Friday, November 2, 2012


A few years back I got myself all organized to make stir-fry for dinner. Clearly I wasn't very together though as I had no stir-fry sauce. I headed next door to see if my neighbor had any that she could spare. She gave me something much better...the recipe for her family's stir-fry sauce. I haven't looked back!

When my kids were younger and slightly less adventurous, I used to chop up my fresh vegetables like carrot, celery, and pea pods, leaving some raw for them to munch on. I also left some of the cooked meat aside before putting stir-fry sauce on. We didn't all eat the exact same thing, but i didn't have to actually cook anything different to please each of us. Once everybody became agreeable to having sauce that was not made from tomatoes on their food and some cooked vegetables, I moved on to buying frozen vegetable blends...and watched as each person (the husband included) collected undesirables on the edge of the plate.

For convenience sake, I do typically buy frozen veggies and then throw in some onion, pepper, carrots and/or celery, depending what I have on hand. Sometimes we get really crazy and have mini ears of corn an water chestnuts, but that starts to get back into the picking around stuff days. We start with about 8 ounces of whole green beans, and 8 ounces of sugar snap peas in pods (broccoli if we have any).
Cook your veggies up in a pan with a little bit of oil. A wok is not necessary. This is actually my Dutch oven, but I used to just use a big fry pan. Once the veggies are cooked to your liking (not mushy...unless that is your liking) put them in a separate bowl and keep warm while you cook your meat, if you haven't already done so. (Ii like to keep a stash of cooked and sliced chicken in my freezer for such occasions.) About 3/4 of a pound is a decent amount to go with the veggies for four people. Put your veggies back in the pan once the meat is cooked, and add the stir-fry sauce.

Stir-fry sauce

8 T soy sauce ( I use reduced sodium)
1 can of chicken broth (soup can size, again I use reduced sodium...and I use beef broth if I am making beef stir-fry)
4 T corn starch
4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger (only because I rarely think to buy fresh)
some garlic
a few shakes of crushed red pepper

Mix it all together. It will be thin, and the cornstarch settles if it sits for a few minutes, so just stir is up again before you pour it in the pan.

Stir everything together until it comes to a boil and the sauce thickens. We like it with rice!
This is not a completely fair representation, as I only had half of the cornstarch I needed, so it didn't thicken as it should've.
As you can see, there are not a lot of rules here once you find a sauce that you enjoy, so have fun!


  1. What is the corn starch for? Thickening? It sure looks yummy!

    1. Yes, the cornstarch thickens the sauce as it heats up. It mixes in well, as opposed to lumpy the way flour can be.