A Glug of Oil

Easy and delicious recipes including midweek dinner ideas, English and world cuisine.

Vegetables in Chinese Brown Sauce

Vegetable Stir Fry Sauce Recipe 

Chinese brown sauce is tasty and easy to make at home. This vegetable stir fry tastes just like the one you get from a Chinese takeaway. 

Chinese stir fry vegetables in Chinese brown sauce.

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Chinese cuisine is slowly becoming a staple in most countries. These days you're just as likely to come across a Chinese quick service option as you are a McDonald’s franchise.

What is Chinese brown sauce?

Brown sauce is typically a Western Chinese takeaway thing. But it's a flavourful mixture that adds a delicious savoury flavour to your stir fry.

You need to use dark soy sauce for this recipe simply because it adds a much richer flavour.

Oyster sauce is commonly used in Chinese food and adds a savoury, salty flavour and both can be found in any good supermarket.

Chinese drinks, for one, are very refreshing but also beneficial to your health. For instance, Oolong tea's benefits include stronger immunity and enhanced sleep.

Aside from beverages, vegetables in Chinese brown sauce is a flavourful sauce popular in any Chinese takeout that will get you hooked! 😋

But did you know that you can actually prepare this sauce at home?

Some of the main ingredients include sugar, soy sauce, rice wine, meat-based broth, and oyster sauce.

This sauce is found in dishes such as beef with broccoli, chow mein noodles and many others. Brown sauce is the essential secret, the all-purpose stir-fry sauce.

Chinese brown sauce is super easy to make. It takes next to no time to prepare a few vegetables and mix a few sauce ingredients together.

Serve your brown sauce with vegetables, beef, chicken, or pork stir-fry or chow mein recipes.

Then, heat up your wok or stir-fry pan and you're ready to cook!

15-minute meal

Seriously, ten minutes and dinner can be served; how very marvellous is that?!

Since I've experimented with many Chinese dishes - we haven't had a takeaway for ages. Why spend more money getting takeaways when you can prepare the same deliciousness at home?

Chinese Vegetables in a bowl

For this and many other Chinese recipes, you will need Shaohsing Chinese rice wine, also called Shaoxing wine.

This cooking wine is what gives your dishes that Chinese takeaway taste.

By the way, you can now buy it in the world food section of Sainsbury's.

A bottle of Shaohsing Chinese Rice Wine

If you love eating Chinese food, you may have wondered how the chicken always tastes so tender.

A while back I was talking to a Chinese woman in an oriental supermarket and she told me. It may well sound a little odd, but it really does work. 😉

Check out the secret to tender chicken over on my Takeaway Chinese Chicken Curry recipe, which really does taste exactly as it does from the takeaway.

Preparing Chinese food might seem a little bit complex, but it really isn’t. Vegetables in Chinese brown sauce, for instance, are one of the easiest dishes you can try at home.

The good thing is that with the right ingredients and procedures, you’ll come up with something close to those sold at takeaways.

Another advantage of Chinese brown sauce is that it takes little time to prepare.

So, pick up all the ingredients from one of your favourite stores today and get cooking!

How to make this easy Chinese vegetable dish

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.

After much experimenting, I've finally cracked the perfect recipe and used it to cook a mixture of vegetables, I used: 

  • Baby Pak choi
  • Bean sprouts
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Carrots 
  • Spring onions (scallions)

Make it even quicker!

You can, of course, buy one of those packs of stir-fry vegetables rather than buying all the individual vegetables.

'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! 😉 

And it's a great way to get the kids to eat more veg!

Vegetables in Chinese brown sauce

As I've already mentioned, I believe brown sauce is a Western thing, I've read it doesn't really exist in China, who knows? Please leave a comment below if you do, I'm intrigued. 😐

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe card below!

Chinese brown sauce recipe, Chinese stir fry vegetables recipe,
main, dinner
Yield: 2
Author: Jan Bennett
Chinese Vegetables Stir Fry Recipe

Chinese Vegetables Stir Fry Recipe

Chinese brown sauce is the essential secret, the all-purpose stir-fry sauce.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 5 MinTotal time: 15 Min


For the Vegetables
  • 2 baby Pak Choi - sliced lengthways
  • 2 nice fat carrots - peeled and sliced into 5 mm slices
  • a handful of bean sprouts
  • 4-5 shiitake mushrooms - sliced
  • 3 spring onions (scallions) - sliced
  • 1-inch ginger - peeled and finely chopped 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 ½ tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • a pinch of white pepper
  • 150ml water
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Shaoxing (Chinese rice wine)


  1. Mix the brown sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat your wok and the oil. 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.
  3. Give the sauce a quick stir, have a taste and add a little more oyster sauce and soy sauce if you think it needs it. Then add the sauce to the vegetables in the wok.
  4. Continue to stir-fry until the sauce thickens a bit and by that time the vegetables should be perfectly cooked - not overcooked!
  5. Serve immediately with some nice egg-fried rice or whatever else you fancy.
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