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 a few ingredients that are readily available in our kitchen. No fancy ingredients, no meat-based sauces added, and 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. You can add vegan oyster sauce to it also.
Chinese Garlic Sauce
This Chinese garlic sauce aka stir fry sauce is a perfect blend of sweet, savory, and spicy elements, which enhances the taste of the dish to satisfying.
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 to use too.
More than anything this sauce has no artificial flavoring like msg and not added tons of oil. This homemade brown sauce is a too delicious condiment you can make easily in 10 - 15 minutes.
- It's vegan
- can customize to gluten-free
- easy to make
- takes less than 15 minutes to make
- few everyday ingredients
- can customize to adjust spiciness and flavors
- no artificial flavors/ no msg used
- versatile to serve in many ways
- flavorful and delicious in taste
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. Garlic not only enhances the flavor of the dish, it has also some nutritional values that make the sauce healthier too.
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 a hint of sriracha.
Also, I have added some red chili flakes along with it since I love this to bite a little spicier. Green chilies 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 the brown sauce 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. If you don't want the sauce very sweet, you can substitute sugar with an equal amount of tomato ketchup.
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 a little to the sauce.
This is required to make the sauce thicker. Make a slurry by adding it with water (1 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp water).
Vegetable broth -
This adds flavor and dilutes the sodium level of soy sauce. You can substitute it with water.
Instructions to make stir fry sauce/ Chinese garlic sauce
In a bowl, add broth, soy sauce, hot sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup/ sugar/ tomato ketchup, chili flakes, and toasted sesame oil.
In a small bowl, add cornstarch 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 it slowly into the simmering sauce stirring it continuously. Turn off the 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 it with a lid, and refrigerate for up to 4 - 5 days.
If you want to freeze it, transfer the completely cooled sauce to ice boxes. Once it's frozen, take it out and pack it in a zip lock bag and freeze it further. So when you need them, just remove that amount of ice cubes and thaw that before adding them 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.
How to Serve?
Chinese garlic sauce is a versatile sauce that you can add to many foods. You can also use it as a dip for dumplings, wantons, or momos. Also, you can add to any vegetable stir fry of your choice. You can also add this to your noodles or rice preparation.
Check out my Asian stir-fried vegetables. If you want to make your stir fry with a strong Chinese flavor, then this is the sauce you must use. Check out my broccoli tofu stir fry recipe, which is not only delicious but it's too quick and easy to make.
Vegetable stir fry using Chinese garlic sauce aka brown stir-fry sauce
Heat vegetable oil in a pan. Add onions, broccoli, carrots, and 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 the 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.