This Easy Low Sodium Stir Fry Sauce Recipe Will Change Your Cooking Game

low sodium stir fry sauce

According to Jeff, “Making your own low-sodium stir-fry sauce is easy and allows you to control exactly what goes into it.”

With just basic pantry staples like soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic and ginger, you can create a flavorful stir-fry sauce without the high sodium of store-bought varieties. 

By using low-sodium soy sauce and broth along with a coinrch slurry, your sauce will taste great while being easy on your sodium intake. 

Keep reading to get a simple and delicious recipe you can feel good about!

Key Takeaway

  • Combine 1/3 cup water, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a small bowl. Whisk until cornstarch is fully dissolved.
  • Add 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional), and 1/4 teaspoon sugar to the sauce. Whisk to combine.
  • Pour sauce into a hot wok or skillet with your stir fried veggies and protein. Toss to coat and continue cooking 1-2 more minutes until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and serve over rice or noodles.

The Basics of a Great Low-Sodium Stir Fry Sauce

Creating delicious low-sodium stir fry sauces is easier than you may think. After trying numerous recipes over the years, I’ve discovered a few secrets to achieving maximum flavor with minimal sodium. The key is finding the right balance of ingredients.

As a kid, I really enjoyed takeout stir fries but noticed they tended to be very salty. That got me interested in learning how to make healthy stir fry homemade versions. 

Now I enjoy experimenting with different combinations in my own kitchen. Perhaps some of the techniques I’ve picked up can help you on your flavorful, low-sodium journey too!

Key Ingredients

Low-Sodium Soy Sauce or Substitute and Broth (Low-Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Broth) are crucial for creating sauces that maximize flavor while minimizing sodium (1).

Low-Sodium Soy Sauce or SubstituteProvides savory umami flavor as the foundation.
Broth (Low-Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Broth)Adds body and depth while complementing other ingredients.

Flavor Boosters

Certain ingredients like vinegar, sweetener, sesame oil, fresh garlic, and fresh ginger boost the overall flavor profile in unique ways.

Vinegar (Rice or Lime Vinegar)Balances flavors with a touch of acidity.
Sweetener (Sugar, Honey, Maple Syrup)Rounds out the flavor with a hint of natural sweetness.
Sesame OilImparts a rich nutty aroma and depth.
Garlic & GingerFreshly minced adds brightness when compared to jarred options.
Spices (Red Pepper Flakes, Black Pepper, Sriracha)Can introduce heat depending on individual preference.

Thickening Agents

A Cornstarch Slurry acts as a thickening agent to allow the sauce to better coat stir-fry ingredients.

Cornstarch SlurryA mixture of cornstarch and water that thickens the sauce.

Tips for Success

Fine-tuning recipes means following best practices for getting the most flavor.

  • Adjust Flavors to Taste: Start with a base recipe then customize seasoning levels.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Particularly for garlic and ginger which impart vibrant flavors.
  • Be Creative: Experiment with different herbs, citrus, or specialty ingredients like hoisin sauce.
  • Store Leftovers Properly: Seal in an airtight container and refrigerate.

After years of experimenting with various ingredients, I’ve learned balance is key for a truly delicious low-sodium stir-fry sauce. Let’s explore some specific recipes that exemplify these techniques.

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Credit : Chef McNamara

Simple 5-Minute Stir Fry Sauce

Stir fries are a great way to enjoy fresh veggies and protein in a quick, flavorful meal. Let’s dive into a simple base recipe for a delicious stir fry sauce that can be whipped up in just 5 minutes.


The ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or honey
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch slurry (2 tablespoons cornstarch + 4 tablespoons water)


  1. In a measuring cup, combine the low-sodium soy sauce, vegetable broth, rice vinegar, and sesame oil.
  2. Add in the finely minced garlic and grated ginger.
  3. Stir in the sugar or honey until well combined.
  4. Finally, whisk in the cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce.

Adjusting the Sauce

After years of trying out these things, I’ve found a few tips to make your stir fry sauce even better:

  • For a sweeter sauce, add an extra tablespoon or two of sugar or honey.
  • If you prefer a thicker sauce for coating your good stir fry ingredients, whisk in an additional cornstarch slurry.
  • For a touch of heat, add 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes or a dash of sriracha.

With this base recipe, you can easily create a delicious stir fry sauce in no time. Get those fresh veggies and proteins ready, and let’s start stir frying!

Easy Plant-Based Stir Fry Sauce

low sodium stir fry sauce

Craving a flavorful stir fry but want to keep it plant-based? Look no further! This easy stir fry sauce recipe is not only delicious but also vegan-friendly. Let’s get cooking!


Gather these simple ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari), vegetable broth, rice vinegar, and lime juice.
  2. Add the maple syrup and grated ginger, whisking to combine.
  3. In a separate small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water to create a slurry.
  4. Slowly whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce mixture until well combined.

Distinct Flavor Profile

This plant-based stir fry sauce has a distinct flavor profile that sets it apart:

  • A touch of lime juice adds a bright, tangy note.
  • Maple syrup provides a subtle, natural sweetness.
  • Ginger brings a warm, slightly spicy kick.

With these flavors mingling together, you’ll have a delicious sauce that perfectly coats your stir fry ingredients like vegetables, tofu, or plant-based protein.

Cooking up a healthy, flavorful vegetable stir fry has never been easier! Give this simple sauce recipe a try for a satisfying plant-based meal in a large skillet.

Basic Low-Sodium Sauce

Watching your sodium intake doesn’t mean you have to compromise on flavor when it comes to stir-fries. This basic low-sodium sauce recipe is quick, easy, and packed with deliciousness!

Key Points

  • Use a low-sodium soy sauce substitute like coconut aminos or tamari to control the salt content.
  • Combine the soy sauce substitute with broth or water to create the desired volume and consistency.
  • Adjust the amount of soy sauce substitute according to your taste preferences.


Gather these simple ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce substitute
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or lime juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar (or honey/maple syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


  1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the low-sodium soy sauce substitute and broth/water. Mix well.
  2. Add the vinegar/lime juice, sugar, sesame oil, red pepper flakes (if using), and minced garlic.
  3. Whisk everything together until the sugar dissolves and the sauce is well combined.

That’s it! You now have a flavorful, homemade sauce for your healthy stir fry that’s low in sodium.

After years of trying out these things, I’ve found that this basic recipe is incredibly versatile. You can easily adjust the flavors to your liking by increasing or decreasing the soy sauce substitute, sweetener, or vinegar. 

A sprinkle of ginger or a dash of sriracha can also add an extra kick. With this quick and easy sauce, you’ll have a delicious low-sodium option for all your stir-fried veggies, proteins, and more. Enjoy a cup of flavor without worrying about excess sodium!

Less Commonly Used but Beneficial Ingredients

While the basic ingredients for a stir-fry sauce are pretty straightforward, there are a few less commonly used but incredibly beneficial additions that can take your sauce to the next level. Let’s explore them!

Hoisin Sauce

  • A thick, fragrant sauce made from soybeans, garlic, and spices
  • Adds a lovely sweet and salty umami punch to stir-fry sauces
  • Just a tablespoon or two can deepen the flavor profile beautifully

Citrus Juices

  • Fresh citrus juices like lemon, lime, or orange can brighten up a sauce
  • Their tartness helps cut through richness and adds a vibrant pop of flavor
  • Use just a squeeze or two to avoid overpowering the other flavors


  1. This Thai hot sauce brings the heat in a deliciously garlicky way
  2. Start with just a teaspoon and increase to your desired spice level
  3. Sriracha adds complexity and a touch of tanginess to stir-fry sauces

Fresh Herbs

  • Don’t underestimate the power of fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, or mint
  • They can add a fresh, herbaceous note that complements the other flavors
  • Finely chop and stir them in just before serving for maximum aroma

After years of trying out these things, I’ve found that these less common ingredients can truly elevate a simple stir-fry sauce. A dash of hoisin, a squeeze of citrus, a drizzle of sriracha, or a sprinkle of fresh herbs can make all the difference in taking your dish from good to great.


What ingredients are commonly used in low-sodium stir-fry sauce recipes?

Low-sodium stir-fry sauce recipes typically include ingredients like low-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos, rice wine or rice vinegar, garlic ginger, chicken broth or beef broth, and a sweetener like brown sugar or maple syrup. 

Other common additions are corn starch for thickening, minced garlic, and chili flakes for a little heat.

Can I use store-bought teriyaki sauce for a stir-fry?

While store-bought teriyaki sauce can be used in a stir-fry, it’s often high in sodium. It’s best to make your own simple recipe using low-sodium ingredients to control the salt content. Homemade sauces also allow you to adjust the flavors to your liking.

What vegetables are good for a low-sodium stir-fry?

Bok choy, bell peppers, snap peas or snow peas, and broccoli are all excellent vegetable options for a low-sodium stir-fry (2). They’re packed with nutrients and their fresh flavors pair well with the sauce.

How do I thicken a low-sodium stir-fry sauce?

A common way to thicken a stir-fry sauce is by making a slurry with corn starch or arrowroot powder and cold water. Whisk the slurry into the sauce in a small saucepan and let it simmer until it reaches your desired consistency.

Can I make a large batch of low-sodium stir-fry sauce and store it?

Yes, you can make a bigger batch of the sauce and store it in an airtight container like a mason jar in the refrigerator for later use. Just shake well before using it for your next stir-fry.

How much sauce should I use for a stir-fry?

The amount of sauce you’ll need depends on the quantity of ingredients you’re stir-frying. A good rule of thumb is to have about a cup of sauce for every pound of protein and vegetables combined. You can always add more sauce if needed.

What can I serve with a low-sodium stir-fry?

Low-sodium stir-fries pair well with rice or noodles. They also make a good easy weeknight meal on their own, especially when served with a side of your favorite stir-fry vegetables.


After years of trying these things, I’ve found making a delicious, low-sodium stir fry sauce at home is easy with just a few simple ingredients like low-sodium soy sauce, broth, vinegar, and a touch of sweetener. 

Customize flavors by adjusting amounts or adding chili flakes, garlic ginger, or a cornstarch slurry. No need for sodium-laden store-bought options!

It’s a simple recipe even a fifth-grader could master, and the satisfaction of creating a healthy meal from scratch is worth it. Have you made your own low-sodium stir fry sauce? 

What’s your favorite combination of ingredients and flavors? Share your tips and experiences in the comments! The more we share tasty, good-for-you recipes, the better.



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