Despite its name, my All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce isn’t just for stir-fries. Try it, and you’ll see that it’s amazing on EVERYTHING. Plus, it’s gluten-free, soy-free, Whole30-compatible, and tastes authentically delicious!

A hand holding a mason jar filled with All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce in front of brightly colored background.

The one sauce to rule them all!

I’ll admit, though, that I came up with this recipe for our second cookbook, Ready or Not!, after struggling to find an easy, consistent way to whip up quick weeknight stir-fries. Having grown up in my mom’s kitchen, I’m well aware that Asian stir-fries are among the fastest and easiest meals one can prepare in a pinch. But while my mom can sense by sight and feel how to season her stir-fries, I’m not my mother. As a mere mortal, I had to come up with a pre-mixed stir-fry sauce to make spur-of-the-moment cooking as easy as possible.

A collage of the cooking steps for how to make All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce

It took weeks of testing and tweaking before I came up with this delicious concoction: A perfect liquid blend of savory, sweet, and tangy that instantly flavors up your stir-fries.

Best of all, this sauce can be made lickety-split.

How to use All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce

But that’s not all! It turns out that my All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce is amazingly versatile, too: It works as a crazy-good salad dressing (did you see how I used it for my Paleo Hiyashi Chūka?), a marinade for meats and veggies, a braising liquid for all sorts of Instant Pot stews, and even a dipping sauce for skewers, roasted vegetables, or my famous Wonton Meatballs!

Need more ideas, check out this ever-growing collection of recipes that use it and this post on How To Use All-Purpose Stir-Fry.)

An overhead shot of the different things you can make with All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce

For a while, I debated whether to post this recipe on my blog—after all, it’s one of my super-secret cookbook recipes, and one of my hands-down favorites in my new book. But hey: IT’S THE SEASON FOR GIVING, right? I decided to share this recipe as a holiday gift, and as an early kick-off present to support your New Year’s resolutions!

Plus, I figure you’ll still want more nomtastic recipes like this one, right? If so, don’t forget to grab my cookbooks Ready or Not! and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! Both feature delicious recipes that utilize All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce!


An overhead shot of the ingredients in All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce
  • Coconut aminos: The combination of coconut aminos and fish sauce is my preferred soy sauce substitute!
  • Fresh orange juice: I love the smidge of sweetness and tang that orange juice adds to this sauce. If you don’t like orange juice, pineapple juice also works. If you want to leave it out, you’ll need to taste and adjust the amount of rice vinegar or add some sweetener to balance out the acidity.
  • Red Boat fish sauce: Fish sauce is essential for this sauce! If you are allergic to fish, you can make my vegan fish sauce.
  • Rice vinegar
  • Garlic powder: Don’t use fresh garlic in this sauce because it will make it go bad faster. Plus, you can always add fresh garlic to the dish you are cooking with the sauce!
  • Ginger powder: Don’t use fresh ginger in this sauce because it contains an enzyme that can make raw protein mushy and it will make the sauce go bad faster.
  • Toasted sesame oil (optional)

How to make All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce

Combine all of the ingredients in a small jar.

Pouring the ingredients of All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce into a mason jar
Pouring orange juice into a jar filled with All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce ingredients

Cover it tightly with a lid, and shake well to incorporate before using.

Shaking a jar filled with All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce

This sauce keeps in the refrigerator for up to a week in the fridge or frozen. Don’t forget to shake well again before using it!

A closeup of a jar filled with All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce

As I mentioned, All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce can be used to liven up just about any meal of protein and veggies, including some of my best recipes in Ready or Not!, like Paper-Wrapped Chicken and Asparagus Beef. Through the years, I’ve used this indispensable sauce in a bunch of recipes on this blog and in my yellow and green cookbooks. This incredible flavor booster is always in my fridge so I can easily whip up all types of quick and easy dishes!

An overhead shot of different dishes that are seasoned with All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce

Frequently Asked Questions

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-compatible?

Yes! Just remember to read your labels carefully for non-compatible ingredients (e.g. sweetener, etc.), 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, I have a No-Fish Sauce recipe on page 28 of our green cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go!, and you can 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. Don’t worry if your frozen All-Purpose Stir-Fry sauce isn’t completely solid and kind of slushy, the high solute content of the sauce may keep it from doing so.

What’s the best container to store the sauce?

I like to use a pint-size (16 ounce) glass mason jar or larger to make store this sauce. I also label the jar with painter’s tape and write the date I made the sauce.

Can you keep creating more recipes using All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce?

Yes! I use it all the time in inventive ways and as a shortcut to deliciousness and have lots of recipes that use itin my yellow and green cookbooks, Ready or Not! and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! I also have an ever-growing of recipes that use All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce listed here.

Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).


All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce

4.71 from 89 votes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Despite its name, my All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce isn’t just for stir-fries. You can use this Whole30 sauce as a marinade, dressing, and to make stews!



  • Combine all of the ingredients in a small jar. Cover it tightly with a lid, and shake well to incorporate before using.
  • This sauce keeps in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Don’t forget to shake well again before using it!



Label your jars with Painter’s tape + Sharpie and that way you’ll know what’s inside and when you you should use it by!


Calories: 25kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Made this exactly as written minus the sesame oil because I completely forgot to grab it at the store, thought we had it! Delicious recipe, used it with sliced London broil and lots of veggies as stir fry.

    1. Hi I wondered why arrowroot is your choice for thickening. how is it different from cornstarch? thank you!

      1. I use arrowroot starch to keep it grain-free and Whole30-compatible. You can use cornstarch if you’d like!

  2. Hi Michelle,
    Your Stir-Fry sauce has been a delicious lifesaver since you first posted it, but now my husband is unable to tolerate acidic fruits like oranges, limes, lemons & pineapple. What can I substitute for the orange juice? Would apple juice or pear juice work?
    Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes! Keep them coming!

      1. 5 stars
        I replaced the orange juice with apple juice and my husband experienced no problems! I used the sauce for the IP Chinese Beef Stew and the Tsukune recipes. Both dishes turned out delicious! Thanks again!

  3. Hi Michelle,
    Greeting from Canada.
    Kudos on your marvelous cooking blog! I’d love to make this recipe but I’m restricted to an approximately 8 % sodium content. Your Red Boat fish sauce has a whopping 60 % sodium per tablespoon and you have 1/4 cup in your sauce recipe. Can you please tell me how I can drastically cut down the salt in the recipe?
    Many thanks,

  4. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe and it’s really good. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to try the recipe.

  5. 1 star
    OMG soooo salty. We did not care for this at all.. Usually love your recipes but will not be making this again. Followed the recipe exactly.

  6. 5 stars
    Best Stir-fry Sauce EVER!! I can’t even explain how amazing it is!! We’re in love. I used to make stir fry often but couldn’t find a sauce I liked that wasn’t full of sugars.

    Just another reason why I almost exclusively use Michelle’s cookbooks! Buy them all !

  7. I cannot use orange (or any other kind of fruit except lemon/lime) juice, nor the fish sauce. What can I substitute? Thank you.

    1. I haven’t tried one. You may need to play around with the amount of coconut aminos or add a keto-sweetener to balance the tartness.

  8. 5 stars
    I love this sauce! For me, it is the perfect balance of savory and sweet. It is a great building block to have on hand and it works particularly well with Michelle ‘s sheetpan stirfry recipes. It is also a good base for an Asian inspired salad dressing. I prefer it with pineapple juice but orange is good too.

  9. 5 stars
    I have all your books! This is a great recipe so easy and flavorful! I love having it in the fridge to use all the time. Thanks for all your great ideas!