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A Veggie Stir-Fry Sauce Recipe To Please Even Picky Eaters

Updated on October 12, 2012

Garlic, Ginger, Onion - Sour and Sweet - A Stir Fry Sauce that Will Make Even Picky Eaters Want To Eat Their Veggies

A simple stir fry sauce, ready to go.
A simple stir fry sauce, ready to go. | Source

How To Get Your Grown Daughter To Eat Her Vegetables

We all know a picky veggie eater or two. My daughter happens to be one of them. She’s definitely picky about which vegetables she will or will not eat. You need to know that my daughter is an adult, not a youngster, and when we share meals I make it a point to include foods I like as well as foods she likes, although I never did and never will prepare a separate meal for her.

The other day I found beautiful zucchinis, squashes, red bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, and scallions in the market and decided to make a veggie stir fry. I like all of these vegetables; she likes only a few. So, I figured she’d sit down to the finished stir fry and pick out whatever veggies she didn't like, and that would be that.

Much to my surprise, she finished everything on her plate. She pushed no squash, red bell pepper, or scallion slices to the side of the plate. Instead, her plate was empty. Then she went back for seconds.

After dinner, my daughter asked if I’d be writing an article featuring this recipe. I said, no, since there are a couple of million stir fry recipes on the net, not to mention the ones on HubPages. Who needs another one?

She said, “Maybe no one needs another whole stir fry recipe, but picky veggie eaters’ moms and dads need the recipe for your stir fry sauce.” So here we go.

Here Is What My Daughter Had To Say about the Stir Fry Veggies We Shared

The sauce was sweet and rich without being salty, and thick without being heavy. It was such a good companion for the veggies that I got the impression of, ‘Mmmm! A bit of pepper in my noodles,’ instead of, ‘Sigh, a whole big pepper in my noodles.’

The peppers and carrots were crunchy, the squashes firm. The noodle texture was perfect. Creamy and filling.

In case you didn’t notice, Mom, I actually had noodles left over. That’s never happened before. I didn’t need to chop up the veggies into small pieces and hide them in big noodle clumps.

Ingredients for the Stir Fry Sauce

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 Tablespoon minced red onion

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 Tablespoon Teriyaki sauce

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 Teaspoons prepared mustard

2 Teaspoons agave syrup or 1 Tablespoon honey

1-1/2 Teaspoons cornstarch

1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns

1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. That's it!

Suggestions and Tips for Using Your Stir Fry Sauce

My stir fry sauce isn't just for enhancing a stir-fried dish. You can use it as a marinade or as a dip as well. Here are some suggestions for using my stir fry sauce, starting with that veggie stir fry that turned my picky eater into a veggie hound.

Vegetarian Stir Fry

The beauty of a stir fry is that almost anything goes. I like to take advantage of whatever vegetables are fresh in season. Spring stir fries will showcase sugar snaps, snow peas, radishes, baby carrots, and spring onions. Summer dishes will feature bell peppers, carrots, and summer squashes, while autumn and winter stir fries will have their unique characteristics.

The Veggies

For this amount of stir fry sauce, you want a total of 6 cups of loosely packed sliced vegetables. Here are some of my favorite late summer veggies. Not only are they delicious and good for you, the red, yellow, and green colors make a beautiful presentation. By all means, experiment with the vegetables you prefer.

  • Zucchini
  • Yellow squash
  • Carrots
  • Sweet red bell pepper
  • Mushrooms
  • Green onions (scallions)
  • Broccoli florets (blanched)

Fresh vegetables in a French farmer's market.
Fresh vegetables in a French farmer's market. | Source

Wash, drain, trim, and thinly slice the vegetables. Break the blanched broccoli florets into small pieces. Toss all the veggies lightly together in a large bowl and set aside until ready to fry.

Stir Fry Method

The Basic Stir Fry Steps

Following are the bare-bones steps to cooking a vegetable stir fry. For detailed and interesting information about every step of the stir-fry process, see the video to the right.

  • Heat a wok or large fry pan on high until hot.
  • Add the oil for frying.
  • When the oil is hot, add the prepared fresh vegetables, longest-cooking first, shortest-cooking last.
  • Stir or toss the vegetables every few seconds for two to three minutes or until crisp-tender.
  • Add the stir-fry sauce to the contents of the pan and stir or toss to heat the sauce through and coat the pan contents evenly.

Pad Thai rice noodles have become our favorite bed for this delicious stir fry.
Pad Thai rice noodles have become our favorite bed for this delicious stir fry. | Source

Experiment with Rice, Rice Noodles, and Pasta

You can use almost any kind of rice or noodle as a bed for the stir-fried vegetables. White rice, brown rice, rice noodles, and even pasta are all good choices. Just follow the package instructions for cooking the rice or noodles and then, while they are still warm, top with the finished stir fry.

The noodles my daughter mentioned were white rice noodles. Rice noodles, also often called Pad Thai noodles, either white or brown, have become my favorite for a stir fry bed. They are gluten-free, consisting only of rice flour and water. At about 100 calories and less than a gram of fat per ounce of dry product, rice noodles are sensible and satisfying. When cooked according to package instructions, they have a soft, silky texture without being mushy. However, rice noodles can be hard to find in neighborhood grocery stores, even in the giant chain stores. You may want to consider buying rice noodles in bulk online. Here are some options.

Use the Stir Fry Sauce as a Marinade

Give your chicken, beef, or pork dishes a bright taste kick by marinating the pieces in the stir fry sauce for a few hours in the refrigerator. After marinating, pan fry in a bit of olive or vegetable oil, or oven bake. Discard the left-over sauce.

Use the Sauce as a Dip

When serving Chinese spring rolls, steamed dumplings, scallion breads, and crispy noodles, add my stir fry sauce to the array of sauces you might serve with these dishes. To use as a dip, heat the stir fry sauce to boiling, simmer for a few minutes to thicken, and allow it to cool down to room temperature before spooning out into a small dipping dish.

What Do You Think?

Please leave a comment below to join the discussion on this article and share your thoughts. Let me and other members of the HubPages community know what you think.

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© 2012 Sally's Trove. All rights reserved.


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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      What a delicious recipe that I would love to try. Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe. Voted up for useful!

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 

      4 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      What a great recipe. I've printed it out to try it out tonight. I will now read some of your other hubs. Glad to have found you. Voted thumbs up.

    • DreamerMeg profile image


      5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      MMMM I feel hungry just reading through it. Must try this.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hi Sally - Just wanted you to know I've been making this recipe for my stir-fry and love it! I even drizzled some on my mashed potatoes :)

      So glad I came across this many months ago. :)

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Another winner, by the sound of this. Also, by making it yourself, you control the salt content. Most commercial stir-fry sauces are so high in sodium, and with my husband on a very salt-restricted diet, it can be a challenge.

      Voted up, across and re-pinned!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 years ago from Dubai

      A delicious recipe, easy to make too. Thank you for sharing.

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      vocalcoach, you can come back as many times as you like! I very much enjoy your writings, too. :)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I hope you don't mind that I came back again to have a look at this great and delicious hub. I'm about to embark on your stir fry sauce I want to get it just right. I had to re-read what your daughter had to say also. So cute. While I was here I scanned your other hubs and saved them to read at various times throughout the week.

      You're such an accomplished writer! Sharing.

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Thanks, carol7777. This one's a winner. Enjoy!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Looks delicious and sounds good also. We eat a lot of vegetables and I am always looking for something new and creative. Excellent. Voted UP.

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Tony, you are so welcome. Enjoy!

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Yum! Will try it out soon. Thanks for sharing this great recipe.

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      tillsontitan, thanks so much for your awesome comment. We are gluten-free here, so I see you appreciate what's going on! Even for those who have no gluten intolerance, rice noodles are a delicious, low-calorie carb. In the US, they are not so popular, but that's just because folks don't know about them. We all grew up with white flour! I hope you try this stir fry sauce soon. :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      A great recipe that even a gluten free diet can have (I love that you put it over rice noodles)....and a way to get everyone to eat their veggies...pure genius! Also very creative since it adapts to so many things.

      Voted up, VERY useful, and interesting.

    • Charu Bhatnagar profile image

      Charu Bhatnagar 

      6 years ago from India


    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      vocalcoach, yours are mighty words! I'm not a vegetarian or vegan (I do like my meat, although for the last year I've had pitifully little of it), but I do like this stir fry sauce a lot. Think I'll marinate some chicken in it some time soon. :)

      I do think this is one of those transforming additions, or complements, to foods...everything this sauce gets added to seems to spark up, to the point, as with my picky grown child, things that weren't palatable now are.

      Enjoy! And let us know what you think after you've made it. :)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Glory be! A recipe for me. Being a vegetarian I'm always hoping to find a new, delicious sauce for my veggies. Oh thank you! This is perfect. Can't wait to try it. Seriously - I'm so indebted to you. Up and across (not funny) and will share.

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Trish, I definitely will add it to the menu when you come to visit. You will LOVE the rice noodles.

      I think you can add any vegetable you want to a stir fry or use this sauce on just about anything. Your granddaughter will have a ball with this! Thanks for the good words, my dear friend.

    • trish1048 profile image


      6 years ago

      Well, this sounds lovely! You can add this to the menu when I come for a visit :)

      I'm wondering how this would taste with brussel sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli :) It also sounds like a lot of fun to put together. I believe my granddaughter would love to help with this!

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      TY, Deb. This is a winner sauce. :) Your garden veggies will be wearing happy faces.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      This sounds like a great way to use all those fresh veggies I have in the garden. I'm going to print this recipe and hang it on the refrigerator!

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      LOL about the zucchini. I'd LOVE some! I take it you are going to be stir frying a good amount of zucchini this summer. :) Thanks for the neat comment, moonlake.

    • moonlake profile image


      6 years ago from America

      I love stir fry and this sauce sounds great. Wish I could give you some of my zucchini. We have them coming out our ears. Voted up and pin it.

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Nell, I know what you mean about foods we like getting forgotten. Over the last year I've been going through some old, old favorites and resurrecting a few, like this stir fry. I hope you enjoy it!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      I haven't had stirfry for years! now I really must try it, the sauce sounds delicious, its one of those meals that gets forgotten then I wonder why it has! lol!

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      You know I had you in mind, drbj. :) Say, if my daughter will eat her veggies with this sauce, you can do it!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      I AM a picky eater, Sally, so a new stir fry sauce appeals to me. Will certainly give it a try. Thank you for thinking of me. :)

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Om Paramapoonya, I'm sure you are not a picky eater. I'm glad you like this idea, because you know food. Thanks so much for your good words. :)

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 

      6 years ago

      Nice recipe. I like any sauce with garlic, ginger and sesame oil in it! So I'll give this a try for sure :)

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      You are so right, randomcreative. These ingredients are mostly on hand. Who doesn't have a bottle of soy sauce hanging out in the fridge, and some prepared mustard? The hard part might be the fresh ginger, but ground ginger would be an OK substitute in a pinch.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I love how this recipe is made up almost exclusively of ingredients that most people keep on hand or can easily acquire. This sounds delicious and versatile!

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Arlene V. Poma, I hear you! You have a lot of company when it comes to not preferring veggies, or even wanting to eat them at all. The cool thing about this recipe is that my veggie-phobic daughter dug in. There's something about the sauce ingredients that, in rebeccamealey's words, "...seem like they would really compliment each other." And they do, I guess to the point where they complement veggies, too, and make them a happy melded taste sensation.

      I hope you try this sauce and let us know what you think. BTY, remember that it's great for marinating meats and dipping all kinds of other things into.

      Thanks for your comment. :)

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      @rebeccamealey, I love red onions, too. They have a completely different taste from any other kind of onion and they are quite beautiful. I hope you give this stir fry sauce a try soon.

      @billybuc, tsk, tsk, so you are a picky eater. Why don't YOU make it and share it with Bev? There's nothing to it but chopping up a few things and adding stuff out of jars. I'd be pleased as punch if my partner did this for me. :)

      @urmilashukla23 and HouseBuyersUS, TY for the votes and good words. Hope you make it and let us know what you think.

    • profile image

      Arlene V. Poma 

      6 years ago

      My dad was a carnivore who ate nothing but meat and sweets like glazed twist doughnuts. Unfortunately, I still have problems when it comes to eating vegetables (unless I am in a social situation). LOL! I will eat stir fry dishes and dips, though. I appreciate your recipe, and I will sure give it a try!

    • urmilashukla23 profile image


      6 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      Great recipe for stir fry sauce. We definitely have to try this one. Thanks for sharing it. Voted up!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I saw the reference to picky eaters and knew you had to be writing to me. LOL....I will give it a try...already passed it on to Bev who tells me we will be having it soon. In other words, well done Sherri!

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Josh3418, I was delighted by your comment. If you are a picky eater, like my daughter, and found something interesting here, I have great hope for your trying new things. lol Maybe you will make this sauce. It's good for dipping things into other than veggies. :)

    • Sally's Trove profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Just Ask Susan, thanks so much for the pinning and voting and sharing. Glad you found the hummus for garlic lovers and hope you try that soon. :)

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Oh my, that looks and sounds like a great sauce for stir fry. Those ingredients seem like they would really compliment each other. I love red onions, anyway.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania


      I have to say that I loved your choice of title, for I am just like your daughter, a picky eater! LOL

      This sauce looks so delicious, thanks for sharing Sherri!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Your stir-fry sauce sounds very tasty. We do eat stir-fry quite a bit at my house and I'll try your sauce next time I make it. I just spotted above another of your recipes that sounds really good "Hummus For Garlic Lovers" ... so off to read that one now.

      Pinning voting and sharing.


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