Vegetable Stir Fry

Close up of Vegetable Stir Fry with lots of sauce

This is a Vegetable Stir Fry to make your own. Use it for any veggies you want, and serve it as a main or as a side dish with any Asian food.The tasty Chinese brown sauce is just like you get from Chinese restaurants and will make any veg totally scoff-able. And theres a generous amount of it to soak yourrice!

Close up of Vegetable Stir Fry with lots of sauce

Vegetable Stir Fry

I make this approximately once a week, and it completely baffles me how Ive been running this recipe website for 5 years (!!) without sharing it.

A Vegetable Stir Fry is:

  • my end-of-weekFridge Forage meal;
  • how I (happily) consume a ton of vegetables in one sitting;
  • something I make with a mix of vegetables or just one (like snow peas or Asian mushrooms).

I serve it over rice or noodles. I toss noodlesinto it while cooking. I top homemade Chinese noodle soups with it. And I make instant ramen respectable by piling on this saucy stir fried vegetables.

So I repeat again 5 years. No recipe. BAFFLED.

Saucy Vegetable Stir Fry served over rice

What goes in my Vegetable Stir Fry

You can basically ignore all the vegetables in the photo below, and visualise whatever YOU want to use! Just use the sauce part of my recipe.

What goes in Vegetable Stir Fry

Can I make this with Charlie?

100% yes, youll need 4 tablespoons of Charlie and directions are in the recipe below. For new readers, Charlie is my ready made All Purpose Chinese Stir Fry Sauce. RTE readers and I love him so much, weve named him. He has a shelf life of months, and can be used in 90% of my stir fries and noodles, either outright or with the addition of a few extra flavourings.Try him once, and youll be obsessed with him too!

How to make stir fried vegetables

Theres only two rules here:

  1. Have all the ingredients chopped and ready to toss in the wok / skillet because this recipe moves fast once you start cooking!
  2. Dont let the veggies cook until floppy and sad. They should be vibrant,just cooked so they dont have the raw bite to them but theyre still a bit crisp. Thats the point of optimum flavour and nutrition for vegetables!

How to make Stir Fried Vegetables

What order to cook vegetables in stir fries

Theres no need to turn this into an exact science! Just start by cooking aromatics to form the flavour base then add vegetables that take the longest to cook first, and delicate things like leafy greens towards the end.

Heres a rough guide:

  1. Aromatics in first- onion, leeks, garlic, ginger, chilli
  2. Firm vegetablesin second like carrot, capsicum/bell peppers, stems of Asian Greens (Buk Choy in this recipe), zucchini / courgettes, eggplant, asparagus, canned baby corn, green beans, okra.
  3. Quicker cooking vegetables added next- snow peas, kale, cabbage.
  4. Delicate vegetablesin last toss until just wilted. Leaves of Asian Greens, spinach, bean sprouts, green onions, fresh herbs.

Pre cooked vegetables broccoli, cauliflower and broccolini should be pre-cooked prior to using in a stir fry as they take too long to cook from raw in a stir fry (unless chopped small). And though I rarely use them in stir fries, I also pre cook things like pumpkin, potato, squash, and other root vegetables.

Skillet with sauce stir fried vegetables, fresh off the stove

A big skillet of vegetables never looked so tasty!!

Also thestir frysauce. I like making plenty of it so it can soak through the rice or noodles, or whatever you serve it over. Its also particularly good at disguising cauliflower rice for those of you *trying* to cut down on carbs.

Close up of Vegetable Stir Fry sauce soaked rice

What to serve with Stir Fried Vegetables

This can be served as:

  • a main dish with rice or noodles (try cauliflower rice for a low carb option); or
  • a vegetable side dish.

Though this stir fry has Chinese origins, dont restrict yourself to serving this alongside justChinese dishes. Youll see similar version of this sauce used all across Asia. So serve it as a vegetable side the next time you make any Asian dishes such asVietnamese, Thai or Japanese! Here are a few suggestions (just a few.):

What to serve with Stir Fried Vegetables

Woah. For someone whos taken so long to share such a *simple* recipe, I sure did have a lot to say about it! Nagi x

Watch how to make it

Saucy Vegetable Stir Fry

Recipe video above. Any vegetables are totally scoffable when they're smothered in a tasty Chinese gravy! Use any veg you want just add them according to the cook time (hard veg in first, leafy veg in last). For a quick hit of protein, toss in some cubes of firm tofu. For a chicken version, use this Chicken Stir Fry. Recipe works with Charlie see Note 4.

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (, finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp ginger (, finely sliced (optional))
  • 1/2 onion (, peeled and sliced)
  • 1 carrot (, large)
  • 3 medium buk choy ( or other leafy greens of choice (Note 1))
  • 1 cup mushrooms (, sliced 3mm / 1/8" thick)
  • 1 capsicum (, sliced 1/2cm / 1/5" thick)

Sauce (or use 4 tbsp Charlie, Note 4):

  • 1 tbsp cornflour / corn starch
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce (, light or all purpose (not dark soy) (Note 2))
  • 2 tsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese Cooking Wine or Mirin ((Note 3))
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil ((optional))
  • Dash of white pepper ((or black))
  • 3/4 cup / 185 ml water

Garnishes, optional:

  • Finely sliced green onions
  • Sesame seeds

Vegetable Prep:

  1. Carrot: cut in half lengthwise then diagonally sliced 2mm / 1/10" thick

  2. Buk Choy (Note 1): Trim base off, then cut leaves off the stem. Cut the stem lengthwise into 1cm / 2/5" wide pieces. Keep leaves separate from stems, they will be cooked at different times.

Sauce (Charlie Note 4):

  1. Place cornflour and soy sauce in a bowl and mix until cornflour is dissolved, then mix in remaining Sauce ingredients.


  1. Heat oil in a wok or large heavy based skillet over high heat.
  2. Add garlic and ginger, stir for 10 seconds. Add onion, stir for 30 seconds.

  3. Add carrot, capsicum and stems of buk choy stir for 1 minute.

  4. Add mushrooms, then stir for 2 to 3 minutes until the vegetables are almost cooked.

  5. Add Sauce and toss for 1 minute until Sauce thickens and becomes glossy, coating all the vegetables. Don't overcook so they become floppy and limp they should be just cooked, "crisp tender".

  6. Remove from stove and serve over rice (low carb option: cauliflower rice). Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds if using. A big dollop of chilli sauce wouldn't go astray either!

1. Buk Choy is an Asian vegetable, as pictured. Stems take longer to cook than the leaves, so best to cut leaves off and add towards the end of the cook time. Stems vary vastly in width (outer layers thick, inner layers small) so cut them into even size so they cook at the same time.Do the same for all similar shaped AsianGreens.

Theres no need to be 100% exact here if some leaves end up in the stem batch, its totally fine! You just want MOST added later in the cook time.

2. Soy sauce use light or all purpose soy sauce here. Do not use Dark Soy Sauce the flavour is too intense and will overpower the sauce. The bottle will be labelled dark soy sauce.

Gluten free use tarmari.

3. Chinese Cooking Wine (Shaoxing wine) is the secret ingredient that really makes a restaurant standard Chinese sauce. You get complexity and depth in the sauce with just a bit of the cooking wine.


  • Mirin best, the Japanese equivalent of Chinese cooking wine;
  • Dry sherry next best, any cheap and cheerful dry sherry
  • Japanese cooking sake
  • Non alcoholic substitute the water in the recipe with LOW SODIUM chicken stock/broth

4. CHARLIE is my All Purpose Stir Fry Sauce. If you havent met him yet and you love stir fries, you are going to be best friends very soon. Find the recipe for him here, along with how to use him.

To use Charlie for this recipe, replace the Sauce with 4 tablespoons of Charlie + 3/4 tsp cornflour / cornstarch + 3/4 cup water, then use per recipe.

5. Nutrition excludes rice.

Life of Dozer

More Dozer pool action! Well, not so much action here, just Dozer climbing out of the pool. Currently using a ramp because the step in is so high, he actually sprained his lower back with all his crazy leaping in and out.

I know, I know. First World Problems.

Dozer the golden retriever climbing out of pool ramp

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