Vegetables in Chinese Brown Sauce

This recipe for Vegetables in Chinese Brown Sauce tastes just like the takeaway!

Quick and easy to make and very tasty you'll want it again and again. The sauce tastes just like the sauce in the dish called 'Happy Families' or Chop Suey you get from the Chinese takeaway.

Vegetables in Chinese Brown Sauce

After much experimenting, I've finally cracked the perfect recipe and used it to cook a mixture of vegetables: Baby Pak choi, Bean-sprouts, Shiitake mushrooms, Carrots and Spring onions.

'Happy Families' is a dish that usually has a bit of everything in it, so there's something for everyone to like keeping the whole family happy 😉

Have you ever wondered what the glossy brown gravy is in so many Chinese dishes? It’s found in beef with broccoli, chow mein noodles and dishes such as Kung Pao Chicken; it is the essential secret, the all-purpose stir-fry sauce.

Chinese brown sauce is really very simple to make. It takes no time at all to prepare a few vegetables and mix a few things together for the sauce. Then, heat up your wok or stir-fry pan and you're ready to go.


For this and many other Chinese recipes, you will need Shaohsing Chinese rice wine, it's also called Shaoxing wine. You can now buy it in the world food section of Sainsbury's.

A Bottle of Shaohsing Chinese Rice Wine

Happy Cooking!

Chinese,brown,sauce,vegetables,chop suey,recipe
Yield: 2

Vegetables in Chinese Brown Sauce

Vegetables in Chinese Brown Sauce

Brown sauce is the essential secret, the all-purpose stir-fry sauce.
prep time: 5 Mcook time: 3 Mtotal time: 8 M


  • 2 baby Pak choi - sliced lengthways
  • 2 nice fat carrots - sliced into 5 mm slices
  • a handful of bean-sprouts
  • 4-5 Shiitake mushrooms - sliced
  • 3 spring onions - sliced
  • 1-inch ginger - peeled and thinly sliced to make about 2 teaspoons
  • 1 fat garlic clove - very finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon groundnut oil (peanut oil) 
For the brown sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 and a half teaspoons of fish sauce (Nam Pla from most supermarkets, in the Oriental grocery section)
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • a pinch of white pepper
  • 150ml water
  • 1/2 a tablespoon Shaoxing (Chinese rice wine)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


How to cook Vegetables in Chinese Brown Sauce

  1. Mix the brown sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. 
  2. Heat up your wok and the oil.
  3. Once it's really hot, add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds. Throw in the prepared vegetables and stir-fry for a minute. 
  4. Give the sauce a quick stir and add it to the vegetables in the wok.
  5. Continue to stir-fry until the sauce thickens a bit and by which time the vegetables should be perfectly cooked - not overcooked.
  6. Serve immediately with some nice egg-fried rice or whatever else you fancy.
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