My Whole30-friendly All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce helps frazzled home cooks get quick, easy, and umami-packed meals on the table! Not sure what dishes you can make with it? The possibilities are endless!
Whenever anyone asks me for my favorite recipe from our second cookbook, Ready or Not!, I always blurt out, “All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce!” This fab sauce takes just a couple of minutes to shake together in a mason jar—and once you have some in the fridge, you have no excuse not to make dinner!
If you’re doing a Whole30 or just committing to cooking more often, you can’t go wrong with this indispensable sauce. You really can use it to make everything!
After I published the recipe here, y’all seem to have fallen head over heels for my All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce. I love seeing all the creative ways my loyal Nomsters have found to utilize this awesomely versatile flavor booster! Still, over the past year, I’ve received some commonly-asked questions about All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce:
What if I’m allergic to orange juice?
No problem! My All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce can be made with pineapple juice if you can’t do orange juice. (Shh! Don’t tell anyone, but some of my readers actually prefer it with pineapple juice!)
How do I make this sauce with no fruit juice at all?
You can totally leave it out, but you’ll need to adjust the amount of rice vinegar to balance the flavors. Alternatively, you can sub out the rice vinegar for aged balsamic vinegar to add a bit of sweetness.
Is All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce Whole30-friendly?
Yes! Just remember to read your labels carefully for non-compliant ingredients, especially on the fish sauce and rice vinegar.
Do I REALLY have to add fish sauce?
Yes! Fish sauce adds an indescribable deliciousness (a.k.a. umami) to the sauce! (You’ve already listened to my podcast dedicated to umami, right?) Look—if you have a fish allergy, FINE—you can leave out the fish sauce and add more coconut aminos and some salt to compensate, but it won’t taste quite the same, I’m afraid. Alternatively, make this vegetarian fish sauce recipe and use it in place of the fish sauce in this recipe.
How do I thicken the sauce?
You can make an arrowroot slurry by whisking ½ cup All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce with 1 to 2 teaspoons of arrowroot powder. The sauce should thicken as soon as you bring it to a simmer. If you like a thicker sauce, add more arrowroot powder.
How long does All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce last in the fridge? Can I freeze it?
It’ll last in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for at least a week. And yes, you can definitely freeze the sauce for up to several months. I normally freeze the All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce in ice cube molds so I can pop out a cube when I need it.
(The commercially bottled sauce that you purchased at Whole Foods Market is good for at least 6 months in the fridge after it is opened due to the acidity!)
But…how should I use All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce?
There are SO! MANY! WAYS! Read on for some of my favorites…
My All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce is fantastic for stir-fries (duh!). If you follow me on Instagram, you know that stir-fries are one of my go-to weeknight meals ’cause they take no time at all to make. If you’ve never made a stir-fry before, our Ready or Not! cookbook includes a step-by-step recipe for Asparagus Beef, and it doubles as the perfect blueprint for do-it-yourself stir-frying. No cookbook? I recently revised my Spicy Asparagus and Pork Stir-Fry to include directions on how to make it with All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce. See? No excuses, people!
What’s fantastic about stir-fries is that you can modify the ingredients to use up whatever’s in the fridge. As long as you vary the veggies and protein, your family won’t even notice that you’re using the same sauce as a flavor base! Got more questions? I have my best stir-fry tips in this post.
Visual learner? Watch this replay of me making a chicken and bok choy stir fry on Facebook Live (recorded on 9/12/18):
Paleo Moo Shu Pork!
You can use it to make Paleo Moo Shu Pork, too!
But don’t feel like you’re stuck making only stir-fries with this sauce. You can also use it to make Paper-Wrapped Chicken!
Kalbi (Korean BBQ Short Ribs)!
These thinly-sliced, marinated Korean BBQ short ribs (also known as kalbi or galbi) will be the hit of your summer cookouts. Best of all, this tender and flavorful kalbi recipe is paleo, Whole30-friendly, and amazingly simple to throw together!
It also makes a great dipping sauce for homemade Paleo Potstickers!
Or a basting sauce for Tsukune, Japanese Ground Chicken Meatballs!
Want to use it in no-cook recipes? I love using All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce as a tangy and savory salad dressing as well. I often whisk All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce with some avocado oil (in a 4:1 ratio) to make a quick and easy salad dressing to toss with mixed greens.
But when I’m feeling a little more fancy, I like to use All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce to make Paleo Hiyashi Chuka (Cold “Ramen” Salad), Warm Asian Brussels Sprouts Slaw, Asian Steak Salad, and Smashed Cucumber and Carrot Salad!
Craving a Whole30-friendly poke? Make my Tuna Poke With Avocado!
Instant Pot Stews!
It ain’t just for stir-fries and salads, though. If you’ve got some braising cuts in the fridge and want to pop ’em in the Instant Pot or slow cooker, a cup or so of All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce makes a fantastic Asian-inspired stewing liquid. Simply season the meat with salt or Magic Mushroom Powder, and add a cup of All-Purpose Stir-Fry to the cooker. Then, program your Instant Pot or slow cooker for the cut of meat you’re using, and presto-change-o: An incredible (and incredibly easy) dinner!
UPDATE: I got so many requests for a step-by-step recipe for my easy peasy Instant Pot stew so I wrote it up!
Here’s my recipe for Instant Pot Chinese Beef Stew:
And that’s not all! Hungry for a tasty, dead-simple marinade for meat, seafood, or veggies? Use All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce.
Exhibit A: Easy Teriyaki Salmon!
Exhibit B: Sheet Pan Teriyaki Salmon
Exhibit C: Chinese Chicken Wings
You can dip the grilled meat and/or veggies in All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce when you serve it, too!
What are you waiting for? Shake up a jar of All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce already!
P.S.: Bookmark this page, ’cause I plan on updating it with new recipes using All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce!
[Originally posted on September 11, 2018. Updated on January 15, 2020.]
Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013) and Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017)!62