Low Calorie Stir Fry and Wrap Sauces

by zesty on April 21, 2010 · 6 comments

Hi All and Happy Wednesday.  Let’s just say I have somewhat of a different post in store today.  Not that I usually talk about low calorie ideas specifically but on occasion I drop in a low cal dish here or there.  With that said, I got an interesting question from a zesty reader yesterday.

He asks:

I was wondering if you had any suggestions for how make some simple low-calorie, easy-to-make stir fry sauces?  I basically living on stir-fry’s and wraps.  I’m also calorie counting.  So it kills me to see how much the calories add up in the sauces. I’d like it to be low calorie and also low sodium and I have to be able to make it in 30 seconds (ok.  maybe 5 minutes).  I know.. quite the challenge..

For sauce creations I really take one basic principle into account – BALANCE. For me it is all about the balance of flavors whether it be sweet and sour or mild versus spicy.

There are easy ways to infuse flavor in your food without all the calories and fat.  Remember to experiment to please your palate.  There are no rules when it comes to the flavors you enjoy.  Here is the simple sauce basis I use.

The Zesty Basic Stir Fry Sauce


  • 4 Tsp. cornstarch
  • 2/3 Cup water (or chicken or beef broth, if desired)
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 2 Tsp. sugar


  1. Whisk all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Add to stir fry just at the end, stirring well into the dish and let sauce come to a bubble.
  3. Let simmer until sauce has thickened, then serve.

Here are a couple of my ideas when kicking up a simple stir fry sauce.

  1. Mix in some grated ginger root and grated garlic.
  2. Orange juice/lemon juice/lime juice ( the real deal) and mix
  3. Nuts
  4. Red pepper flakes and/ or hot sauce.
  5. Flavored vinegars.

Well there you have it.  I hope you submit your favorite sauce ideas for anyone who is reading and may be looking for other options to flavor their dishes.  Thanks so much for reading and I cannot wait to hear if other have suggestions.  Have a great Wednesday.

Take care


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Detective Lara

This is basically the sauce that my dad makes for all his stir-fries, which I have been trying to emulate for years without success! It’s nice to see measurements because I can never get the water/cornstarch ratio right!
Vinegar is a nice touch to make it lighter and more flavorful. I can’t wait to try this for my next homemade meal!


2 Danica

I LOVE it – you did a healthy, low-cal post – yeah!!! :D

My favorite rule of thumb for goto stir fry sauces is the 1/3 rule. You can use 1/3 of everything to make a sauce…An example ~ 1/3 c water, 1/3 c sweetener, 1/3 c soy sauce = teriyaki sauce. Then, you can add your favorite seasonings from there. It works with most sauces and you can make as little as you want, just keep the same ratios.


3 Jessie

Stir-fries are a great way to cut calories, so your stir fry sauce is perfect, Zesty! I make a simialr sauce sometimes, and I’ll replace the sugar with a fruit juice or actual fruit (like pineapple chunks) to give a nice fruit flavor.


4 Shelton Andzulis

Really it is striking how fat laden calories throughout a strong apple will be more reaping benefits for compared to calories from fat throughout a strong egg and also calories inside a banana, Even now subway energy genuinely find a way to generate this variance with my own fat laden calories counter-top.


5 Bill Dent

Just made this tonight for the family and everyone loved it


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