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This Chinese garlic sauce is a stir fry sauce for all purposes. You can add them to your rice, noodles, or vegetable. This stir fry sauce is versatile and enhances the flavor of the dish.
Chinese garlic sauce is a flavorful sauce made with few ingredients that are readily available in our kitchen. No fancy ingredients, no meat-based sauces added, no artificial flavoring. Still an amazingly delicious sauce.
This is also known as stir fry sauce or brown stir-fry sauce.
This stir-fry sauce is a soy-based sauce. For a gluten-free version of this stir fry sauce, you can substitute the soy sauce with gluten-free tamari. However, this is vegan since I’m not adding any oyster sauce to my brown stir fry sauce.
Chinese Garlic Sauce
This stir fry sauce is a perfect blend of sweet, savory, spicy elements and enhances the taste of the dish we add this to. This sauce has 5 – 6 main ingredients that balance the flavor and it hardly takes 10 minutes to make this yummy stir fry sauce. So one easy sauce that is versatile too.
More than anything this sauce has no artificial flavoring like msg and not added tons of oil.
Chinese garlic sauce is a versatile sauce that you can add to many foods. You can also use it as a dip for the dumplings, wantons or momos. Also you can add to any vegetables stir fry of your choice. You can also add this to your noodles or rice preparation.
Check out my Asian stir-fried vegetables. You want to make your stir fry with a strong Chinese flavor, then this is the sauce you must use.
Ingredients for Chinese Garlic Sauce or Stir-fry Sauce
Garlic – raw garlic
Garlic is one of the main ingredients that is essential for this sauce. Raw garlic has a strong aroma or flavor which enhances the taste.
In case you don’t have it, you can substitute it with garlic powder. When replacing fresh garlic, the flavor intensity will be different. The flavor that we get from the chunky minced fresh garlic is really different.
However you can substitute 1 garlic clove with
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic flakes
- 1/4 tsp granulated garlic
Add garlic depending on the strong garlic flavor you want in your sauce. If you don’t like more garlic flavor, you can reduce the amount of garlic here. I like it strong and nothing can substitute the real flavor of raw garlic for me.
Ginger – Raw ginger
Ginger adds a strong and spicy flavor to the sauce. Add fresh minced or finely chopped ginger.
Soy sauce –
This is the base of this stir fry sauce (Chinese garlic sauce). However, for a gluten-free sauce, use gluten-free dark soy sauce or tamari. If you want a soy alternative, you can use coconut aminos as well.
Hot sauce –
Add any hot sauce or chili sauce depending on how spicy sauce you need. For spicier garlic sauce, use sriracha.
Also, I have added some red chili flakes along with it since I love this to bit a little spicier. Green chillies are also a great option to make it spicy. You can skip or reduce the quantity of hot sauce and chillis/ flakes if you want mild spicy.
I normally add brown sugar or maple syrup to my sauce. Even regular granulated sugar is okay. If you are looking for a low-carb option, you can add stevia or agave syrup.
There is another alternative I use – i.e. tomato ketchup for sweetener. It has added sweetness along with sourness. So this works well if you don’t want too much sweetness. It gives a mild sweetness.
Toasted sesame oil for the authentic Asian flavor. You might need only a few tsp of oil, i.e. to saute garlic and additionally, you can add little to the sauce.
This is required to make the sauce thicker. Make a slurry by adding it with water (1tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp water).
Vegetable broth – This adds in flavor and dilutes the sodium level of soy sauce. Can substitute with water.
Instructions to make stir fry sauce
In a bowl, add broth, soy sauce, hot sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup/ sugar/ tomato ketchup, chilli flakes, toasted sesame oil.
In a small bowl, add corn starch and little water. Mix to make a slurry.
Then heat oil in a pan. Add finely chopped garlic and ginger. Sauté on medium low flame for a minute
Add the broth mixture to the pan. Bring it to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes. Now stir the slurry (starch settles down at the bottom) and pour in slowly to the simmering sauce stirring it continuously. Turn off heat when it’s reached desired thickness or consistency.
Note – Don’t make this too thick since it becomes thicker when cooled.
How to store the stir-fry sauce or Chinese garlic sauce?
When Cooled, transfer the sauce to a glass jar, cover with a lid and refrigerate for up to a 4 – 5 days.
If you want to freeze it, transfer the completely cooled sauce to ice boxes. Once it’s frozen, take out and pack in a zip lock bag and freeze further. So when you need them, just remove that amount of ice cubes and thaw that before adding to your stir fry. No need to thaw the whole jar of sauce. You can keep them for a good 2 – 3 months in the freezer.
Vegetable stir fry using this garlic sauce
Heat vegetable oil in a pan. Add onions, broccoli, carrots, peppers to the pan. You can also add some pressed and diced tofu along with veggies. Flip tofu using tongs so that all sides are cooked.
Stir-fry the veggies for 2 – 3 minutes. Cover with a lid. Then add the garlic sauce or stir fry sauce and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and garnish with spring onions and some toasted sesame seeds. And our vegetable stir fry is ready in less than 10 minutes.
Stir fry sauce recipe
Chinese Garlic Sauce (Stir fry Sauce)
- 5 large garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 tsp fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
For Sauce Mixture
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp water
- In a bowl, add broth, soy sauce, hot sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup/ sugar/ tomato ketchup, chilli flakes, toasted sesame oil.
- In a small bowl, add corn starch and little water. Mix to make a slurry.
- Then heat oil in a pan.
- Add finely chopped garlic and ginger.
- Sauté on medium-low flame for a minute
- Add the broth mixture to the pan. Bring it to a boil.
- Simmer for 2 minutes.
- Now stir the slurry and pour in slowly to the simmering sauce stirring it continuously.
- Turn off heat when it's reached desired thickness or consistency.
- Stir fry garlic sauce is ready.
- Cool it completely and then transfer to a jar with lid and refrigerate for further use.