Brown sauce is a versatile sauce for stir fry dishes. It's full of aromatics like ginger, garlic, and scallions and adds a rich and savory flavor to your favorite stir fry dishes.
I called my dad for his brown sauce recipe. He owned a Chinese buffet and takeout restaurant for over 20 years. There are so many different versions of brown sauce but his is my favorite!
Make a batch and store in the fridge for up to two weeks for quick dinners at home!
These ingredients can be found in the international aisle of your grocery store or an Asian supermarket.
- Soy sauce- for saltiness; it's the base of the sauce.
- Dark soy sauce- adds a deep brown color for the "brown" sauce.
- Sugar- balances out the saltiness.
- Hoisin sauce & oyster sauce- adds sweet and salty flavors.
- Water or chicken broth- to dilute the sauce.
- Sesame oil- for a subtle nutty flavor.
- Ginger, Garlic, & Scallions- The aromatics for the sauce. A must!
- Shaoxing Wine
- If you can't find Shaoxing wine, try dry cooking sherry, mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine), or sake (Japanese Rice Wine).
- The shaoxing wine adds a layer of depth to the sauce, it's subtle but is one of the most essential ingredients in Chinese cooking.
- For non alcoholic substitutes, try chicken or vegetable stock, water or omit it entirely.
- MSG is a controversial ingredient but adds a umami flavor to the sauce. It's an ingredient that is more common than you think and is present in many snacks, seasoning blends, and processed foods. A popular brand of MSG is "Accent."
- If you are sensitive to MSG, simply omit it.
To make this recipe just mix all of the ingredients together until the sugar dissolves.
How to Use Brown Sauce
Sir Fry Dishes- Use ¾ cup of sauce for stir fry dishes that include 1 lbs. protein and 1 lbs. vegetables. Thicken the sauce with 2 tbsp. corn starch and 2 tbsp. or water.
Noodles- Add a couple tablespoons to a noodle dish to taste.
Brown Sauce (Chinese Takeout)
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ½ cup sugar
- ¾ cup water or chicken broth
- 1 ½ teaspoons msg optional
- ¼ cup dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon ginger minced
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons scallions white parts only
- Combine the ingredients in a jar and mix until the sugar is dissolved.
- Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- This recipe makes 2 ½ cups of sauce.
- Mix the sauce before using.
- Use ¾ cup of sauce for stir fry dishes that include 1 lbs. protein and 1 lbs. vegetables. Thicken the sauce with 2 tbsp. corn starch and 2 tbsp. or water.