I use this Asian Stir Fry Sauce with a lot of dishes besides just stir-fries including as a dip, marinade, topping for pasta, and much more.
About 30 years ago, a Japanese friend taught me how to whip this healthy stir fry sauce up for a lot of the dishes he prepared. He mostly used it as a dipping sauce, but I have found so many more uses for it over the years.
Table of contents
This Asian stir fry sauce is…
- Extremely simple to make
- Perfect as a marinade
- A great dipping sauce
How to make Asian stir fry sauce
It takes about 5-minutes to prepare this easy Asian stir fry sauce, and it’s so versatile! The only ingredients required are:
- low sodium Tamari or soy sauce
- lemon juice
- unrefined sugar
- minced garlic
- fresh chives, optional
- thickener such as cornstarch or arrowroot powder
Making this easy recipe is as simple as combining all the ingredients in a bowl and whisking them together. Measurements are in the recipe card below. There’s also a print button.
Pour into stir-fries AFTER the veggies are finished (or nearly finished) cooking.
This sauce begins to thicken as soon as it is heated in the pan, so you want to add it last. To stop the thickening process, remove it from the heat.
Tips for use as a dipping sauce
- When using it as a dipping sauce, we sometimes use it as is (without the thickener), but it can also be thickened up to have more of a gravy texture.
- To thicken it for dips, simply add arrowroot powder and simmer or microwave for just a minute.
- Cornstarch can also be used as a thickener, just be sure to stir constantly during the heating process to reduce lumps.
- This will thicken quickly, so remove from heat as soon as it gets to the consistency desired for the perfect Asian dipping sauce.
What is arrowroot powder?
Arrowroot starch is used as a thickener in many foods such as puddings and sauces. It can also be used in cookies and other baked goods. The starch has an extremely bland taste, which makes it suitable for neutral diets.
It is believed that arrowroot helps to soothe upset stomachs/nausea.
Arrowroot powder should be whisked into a cool liquid before adding to a sauce or other liquid based recipe, and it should be added towards the end. As overcooking can destroy the gelling properties of arrowroot.
Unlike many starches, arrowroot will turn clear as it sets, and will not interfere with the color of the dishes it is included in.–Cooking God’s Way
If you don’t have arrowroot powder, cornstarch will work too. I like arrowroot powder because it tends to clump less when warming. It can be purchased at most Asian grocery stores. It’s nice to keep on-hand to use as a thickener for many dishes and sauces.
Asian sauce as a marinade
We also use this sauce as a marinade in recipes like Veggie Kabobs. When using it as a marinade, you’ll want to leave out the thickener during the marinating process.
It used to be such a waste with the marinades we used with meat that had to be thrown out after the marination process because of being in contact with raw meat.
Nowadays, after marinating, we can use the same sauce for a healthy dipping sauce or even turn it into a gravy by adding thickener. So much healthier! See thickening instructions above.
This sauce is used to make my Asian Green Beans, and they are a great twist on traditional green bean recipes.
*Originally published January 22, 2015.
Other healthy dipping sauces to try
- ¼ cup low sodium Tamari or soy sauce
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ tablespoon sugar, I use an unrefined sugar called sucanat
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic, I use kind from jar
- fresh chives, optional
- 3-4 tablespoon arrowroow powder, cornstarch, or other thickener
- Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.
- Pour into stir-fries AFTER the veggies are finished (or nearly finished) cooking.
- This sauce begins to thicken as soon as it is heated in the pan, so you want to add it last.
- To stop the thickening process, remove it from the heat.
Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 5
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 19Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 600mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g
To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.