Before we went to China, I would make stirfry for dinner about once a week.  Served over brown rice, it is the perfect healthy way to use up whatever veg we have in the fridge.  Only problem was the sauce.  Every time I would throw together whatever struck my fancy as “Asian” and dump it in the pan at whatever stage of cooking.  Needless to say, I had inconsistent results.  10% were clear winners, but I had no documentation of what went into it to make it right.  10% were losers, and should have turned into pizza nights, with still no documentation of what went wrong.  The rest were edible.  The last year and a half, I didn’t make too many stirfries, I guess needing to eat American food and lacking confidence in my ability to turn out a good fry.  But I am back on the wagon (why? you ask, since we live in Asia again.  I don’t know.) and this time around I finally found something that works.

This sauce is just what I was looking for.  It has the perfect blend of the four cornerstone tastes – salty, sweet, spicy and sour.  It is not too oily, or cloying, or watery.  It works equally well with meat, seafood, tofu or vegetables.  You can make up a triple batch and store it in the fridge indefinitely, to spoon out as needed.  I’ve included basic stirfry guidelines at the bottom, too.  Now stirfry nights are no longer hit or miss.

Stir Fry Sauce

  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed or finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp white (or black) pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously.

A Basic Stirfry Idea

  • Meat, Seafood cut into 1″ cubes
  • Vegetables, cut into pieces that will cook at the same rate (i.e. a thin round of carrot & snow peas, bell peppers & summer squash)
  • Onion, garlic, ginger & spicy peppers, all slivered
  • Sauce


  • Nuts
  • Leafy greens, bean sprouts
  • Pineapple or Tofu cubes
  1. Have everything cut up and prepped before you start in the above separations.  There is no time once you start stirring and frying.
  2. Heat a generous glug of oil (peanut or corn work best) in a wok shaped pan until very very hot.
  3. Add meat, cook a few minutes until browned then flip until browned, then remove from pan, leaving some oil.  It does not need to cook all the way through as its going back in later.
  4. Add Veg & Onion/Garlic/Ginger/Peppers, following the same brown and flip method until 60% cooked, you want them to maintain their crunchy taste.
  5. Return meat to the pan, along with sauce, nuts, greens, fruit, tofu, etc (one or two of these, not all!) and cook until bubbling.
  6. Serve over brown rice, with fresh cilantro on top.