Stir-fry is a great meal for more reasons than one — it’s easy, leaves plenty of leftovers, and is simply delicious. All you need to do is toss a bunch of veggies in the wok, along with your choice of meat, and stir in some sauce. And the sauce, of course, is where you can really get creative. Mixing up your choice of sauce can dramatically change your meal, and creating your own sauce from scratch? Well, that’s even better. Next time you’re in the mood for some tasty stir-fry, give one of these 4 recipes a try.
1. Peanut Ginger Sauce
As one of her favorite made-from-scratch sauces, this recipe from Cara Harbstreet, a registered dietician and group culinary class instructor, is great for adding to stir fry dishes or noodle/rice bowls. “I love this sauce because it has a creamy component that seems to just melt over the top of a stir-fried entrée,” Harbstreet said. “The peanut butter could also be substituted for almond or cashew butter for someone with a peanut allergy.”
- ¼ cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
- 1½ teaspoons ginger (dried) or 2½ teaspoons ginger (grated fresh)
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon red wine or rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoonsesame oil (substitute olive oil if sesame oil not available)
Directions: Combine ingredients in small mason jar or container with lid. Tightly fasten lid and shake vigorously until mixed well. Serve over cooked veggies, protein, noodles, or rice, along with additional chopped peanuts or cashews, garlic, or crushed red pepper for a spicy kick.
2. Chris’s Sesame Stir-Fry Sauce
If you’re a fish lover, this recipe from Zoe Blogg of Blogging and Browning is the perfect addition to a healthy salmon dish, and takes no time at all.
- Glug of sesame oil
- Tablespoon runny honey
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- Thumbnail of grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
Directions: Mix together soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, and honey. Cover and leave combined salmon and sauce to marinate in the fridge for at least one hour.
3. Sesame Ginger Soy Free Soy Sauce
This recipe from Samantha Elkrief, health and wellness coach and personal chef, is soy-, wheat-, and corn-free. “Coconut aminos are a great soy sauce substitute,” Elkrief said. “It tastes very similar, but it is a little sweeter and a touch less salty. The color is the same, and unlike with soy sauce, it’s always wheat free. Arrowroot is a thickening agent very similar to cornstarch, however it’s actually good for you! It helps ease stomach issues and improves digestion.”
- 6 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- ½ tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 1 clove grated garlic
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot
Directions: Mix all ingredients together. Whisk well to make sure all the arrowroot is dissolved. Add sauce to the pot with the main stir fry ingredients so it can thicken.
4. Asian Stir-Fry Sauce
You can’t really go wrong with an Asian stir-fry sauce, but the trick is knowing which recipe to follow. This recipe from Culinary Health Solutions takes an already healthy dish to an even healthier level.
- ¼ cup Tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
- 1 lime, juiced
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 dates, medjool, pitted
- 1 teaspoon sriracha, or other hot sauce
- ½ teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
- 1 teaspoon flax seeds, ground
- 1 teaspoon sunflower seeds, ground
Directions: Add all ingredients except seeds in a blender and allow dates to soften for 15 minutes. Blend all ingredients until well combined. Cook stir-fry as desired. Add the sauce about halfway through cooking. Add ground seeds to the stir-fry pan at the end of cooking, and toss to coat, simmer for 1-2 minutes. The seeds will cause the sauce to thicken.