Stir fry can be one of the easiest and tastiest meals in your 30 minutes-or-less arsenal; this all-purpose Stir Fry Sauce will also make it healthy. Salty, sweet, and oh-so simple, it’s a perfect alternative to syrupy store-bought sauces. With all-natural all-stars like honey, garlic, and sesame oil, it’s also naturally gluten free, paleo and vegan friendly.
As someone who spends most of her time thinking about, preparing, and consuming food, I recognize the importance of the five mother sauces. Just thinking about them right now makes me want to eat a spoonful of hollandaise – but I am not a professional chef at a quaint tiny bistro in Provençe, whisking up Velouté on a daily basis. (Point of order: I could not even begin to tell you the last time I made a Velouté.) But I do make and serve this Stir Fry Sauce on-the-regular.
Consider this – most home cooks will make their own roux from scratch, but settle for buying stir fry sauce in a jar because, well, stir fry sauce is readily available in jars and…I can’t even think about pre-prepared roux without shuddering. (Surely that cannot exist, right?)
I’m going to go out on a limb and say if you are even the slightest bit health conscious, and you looked closely at the ingredients in most shelf-stable Asian-inspired sauces at the grocery store, you’d shudder as much as you would at the thought of store-bought roux. Between the sugars, starches, and chemical preservatives…well, it ain’t “good” for you.
When it comes down to it, making this healthy Stir Fry Sauce is practically as easy as just opening a jar (which is an actual step in the process) and penny for penny, it’s less expensive than certain brands on the shelf anyway. Plus it’s way better for you and way tastier, if I do say so myself. Frankly, the hardest part of using this sauce is settling on what protein/veggie combo to pour it over.
Stir fry sauce ingredients
- Coconut aminos: feel free to substitute regular aminos, soy sauce or even tamari, but be mindful of any other added salt in your stir fry recipe.
- Rice Vinegar: sweet and mild flavor – this is not your mama’s window cleaning vinegar!
- Orange Juice: a little goes a long way toward adding an acidic tang to the sauce. Pro-tip: if you’re not an OJ household, I recommend either fresh squeezing, or buying a small bottle and using an ice cube tray to freeze individual tablespoons for later use in recipes like this.
- Honey: nature’s favorite sweetener, and mine. Use agave nectar or maple syrup for a vegan version.
- Cornstarch or Arrowroot Powder: use arrowroot to thicken if you’re keeping it paleo.
- Sesame Oil: toasty and flavorful – definitely worth getting if you don’t already have it.
- Garlic: fresh or jarred, but finely minced.
How to make stir fry sauce
I don’t say this often – so believe me when I say – this Stir Fry Sauce is a winner every time. It’s delicious; it’s simple; it’s healthy; it’s quick; it’s gluten-free; it’s vegan; it’s kid-friendly; it’s got a Ph.D. in neuro-science. Give this sauce more boxes, and it will check them. I cannot overstate how reliable and handy this healthy stir fry sauce is. And the added bonus? It goes with just about any meat and/or vegetables you can think of (or even just the ones you have in your freezer).
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- There are no big tricks or gimmicks here and zero special tools required.
- Combine the recipe ingredients in a lidded glass jar and shake well to blend.
- Be sure the garlic is finely minced for best texture.
- If adding fresh ginger, grate with a microplane, again for best texture.
Is this stir fry sauce healthy?
As prepared, this recipe contains no refined sugar, no soy, and is gluten and grain free. It’s made with whole food ingredients and absolutely no preservatives or additives. Stir fry sauce doesn’t get much “cleaner” than this.
How to store stir fry sauce
If you’re making ahead, store in a lidded jar in the fridge for a week, but you can probably eke out 10 days. This recipe will yield enough for one meal so you shouldn’t need to worry about leftovers.
As prepared, this sauce is on the very slightly sweet side. It’s terrific as a base for customization, and because it isn’t spicy, my kids LOVE it! The flavor is intense, since it’s not watered down with chicken broth, while coconut aminos keeps in on the less salty side.
- Make it Vegan: use maple syrup or agave nectar in place of honey. It’s terrific with stir fry noodles or tofu in place of chicken or beef.
- Make it Paleo: be sure to use arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch.
- Make it Spicy: for a kick in all directions, add 1-2 tbsp chili paste plus 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
How to use this stir fry sauce
Coming in around 2/3 cup of sauce, the recipe yields enough to stir fry approximately 1 pound of protein with 1 pound of vegetables. For a vegan or vegetarian meal, plan on 1/2 pound of noodles and a pound of vegetables.
Try it in one of my go-to recipes:
Did you make this stir fry sauce?? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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- Small Lidded Jar
- 1/4 c coconut aminos
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Combine all ingredients in a lidded jar or glass measuring cup. Shake or whisk until well combined.
- Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 1 week.