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.
Elsie S. Stewart says
I tried this recipe and it’s really good. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to try the recipe.
Could this be canned up for later?
I’m sorry but unfortunately, I don’t have any experience with canning.
I used this when we had friends over for Sunday lunch. Used the hosin sauce with beef steak. Was very happy with how it turned out..
Susan Corcoran says
I was delicious!!
Susan Corcoran says
When you state you can sub 1 Tbsp of hoisin sauce, is that to take the place of the 3 Tbsp of barbeque sauce? Or should I be using 3 Tbsp of hoisin as well?
You can substitute hoisin tablespoon for tablespoon so yes, you would want to use 3 tablespoons of hoisin sauce in this recipe.
What hoisin sauce?
Hoisin sauce is a dark, sweet, spicy sauce commonly used in Chinese cuisine. You can find it in the aisle with the soy sauce and chow mein noodles.
I made a batch of it today using hoisin sauce and I guess that’s why it came out a lot darker than your picture. I’m making a chicken stir fry, so we’ll see how it goes.
This sauce is FANTASTIC! Just enough for what I needed (8 servings of meal-prepped stir fry, and it probably could have gone further), and clings without being thick and sticky. I like to sprinkle a bit of crushed red pepper on my dish before eating, and you probably could sprinkle it into the sauce while cooking if you wanted too. Definitely my new go-to stir fry sauce recipe!
Thank you so much! You made my day!
I just made a batch of this sauce and all I can say is “WOW”!!! I like things a bit spicy, Hubby not so much. This has just enough kick to please me, and not so much to make him cringe. I made the recipe exactly as written and, when I make the next batch, will not change a thing. Thanks so much for sharing!
Fabulous! I’m happy to hear that you like it as much as we do! ~Tonia
My daughter-in-law makes this all the time, but she subs out the soy sauce for coconut aminos as I’m allergic to soy. I love it! Tonight I made my own batch, doubled it. For about a third of it, I put peanut butter in it as someone suggested. Yum! I also used veggie broth and 100% apple juice concentrate for the brown sugar as I try to avoid table sugar. It turned out delicious and such a nice recipe, it can stand a few subs and still come out great.
Sounds fabulous! Thanks for sharing! ~Tonia
Mariella….could you give me the actual measurements for the substitution?
I would like to try it this weekend… thank you…
Oops, so sorry, didn’t see this comment until today. I did a 1:1 sub, so 2.5 T. of apple juice concentrate (not reconstituted w/ water – just straight from the frozen can). And I used veggie broth for the chicken broth – same amount that recipe uses. As for the peanut butter, I just took out about 1/3 of the sauce and blobbed in some pb. Probably 2 T. or so.
I made this for my Turkish husband today and I was amazed at how good it is. He said he could eat this sauce on everything 🥰 thanks so much for sharing the recipe.
I saw this after I made the original which is really good but like the substitutes for cutting out table sugar and chicken broth. Thanks for tips and good to know it comes out just a well.
Made this recipe for friends and family a campground gathering. Rave reviews all around and there wasn’t a morsel left. Best yet. Thanks
The sauce did not turn out as expected. I added soybean paste since I did not have any hoisin sauce which ruined the flavor; and mixing it with rice vinegar made it too tangy. I will surely try it again and use hoisin. I did not rate the recipe because I changed up the ingredients.