Stir Fry Sauce
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With just 5 ingredients, in only 5 minutes, you can whisk together THE BEST Stir Fry Sauce, perfect for making an easy and delicious vegetable, chicken or beef stir fry recipe!
One of my favorite recipes to make for dinner is a quick and easy stir fry. It’s so simple to toss together in less than 30 minutes and it’s always a hit around the dinner table!
Since 2013, I’ve been mixing up this easy 5 ingredient stir fry sauce to toss with beef, chicken and vegetable stir fry recipes. It has a wonderful balance of sweet, spicy and salty flavors, and it includes one secret ingredient that adds flavor and thickens the sauce. It’s important to have a thick stir fry sauce, so that it sticks to all of the delicious ingredients in your stir fry.
While this sauce is perfect for a traditional stir fry recipe, you can also use it as a marinade or as a dipping sauce. It’s truly versatile and seriously flavorful!
Table of contents
- Hoisin sauce – hoisin is a thick sauce made with a combination of sugar, miso, soy sauce, garlic and spices. This is my secret ingredient for making a quick and easy stir fry sauce with just 5 ingredients! It adds sweetness to this sauce and thickens it up.
- Soy sauce – you can use low-sodium or traditional soy sauce, depending on how salty you want the sauce to be. The hoisin sauce will add a little salt, but most of the saltiness in this recipe comes from the soy sauce.
- Rice vinegar – you can also use Mirin, which is Japanese rice wine. Both will add an element of sour to balance out the sweet and salty flavors in the sauce.
- Sesame oil – a dark pure sesame oil or toasted sesame oil will both work in this recipe and add a delicious layer of nutty, toasty flavors.
- Sriracha – to balance out the sweetness, sriracha adds a touch of heat to the sauce. If you like your stir fry sauce on the sweeter side, you can omit the sriracha. If you like it on the spicier side, you can increase the amount of sriracha in the sauce.
Step by step instructions
- Add all of the ingredients to a half pint mason jar. Secure the lid and shake to combine all of the ingredients.
- Alternatively, you can add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk to combine.
- Use the sauce to make your favorite stir fry recipe, or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Frequently asked questions
- What can I use instead of hoisin sauce? While I do recommend using hoisin sauce for the best flavor in this sauce, in a pinch you can use teriyaki sauce, sweet miso paste, oyster sauce or bbq sauce instead.
- Is this sauce gluten free? Because of the hoisin sauce and soy sauce, this stir fry sauce recipe is not gluten free. But it’s really easy to find gluten-free hoisin sauce and gluten free soy sauce (also known as Tamari), either in the Asian section of the grocery store or online. I’ve made this recipe with both substitutes to create a gluten free stir fry sauce and it’s just as delicious!
- Is the sauce spicy? This stir fry sauce is more sweet than spicy, but if you’d like to increase the spice level, I recommend adding 1 tablespoon sriracha, instead of 1 teaspoon.
- How do you thicken stir fry sauce? I use the hoisin sauce to make a thick stir fry sauce without cornstarch. But if you’d still like to make the sauce thicker, you can add a cornstarch slurry. To do this, you’ll want to combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl, then add it to the rest of the sauce ingredients and whisk until it’s well combined.
- Can I add fish sauce? Yes, 1 teaspoon of fish sauce will add a rich, umami flavor to the stir fry sauce.
- Can I use the sauce as a marinade? Sure thing! The soy sauce will salt the meat and act as a tenderizer. Feel free to marinade chicken, beef or pork in the sauce for up to 8 hours.
- How much sauce does this recipe make? This recipe makes approximately 1/2 cup of sauce, but can easily be doubled, or tripled to make more.
How to make stir fry
To make Beef Stir Fry, follow the recipe linked to the left (and pictured above). It was originally published in 2013 and features this stir fry sauce, as well as my favorite technique for making the most tender beef ever!
To make a vegetarian stir fry, follow this Vegetable Stir Fry recipe, which also features this sauce and is easy to make in just 15 minutes!
To make a chicken stir fry, follow these instructions.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a large skillet or wok on the stove over medium-high heat.
- Add 3 cups of chopped veggies, like bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, broccoli florets, snow peas or carrots. Cook for 7-8 minutes.
- Remove the vegetables from the skillet and set aside.
- Add 1 pound of cubed, boneless, skinless chicken breasts to the skillet and cook for 5-6 minutes.
- Add the stir fry sauce and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet and simmer for 6-8 minutes
- Remove the lid, add the vegetables back to the skillet and toss everything together.
- Serve with prepared white or brown rice, or noodles, like rice or lo mein.
More sauce recipes
Try these other easy homemade sauce recipes to add flavor to all of your meals!
Stir Fry Sauce
- Add all of the ingredients to a half pint mason jar. Secure the lid and shake to combine all of the ingredients. Alternatively, you can add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk to combine.
- Use the sauce to make your favorite stir fry recipe, or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- To make this sauce gluten free: use gluten-free hoisin sauce and gluten free soy sauce (also known as Tamari). Both are easy to find online or in the Asian section of the grocery store.
- To make this sauce spicy: increase the amount of sriracha from 1 teaspoon, to 1 tablespoon.
- To make the sauce extra thick: add a cornstarch slurry. To do this, you’ll want to combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl, then add it to the rest of the sauce ingredients and whisk until it’s well combined.
- This recipe makes approximately 1/2 cup sauce, or 4 ounces. The nutritional information provided above is for 1 ounce, or 2 tablespoons, of sauce.
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