Simple Stir Fry Sauce Recipe: From Scratch

One of the most important things I keep in my fridge is a sauce I’ve developed that mimics typical simple stir fry sauces I’ve tasted in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the USA.

I’ll keep it all as basic as I can, using ingredients you may have in your kitchen already.


Simple Stir Fry Sauce Recipe: Ingredients

1pt corn starch
1pt sugar
1pt red pepper
<1pt crushed garlic
1pt vinegar
3pt soy sauce
3pt rice* wine
            *or white


Every single one of those ingredients should be readily available to you, almost anywhere in the world.  They create the basis for a nondescript “simple stir fry sauce” that can be used in a variety of dishes.  Here in Taiwan, I see similar flavors used for teppanyaki as I do in the USA for kung pao chicken, so it’s really hard to say what any sauce actually is.

Depending on how you blend this sauce, it will give you slightly different results.  If you want a less spicy sauce, use less pepper, or use more to kick it up a notch.  If you want a gooier sauce, use more corn starch.  If you want a more garlicy sauce, add more garlic.  This sauce is designed to assault your taste buds with a simple and elegant array of flavors without overwhelming any of them, unless you so choose.

What you are about to see takes 20 minutes from start to finish, from dry bottle to finished meal.

Simple Stir Fry Sauce Recipe

First, pour the dry ingredients – corn starch, sugar, and pepper – into a bottle.


Then pour in the rest of the ingredients, in order..

<1pt crushed garlic
1pt vinegar
3pt soy sauce
3pt rice* wine
       *or white


Shake it until everything looks dispersed, then give it a hard shake every minute or two to disperse all the ingredients.


There are a few roads you can take from here.  I often use this simple stir fry sauce to cook chicken with peanuts or beef with broccoli; it’s really hard to find things that don’t work for it.  It’s extremely versatile.  But, for what you’re about to see, I used

1Tbs butter
2cups chicken breast
1cup baby corn
<1cup green beans


Start with your chicken.


Melt a tablespoon of butter on a medium heat.


Throw in your chicken.


Keep it moving.  And don’t forget to keep shaking your simple stir fry sauce bottle.


Cook it just enough so the outside is no longer pink.  Wash/cut your vegetables, in the meantime.


Then throw in your vegetables.  Shake that sauce bottle.


Turn the heat up slightly and keep everything moving.


You’re good to go once you start to see the Maillard reaction.


Shake up the simple stir fry sauce and pour some in (in this case, around a cup of sauce); it will immediately sizzle (which is why I like to use a saucepan).


As always: keep it moving.


Once everything is coated and the sauce has cooked down to your liking, pour it into serving dish; this should take less than five minutes.


The sauce will solidify more as it cools.

Then just serve it with rice.

Here’s the glamour shot.


That’s a fast and often-considered “exotic” meal, using basic cooking methods (i.e. stirring stuff in a saucepan) and readily-available ingredients. With this simple stir fry sauce recipe, it’s easy to create an impressive meal from scratch with less effort than most people realize.

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