How to Thicken Stir Fry Sauce?

Do you love to stir fry sauce but hate how thin it is? Fear not. This blog post will teach you how to thicken your sauce in just a few simple steps.

Stir fry sauces are a great way to add flavor and moisture to your dish, but they can often be too thin. By thickening the sauce, you’ll be able to enjoy a more flavorful and satisfying meal. So let’s get started.

How Do You Thicken Stir Fry Sauce?

There are many ways to make your stir fry sauce thicker. For example, you could use cornstarch to thicken it instead of flour or oil. If you are making a roux with beef and mushrooms, cornstarch will help keep the sauce too watery.

You could also add parmesan cheese to the dish before eating it. But be careful if someone is allergic to dairy products because you could use soy milk instead.

Method 1: The Cornstarch Slurry

Stir Fry Cornstarch Slurry

It’s about to be revealed, the tried-and-true technique for thickening your stir fry sauce. You may have seen this technique used by Chinese take-out restaurants near you or even at home with that meal delivery service from Amazon Prime.

Mise En Place

When cooking, it is important to have everything in its place. I think mixing in place may help you cook more efficiently at home. This is especially important for tasks that require a lot of work, like making a stir fry sauce or thickening a dish.

You will want all of your ingredients ready to go before cooking things like garlic cloves, mushrooms, peppers, and chicken breasts. This will help you avoid burning any ingredients while you wait.

Get Cooking

Once you have your mise en place, it’s time to get cooking. This is the fun part.

You want a hot wok or skillet and high heat for stir-frying, so make sure your pan is preheated before adding oil. Before adding your aromatics and vegetables, the oil should glisten and almost smoke.

If you’re using a tougher cut of meat, like flank steak, then you’ll want to brown it first in the pan before adding your aromatics and vegetables. The beef can take longer to cook than other ingredients, so giving it an extra head start will help everything finish cooking simultaneously.

Once the meat is browned, add your aromatics and vegetables. Cook the aromatics and vegetables until fragrant and beginning to soften, then add your sauce. I like to use a lot of garlic and ginger in my stir-fries, but you can use less if you prefer.


After the protein and vegetables have been cooked, add the sauce to the pan. Bring it to a simmer for a minute or two. At this point, you’ll want to start stirring your ingredients around to coat everything with that delicious sauce.


Now it’s time to add your cornstarch slurry. Stir the sauce until the slurry is thoroughly mixed in and has thickened up. This should only take a minute or two.

Remove from heat and serve.

Method 2: The Built-In Slurry

Stir Fry Built In Slurry

If you’re using a saute pan to stir fry, there’s a good chance it has a lid. And that means you can make your slurry without any extra steps or equipment.

Just mix cornstarch and water in a ratio of about two tablespoons cornstarch per cup of water. Then, add it to your stir fry sauce just like you would a standard slurry.

Instead of stirring and cooking the slurry over high heat, simply bring your whole pan to a simmer with the lid on. Then turn off the heat and let everything sit for about five minutes before serving.

Just remember, you won’t be able to see what’s happening, so keep a close eye on it and make sure the heat doesn’t come back up too much.

Method 3: The Next Level Slurry

Stir fry Next Level Slurry

If you really want to take your stir fry game up a notch, try using a combination of methods one and two.

That way, you’ll get the benefits of both worlds—a thick and glossy sauce with no lumps.

To do this, start by making a regular cornstarch slurry in step one. Then, follow the exact instructions in method two to make your built-in slurry.

Finally, pour both mixtures into your sauce just before adding it to your stir fry and toss everything together until well combined.

It may seem like overkill, but if you’re looking for a perfect pan of takeout-style chicken broccoli or beef and broccoli, then this is the way to go.

How Do You Use Stir Fry Sauce??

Adding Sauce to Stir Fry

Stir fry sauce can be used in various ways, but it’s most commonly used as a marinade or condiment for stir-fries.

You can also use it as a dipping sauce for egg rolls, potstickers, and other appetizers.

Or, if you want to get really creative, you can use it as a base for other sauces.

For example, you could make a sweet and sour sauce by adding some sugar, vinegar, and ketchup to your stir fry sauce. Or, you could make a peanut sauce by adding some peanut butter, soy sauce, and chili paste. The possibilities are endless.

Thickening Stir Fry Sauce Without Cornstarch

Stir Fry

If you don’t have any cornstarch on hand, or if you’re looking for a way to thicken your stir fry sauce without it, there are a few other methods you can try.

One option is to use some of the cooking liquid from your stir fry as a slurry. Simply mix about one tablespoon of cooking liquid and one teaspoon of cornstarch in a small bowl. Then add it to your stir fry and the rest of your ingredients and cook until thickened.

You can also try mixing equal parts flour, starch, or arrowroot powder with water as an alternative to using cornstarch. Just be sure not to add too much of these ingredients, as they can quickly make your sauce too thick.

If all else fails and you still need to thicken up your stir fry sauce without cornstarch, try adding some flour or starch directly into the pan while cooking over high heat. You’ll want to be careful not to burn it (or yourself.), but this should do the trick.

I'm Samantha, the proud founder and heart of With over ten years in the kitchen appliances and cookware sector, I bring a treasure trove of experience to our loyal readers. Beyond just offering professional advice, I am an enthusiastic cook, always ready to share delightful recipes and handy kitchen tips with you.

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