Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry with Homemade Sauce


I feel strangely compelled to share this story with you.

I met Eric about 6 months before I was set to go work in South Sudan for a year. And after we’d hung out a few times, texted about 800 times, and had generally not ceased thinking about one another for a few weeks, we decided to give dating a try, even with the deadline of my departure looming.

We proceeded to completely fall for one another in the months that followed (cue your aaaws here), and then came January. And we found ourselves at the airport: me with a backpack the size of Nikola Pekovic on my back and Eric with a forced and compensating disposition of calm.

We waited until we met up with Jen (my South Sudan partner in crime) to begin our goodbyes in earnest. I cried so hard I threw up. Eric was pretty sniffly too. And after about 13 hugs (backpack and all), I finally turned from him with blurred vision and stumbled towards the first security personell.

As I fumbled to get out my passport and boarding pass, the snarky gentleman manning the security checkpoint looked at me and said, “That your boyfriend? Don’t worry…you can call him when you get to college,” as he pointed towards the door Eric had walked out of with his chubby and apathetic thumb.

I seethed. I thought seriously about hissing at him like a possum. Did he not know that where I was going I would maybe get to talk to Eric on the phone every three months or so…and that internet access wasn’t really a guarantee…and that with his one casual comment, I had lost every last bit of resolve I had?

As I started to completely sob and try to explain just why I was so sad to this man, Jen gently took my arm and shook her head and guided me past him.

Why do I tell you this? Because tomorrow, Eric is taking me to the airport again. And Owen and I will be leaving him to bach it up for 5 days while we visit my family. And I thought it would be really funny if we reenacted our tearful goodbye…you know, just to see what kind of response we could draw from the observers around us, including onlooking security guards.


While I may be leaving Eric to fend for himself with frozen pizza, I am not leaving you in the same boat. One of our go-to meals at this house when there are fresh veggies to be had is stir fry. This is such a flexible meal…use up any vegetables you have around…add chicken..or beef. It’s a great way to use up a CSA box…or those veggies that are hiding in the bottom of your fridge. And the homemade sauce is so simple, and definitely more flavorful than any store-bought brand I’ve tried…full of gingery garlicy goodness. This meal is fast and summer-fresh – hope you like it! 

(Vegetable-licious) Stir Fry with Homemade Stir Fry Sauce

(Vegetable-licious) Stir Fry with Homemade Stir Fry Sauce

stir fry sauce recipe barely adapted from Simply In Season (yields 6 servings)

The variety of meat and veggie combinations is endless with stir fy. For the sauce, I just add a little more brown sugar and garlic than the original recipe calls for.


For the Sauce:

3 tbsp. soy sauce

2 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tbsp. sesame oil

1 tbsp. sesame seeds

2 tsp. ginger root, peeled and minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

(optional) few drops of hot sauce

3/4 c. chicken or vegetable broth

1 tbsp. cornstarch

For the Stir Fry:

1 1/2 c. rice (we use long grain brown rice)

1 tbsp. + 2 tbsp. oil

(optional: 1 lb. meat - we generally use boneless, skinless chicken breasts), cut into 1/2-in. cubes

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

app. 4 c. vegetables* (this time we used)

1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 large handful bok choy, leaves removed, thinly sliced

1 small-medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

1 c. green beans, ends removed, cut into 1-in. pieces

*other great stir fry veggies: asparagus, sugar snap peas, mushrooms, green onions, celery, carrots, cauliflower


*Cook your rice! For long-grain brown rice, you add 3 c. of water to your 1 1/2 c. uncooked rice. Bring to a boil. Then, lower the heat and let the rice cool. Cover the rice and let (barely) simmer for about 40 minutes, or until water is gone and rice is tender.


For the Sauce:

Combine all ingredients (EXCEPT broth and cornstarch) in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Just before adding sauce to stir fry, combine broth and cornstarch in a small bowl until cornstarch is dissolved. Then add cornstarch/broth mixture to the sauce bowl and whisk to combine.


For the Stir Fry:

Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken. Stir and cook until chicken is no longer pink in the middle and just slightly golden brown. Set aside.

Drain grease from pan.


Heat 2 tbsp. oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat.

Add your veggies.** For this version, I added the onions first and cooked them, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes.

Then I added the bok choy and green beans and sauteed for 2 more minutes.

Then I added the zucchini and cooked for 1 minute.

Finally, I added the bell pepper and cooked for an additional 2 minutes.

Place your cooked meat back in the skillet and pour in your sauce. Turn heat to high and bring the sauce to a boil, stirring constantly.

When sauce reaches desired thickness, remove pan from heat.

Serve over cooked rice.


Add your veggies in the order they need to be cooked, based on how long they take to stir fry. Here's a handy little chart that lists the stir fry time of many vegetables.


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20 thoughts on “Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry with Homemade Sauce

  1. ok, you can’t be writing stories like that – there are highly hormonal pregnant women reading this! Make me cry, too, why don’t you. ; )
    Thank goodness it all worked out. You and Eric were obviously MFEO and you had an amazing friend like Jen to help you through. Stir fry seems moot. But I guess I’ll try it. I still gotta eat. : D

  2. Wow, what a jerk of a security guard! I would have seriously lost my temper. That aside, this dish looks wholesome and filling, and the beautiful colors don’t hurt, either! When I go somewhere and leave my husband, he’s all about fast food and as-far-from-square meals as he can get, but I suppose that’s his version of a stay-cation.

    • Yeah. Let’s just hope he was having a bad day or something and isn’t like that all the time….and Eric did pretty well while I was gone. Despite a stop at Little Caesar’s Pizza (vomit in my mouth), Eric and his brother actually grilled out a few times! Impressive!

  3. Great recipe! I so look forward to our CSA this year! Trying our hand at Broccoli with my 3 year old! Excited to see her FINALLY eat it!
    I found you through searching “Chicken Stir Fry Sauce” on Google! Way to go! Signing up for updates! Hope you have some more great recipes up your sleeve to use up my CSA box!

    • Hooray for littles eating broccoli! CSAs can be wonderfully tricky; have you heard of the book Saving the Seasons? A great, great book for putting up all that good produce when you can’t get through it right away!

  4. I have made this now at least five times in the last several months. The BEST stir fry recipe ever. It’s bookmarked on my phone and I make it whenever I have a bit of chicken to cook up and the veggie-adverse hubby isn’t dining with me. Thank you for sharing.

  5. I found this recipe one night. I didn’t save it in my awesome Paprika app. I looked for days for it again, couldn’t remember the site name. But I remembered “stir fry” and “Eric” (my husbands name). Finally a week later I found you. This recipe is so easy and the sauce is tasty! I won’t forget now!

    • I totally do things like that all the time. And kiiiiick myself when I lose track of recipes like that. (My terrible habit is to have 13 tabs open, most of them recipes, and then have my computer run out of battery and shut down before I save them.) So glad you found it again and that you enjoy the recipe!

  6. This sauce is excellent! Used leftover cooked chicken and some steamed broccoli & green beans (what I had on hand) to make this. Also, used white sugar instead of brown, and added a bit of sriracha sauce. SO GOOD!!! Thanks for sharing this recipe! Great for a quick dinner.

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