Stir fry is a popular Chinese dish that has become well-loved by all cultures across the globe. However, despite being so popular, many people actually find it difficult to perfect their recipes.
Stir-frying is an art, and it takes practice. You cannot simply chuck everything into a pan at once and hope for the best.
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I find a mix of homemade and store bought makes the best stir fry sauce. For any stir fry sauce recipe I'll add some hoisin sauce for a vegetable stir fry, oyster sauce, fish sauce, or teriyaki sauce for chicken stir fry to the store bought sauce to make a homemade stir fry sauce. It really depends on what's in the stir fry as to what I add. I might add rice vinegar and fresh ginger for a lighter taste and brown sugar if I need something sweeter.
Everything needs to be prepared in advance and put in the wok in the correct sequence to achieve that rich flavor with just the right amount of crunch.
You may have your meat or meat alternative of choice, all your vegetables of choice, and lots of spice and garlic, but there’s something else missing right? Well, the ingredient you're missing is a stir fry sauce and it’s the solution to bringing the entire recipe together.
A good stir fry sauce is the key from taking the stir fry from mediocre level to restaurant quality standard. However, it’s not always possible to buy a stir fry sauce directly from a restaurant, and recreating the recipe for the sauce in your own home is time-consuming and intricate.
A store-bought sauce is more suitable for all budgets and is also a lot easier to get hold of, making it a whole lot easier for you to create restaurant standard stir fry dishes right in your kitchen.
We’ve put our taste buds to the test and researched far and wide to bring you the best store-bought sauces for stir fry right here in this article.
5 Best Store-Bought Sauces For Stir Fry Reviews
BEST FOR CHICKEN
This Orange Chicken sauce by the Lee Kum Kee Panda Brand is the perfect addition to any chicken stir fry. It comes as a bundle of 6 packs to last you for months and each pack can serve up to 6 people at once.
The sauce will help you make a quick and easy authentic Asian meal within minutes without sacrificing taste. Simply pair it with noodles or rice and you’re ready to serve.
The orange chicken sauce is made with 0 grams of trans fat per serving, contains no artificial flavors, and is also cholesterol-free. It’s also free of high fructose corn syrup. With only 90 calories per serving, you can enjoy the rich aromas of this Panda Sauce guilt-free.
This sauce will elevate your whole meal making all your friends and family thinking you spent hours perfecting the right taste.
BEST FOR MEATS AND SEAFOOD
The Minor's General Tso's Sauce is a well-known Asian flavor that holds both spicy and sweet infusions with accents of molasses, ginger, and spicy hot peppers.
This is one of the most versatile sauces on our recommendations and goes great with everything from pork and chicken, to beef and vegetables. It is also the perfect companion to go with any seafood ingredients in your stir fry.
This sauce also works well as a dipping sauce and can make the perfect extra touch to any Asian salads you may be whipping up. The large bottle of Minor's General Tso sauce will most certainly serve you well and will last you for ages.
The sauce comes pre-thickened so you won’t have to spend loads of time cooking it at the stove to reach the right consistency.
You can even get creative with your own extra ingredients as it won’t hinder the wonderful blend of this sauce. Add in your fruit juice or concentrate or even pair with some of Minor’s other sauces to great your signature flavor.
BEST FOR CHICKEN AND VEGETABLES
The Original Gourmet Sauce by the Mr. Yoshida brand is considered their signature product.
This versatile soy-based marinade can be used for all stir fry ingredients including fish, chicken, beef, pork, and all vegetables to create that restaurant-quality flavor.
As the sauce is a marinade and is slightly thicker, it can be used as a barbeque sauce whilst grilling meats to create a unique Asian twist on your average BBQ favorites.
The sauce is a perfect blend of both sweet and savory flavors with hints of soy sauce, garlic, and other seasoning and spices.
This bottle will provide you with over 30 servings so you’ll be able to share all your favorite concoctions created with this sauce with all your friends and family. The rich flavor only requires you to use a small amount to achieve huge aromas, so you’ll notice that it will take you a while to get through.
BEST FOR BEEF
If you’re looking for a healthy store-bought stir fry sauce then the Soy Ginger Organic Sauce by 365 Whole Foods Market will be something you’ll want to get your hands on straight away.
The deep flavors of the soy ginger sauce will take any average stir fry recipe to the next level with only a small amount. Each serving only contains 15 calories, so you’ll be able to fully enjoy the sauce knowing it’s not full of the typical sugars and salts that many Chinese sauces contain.
The sauce is dairy-free, low fat, vegan and vegetarian so anyone to everyone can enjoy it with any ingredients that they prefer.
The sauce does come in a slightly smaller bottle compared to other sauces on our recommendations, however, a little goes a long way.
BEST FOR BEEF
The Mr. Spice Organic Ginger Stir Fry sauce is also a healthier alternative containing ginger, onions, garlic, and rare spices to pack your stir fry with exquisite flavors without being loaded with calories.
The sauce is also vegan, gluten-free, sodium-free, and only contains no artificial preservatives so is the perfect addition to any household cupboard to really spice up a bland Chinese dish.
This cholesterol-free organic stir fry sauce can be paired well with chicken, fish, and even burgers, but we match it with beef in a traditional Chinese stir fry recipe and it never fails to blow everyone's mind.
Best Store-Bought Sauces for Stir Fry Buying Guide
Whilst we don’t like to focus too heavily on calories or the health benefits of food here at The Kitchen Community, it is something to bear in mind if you are trying to reach some health goals.
Whether it’s macronutrients, calories or just trying to cut down on the salt in your diet, looking at the ingredients list and the nutritional value on food products is always helpful.
Sauces will tend to be higher in calories than most other ingredients in the stir fry, this is because they contain extra salts, sugars, and preservatives to make them taste amazing.
Food items will always display the calories and nutritional value per serving, so take that information as you will and apply it to your own situation and how many people you will be feeding with the stir fry.
However, please remember that food, especially tasty stir fry is meant to be enjoyed, and adding a cup of sauce to perfect your recipe will not hinder your health goals in the long term.
When it comes to stir fry sauces, there is no one flavor that suits all and that’s why there are so many flavors out there to choose from.
Some sauces are sweet, spicy, tangy, or even just plain savory, so if you have a preference then you’ll want to opt with that one to achieve your ideal recipe.
Some stir fry sauces can be used with all different types of vegetables and meats, which is always a good thing. However, there will be some store-bought sauces that are specially made for particular meat ingredients like chicken, pork, or beef.
Check the labeling or product descriptions of stores to find out what the sauce is best suited for. You’ll also want to come to an idea about what kind of stir fry you typically cook in your home, if it changes frequently, then a non-specialized sauce will do you just fine.
Vegan, Vegetarian or Gluten-free
If you’ve got any dietary requirements, then you’ll also need to bear that in mind when looking for a new stir fry sauce.
Check the ingredients list and the suitable section on the product to find out what is best for your diet.
What are the best store-bought sauces For stir fry?
The best store-bought sauces for stir fry are:
- Panda Sauce for Mandarin Orange Chicken
- Minor’s General Tso Sauce
- Mr. Yoshida's Original Gourmet Sauce
- Soy Ginger Organic Sauce by 365 Whole Foods Market
- Mr. Spice - Organic Ginger Stir Fry Sauce
What can I add to stir fry to flavor?
Instead of or as well as using sauces in your stir fry, you can add herbs like basil or cilantro to your recipe.
Spices are also important for producing a rich flavor, so add ingredients like chili powder, cumin, or cardamon. Adding a low sodium vegetable or meat broth to bring out some of the flavors is also recommended.
Ginger, garlic, and lemongrass are popular ingredients used in Chinese food and will enhance the other flavors. Adding the zest of citrus fruit will add an extra something to meats, but be careful not to add too much as it overpowers it.
A generic soy sauce is always a safe bet when it comes to stir fry especially if you don’t want anything too rich.
Which oil is best suited for stir fry?
Stir fry is made quickly and at a very high temperature, so using an oil with a high smoke point is key. Peanut oil, canola oil, and vegetable oil are the best three oils suited for stir frying.
What do you put in a stir fry?
There is no set rule when it comes to stir fry recipes and many people adapt recipes to suit their personal tastes. However, some of the popular ingredients put in stir fry are:
- Meat (Chicken, Beef, and Pork)
- Green Onions
- Rice or Noodles
How bad is stir fry for you?
Depending on what ingredients you use, how little oil you use, and the sauces, stir fry can be pretty healthy and offer a lot of nutritional value.
Vegetables tend to maintain more of their nutrients than they would if they were boiled. Leaner cuts of meat, low-fat sauces, and small volumes of oil that ensure that the stir fry is as healthy as possible.
Do you cook noodles before adding them to a stir fry?
Fresh noodles may not require cooking in water before you add them to your recipe, however, some noodles come dried and they will need to be added to boiling water or soaked in water for a few minutes prior to adding them to your mixture.
Can you stir fry raw chicken and vegetables together?
Chicken takes longer to cook than vegetables so it’s recommended to cook that first and then add your vegetables to the wok. This also means that vegetables are the right consistency for stir fry and not too soggy.
However, it is safe to cook them all together as long as you cook everything thoroughly before eating.
Why do you cook stir fry in a wok?
The high sloping design of a wok prevents oil splatter when cooking your ingredients at a high temperature on the stove.
It also allows you to move the ingredients around easily to make sure it’s all cooked without spilling over the edges.
What noodles do you use for a stir fry?
- Egg Noodles
- Soba Noodles
- Rice Noodles
- Udon Noodles
What can you put in a stir fry instead of meat?
Some of the best meat alternatives to put in stir fry are:
- Soy Meat Alternative (Fake meat like Quorn)