Looking for a stir fry sauce that is made from scratch, healthy, and tastes delicious? Our flavorful vegan stir fry sauce comes together in minutes, and is perfect for your Asian meal prep dinners. It's wonderful for your weeknight dinners, as this sauce can be made ahead up to 4 days in advance.
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This easy recipe uses basic pantry staples that are quickly combined to make a simple, versatile, and delicious vegan stir fry sauce that is also meal prep friendly.
- Aromatics: fresh garlic and ginger
- Fat: sesame oil
- Acid: rice vinegar
- Sweetener: maple syrup
- Seeds: white sesame seeds
- Umami: liquid aminos or soy sauce
What is stir fry sauce made of?
A very basic stir fry sauce might only have liquid aminos or soy sauce to provide a savory umami flavor, a sweetener like maple syrup, agave nectar, honey or brown sugar, and a thickener like cornstarch or arrowroot.
To add more flavor, many homemade stir fry sauces add these two important aromatics: fresh ginger and garlic. They also add an acid like rice vinegar or freshly squeezed lime juice. Some other recipes add oil for added fat and flavor, and red pepper flakes for extra heat. If you're looking to add more umami flavor, try red or white miso paste.
What can I add to stir fry for more flavor?
- Aromatics: lemongrass, ginger, garlic, spring onion
- Zest: lime, lemon, or orange zest
- Fresh Herbs: cilantro, parsley, Thai basil
- Dried Spices: salt, red pepper flakes, or keffir lime leaves
- Oil: toasted sesame oil, hot chili oil
- Sweetener: maple syrup, brown sugar, agave nectar
What are the nutritional facts for this recipe?
If this recipe is divided into 4 servings, there are 103 calories per serving, 16.8g of carbs, 4g of fat, and 2.3g of protein. For more nutritional information, scroll to the end of the recipe card.
What can I serve this vegan stir fry sauce with?
- Stir fried vegetables with a protein
- Udon, ramen, or rice noodles when thicken to make a sauce
- Veggie fried rice
- Veggie chow mein
- Sauteed cabbage or bok choy
- Dipping sauce for Asian dumplings, spring rolls, or fried tofu
- Use this sauce as a marinade for tofu cubes then bake, pan fry, or air fry.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients. Mince the garlic, grate the ginger, and measure out the liquids.
In a small fry pan over medium low heat, toast the sesame seeds while constantly stirring until golden, roughly 2 minutes.
In a bowl, pour in the liquid aminos or soy sauce, rice vinegar, and maple syrup. Pour in the vegetable broth next. Add the ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and the toasted sesame seeds.
Whisk until combined. Pour in a mason jar and tightly screw on the lid. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Before adding a cornstarch slurry to thicken it, this recipe makes about 1 cup of sauce.
When ready to thicken, slowly add 2 parts cold water to 1 part cornstarch or arrowroot in a small bowl, whisk until smooth. I used 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
Pour into the vegan stir fry sauce and whisk until combined.
Add to the stir fry when the vegetables are almost done, cook for 5 minutes or until sauce thickens.
- Want a bit of heat? Add ¼ teaspoons red pepper flakes or ½ tablespoon of hot chili oil.
- Want a bit of color? Add ½ teaspoon ground turmeric.
- Want to add more iron to your diet? Add 1 tablespoon of unsulphured molasses.
- Want to add more acid? Try 2 tablespoons of lime juice.
- Want more umami flavor? Try adding 2 teaspoons of red or white miso paste.
- Before adding the cornstarch to the stir fry sauce, whisk the cornstarch separately with cold water, so the sauce doesn't clump.
- When you're ready to use the sauce in a stir fry, add the cornstarch slurry to the sauce and heat it up in a wok and cook for 5 minutes.
- For a dipping sauce, bring the sauce to a boil then add the cornstarch slurry, lower the heat to medium low and cook for 12 minutes, whisking occasionally.
- Make the sauce up ahead of time and store in an air tight container for up to 5 days.
- Jar method: put all the ingredients in a mason jar. Screw on the lid and shake until thoroughly mixed. Store in fridge.
Other Asian Recipes
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Vegan Stir Fry Sauce
- In a small frying pan set over medium heat, toast the white sesame seeds for 2 ½ minutes or until golden brown, stirring constantly.
- Add all the ingredients to a small bowl, except for the cornstarch slurry. Whisk until well combined, then pour into a mason jar, seal, and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
- Make a slurry by whisking 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water until smooth, then add it to the sauce and whisk until combined. Do this only right before using the sauce.
- When the vegetables are almost cooked, pour in all of the sauce and cook for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens, stir to coat the vegetables, and serve hot over rice or noodles.
- Heat up the vegan stir fry sauce in a small covered saucepan and bring it to a boil. Add the cornstarch slurry, lower the temperature to medium low and let the sauce gently boil for 12 minutes until thickened while whisking occasionally. Use with Asian dumplings, spring rolls, or fried tofu as a hot or cold dipping sauce. This sauce also tastes fantastic over Thai brown rice noodles, if you're craving a bowl of noodles. Garnish with green onion and black sesame seeds.
- Whisk the cornstarch with cold water first before adding to the sauce.
- Don't add the cornstarch slurry until ready to use in a stir fry or a dipping sauce. The slurry will help thicken the sauce once heated for a few minutes.
- If you want to make the stir fry in the photo, use olive oil, onion, garlic, ginger, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, red cabbage, mini corn, and water chestnuts. Add all the stir fry sauce near the end and heat until sauce thickens, salt to taste, and garnish with black sesame seeds.