Make-Ahead Stir Fry Sauce

One of the quickest dinners I can put on the table is an Asian-inspired dish of noodles, vegetables and shrimp, (or cooked chicken, beef or pork ~ of course the meat is optional).

Boxed mixes (consisting of noodles and sauce only) are available for this type of dish, but they are ridiculously expensive for the pennies worth of ingredients in pretty packaging. I much prefer to make my own, knowing exactly what goes into the sauce.

I make this sauce in advance (can store in refrigerator for up to two weeks), or it can be divided into small containers or small plastic 'zipper' bags and stored in the freezer until needed.

It's a good all purpose stir-fry sauce for vegetables and meat, sans the noodles as well.

This time I included with the noodles; shrimp, celery, zuchinni, carrots, scallions and garnished with cilanto, roasted cashews, and toasted sesame seeds, with a drizzle of dark sesame oil.

Make Ahead

1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger root (don't use dried or powdered)
2 to 3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/8 to 1/4 cup rice vinegar or cider vinegar
2 cups chicken or beef broth (Swanson is a good brand)
1/2 cup dry sherry; pale dry, or cocktail sherry. NOT cooking sherry, not sweet sherry.
1/4 to 1/2 cup water

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large jar (or in blender container). Add soy sauce and vinegar. Shake or blend until well combined. Add broth, sherry and water. Shake or blend again. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

May be frozen.

Note: After you make this you may find you prefer to adjust the seasoning ingredients; for example more garlic, more ginger, sweeter, less sweet, etc.

To make the meal in the photos, I simply cooked the vegetables until crisp tender in the pot of boiling water, and the shrimp until just done. I used a scoop/strainer to retreive the vegetables and the shrimp and set them aside. Using the same pot I boiled the noodles (I used Asian noodles, but you can use spaghetti, linguine, soba noodle, rice noodles, or any you like.) If you have leftover vegetables and meat you can use if you prefer.

When noodles are cooked, drain and return to the same pot noodles were cook in, over medium low heat, add enough sauce to coat the noodles (depending upon the amount of noodles) to your liking. Gently toss and stir, when the sauce begins to thicken, add the vegetables/meat and toss, allowing to heat through until hot. Add more chicken or beef broth if you like saucier noodles. Serve in bowls, garnished* as desired.

* Favored Garnishes:
Roasted nuts; peanuts, cashews, almonds
Toasted Sesame Seeds
Lime wedges
Cilantro Sprigs
Chili oil, or dark sesame oil
Slivered green onions (scallions)


  1. looks wonderful, my tummy is already rumbling as the sun rises...

  2. I had posted a link to your blog on mine last week because you featured a single serving recipe, and you've done it again! This looks delicious, and I love your tips for freezing it in zip-top bags. Thanks!

  3. That looks so scrumptious, Mary! Thanks for the do-ahead recipe. What a great idea.

  4. Sweet! I like make-ahead meals. Don't have time to cook everyday. I think i'm gonna tweak it by taking out the noodles and replacing the shrimp with chicken.


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