dark soy sauce, the ingredient that gives it that rich amber color.
Everything you need to make this sauce is listed in our post on10 essential Chinese pantry ingredients. In fact, with those ingredients, you can make the vast majority of the recipes on our site!
This sauce includes :
- White Pepper
Scroll down to the recipe card for the amounts/full recipe, as well as instructions on how to use this sauce with any meat/vegetables you like.
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How To Make The Stir
Before you get started, chop the scallions, ginger, and garlic. Youll need them at your fingertips once you start cooking.
Next, whisk the soy sauce, water, dry sherry, sesame oil, sugar, cornstarch, red pepper flakes and dry mustard in a small bowl. Set aside.
In a large nonstick skillet, bring 1 inch of water to a rapid boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until tender-crisp.
Strain the broccoli in a colander and then run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside and allow to fully drain.
Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in the skillet over high heat. Add the shiitake mushrooms and red peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes, until the mushrooms are browned and the peppers are softened.
Add the garlic, light-colored scallions, and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Return the broccoli to the pan and cook until warmed through, about 1 minute.
Add the reserved sauce. Toss and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened and the vegetables are evenly coated, about 30 seconds.
Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the dark green scallions. Serve with rice, if desired, and enjoy!
Tools To Make Easy Vegetable Stir Fry
Tap the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Heavy Bottom Wok This one is my personal favorite, because it retains heat exceptionally well but doesnt come with the hassle of carbon steel or cast iron.
- Flat Wooden Spoon The flat side of this wooden spoon makes it part-spatula, part-spoon and its perfect for making the best stir fry vegetables.
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Cashew Chicken Stir Fry
Cashew Chicken Stir Fry is so easy to make and filled with fresh veggies, chicken, and crunchy cashews. The glaze on top is incredible!
What To Serve With Vegetable Stir Fry
Want to turn this healthy vegetable stir fry into a full meal? Add a protein and a base!
- Chicken If you have leftover baked chicken breast or shredded chicken, throw it into the vegetable stir fry sauce. Of course, you can also just make a chicken stir fry by starting out with raw chicken.
- Beef You can use ground beef, or slice some steak into the stir fry. Flank steak or sirloin steak are great options.
- Shrimp The method here would be similar to making zucchini noodle shrimp scampi.
- Rice Definitely the most popular option for what to serve with stir fry! I serve mine with cauliflower rice.
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What Can You Cook With It
You can cook just about any meat and vegetable stir-fry dish with this basic sauce.
I used to make fridge clean-out stir-fry dishes every Friday with odds and ends left from the week with whatever protein we had available in our freezer, like beef, chicken, pork, or shrimp.
Whether you have carrots, peppers, onions, celery, snow peas, snap peas, bean sprouts, bok choy, etc. left over or readily available in your fridge, you can use any combination you like. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients list and recipe!
Easiest Vegetable Stir Fry
This is it! This is the recipe that gets me through the week! I love how simple and easy it is to cook and how delicious it tastes. There are so many variations to this recipe that it is perfect to make with a family.
Busy weeknights has me making 30 minutes or less recipes. They are easier and turn out to be, oh. so. good!
This past month I have been doing some meal prep and I decided to try this as well. I cooked it up on Sunday and added it into 5 days of lunches for me. It was simple to warm up and was filling all day.
The colors from the vegetables are so vibrant and blend so well together. You have a crunchy, soft and sweet texture that blends so well together leaving you wanting another bite.
My kids loved every bits of it and even asked for seconds. They loved it and wanted to
You can make this ahead, prepare it for dinner or freeze it for later. It is one stir fry that is simple, easy and delicious!
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Easy Homemade Stir Fry Sauce
Make delicious, quick and easy stir fries every time with my Easy Homemade Stir Fry Sauce! This simple all-purpose sauce is perfect for when time is short, but you still want to eat well.
Easy Homemade Stir Fry Sauce
Hands up who loves a stir fry? Stir fries are one of the best meals out there IMHO they tick all the boxes quick, easy, delicious, cheap and healthy. They can be made in minutes and are packed with veg and are full of flavour too.
But one thing which can let the side down a bit are commercial stir fry sauces many are packed with weird, unpronounceable ingredients and lots of sugar! They often taste a bit synthetic and can be pretty pricey too.
Enter my Easy Homemade Sir Fry Sauce. This quick and easy sauce is made using just 6 simple ingredients: soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, chilli flakes, garlic and fresh ginger.
All you need to do is pop these 6 ingredients in a jam jar and shake hows that for easy peasy?
My Homemade Sir Fry Sauce is full of flavour and not at all artificial tasting, much cheaper than many commercial stir fry sauces and is not packed full of additives or sugar!
Make this stir fry sauce your own adaptations to try
If you are used to commercial stir-fry sauces you might find this sauce is not quite sweet enough for you. If that is the case, I recommend you add a teaspoon or two of honey to sweeten this homemade version up.
If you like a thicker stir-fry sauce, add 1 tablespoon of cornflour to the sauce .
How To Make Stir Fried Vegetables
Theres only two rules here:
Have all the ingredients chopped and ready to toss in the wok / skillet because this recipe moves fast once you start cooking!
Dont let the veggies cook until floppy and sad. They should be vibrant, just cooked so they dont have the raw bite to them but theyre still a bit crisp. Thats the point of optimum flavour and nutrition for vegetables!
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What Order To Cook Vegetables In Stir Fries
Theres no need to turn this into an exact science! Just start by cooking aromatics to form the flavour base then add vegetables that take the longest to cook first, and delicate things like leafy greens towards the end.
Heres a rough guide:
Aromatics in first- onion, leeks, garlic, ginger, chilli
Firm vegetables in second like carrot, capsicum/bell peppers, stems of Asian Greens , zucchini / courgettes, eggplant, asparagus, canned baby corn, green beans, okra.
Quicker cooking vegetables added next- snow peas, kale, cabbage.
Delicate vegetables in last toss until just wilted. Leaves of Asian Greens, spinach, bean sprouts, green onions, fresh herbs.
Pre cooked vegetables broccoli, cauliflower and broccolini should be pre-cooked prior to using in a stir fry as they take too long to cook from raw in a stir fry . And though I rarely use them in stir fries, I also pre cook things like pumpkin, potato, squash, and other root vegetables.
A big skillet of vegetables never looked so tasty!!
Also the stir fry sauce. I like making plenty of it so it can soak through the rice or noodles, or whatever you serve it over. Its also particularly good at disguising cauliflower rice for those of you *trying* to cut down on carbs.
What To Serve Stir Fry Vegetables With
This recipe can easily be served as:
- A main dish with a side of white rice.
- A vegetable side dish paired with General Tsos Chicken or even Teriyaki Salmon.
- Add protein such as chicken, shrimp or beef for a hearty meal. If adding protein, as we did with our Chicken Stir Fry, youll want to double the sauce.
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How To Cook A Stir Fry
1. Prep ingredients & sauce- For the most organized and enjoyable cooking experience, shake up your sauce, chop up all your vegetables and your protein up before you begin cooking.
2. Cook veggies first- Add oil to a large pan and heat over medium-high heat. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until hard veggies like carrots or broccoli are softened. Add tender veggies like bok choy or bean sprouts during the last minute of cooking, to just soften. Remove the veggies from the pan .
3. Cook protein last- Add more oil to the pan, then add your protein . Cook until your protein is cooked through. This will depend on the type of protein you are cooking.
4. Add the sauce and thicken- Once the protein is cooked through, add the sauce to the pan, and heat through. Some sauces which contain cornstarch will bubble and thicken. Add the veggies back, toss everything up, and serve.
Can I Make The Stir Fry In Advance
Yes! This can easily be made in advance. Prep the vegetables and keep them covered and refrigerated until ready to use. The sauce can be made and kept in a different container. Continue with the recipe when you are ready to serve the stir fry.
How to Reheat Stir Fry: The stir fry reheats well and can be made completely in advance, then just reheated over low heat.
This veggie stir fry is so easy and good. The sweet and savory homemade stir fry sauce with ginger and garlic adds so much flavor to the sauteed vegetables. We added some hot sauce for heat in the sauce but that can totally be left out.
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