Lobster to Sweet & Sour: How To Make 6 Stir-Fry Sauces

Have the vegetables and meats to stir-fry, but not sure what sauce you'd like to finish them in? In this post I'll list six simple stir-fry sauces to try. Put down the take-out menu and grab your wok - this will be fun and easy!

Basic Brown Sauce

Ingredients:
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup beef broth
1/3 cup rice wine
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Preparation:
Heat a wok over high heat; add 1 tablespoon cooking oil, swirling to coat. Add the garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add all remaining ingredients except the cornstarch and water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for a minute or two. Mix the cornstarch with water, and add to the sauce, stirring until it bubbles and thickens.

Basic White Sauce

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

Preparation:
In a wok, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and stir fry the garlic and ginger for one minute to release the flavors. Add the soy sauce and the stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Combine the cornstarch with the 2 tablespoons of water and add to the sauce, stirring until thick and bubbly.

Sweet & Sour Sauce

Ingredients:
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

Preparation:
Combine all and heat in wok over medium heat until nicely blended and the sugar melts.

Lobster Sauce - not really made from lobsters!

Ingredients:
4 to 8 scallions, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water
4 egg whites beaten with 1/4 cup of water

Preparation:
Combine chicken stock, white wine, soy sauce, and sugar. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch with the 1/4 cup of water. In another small bowl, whisk the egg whites into 1/4 cup water. Set everything aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok on medium high heat and stir fry the garlic and onions for 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth mixture, bring it to a boil for 1 minute. Add the cornstarch mix and immediately afterward, slowly pour in the egg whites and stir very slowly, maybe 2 or 3 times around - do not overstir or you will end up with broken egg clumps. You want long threads. When the sauce thickens, it's ready.

Lemon Stir-Fry Sauce

Ingredients:
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar

Preparation:
Combine all in a wok and bring to a slow simmer over medium heat. When everything has combined nicely, serve.

Orange Pepper Sauce - spicy!

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon of sichuan peppercorns
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons water

Preparation:
Stir fry the ginger, peppercorns, and garlic in 1 tablespoon of hot oil for a minute to release the flavors. Add the soy sauce and orange juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Combine the cornstarch and water and add to the sauce, stirring until the sauce is thick and bubbly.

Related:
Quick Meal Technique: How to Stir Fry
Dinner Tonight: 7 Tempting Stir Fries!
How To Season A Wok

(Image: Kathryn Hill)

(Originally published October 6, 2009)

Per serving, based on 4 servings. (% daily value)
Calories
349
Fat
2.7 g (4.2%)
Saturated
0.7 g (3.6%)
Carbs
60.8 g (20.3%)
Fiber
1.5 g (5.8%)
Sugars
31.7 g
Protein
13.2 g (26.4%)
Cholesterol
5.8 mg (1.9%)
Sodium
4797 mg (199.9%)