This stir fry sauce recipe can be used for vegetables, chicken, beef, shrimp, and pork. It is super easy to make and totally adaptable. Store in the fridge or freezer for later!
One of the easiest meals to make is stir fry and using a stir fry sauce makes it even easier because it has all of the seasonings you need.
You can use whatever meat you have. Chicken, beef, shrimp, and pork all work really well. Or skip the meat for an all vegetable option.
Grab some veggies, fresh or frozen, depending on what you prefer.Try using cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, snow peas, peppers, onions, corn, beans, and mushrooms. It’s a great way to use up extra vegetables.
You can eat the stir fry with just the meat and vegetables or serve it over rice or noodles.
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While in Florida with my mom and sisters, one of the meals we shared was a simple stir fry. We used bottled stir fry sauce and our meal was delicious!
I decided to try to make my own stir fry sauce recipe and found that it was really easy to make.
Stir Fry Sauce Recipe
Step One: Soy Sauce Mixture
Start by mixing together the soy sauce, chicken broth, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, honey, rice vinegar, sesame seed oil, and black pepper so that it is ready to add to the saucepan once the ginger and garlic are ready.
I chose to use barbecue sauce in this stir fry sauce because I always have it on hand but an equal amount of hoisin sauce could be used instead.
Step Two: Cornstarch Mixture
The thickener in this stir fry sauce recipe is cornstarch but you can’t just add the cornstarch to the hot, boiling sauce since it will clump together.
To prevent this from happening, mix the cornstarch with cold water in a small bowl so that it is ready to use when you need it.
Step Three: Garlic and Ginger
Now, it time to start cooking the sauce. Start by heating the olive oil, minced garlic, and ground ginger.
For this step, you can use powdered garlic or minced ginger if you prefer. See the FAQs below for the amounts.
Step Four: Liquids
Once the olive oil is hot, it’s time to add the soy sauce mixture that was previously made. Whisk in the mixture and cook over medium heat until it starts to boil.
Step Five: Add Cornstarch Mixture
Finally, add the cornstarch/water mixture to thicken the sauce. You’ll want to add the mixture slowly while whisking constantly to prevent clumping. Cook until the sauce has thickened.
Step Six: Sauce Storage
Once the stir fry sauce has cooled, move it to an airtight container or jar with a lid and store it in the fridge.
Use this stir fry sauce for vegetables, chicken, beef, shrimp or pork.
Stir Fry Sauce Recipe Tips and FAQs
1. What kind of vinegar should I use? I used rice vinegar when making this recipe. You can also try substituting white distilled vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
2. What kind of barbecue sauce should I use? Barbecue Sauce: Some of you have very strong opinions regarding barbecue sauce. You can use your favorite brand of barbecue sauce, make homemade barbecue sauce, or use a tablespoon of hoisin sauce instead.
3. Do I have to use sesame oil? This recipe calls for sesame oil because it adds so much flavor to the stir fry sauce but it can be made without it or substitute the sesame oil with olive oil.
4. Can I substitute another kind of liquid? For this recipe, I used chicken broth for the liquid. You can substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth for a vegetarian version. Or change the flavor by using orange juice or pineapple juice instead.
5. I don’t have any minced garlic. Can I use garlic powder instead? To substitute the 3 teaspoons of minced garlic with 3/4 teaspoon of garlic powder. If you love garlic, you can increase the amount of minced garlic in this recipe.
6. How can I use freshly grated ginger instead? I made this stir fry sauce with dried, ground ginger because that is what I typically have on hand. It would be fabulous with freshly grated ginger though. Use 3-4 teaspoons of grated ginger instead. Again, if you love ginger, you can up the amount you use.
7. Do you have any suggestions for making this stir fry sauce spicier? To make this stir fry sauce spicier, add sriracha sauce, chili sauce, or red pepper flakes.
8. How can I freeze this stir fry sauce? Put it into one large airtight container or in a couple of smaller containers if you only plan to use a little at a time. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw completely before using.
9. Does this stir fry sauce only last two weeks? From the research I did, that is what I found but feel free to use your best judgment and freeze what you can’t use. (see #8 above)
10. How much sauce do you use when making stir fry? I used 2 tablespoons of stir fry sauce for one pound of chicken. Plus, an additional 1/4 cup when I added 5 cups of veggies. See my chicken stir fry recipe here.
11. Can I add peanut butter to make a peanut butter sauce? Yes! Collin commented below and said he added a couple tablespoons of crunchy unsweetened peanut butter.
12. What can stir fry be served over? Try it with white rice, brown rice, fried rice, cauliflower rice, Chinese noodles, angel hair pasta, zucchini noodles, or quinoa.
13. Can I make this into a gluten free stir fry sauce? Yes. Be sure to use all gluten free ingredients. Here are a few I found on Amazon: gluten free soy sauce, gluten free barbecue sauce, gluten free rice vinegar, gluten free sesame oil, and gluten free cornstarch.
Stir Fry Sauce Recipe
- In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, broth, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and pepper. Set aside.
- In another small bowl, mix cornstarch and water together. Set aside.
- Mix together oil, minced garlic, and ground ginger in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until oil starts to simmer.
- Whisk in the soy sauce mixture and bring it to a boil.
- Slowly whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Cook for a few minutes until thickened, stirring constantly.
- Allow the sauce to cool. Store in the refrigerator in a jar with a lid for up to two weeks.
Updated from original recipe posted June 2015