A Glug of Oil

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Vegetables in Chinese Brown Sauce

Chinese cuisine is slowly becoming a staple in most countries. You're now more likely to come across a Chinese quick service option than a McDonald’s franchise.

If you’ve ever visited one of these restaurants, then you’ll know why they’re rapidly becoming part of the American and Western culture.

Vegetables in Chinese Brown Sauce This post may contain affiliate links, as an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases but of course, at no extra cost to you.

Chinese Brown Sauce

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

Apart from the beverages, vegetables in Chinese brown sauce is another delicacy that will definitely get you hooked. But did you know that you can actually prepare this sauce at home?

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: 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! 😉 And a great way to get the kids to eat more veg!

What is Chinese Brown Sauce?

Chinese brown sauce is a flavorful sauce that’s popular in any Chinese takeout. Some of the main ingredients include sugar, soy sauce, rice wine, meat-based broth, and oyster sauce.

If you’re a vegan, then you might order one with vegetable-based broth; now you see why there’s something in it for everyone.

Actually, 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.

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.

No need to Buy Chinese Brown Sauce

Chinese brown sauce is super easy 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.

Dinner in 10 Minutes!

Seriously, ten minutes and dinner can be served; how very marvellous is that?! Since I've experimented with a lot of Chinese dishes, we've not had a takeaway for a couple of years now.

It only takes a few days for you to master the skill and then you can build from there. Why spend more money getting takeaways when you can prepare the same delicacy at home?

Chinese vegetables

For this and many other Chinese recipes, you will need Shaohsing Chinese rice wine, it's also called Shaoxing wine. This Chinese cooking wine is what gives your dishes that “Chinese takeout” taste. Basically, it’s where all the magic begins!

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 comes the chicken always tastes so tender.

Well, a while back now I got 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 over on my Takeaway Chinese Chicken Curry recipe, which by the way, is exactly like it is from the takeaway.


Preparing Chinese food might seem a little bit complex for beginners, but it really isn’t. Vegetables in Chinese brown sauce, for instance, is 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 the fact that it takes very little time to prepare. Oh, and there’s something for every member of your family. You might not know it, but this could be one of the best ways for your children to enjoy vegetables. 

So, pick up all the ingredients from one of your favourite stores today and let’s get down to business.

Happy Cooking!

Yield: 2
Author: Jan Bennett
Vegetables in Chinese Brown Sauce

Vegetables in Chinese Brown Sauce

Brown sauce is the essential secret, the all-purpose stir-fry sauce.
Prep time: 7 MinCook time: 3 MinTotal time: 10 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 - 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)
  • a pinch of salt - have a taste and add only if you think it needs it


  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, have a taste and add a pinch of salt but only if you think it needs it; the oyster sauce is quite salty so I didn't add salt.
  5. Add the sauce to the vegetables in the wok.
  6. Continue to stir-fry until the sauce thickens a bit and by which time the vegetables should be perfectly cooked - not overcooked.
  7. Serve immediately with some nice egg-fried rice or whatever else you fancy.
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