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Our easy, flavorful Stir Fry Sauce transforms a combination of meat, seafood, and vegetables into a delicious entrée or side dish.
Our homemade Stir Fry Sauce is a great keep-on-hand condiment that you can add to sautéed meats, seafood, and vegetables, to create a simple, flavorful meal.
This sauce is so much better than any store-bought versions and you can adjust the ingredients to suit your family’s tastes – making it mild or spicy, sweet or savory.
Why you’ll love this Stir Fry Sauce
- It’s versatile and delicious. Make different dishes by changing up the protein or vegetables.
- The sauce is made with ingredients you probably have on hand in your refrigerator and pantry.
- Mix up a batch, then keep it on hand for up to two weeks in the refrigerator
Key ingredients and Substitutions
- Peanut oil is one of our go-to oils for stir fry dishes due to its light flavor and high smoke point – meaning it won’t scorch over the high heat required for stir fry meals. Alternatives are grapeseed oil and safflower oil which have a more neutral flavor than peanut oil, but can also tolerate high cooking temperatures.
- Fresh ginger and garlic are a must for any good stir fry sauce as they add both flavor and delicious fragrant aromas. Don’t use dry ginger and garlic powder – they simply won’t add the same fresh flavors.
- Chili Paste or Red Pepper Flakes will add a touch of spice and heat to your stir fry sauce. You can use jarred chili paste like this, or dried red pepper flakes like this.
- Good-quality soy sauce will list fermented soy beans or tamari as the first or second ingredient on the label and not salt. Be careful of the sodium content of your brand – some lower quality soy sauces are mostly salt and artificial coloring. You can use a low-sodium soy sauce, a light soy sauce, or an everyday soy sauce. Do not use all dark soy sauce – you can use some dark soy sauce as long as you balance it out with a lighter soy sauce. You can also use tamari which is a thicker less salty liquid also made from fermented soy beans.
- Sesame oil and rice vinegar both add delicious and distinctively-Asian flavors to the sauce.
- Sherry adds another distinctive flavor to the sauce. Don’t buy the supermarket sherry as it tastes more like salt than sherry. Instead, buy a dry sherry from a liquor store. It costs about the same as the supermarket sherry and will taste so much better.
- Other ingredients to make a homemade stir fry sauce include chicken stock, corn starch as a thickener and some sort of sweetener. We chose granulated sugar for today’s recipe but you can swap in honey, agave, maple syrup or even artificial sweeteners.
Chef’s Tip –
Peanut oil flavored with fresh ginger, garlic and chili is critical to a really good stir fry sauce. Sometimes scallion bottoms are added at this point too and they will also flavor the oil.
Special supplies needed
- A wok, sauté pan, or small sauce pan is fine for this sauce.
How do I make Stir Fry Sauce from scratch?
- Heat oil in your wok or pan over medium high heat.
- Add the fresh garlic and ginger and the chili paste or flakes to flavor the oil as it heats.
- Add other ingredients to the pan including soy sauce, chicken stock, sugar, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. Heat through.
- Make a slurry by whisking corn starch and sherry together.
- Pour the slurry into the hot liquid to thicken.
- Add the stir-fry sauce to your favorite cooked meats, seafood and vegetables.
- Store leftovers in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.
Frequently asked Questions
- Can I make Stir Fry Sauce ahead of time? This sauce is ideal for making ahead. Store in a sealed jar or container until needed.
- How do I store Stir Fry Sauce? Store in a lidded jar or an air-tight container for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
You may enjoy these Stir Fry recipes:
- Stir Fry Vegetables
- Stir Fry Salmon and Vegetables with Multi-Grain Medley
- Sweet and Sour Shrimp Stir Fry
- Pad See Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Noodles)
- Moo Goo Gai Pan
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated fine
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, grated fine
½ cup good quality soy sauce
¾ cup low sodium chicken stock, homemade if possible
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
¼ cup sherry
1 tablespoon corn starch
In a wok, saute pan or sauce pan, heat oil over medium high and once hot, add ginger, garlic and chili and cook for one minute.
Add soy sauce, chicken stock, sugar, sesame oil and rice vinegar and bring to a low boil.
Mix sherry with corn starch to form a slurry and add to the liquid and cook until thickened, less than 30 seconds.
Remove, cool and keep refrigerated until needed up to two weeks.
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