Chinese garlic sauce is packed with flavors and has a perfect combination of salty, spicy, and slightly sweet flavors. This is an all-purpose stir-fry sauce that can be added to veggies, chicken, or shrimp. It can also serve as a dipping sauce for dumplings, egg rolls, and more.
Why you’ll love this Chinese garlic sauce
- Packed with flavors. This garlic sauce is garlicky, salty, a little bit of heat, and slightly sweet.
- All-purpose stir-fry sauce or dipping sauce. A savory sauce that you can add to veggies, meat, rice, and noodles. A quick stir fry of veggies in a wok and finish off by tossing everything in this amazing sauce, serve over a bowl of rice, healthy dinner sorted in minutes. You can also use this sauce over stir-fried chicken or shrimp, serve with rice or noodles. It can also serve as a dipping sauce for dumplings, egg rolls, and more.
- Healthier than take-out. Homemade is always healthy and better than takeout versions. There is no MSG no artificial flavorings and taste enhancers used. Less oil and using low-sodium soy sauce make it better.
- Quick and easy to make. The sauce needs easily available pantry ingredients and takes hardly 10 minutes to make it. It’s versatile too. You can adjust the flavors per your taste.
Here’s what you’ll need-
- Canola oil
- Chicken stock or vegetable stock
- Low-sodium soy sauce
- Rice vinegar
- Chili sauce (any Asian chili sauce)
- Brown sugar
- Green onions (optional)
- Toasted sesame oil
All the ingredient’s exact measurements in mentioned in the recipe card below.
Ingredients notes and substitutes
- Garlic – fresh garlic is highly recommended.
- Ginger – fresh ginger is highly recommended. Makes the sauce brighter.
- Soy sauce – use low-sodium soy sauce. You can substitute soy sauce with tamari or coconut aminos. Adds umami savory flavor.
- Rice vinegar – rice vinegar or rice wine vinegar both works. Adds a hint of tang to the sauce.
- Chili sauce – I like to use Asian chili sauce like sweet chili sauce or schezwan sauce for garlic sauce recipes. Feel free to use other hot sauces like sriracha. Adds kick to the sauce, feel free to adjust the amount of chili sauce depending on your spice tolerance levels.
- Red chili flakes – to make the sauce even more spicier.
- Brown sugar – you can also use maple syrup or white granular sugar. Helps balance the saltiness and spice of the sauce.
- Chicken stock – feel free to substitute with vegetable stock or water. Using stock makes the sauce more flavorful and tasty.
- Toasted sesame oil – adds incredible smoky flavor and taste. Sesame oil is great in Asian recipes.
- Green onion (optional) – added for aroma and hint of freshness. It’s optional, feel free to skip this.
- Cornstarch slurry – thickens the sauce. Cornstarch can be substituted with arrowroot powder.
How to make Chinese garlic sauce
Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl- chicken stock, low-sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili sauce, red chili flakes, brown sugar, green onion (optional), and toasted sesame oil. Keep aside.
In a saucepan heat canola oil. Sauté minced garlic and ginger in hot oil until fragrant, about 30 to 60 seconds.
Pour the prepared sauce into the pan, and with constant stirring bring the sauce to a boil. Then let it simmer on low heat for another minute.
Meanwhile, make cornstarch slurry by mixing water and cornstarch until no lumps are left.
Pour the slurry into the sauce.
Bring the mixture to a boil with constant stirring, and cook until the sauce is thickened.
Use the sauce immediately in stir-fry recipes.
To store the sauce, wait until the sauce is completely cooled, and then transfer it to an airtight glass jar and store it in the refrigerator.
How to serve
This garlic sauce is a versatile all-purpose sauce that can be used in many ways. It can be used in stir-fry recipes. Use it with stir-fried vegetables and tofu, or with stir-fried chicken or shrimp.
It can also be served as a dipping sauce. Dip your dumplings and egg rolls.
You can also add the sauce over rice and noodles.
Steamed broccoli with this garlic sauce is killer!
How to store
If you plan to store wait until sauce is completely cooled. Transfer the sauce to a clean dry glass jar with a tight lid. Store in refrigerator. It will keep for 3-4 days.
I won’t recommend powdered ginger and garlic. Fresh is best and I highly recommend you use only fresh garlic and ginger.
It does have a bit of kick to it. Since the recipe uses both hot sauce (chili sauce) and red chili flakes, there is a bit of heat in it. It’s not overwhelmingly spicy for my palate. If you are someone who can’t handle the heat, please adjust (reduce) the amount of hot sauce and red chili flakes or use just one of them.
Don’t worry, it’s normal for the sauce to thicken further after refrigeration. When ready to use, simply heat the sauce in a saucepan with a splash of water or stock.
Sauces that have cornstarch in it is not advised to be frozen as they will not hold the same texture when thawed.
More Asian sauce recipes
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📋Chinese Garlic Sauce
- 5 large cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons ginger minced
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- ½ cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- 2 teaspoons red chili flakes
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon green onion optional
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ cup water
- Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl- chicken stock, low-sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili sauce, red chili flakes, brown sugar, green onion (optional), and toasted sesame oil. Keep aside.
- In a saucepan heat canola oil. Sauté minced garlic and ginger in hot oil until fragrant, about 30 to 60 seconds.
- Pour the prepared sauce into the pan, and with constant stirring bring the sauce to a boil. Then let it simmer on low heat for another minute.
- Meanwhile, make cornstarch slurry by mixing water and cornstarch until no lumps are left.
- Pour the slurry into the sauce.
- Bring the mixture to a boil with constant stirring, and cook until the sauce is thickened.
- Use the sauce immediately in stir-fry recipes.
- To store the sauce, wait until the sauce is completely cooled, and then transfer it to an airtight glass jar and store it in the refrigerator.
Created by Jyothi Rajesh
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I’m Jyothi Rajesh (Jo for short) and i’m the founder of the food blog, Curry Trail where I share my culinary Adventures. I live in Bangalore, India. I’m a mom of two beautiful kids. My passion is creating and sharing delicious and easy recipes for the home cook. I have been blogging since 2007 and many of my recipes have appeared in both online and print publications over the years. Learn more about Jyothi Rajesh.