The Most Popular Stir-fry Sauce: Ranking the Best Options

Choose the stir-fry sauce you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Mar 1, 2024 06:35
Welcome to StrawPoll's sizzling showdown of sumptuous stir-fry sauces! We've searched high and low to compile a mouthwatering list of the world's most flavorful and finger-licking sauces that have taken the culinary world by storm. Now, it's your turn to be the judge and cast your vote to declare the ultimate winner in this delectable duel of taste sensations. From the classic soy sauce to the tangy teriyaki, the bold hoisin to the spicy Szechuan - we've got them all! But wait, there's more! If you think we've missed a sauce that deserves a spot in our ranking, don't hold back – let us know in the comments, and we'll make sure to add it to the mix. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your chopsticks, and let the stir-fry sauce battle begin!

What Is the Most Popular Stir-fry Sauce?

  1. 1
    Soy sauce is a versatile condiment and has become a popular ingredient in many stir-fry sauces due to its savory umami flavor.
    Soy sauce is a dark, savory condiment that originated in East Asia and is commonly used in various cuisines. It is made from fermented soybeans, wheat, salt, and sometimes other ingredients. The sauce has a rich umami flavor and a distinct aroma.
    • Color: Dark brown
    • Consistency: Thin, liquid
    • Flavor: Salty, umami
    • Aroma: Distinct, savory
    • Ingredients: Fermented soybeans, wheat, salt
    Soy sauce in other rankings
  2. 2
    Hoisin sauce is a thick, sweet and salty sauce made from soybeans, sugar, vinegar, and various spices. It is commonly used in Chinese cuisine and gives stir-fries a sweet and savory flavor.
    Hoisin sauce is a thick, rich, and savory sauce commonly used in Chinese cuisine. It combines various flavors to create a complex taste profile with hints of sweetness, saltiness, and tanginess. The sauce has a dark brown color and a smooth, glossy texture, often compared to a combination of barbecue sauce and plum sauce.
    • Main Ingredients: Hoisin sauce typically contains soybeans, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and various spices.
    • Flavor Profile: Sweet, savory, and tangy
    • Texture: Thick and smooth
    • Color: Dark brown
    • Common Uses: Marinade for meat, glaze for roasted dishes, dipping sauce, stir-fry sauce
  3. 3
    Oyster sauce
    Gossipguy · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Oyster sauce

    Lee Kum Kee
    Oyster sauce is made from oyster extracts, soy sauce, sugar, and salt. It has a rich and savory flavor and is commonly used in Chinese stir-fries.
    Oyster sauce is a savory and thick condiment commonly used in Asian cuisine, particularly in stir-fry dishes. It is made by simmering oysters in water until a flavorful broth is obtained, which is then thickened with cornstarch and seasoned with soy sauce, sugar, and other ingredients.
    • Flavor: Savory and umami
    • Consistency: Thick and glossy
    • Color: Dark brown
    • Ingredients: Oysters, water, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch
    • Usage: Commonly used in stir-fries, marinades, and as a dipping sauce
  4. 4
    Teriyaki sauce is a sweet and savory sauce made from soy sauce, sugar, and mirin. It is commonly used in Japanese cuisine and gives stir-fries a sweet and tangy flavor.
    Teriyaki sauce is a popular Japanese sauce known for its sweet and savory flavor. It is typically made by combining soy sauce, mirin (a sweet rice wine), sugar, and occasionally other ingredients like ginger and garlic. The sauce is then simmered and thickened to create a glaze-like consistency.
    • Flavor: Sweet and savory
    • Key ingredients: Soy sauce, mirin, sugar
    • Consistency: Glaze-like
    • Usage: Marinade for grilling, dipping sauce, stir-fry sauce
    • Versatility: Pairs well with meat, seafood, and vegetables
    Teriyaki sauce in other rankings
  5. 5
    Chili garlic sauce
    ZhengZhou · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Chili garlic sauce is a spicy and tangy sauce made from chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, and sugar. It is commonly used in Chinese cuisine and gives stir-fries a spicy kick.
    Chili garlic sauce is a spicy and flavorful sauce commonly used in stir-fry dishes. It is made by blending chili peppers and garlic with other ingredients to create a balanced and bold taste.
    • Heat Level: Spicy
    • Flavor Profile: Garlicky
    • Ingredients: Chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, sugar, salt
    • Consistency: Thick paste
    • Color: Red
  6. 6
    Black bean sauce is made from fermented black beans, garlic, and soy sauce. It has a rich and savory flavor and is commonly used in Chinese stir-fries.
    Black bean sauce is a savory and rich Chinese stir-fry sauce made from fermented black soybeans. It is known for its distinct umami flavor and is commonly used in a variety of Chinese dishes.
    • Main Ingredient: Fermented black soybeans
    • Flavor: Savory, salty, and slightly spicy
    • Color: Dark brown to black
    • Consistency: Thick and smooth
    • Usage: Commonly used in stir-fried dishes
  7. 7
    Sweet and sour sauce is a tangy and sweet sauce made from sugar, vinegar, and various fruits like pineapple and tomato. It is commonly used in Chinese cuisine and gives stir-fries a sweet and tangy flavor.
    Sweet and sour sauce is a tangy and flavorful condiment that perfectly complements chicken tenders. It is known for its balanced combination of sweetness and tanginess, creating a delightful taste experience.
    • Color: Bright orange or reddish-brown
    • Taste: Sweet and tangy
    • Texture: Smooth and slightly thick
    • Ingredients: Typically includes sugar, vinegar, pineapple juice, ketchup, soy sauce, and spices
    • Versatility: Can be used as a dipping sauce or as a glaze for grilling or baking
    Sweet and sour sauce in other rankings
  8. 8
    Peanut sauce
    Gunawan Kartapranata · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Peanut sauce is a creamy sauce made from ground peanuts, soy sauce, and other spices. It is commonly used in Thai cuisine and gives stir-fries a nutty and savory flavor.
    Peanut sauce is a popular traditional condiment in Equatorial Guinea made primarily from ground peanuts. It is a thick, creamy sauce with a rich and nutty flavor, often used as a dip or dressing for a variety of dishes.
    • Main Ingredients: Ground peanuts, garlic, onions, tomatoes, spices
    • Consistency: Thick and creamy
    • Flavor: Rich and nutty
    • Usage: Commonly used as a dip, dressing, or sauce for various dishes
    • Traditional Dish Pairing: Peanut sauce is often served with staple foods like fufu (a starchy dough), plantains, or grilled meats
    Peanut sauce in other rankings
  9. 9
    Szechuan sauce is a spicy and savory sauce made from chili peppers, garlic, and various spices. It is commonly used in Szechuan cuisine and gives stir-fries a spicy kick.
    Szechuan sauce is a spicy and flavorful stir-fry sauce with origins in Sichuan, China. It is known for its bold and complex flavors that combine spicy, sweet, and tangy elements. The sauce is often used in various Szechuan-style dishes, such as Kung Pao chicken and Mapo tofu, to add a fiery kick and enhance the overall taste.
    • Spiciness: Hot and spicy
    • Ingredients: Typically includes soy sauce, garlic, ginger, Szechuan peppercorns, chili peppers, sugar, vinegar, and sometimes additional herbs and spices
    • Flavor Profile: Bold, spicy, sweet, tangy
    • Usage: Commonly used as a stir-fry sauce, marinade, or dipping sauce
    • Heat Level: Can range from mildly spicy to extremely hot, depending on personal preference and recipe variations
  10. 10
    Ginger soy sauce is a simple sauce made from soy sauce, ginger, and sugar. It has a savory and slightly sweet flavor and is commonly used in Japanese and Chinese stir-fries.
    Ginger soy sauce is a versatile stir-fry sauce that combines the flavors of ginger and soy sauce to create a tangy and savory taste. It is commonly used in Asian cuisine to add a depth of flavor to stir-fried vegetables, meat, and noodles. The sauce has a balanced combination of spicy and savory notes, making it a popular choice among food enthusiasts.
    • Flavor profile: Tangy and savory with hints of ginger
    • Usage: Ideal for stir-fried vegetables, meat, and noodles
    • Ingredients: Ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and optional spices
    • Allergen information: Contains soy
    • Suitable for: Vegetarian and vegan diets

Missing your favorite stir-fry sauce?


Ranking factors for popular stir-fry sauce

  1. Flavor
    The taste of the sauce is a vital factor in determining its popularity. It should bring out the flavors of the stir-fry ingredients and complement them.
  2. Versatility
    A popular stir-fry sauce should be versatile and complement a wide range of ingredients, including meats, vegetables, and noodles.
  3. Availability
    A sauce that is widely available in stores or easy to make at home is more likely to be popular among consumers.
  4. Nutritional value
    Consumers are increasingly conscious of the nutritional value of their food. A stir-fry sauce that is low in calories, fat, and sodium can be more popular.
  5. Price
    The price of the sauce can also influence its popularity. Affordable sauces that deliver high value for money can have a broader appeal.
  6. Brand Reputation
    The reputation of the brand producing the sauce can affect its popularity among consumers. Customers tend to prefer popular and well-known brands.
  7. Ease of use
    A popular stir-fry sauce should be easy to use and require minimal cooking skills or preparation.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular stir-fry sauce. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or sauce is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 202 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each sauce once every 24 hours. The rank of each sauce is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular stir-fry sauce

Stir-fry is a popular cooking technique that involves quickly frying small pieces of food in a hot pan or wok. It originated in China and has since spread to other parts of the world, becoming a staple in many cuisines. One of the key elements of stir-fry is the sauce. A good stir-fry sauce adds flavor, moisture, and texture to the dish, and there are countless variations to choose from. Some popular options include soy sauce, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, and teriyaki sauce. But which one is the most popular? At StrawPoll, we asked our users to weigh in and share their opinions on the best stir-fry sauce. The results may surprise you!

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