Simply Saucy: A 10 Minute Stir-fry Sauce


We like it saucy (no R rated pun intended – that sounds dirty right?).  This stir-fry started off as an experiment.  It was so delicious that everytime we made stir-fry, Rajat would ask me to “make it in ‘that’ sauce.” Kitchen experiments are fabulous unless you forget to write down what you did because recreating a taste logged in your memory as “off the charts” is near impossible. [Disclaimer: that’s not meat in the picture. It’s vegetarian black pepper steak made from soy.]

After lots of re-experimenting, I finally recreated the sauce.  It’s quick to make and uses ingredients common to find in your pantry – vegetable stock, ketchup, tamari or soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, chili-garlic hot sauce (or your favorite asian hot sauce) and garlic-ginger paste (or fresh garlic and ginger).


10 Minute Stir-Fry Sauce

3 tablespoons tamari sauce or soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1-2 tablespoons chili-garlic hot sauce
2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste (or 3 cloves minced garlic and 1 small piece ginger minced)
3-4 tablespoon ketchup

Making the Sauce:
1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil.
2. Add 2 vegetable bouillon cubes. 
3. After the cubes dissolve, add 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce, 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce, 2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste and 3-4 tablespoons ketchup.
4. Cook on medium heat and bring to a boil.

This sauce has lots of possibilities, and we’ve only scratched the surface.  We topped off fresh Basmati rice with a saucy stir-fry of button mushrooms, baby bok choy, red bellpeppers, onions, broccoli, cherry tomatoes and vegetarian black pepper steak from May-Wah.  This sauce would also be delicious ladled over soba noodles for a noodle soup.  There’s so much taste that it could even stand alone as a soup with a handful of tofu and greens tossed in.  

I’ve been using Rapunzil cubes (it’s vegan and I like the no salt added type) since reading about it on 101 Cookbooks.  You don’t have to use that brand, but after trying a few different varieties, Rapunzil’s has the most flavor, is vegan (meaning no mysterious “natural flavors”) and low in sodium.  Also, some of you may wonder if rice wine vinegar is really common to have – I started keeping it on hand because it’s a very common ingredient for stir-fry sauces and used for sushi rice and use it pretty frequently. 

Feel free to leave a comment letting me know if you have your own take on this simple stir-fry sauce or any other ideas for easy stir-fry sauces and additions.

7 responses to “Simply Saucy: A 10 Minute Stir-fry Sauce”

  1. I usually use about 2 tbsp of brown sugar instead of the ketchup (my husband can’t stand tomato and soy sauce together), and sometimes I’ll throw in a little peanut butter to thicken the sauce. Otherwise this could be a recipe straight off of my stove! I love how rice wine vinegar and soy sauce come together 🙂

    • Racheyalex, brown sugar and peanut butter are great additions to round out the flavor…I sometimes use corn starch to thicken sauces but peanut butter would be much yummier!

  2. we tried this last night and we both loved it! i must confess though that i used a short cut and used some frozen stir-fry veggies instead. and combined it with tofu and brown rice. i have some leftover sauce so i may try it as a soup next!

    • Lalitha, yeah I wasn’t kidding when I said saucy 🙂 I love keeping a bag of stir-fry veggies in the freezer…it’s always a life saver. Glad you guys enjoyed this – Thanks for the comment!

    • Trupti, I find it hard to believe you could be scared or that anything you make could turn out like crap! We eat stir-fry almost bi-weekly b/c it such an easy, quick weeknight dinner…don’t know how we would survive without it. Try it out. Btw just added you on facebook. I just joined Twitter recently too Are you on there?

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