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Old 06-06-2013, 02:46 PM   #1
MS2SB
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Default Basic Stir Fry Sauce Recipe?

I've been making a lot of stir fried vegetables lately and am having trouble putting together a sauce that I like and I'm not a fan of most stuff you find in bottles.

Basic vegetable mix is onion, carrot, celery, snow peas, broccoli etc.

The sauce I've been messing with has been a mix of soy, hoisin, Xiao Xin wine, garlic chili paste and cornstarch.

The sauce is ok but it's missing a little something that I can't quite place my finger on. Does anyone have a basic vegetable stir fry sauce recipe they like?
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:49 PM   #2
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I bet Bob (landarc) and buccaneer know a thing or two about stir-fry.
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Old 06-06-2013, 03:13 PM   #3
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My base is soy-sauce and brown sugar. It is sweet and savory it gives a kinda teryaki flavor (minus the sweet rice wine). You could use some 5 spice to bitter it up and some hot sauce for the kick and you have all 5 flavors. Salty, Sweet, Bitter, (maybe add some lemon for the sour and to lighten the flavor a little) and savory thanks to the molasis in the brown sugar maybe a little butter for better mouth texture.

I generally like to reduce the soy sauce and firm up the sauce while stir frying.

I donno, I build around the
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:12 PM   #4
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Basics...

Build your base with a neutral oil, use scallions and ginger to flavor the oil, then build the veggies into it. Fresh ginger is the heart of most Asian cooking, along with scallions and garlic, you are looking at the base flavors of all Asian cooking. The other major players are soy sauce, rice wine, rice wine vinegar and MSG. There are certain flavors that are almost never mentioned in Western sitr-fry guides. If you want more depth, you need to use these.

1. Doubanjiang-a fermented bean and spice product that can only be made properly in China. It adds depth, comes both savory or hot. For Sichuan and Hunan, you NEED this ingredient.

2. Dried stuff, be it shrimp, scallops or squid, it adds depth and umami...or...

3. High quality fish sauce. I use Red Boat as I consider it the best. However, any pure fish sauce will work.

4. Fermented bean paste and fermented black beans, this is also a standard in most Chinese fare, although more closely related to Hakka and Cantonese foods, it adds umami as well.

5. This is advanced, and challenging, fermented tofu (funu, sufu) is often crushed into sauces, this gives a funky aroma, but, a major player in great Chinese dishes.

Almost all cuisines that are Chinese (Vietnamese, Thai, Malay, Japanese) rely heavily on fermented flavors for depth, sweet and sour for pop and in the spicy foods, something called Ma La, numbing and spicy, the other cuisines have their own version, spicy/calming, which contrasts fiery foods such as peppers with calming foods such as peas. Every great Asian dish will combine sweet, sour and salty with a strong underlying savory/umami hit.
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:21 PM   #5
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Oh, I should have mentioned this, really look into the idea of using powdered shiitake mushrooms, you will not that many Chinese dishes have mushrooms of some type in them, they add an earthiness that is hard to replicate. I make a base stock that I use for many preparations. Although I call it a dashi, it is somewhat of a variation than a true dashi.

2 gallons of water
8 to 10 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 full sheet konbu
1 ounce dried anchovies or katsuoboshi (smoke dried bonito, you want the smoked stuff)
4 to 6 ounces of burnt ends (real burnt ends or trimming from butts, or the hard shine ribs you don't serve)
3 to 6 strips bacon
2 bunches scallions, charred

Throw all of this stuff into a large pot and bring to 165F and let steep at that temperature for 30 minutes. Remove konbu, and bring to simmer for another 45 minutes. Then strain and return to stove and reduce at a boil until reduced by half. This is your base. You can use this to flavor stir-fry dishes. It is strong and heavily laced with smoke and umami. I also use it as liquid smoke in some dishes. If you do this, then do not reduce it, then you have 2 gallons of the best dashi ever, add some miso and make it into soup. Or use it for ramen, it makes a great ramen/pho base stock.
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
Oh, I should have mentioned this, really look into the idea of using powdered shiitake mushrooms, you will not that many Chinese dishes have mushrooms of some type in them, they add an earthiness that is hard to replicate. I make a base stock that I use for many preparations. Although I call it a dashi, it is somewhat of a variation than a true dashi.

2 gallons of water
8 to 10 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 full sheet konbu
1 ounce dried anchovies or katsuoboshi (smoke dried bonito, you want the smoked stuff)
4 to 6 ounces of burnt ends (real burnt ends or trimming from butts, or the hard shine ribs you don't serve)
3 to 6 strips bacon
2 bunches scallions, charred

Throw all of this stuff into a large pot and bring to 165F and let steep at that temperature for 30 minutes. Remove konbu, and bring to simmer for another 45 minutes. Then strain and return to stove and reduce at a boil until reduced by half. This is your base. You can use this to flavor stir-fry dishes. It is strong and heavily laced with smoke and umami. I also use it as liquid smoke in some dishes. If you do this, then do not reduce it, then you have 2 gallons of the best dashi ever, add some miso and make it into soup. Or use it for ramen, it makes a great ramen/pho base stock.
Thanks Bob, this is awesome. I'll make up a mess of this either this weekend or next week, whenever the weather gets ugly again and I don't feel like being outside.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:10 PM   #7
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Bookmarked this thread. I just recently made some very nice stir fry with kecap manis, Indonesian sweet soy sauce. It had a great balance of salty/sweet. The base flavors were scallion, onion, chile de arbol and garlic. I'm an absolute novice I just keep trying to pick up things from Bucc's and Landarc.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:24 AM   #8
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Loose the hoisin and add ginger. I add saki sometimes too.
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:21 PM   #9
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Here is a simple sauce , once you get the ingredients . Add equal parts of sweet keycap manis , fish sauce , oyster sauce , hoisin sauce and then add 1/2 part sirracha . That is a good start for stir sauce , then you can modify it . Some times I add some chili paste for more kick or some shaoxing wine..
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:45 PM   #10
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My stir fry uses soy souce, ginger, garlic, and a secret ingredient (the seasoning packet from a beef flavored ramon noodles)...........fantastic
If you ant the recipe, I can post....just cnt remember it off hand (its onmycomp)
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:46 AM   #11
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Take it from a a guy who is Chinese and has grown up with Chinese food. The missing ingredient is oyster sauce. Authentic basic stir fry is a little chicken broth, dash of soy sauce, a shot or two of oyster sauce, and a little white sugar. Then thicken with a mix of cornstarch and water.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS2SB View Post
I've been making a lot of stir fried vegetables lately and am having trouble putting together a sauce that I like and I'm not a fan of most stuff you find in bottles.

Basic vegetable mix is onion, carrot, celery, snow peas, broccoli etc.

The sauce I've been messing with has been a mix of soy, hoisin, Xiao Xin wine, garlic chili paste and cornstarch.

The sauce is ok but it's missing a little something that I can't quite place my finger on. Does anyone have a basic vegetable stir fry sauce recipe they like?
Huge subject with varieties for every region in every country in SEAsia.
All you want is an adjustment for that you listed then do not use hoisin but oyster, and make a slurry of chicken stock(cold) and arrowroot to make some sauce volume at the end.
Fermented black beans aren't black beans at all but soy beans, just in case of allergies I it's good to know.
Don't use ketcap manis, hoisin and oyster together, they knock each other out, and with those add them after the intense heat stage has been done.
Vegetarian oyster/ dark Mushroom soy is a super easy way to add umami.
HTH
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:26 AM   #13
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MSG and I ain't joking.... Get some Accent brand seasoning or just go buy MSG straight up from an Asian market. Adding a little bit to your sauces will make a world of difference. All the worry that was drummed up against MSG a long time ago was hog wash. It is good stuff if used very judiciously.
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcbaughn View Post
MSG and I ain't joking.... Get some Accent brand seasoning or just go buy MSG straight up from an Asian market. Adding a little bit to your sauces will make a world of difference. All the worry that was drummed up against MSG a long time ago was hog wash. It is good stuff if used very judiciously.
No fear of MSG here. I'll pick some up next time I hit the Asian market.
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS2SB View Post
No fear of MSG here. I'll pick some up next time I hit the Asian market.
That's a good idea Ollie, use the advice landarc and I gave you on incorporating MSG and then add Accent!
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