Umami Stir Fry Sauce – Easy – Only 5 Ingredients

Here’s a really quick and easy umami stir fry sauce recipe packed with delicious-ness. You can put this one together using common ingredients from your local Asian grocery store!

You can keep this sauce in the fridge for (virtually) forever. Hence, ingredients like fresh garlic, which can encourage spoilage over time, have been left out. I’d still recommend adding some chopped garlic, ginger, or any of your favorite fresh herbs to your stir fry while cooking.

Doubanjiang = Spicy Meets Umami

If you haven’t had doubanjiang before, please give it a try. Doubanjiang is a very unique condiment made from aging special varieties of chilis with fermented broad beans (fava beans). It does so much more than add spice. it gives a very distinct Sichuan flavor and adds tons extra umami.

Don’t want the sauce spicy? Easy. Just leave out the doubanjiang or cut down the quantity. Please note this is definitely not habanero or ghost pepper hot. It is very subtle in comparison and contributes more umami than anything. You won’t burn a hole through your stomach, I promise!

I prefer this doubanjiang from Pixian, a region of Chengdu, China’s spicy food capital:

pixian doubanjiang, made from fermented peppers and broad beans, is packed with spicy umami flavor
pixian doubanjiang, made from fermented peppers and broad beans, is packed with spicy umami flavor

And this brand of Shaoxing wine:

shaoxing wine adds an irreplaceable flavor and enhances the umami quality of the stir fry sauce
shaoxing wine adds an irreplaceable flavor and enhances the umami quality of the stir fry sauce

Mix The Umami Stir-Fry Sauce Your Way

When you put this all together, you can adjust all the ratios to taste. Some people may prefer the sauce way sweeter, so just add more sugar! That’s the best part about recipes like these. You can tweak each individual element to your liking. Don’t worry– the umami is the focal point of the stir-fry sauce.

You can customize the stir-fry sauce to your tastes.

Like it extra spicy? You could bring out spice with Korean red chili flakes.

Love Panda Express? You can even add your favorite vinegar and more sugar to make a sweet-sour umami sauce variant (umami General Tso’s chicken anyone?).

Want something light for soups and stocks? Lower the soy sauce and omit the doubanjiang, then bump up the Umami Salt and add some homemade umami dashi.

If you want to make this recipe gluten free, swap soy sauce for tamari, and make sure you check the label of the Doubanjiang for wheat products as well. The Pixian brand I recommended above does contain wheat. Otherwise, this recipe is extremely straightforward and easy. You’ll have a sauce ready to cook with in less than 5 minutes that will store for virtually forever! Enjoy!

Spicy Umami Stir-Fry Sauce

Here’s a really quick recipe that you can put together using ingredients from your local Asian grocery store!
The recipe is written to keep in the fridge for (virtually) forever. Hence, ingredients like fresh garlic, which can encourage spoilage over time, have been left out. I’d still recommend adding some chopped garlic to your stir fry while cooking, though.
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Doubanjiang, Hoisin Sauce, Sauce, Shaoxing Wine, Umami
Servings: 1 quart
Cost: $5

Equipment

  • Non-Reactive Bowl

Ingredients

  • 8 oz doubanjiang
  • 2 cups soy sauce or tamari naturally brewed
  • 1 cup rice wine shaoxing
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp umami salt heaping

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth.
  • Transfer to a squeeze bottle or quart container.
  • Use to taste in your favorite stir fry recipes! Pictured with egg noodles, shimeji mushrooms, peppers, tofu, and broccoli.

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