I Tried Every “How to Make Low Sodium Stir Fry Sauce” Recipe Online, This Is the Only One You Need

how to make low sodium stir fry sauce

According to chef Marco, making low sodium stir fry sauce at home is simple when you balance flavor without excess salt. 

Use reduced sodium soy sauce and rice vinegar for acidity. Mix it all together and thicken it with cornstarch. But is it really that easy? 

Keep reading to learn method for preparing healthy, delicious sauce with tips for balancing flavors minus salt. 

You’ll also find the one key step many miss that could ruin the whole batch if not done properly.

Key Takeaway

  • Use low or no sodium ingredients. Swap regular soy sauce for a reduced sodium variety. Replace full sodium broth with low-sodium or no-salt broth.
  • Thicken it naturally without salt. Dissolve cornstarch in water before adding to the sauce to create a thick coating. Bring it to a boil to fully activate the thickening power of the cornstarch.
  • Balance flavor in other ways. Add acid using rice vinegar, white vinegar or lemon juice. Then balance it out with natural sweetness from brown sugar or honey. Omit or reduce salt and enhance flavor with fresh garlic, ginger and other aromatics.

The 3 Key Methods for Creating a Low Sodium Stir Fry Sauce

Method 1: Using Low or No Sodium Ingredients

Sodium reduced soy sauceUsed as a flavorful base. Look for versions with 50% less sodium than regular soy sauce.
No-salt or low-sodium brothAdds savory depth without extra sodium. Beef, vegetable or chicken broth all work well.
Omit salt from other ingredientsWhen following a recipe, omit any ingredients like salt or premixed sauces that are high in sodium.

After years of experimenting in my home kitchen, I found that simply swapping out regular soy sauce and broth for lower sodium options makes a big difference in the overall salt content without compromising taste. 

The trick is to lean on other flavorful ingredients like rice vinegar and fresh aromatics.

Method 2: Balance Flavor with Acid and Sweetness

Acidic IngredientsPurpose
Rice vinegar or lemon juiceProvide bright acidity to balance the flavors.
Sweet IngredientsPurpose
Brown sugar or honeyRound out the flavors with natural sweetness.

I know that balancing acid, salt and sweetness is key in any tasty sauce. Adding herbs, spices and other aromats also lifts flavors naturally. 

By incorporating rice vinegar or citrus alongside a touch of honey or brown sugar, you satisfy both the savory and sweet tastes without excess salt.

Method 3: Thicken with Cornstarch or Arrowroot Powder

Thickening AgentsInstructions
Cornstarch or arrowroot powderDissolve the starch in water to form a slurry before adding to saucepan.
Bring sauce to a boilWhisking constantly, bring sauce to a full boil to fully activate the thickening power of the starch.

Through practice, I learned that thickening low-sodium sauces requires a light hand with starch. Be sure to dissolve it first in water to avoid lumps. 

Then a quick boil enhances texture without extra sodium. Adjusting the amount of slurry controls sauce consistency perfectly for any stir-fry recipe.

Detailed Low Sodium Stir Fry Sauce Recipes

Easy 5-Minute Stir Fry Sauce

Low sodium soy sauce2 tbsp
Rice vinegar1 tbsp
Minced garlic1 clove
Grated ginger1/2 tsp
Vegetable stock1/4 cup
  1. In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients.
  2. Heat over medium, stirring occasionally, until simmering.
  3. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until thickened slightly.
  4. Remove from heat. Quick and versatile sauce ready in minutes.

Easy Stir-Fry Sauce – Skip The Salt

Cornstarch3 tbsp
Brown sugar1/4 cup
Minced ginger1/4 tsp
Minced garlic2 cloves
Reduced sodium soy sauce1/2 cup
Rice vinegar1/4 cup
Water1/2 cup
Low-sodium broth1 1/2 cups
  1. Combine all ingredients in a jar.
  2. Seal and shake vigorously until well blended.
  3. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Shake before each use.
  4. Add an amount to pan based on recipe once aromatics are cooked.

Low Sodium Chinese-Style Sauce

Cornstarch2 tsp
Water1 tbsp
Soy sauce substitute1/4 cup
  1. In bowl, dissolve cornstarch in water to form a slurry.
  2. Add soy sauce substitute and whisk until smooth.
  3. Transfer to saucepan and heat, whisking constantly, until thickened.
  4. Total sodium per 1/2 cup serving is just 20mg.
YouTube video

Credit : Chef McNamara

Tips for Adjusting Recipes and Choosing Ingredients

how to make low sodium stir fry sauce

Swap regular soy sauce for reduced sodium

Look for soy sauce labeled “reduced sodium” containing around 40% less sodium than the regular variety (1). This is an easy swap that cuts significant sodium.

Use low-sodium broth instead of regular

Whether chicken, vegetable or beef broth, opting for low-sodium or no-salt options avoids adding extra milligrams in each serving.

Vary vinegars like rice, white or balsamic

Experimenting with different acidity levels adds nuanced flavor. Rice vinegar provides subtle aroma while balsamic adds richness (2).

Add fresh herbs like thyme, basil or cilantro

Herbs like basil or cilantro uplift flavors without sodium (3). Dried herbs work too for convenience.

Adjust sweetener amount to taste

Reduce sugar gradually to find your preferred balance of flavors. Start with 1 tbsp honey or brown sugar and increase incrementally (4).

With a few simple adjustments like these, you can customize low-sodium sauces to perfectly suit various tastes without missing out on taste. Taking time to understand flavor profiles through experimentation yields rewards.


Creating delicious low-sodium stir fry sauces is really quite simple once you understand a few basics. 

The keys are swapping out regular soy sauce and salt for lower-sodium options, and balancing flavors naturally with ingredients like rice vinegar, fresh aromatics and a touch of sweetness. 

Although it may seem daunting to make your own sauce, these recipes show just how easy and quick it can be with great results.

More than anything, I hope sharing my experience inspires others to take control of what goes into their meals. 

You don’t need to rely on store-bought sauces loaded with extra sodium and sugar. With minor adjustments, you can savor all the taste minus the worry. 

I’d love to hear from anyone who gives these sauces a try. What proteins and vegetables did you use? 

What herbs or spices did you experiment with? Let me know how your little kitchen experiments turn out!


  1. https://kikkomanusa.com/homecooks/products/less-sodium-soy-sauce/
  2. https://int.japanesetaste.com/blogs/japanese-taste-blog/everything-you-need-to-know-about-rice-vinegar-and-how-to-use-it?region=int&country=id
  3. https://www.savorysuitcase.com/the-sensory-experience-of-basil-aroma-and-taste/
  4. https://foodhow.com/brown-sugar-vs-honey/

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