Chinese white sauce is a light, clear sauce made of stock, garlic, and ginger. It’s thickened with cornstarch and can be used in any stir fry recipe!
This Chinese white sauce is a light, clear, delicate sauce that’s perfect for any stir fry recipe! It’s vegan friendly, gluten free, and adds a mild flavor to any Asian dish.
It’s commonly used as moo goo gai pan sauce and in other dishes that call for a mild, non-spicy stir fry sauce.
Why you’ll love this recipe
Check out this recipe for moo goo gai pan which uses this sauce!
- It’s a versatile sauce that can be used with any combination of vegetables and protein!
- Quick and easy – ready in under 10 minutes and only a handful of ingredients you’re likely to have on hand!
- Vegan friendly and gluten free – use vegetable stock as the base for a vegan stir fry sauce.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Stock – use any clear stock you’d like. It’s the main ingredient for this sauce so whichever stock you use will be the predominant flavor.
- Cornstarch – this is what thickens the sauce. The cornstarch will make the stock mixture look opaque but it will soon turn translucent and thicken as it boils.
Step by step instructions
- Mix the cornstarch with 1/4 cup of the stock and set it aside. Then add the rest of the ingredients to a medium size pot and bring to a boil.
- Once the stock mixture comes to a boil, add the cornstarch mixture and keep stirring.
- You’ll see the sauce thicken and become clear. Taste and adjust for seasoning if your stock was lightly seasoned to begin with.
Ways to use Chinese white sauce
Use this sauce for making moo goo gai pan, which is a chicken and mushroom stir fry with vegetables.
When adding it to stir fry, add towards the end when your protein and vegetables are fully cooked. You only need 30 seconds to 1 minute for the sauce to coat the ingredients.
You can also use this as a base for other stir fry sauces. Add flavorings like soy sauce, oyster sauce, and chili hot sauce to turn this into a flavorful brown sauce!
Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days. The sauce will set into a gel consistency because of the cornstarch but it will melt when added to a hot pan.
Variations & substitutions
- Stock – use vegetable stock to make a vegan stir fry sauce or use chicken or seafood stock to keep this sauce a light, pale color. If you use beef stock, you’ll end up with a darker sauce which would still be delicious!
- Aromatics – garlic and ginger are the most common aromatics to use but you can also add lemongrass, scallions, leeks, onions.
- Spices – to add a subtle spice, add a few peppercorns or whole dried chili peppers to the stock.
- You can also use this as a base for other stir fry sauces. Add flavorings like soy sauce, oyster sauce, and chili hot sauce to turn this into a flavorful brown sauce!
Frequently asked questions
You can store it in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container. The sauce will set once it’s cool into a gel consistency. It will melt when you add it to stir fry recipes.
If you plan on storing your sauce for longer, leave out the cornstarch and add it into the stock mixture right before adding it to your stir fry. The reason for this is that cornstarch can lose its thickening power overtime and you can end up with a thinned out sauce.
Absolutely! To make this vegan, use vegetable stock as the base of this recipe. This recipe is naturally gluten free as cornstarch does not contain any gluten.
You can add this to any stir fry and it would taste delicious! Traditionally, this clear Chinese white sauce is used in moo goo gai pan which is a mushroom chicken stir fry with vegetables.
When adding this sauce to stir fry, wait to add it at the very end when your protein and vegetables are fully cooked. It only takes a minute to warm up the sauce and coat your ingredients.
More recipes to try:
- Moo Goo Gai Pan – Quick and Easy!
- 3 Classic Spring Roll Dipping Sauces
- Sweet and Tangy Sticky Soy Glaze
- Panda Express Mushroom Chicken Copycat
- Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken Copycat
- Chicken Chow Mein with Vegetables – Better than Takeout!
- Panda Express String Bean Chicken Breast Copycat
- Easy Japchae (Korean glass noodle stir fry)
Chinese White Sauce
- Set aside ¼ cup of the stock in a small bowl and mix together with the cornstarch. Set this aside as this will be used to thicken the sauce later.
- Mix together the remaining stock with the Shaoxing wine, toasted sesame oil, garlic, ginger, salt, and sugar. Add it to a medium pot and heat over medium high heat.
- When the stock mixture starts to boil, slowly drizzle in the cornstarch mixture while continually stirring. Be sure to stir the cornstarch first before adding it as it can settle.
- The sauce will start to thicken and turn from opaque to clear as it boils. Turn off the heat once it thickens. Adjust for seasoning, especially if your stock is unsalted. Add this to any stir fry dish or store in a jar for later use. This will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container. See the Notes section below for when to add to stir fry recipes.
- Add the sauce towards the end of the recipe when your vegetables and protein are already cooked. It simply takes a minute on high heat to heat up and coat the ingredients. Avoid overcooking as it can thicken the sauce too much.
- If the sauce was stored in the fridge, it will have set into a gel consistency due to the cornstarch. That’s ok as it will melt when added to a hot pan.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.