Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe- A Garlicky Spicy Sauce

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

Indulge in the savory symphony of my Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe . Studies show that the key to its delectable flavor lies in fresh garlic and soy sauce. Remember, a dash of sesame oil can transform this dish, ensuring your taste buds dance with delight. If you’re deciding what to pair it with, find a way to include it in stir-fries or dumplings. This may help eliminate any dinner dilemma, offering a great way to elevate your meal.

Ever found yourself craving a burst of flavor to transform your meals? You’re not alone. Many search tirelessly for that perfect sauce to elevate our culinary experiences. Today, I bring you my Chinese Garlic Sauce recipe, a game-changer in the world of flavors. 

Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe

This recipe has been a constant companion in my kitchen, inspired by my extensive travels across Middle Eastern and European countries and numerous restaurant visits. 

During a recent friend’s gathering, the sauce became the star of the night, satisfying even the pickiest eaters. 

Kids at the table, typically hesitant about trying new flavors, asked for seconds! The key to this sauce’s magic? A harmonious blend of garlic, soy sauce, and a touch of sesame oil. 

Remember, it’s not just about the ingredients but how you combine them. With this recipe, you can ensure your meals are never dull again. 

If you’re deciding on a way to introduce a zesty kick to your dishes, this Chinese Garlic Sauce recipe may just be what you need.

What Is Chinese Garlic Sauce? 

Chinese Garlic Sauce is a delectable condiment, typically made from minced garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Studies show that it’s a popular choice in various Asian cuisines, enhancing dishes with its rich, savory flavor. 

My advice for those new to this sauce is to remember its versatility; you can use it in stir-fries, as a marinade, or as a dipping sauce. Ensuring your kitchen is stocked with these simple ingredients, you may find a way to elevate any meal. 

History Of Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe 

The origins of the Chinese Garlic Sauce recipe are rooted in the diverse culinary traditions of China. Typically, the sauce embodies the balance of flavors central to Chinese cuisine. 

It’s challenging to pinpoint exactly who invented this versatile sauce as it evolved over centuries. However, cooks in China have been using garlic as a critical ingredient for millennia. 

Garlic’s role in traditional Chinese medicine may have influenced its prevalence in cuisine. 

Today, this sauce stands as a testament to the rich culinary heritage of China, offering a savory and aromatic addition to various dishes.

Interesting Facts About Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe

Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe, a savory symphony of garlic, soy, and ginger, is the quintessential stir-fry companion, elevating every dish. Here are some interesting facts:

Versatile Ingredient

Chinese Garlic Sauce typically includes soy sauce, garlic, and sesame oil.

Culinary Staple

In many Asian households, this sauce is a staple, used in numerous dishes.

Health Benefits

Studies show that garlic, a key ingredient, may have numerous health benefits.

Global Popularity

The sauce has gained popularity worldwide, not just in Asian cuisine.

Quick Preparation

You can typically prepare the sauce in under 10 minutes.

Flavor Enhancer

It is a great way to enhance the flavor of bland dishes.

Ancient Origins

Garlic has been used in China for medicinal and culinary purposes for thousands of years.


Many parents find this sauce a great way to introduce new flavors to children.


You can easily adjust the ingredients to suit your taste preferences.

Restaurant Favorite

It’s commonly found on the menus of Chinese restaurants worldwide.

Jar and Ingredients

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce?

  • Sichuan: Sichuan adaptations might include Sichuan peppercorns for a numbing spice kick known for bold flavors.
  • Cantonese: A milder version, often sweeter and less spicy, incorporating oyster sauce for a depth of flavor.
  • Hunan: Typically hotter, with fresh chilies and sometimes fermented black beans for an intense, savory taste.
  • Shandong: Here, the sauce might be lighter and thinner, focusing on enhancing the natural flavors of the main ingredients.
  • Fujian: A sweeter and more aromatic version, often incorporating fruit juices like orange or pineapple.
  • American-Chinese: Adapted for Western palates, it’s often sweeter, thicker, and less spicy, sometimes including Western vegetables like broccoli or carrots.
  • Southeast Asian: Influences in regions like Singapore or Malaysia introduce local ingredients like lemongrass or galangal.

What Will Make You Love This Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe?

This Chinese Garlic Sauce recipe stands out for its perfect balance of savory and aromatic flavors, ensuring a delightful culinary experience. 

The use of fresh garlic provides a robust taste, which is a key to its appeal. Soy sauce adds a salty depth, while sesame oil introduces a nutty richness. 

The simplicity of the ingredients ensures that anyone can prepare this sauce with ease, eliminating any kitchen intimidation.

Moreover, its versatility is a great way to transform mundane meals into extraordinary ones. The sauce complements a wide array of dishes, from stir-fries to noodles. 

Suppose you’re deciding on a reliable condiment to elevate your cooking. In that case, this Chinese Garlic Sauce recipe may just be what you need. Remember, a little goes a long way, making this sauce both practical and delicious.

Bowl and Spoon

Ingredients List

Vegetable or Canola Oil2 tablespoons
Minced Garlic2 tablespoons
Minced Ginger1 tablespoon
Finely Chopped Fresh Green Chiles1 teaspoon
Low Sodium Soy Sauce⅔ cup
Chicken Broth½ cup
Rice Wine Vinegar⅓ cup
Light Brown Sugar¼ cup
Sesame Oil1 tablespoon
Red Pepper Flakes1 tablespoon
Water¼ cup
Cornstarch2 tablespoons

Ingredient Tips 

  • Fresh Garlic: Use freshly minced garlic for a more potent flavor.
  • Ginger Quality: Ensure the ginger is fresh and juicy, not dry.
  • Green Chiles: Adjust the amount based on your heat preference.
  • Soy Sauce Selection: Opt for low-sodium soy sauce to control salt levels.
  • Broth Choice: Chicken broth adds depth, but vegetable broth works as a vegetarian option.
  • Vinegar Type: Rice wine vinegar is vital for authentic flavor.
  • Sugar Substitute: Light brown sugar can be replaced with honey for a different sweetness.
  • Sesame Oil: Ensure your sesame oil is of good quality for the best taste.
  • Pepper Flakes: Red pepper flakes add heat; adjust according to tolerance.
  • Cornstarch Quality: Fresh cornstarch ensures proper thickening of the sauce.

What Are The Variations Of Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe? 

  • Spicy Version: Add extra red pepper flakes or fresh chilies for a spicier kick.
  • Sweet Twist: Increase the amount of light brown sugar for a sweeter sauce.
  • Vegetarian Option: Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • Gluten-Free Adaptation: Opt for gluten-free soy sauce and ensure all other gluten-free ingredients.
  • Sesame-Free: Eliminate sesame oil if you have allergies, replacing it with another oil.
  • Thicker Sauce: Adjust the cornstarch quantity to achieve your desired consistency.
  • Citrus Flair: Add a splash of orange or lemon juice for a tangy twist.
  • Herbal Notes: Incorporate fresh herbs like cilantro or basil for additional flavor.
  • Milder Version: Reduce or eliminate the red pepper flakes for less heat.
  • Umami Boost: Include a dash of fish or oyster sauce for deeper savory notes.

Recipe Directions

Cooking Method

  • Place a medium saucepan on the stove and set it to high heat.
  • Pour the vegetable oil into the saucepan, ensuring an even spread.
  • Add minced garlic, ginger, and finely chopped fresh green chiles into the hot oil.
  • Stir the mixture constantly. Do this quickly to release the aromas, approximately 15 seconds.
  • Introduce the low-sodium soy sauce, chicken broth, and rice wine vinegar to the saucepan.
  • Add light brown sugar, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes.
  • Mix well and wait for the sauce to reach a boiling point.
  • Once boiling, adjust the stove’s heat setting to medium.
  • Allow the sauce to simmer and cook for 1 minute, ensuring all flavors meld together.
  • In a separate bowl, combine water and cornstarch. Mix until you achieve a smooth consistency.
  • Pour the cornstarch mixture into the saucepan, stirring constantly.
  • Continue to stir until you notice the sauce thickening.
  • Once thickened, remove the saucepan from the heat.

Embrace the depth of Asian culinary art with Chinese Garlic Sauce, where each drop is a rich tapestry of aromatic garlic and savory notes.

Scaling The Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe

Scaling the Chinese Garlic Sauce recipe is quite straightforward. If you need to make a larger batch, simply double or triple the ingredient quantities. Ensure your saucepan is large enough to accommodate the increased volume. 

Conversely, for a smaller batch, halve the ingredient amounts. When adjusting the recipe, pay attention to the balance of flavors. 

The key to success lies in maintaining the ratio of savory soy sauce, aromatic garlic, and ginger, and the heat from the chilies. 

Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads?

This Chinese Garlic Sauce is incredibly versatile and can be used as a marinade, dipping sauce, or salad dressing. 

When used as a marinade, it infuses meat or vegetables with its savory and aromatic flavors, ensuring a delightful taste. 

As a dipping sauce, it adds flavor to dumplings, spring rolls, or grilled meats. Suppose you decide to use it as a salad dressing. In that case, its zesty profile can elevate a simple salad to a flavorful dish. 

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe?

Stir-Fried Vegetables

Broccoli, bok choy, bell peppers, and snap peas are elevated with a garlic sauce glaze.

Protein Stir-Fries

Works wonderfully with chicken, beef, shrimp, or tofu.

Noodle Dishes

Toss with lo mein, rice noodles, or spaghetti for an East-meets-West fusion.

Rice Dishes

Perfect as a drizzle over fried rice or steamed white or brown rice.


Use as a dipping sauce for potstickers or gyoza.

Spring Rolls

A flavorful dip for both fresh and fried spring rolls.

Steamed Fish

Drizzle over a delicate, steamed white fish for a flavor boost.

Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipes?

  • Garlic Sauce Chicken: Tender pieces of chicken stir-fried with vegetables in a rich garlic sauce.
  • Yu Xiang Rou Si (Fish-Fragrant Pork Slices): Despite the name, this dish doesn’t contain fish but pork slivers cooked in a pungent garlic sauce.
  • Garlic Sauce Eggplant (Fish-Fragrant Eggplant): Silky eggplant stir-fried and coated in a thick, garlicky sauce.
  • Broccoli in Garlic Sauce: A simple yet popular dish featuring broccoli drenched in a savory garlic sauce.
  • Moo Shu Vegetables with Garlic Sauce: A mixture of vegetables and sometimes tofu, served with thin pancakes and garlic sauce.
  • Garlic Sauce Noodles: Noodles tossed in a tangy and slightly spicy garlic sauce, often garnished with scallions.
  • Sichuan Garlic Chicken (Kung Pao Chicken): A spicy dish with chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers in a garlic sauce.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe Offers?

  • Savory (Umami): The presence of soy sauce, oyster sauce, or hoisin sauce lends a deep umami base that’s quintessentially savory.
  • Sweetness: A touch of sugar or honey balances the flavors, adding a subtle sweetness that complements the garlic’s pungency.
  • Garlicky: As the name suggests, the predominant flavor is garlic, which offers a bold, aromatic punch that’s both pungent and slightly spicy.
  • Spiciness: Depending on the recipe, chili paste or dried chilies can introduce a warm heat that tingles the palate.
  • Tanginess: A splash of vinegar or a hint of citrus juice can add a bright, acidic note, cutting through the richness and balancing the sauce.
  • Salty: Using soy sauce or salt ensures the sauce has a foundational salty taste, enhancing all other flavors.
  • Earthy: Ingredients like sesame oil or mushrooms can add an earthy undertone, grounding the sauce’s profile.
Jar and Spoon

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life?

Chinese Garlic Sauce can be stored and preserved for future use. To ensure proper storage, transfer the sauce to an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. Typically, when stored this way, the sauce lasts up to one week. 

If you wish to extend its shelf life, you may freeze the sauce. When frozen, it can be preserved for up to three months. Remember to thaw and stir well before using it again, as separation may occur. 

What Are The Substitutes For Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe?

  • Hoisin Sauce: Though sweeter, hoisin sauce can work as a substitute, especially if you add extra garlic.
  • Oyster Sauce: It’s thicker and has a different flavor profile, but it can work in a pinch. Again, bolster it with minced garlic.
  • Soy Sauce with Garlic: Simply mixing soy sauce with minced garlic can provide a basic substitute. Add a bit of sugar and vinegar to round out the flavors.
  • Teriyaki Sauce: It’s sweeter and lacks the garlic punch, but it can substitute in stir-fries and marinades.
  • Black Bean Sauce: This sauce has a deep, umami-rich flavor. Add some garlic to get closer to the flavor profile of Chinese Garlic Sauce.
  • Chili Garlic Sauce: If you’re looking for heat with your garlic, this can be a good alternative.
  • Thai Sweet Chili Sauce: This is sweeter and less garlicky but can be used in stir-fries for a different flavor profile.
Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce?

To Thicken The Sauce

  • Cornstarch Slurry: Mix equal parts cornstarch and cold water to make a slurry. Stir it into the simmering sauce until it reaches your desired thickness.
  • Arrowroot Powder: Like cornstarch, arrowroot powder can thicken the sauce without making it cloudy.
  • Reduce the Sauce: Simmer the sauce over low heat, allowing excess liquid to evaporate, which naturally thickens the sauce.
  • Vegetable Puree: Adding pureed vegetables like cooked carrots or beans can thicken the sauce and add nutritional value.

To Thin The Sauce

  • Water: Simply adding a little bit of water can help thin out an overly thick sauce.
  • Broth: Using vegetable or chicken broth adds flavor while thinning the sauce.
  • Soy Sauce or Rice Vinegar: These not only thin the sauce but also add layers of flavor.
  • Sesame Oil: A drizzle of sesame oil can loosen the consistency while contributing a nutty flavor.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm? 

Chinese Garlic Sauce is typically served warm, especially when used in stir-fries, as a drizzle over dishes, or as a marinade. 

Serving it warm ensures the flavors are pronounced and meld well with the dish. However, suppose you’re using the sauce as a dipping sauce or a salad dressing. 

In that case, it can be served at room temperature or even slightly chilled. Cooling the sauce may slightly mute its pungency, providing a milder taste sensation. 

Ultimately, the choice between serving it cold or warm depends on the dish and personal preference.

Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe

Nutritional Values

This Chinese Garlic Sauce offers a flavorful yet low-calorie addition to dishes. Rich in antioxidants from garlic and ginger, it provides minor health benefits. 

The sauce contains sodium from soy sauce, so moderation is advised for those watching salt intake. The minimal sugar content gives a slight energy boost.

What Are The Total Calories In Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe?

The total calories in the Chinese Garlic Sauce recipe depend on the exact measurements and specific ingredient brands. 

However, on average, a serving of this sauce, considering the ingredients provided, can range between 40-50 calories per tablespoon. 

Factors like the type of oil, the sugar content, and the amount of soy sauce can influence the caloric content. It’s always a great way to consult specific ingredient labels or use a nutritional calculator for precise values.

Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe

Chinese Garlic Sauce is the essence of flavor, a bold symphony of garlic’s robustness mingled with the subtlety of traditional spices.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe

  • Sodium Content: Contains soy sauce, which can be high in salt.
  • Gluten: Standard soy sauce has gluten, but gluten-free versions are available.
  • Vegan/Vegetarian: It contains chicken broth, but vegetable broth can be a substitute.
  • Allergens: Sesame oil might be allergic to some individuals.
  • Sugar Content: Contains light brown sugar, which adds carbohydrates.
  • Nightshades: Red pepper flakes belong to the nightshade family.
  • FODMAPs: Garlic and onions can be high FODMAP foods.
  • Alcohol: Rice wine vinegar has trace amounts.
  • Oil: Contains vegetable or canola oil, which may not suit certain diets.

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition Table

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

  • Overcooking Garlic and Ginger: These can burn quickly. Ensure you stir them constantly and remove them from heat once fragrant to prevent a bitter taste.
  • Incorrect Cornstarch Slurry: Not mixing the cornstarch with water properly can lead to lumps in the sauce. Ensure a smooth consistency before adding.
  • Over-seasoning: This may result in an overly salty or spicy sauce. Always taste and adjust accordingly.
  • Not Simmering Long Enough: This can prevent flavors from melding together. Simmering allows ingredients to integrate properly.
  • Using High Heat Throughout: Cooking on high heat continuously can cause the sauce to burn. Reduce the heat once the ingredients are added.
  • Not Stirring Constantly: Especially when adding the cornstarch slurry, constant stirring ensures an even thickening without lumps.
  • Storing Improperly: Not using airtight containers can lead to contamination or a shortened shelf life.
  • Using Old Ingredients: Stale or expired ingredients can compromise flavor. Always ensure freshness for optimal taste.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce?

  • Marinade: Use for meats or tofu before grilling or roasting.
  • Stir-Fry Base: Add to vegetables or proteins for a quick meal.
  • Noodle Toss: Mix into cooked noodles for an instant flavor boost.
  • Soup Enhancer: Add a tablespoon to broths for a richer depth.
  • Sandwich Spread: Elevate sandwiches or wraps.
  • Pizza Base: Swap traditional tomato sauce for an Asian twist.
  • Dressing: Mix with a bit of olive oil for salads.
  • Dipping Sauce: Pair with spring rolls or tempura.
  • Baking Glaze: Brush on roasted veggies or meats for a glossy finish.
  • Rice Mix-in: Stir into cooked rice for an aromatic side dish.
Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe

Special Tools & Equipment Needed

  • Medium Saucepan: To cook and simmer the sauce.
  • Whisk: Helps ensure a smooth and lump-free consistency.
  • Garlic Press: Provides finely minced garlic, maximizing flavor release.
  • Grater or Microplane: For mincing ginger finely.
  • Measuring Spoons and Cups: Ensures accurate proportions of ingredients.
  • Heat-Resistant Spatula: Useful for continuous stirring, especially when adding the cornstarch slurry.
  • Glass Airtight Containers: For storing leftover sauce and maintaining its freshness.
  • Fine Mesh Strainer: If needed, strain out any lumps or bits.
  • Mixing Bowls: For preparing cornstarch slurry or mixing ingredients.
  • Digital Thermometer: If you wish to monitor the sauce’s temperature during simmering.

Frequently Asked Questions  

Can I Make This Sauce Vegan Or Vegetarian?

Yes! Simply substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth to make it vegetarian. Ensure all other ingredients align with vegan or vegetarian standards as needed.

How Long Can I Store The Sauce In The Refrigerator?

Stored in an airtight container, the Chinese Garlic Sauce typically lasts up to a week in the refrigerator. Always check for any off-putting smell or mold before use.

Can I Freeze This Sauce For Later Use?

Yes, the sauce can be frozen. Pour it into ice cube trays for easy portioning. Once frozen, transfer the cubes to a freezer bag. When ready to use, thaw and heat as required.

It’s Too Spicy/Hot For My Liking. How Can I Tone It Down?

If you find the sauce too spicy, reduce the red pepper flakes or green chiles in the recipe. Additionally, adding a bit more broth or water can help dilute the spiciness.

I Don’t Have Rice Wine Vinegar. What Can I Use Instead?

In the absence of rice wine vinegar, you can use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar as a substitute. The flavor profile may change slightly, but it should still provide the necessary tang.

Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe- A Garlicky Spicy Sauce

0 from 0 votes
Recipe by Lana Rivera Course: Sauces


Prep time


Cooking time





Indulge in the rich flavors of this Chinese Garlic Sauce, a harmonious blend of spicy, savory, and sweet. Perfect for elevating stir-fries, marinades, or as a delightful dip. Experience authentic Asian taste in every bite.


  • 2 tablespoons 2 Vegetable or Canola Oil

  • 2 tablespoons 2 Minced Garlic

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Minced Ginger

  • 1 teaspoon 1 Finely Chopped Fresh Green Chiles

  • cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce

  • ½ cup ½ Chicken Broth

  • cup Rice Wine Vinegar

  • ¼ cup ¼ Light Brown Sugar

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Sesame Oil

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Red Pepper Flakes

  • ¼ cup ¼ Water

  • 2 tablespoons 2 Cornstarch

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation: Begin by gathering all the ingredients and equipment. Ensure the garlic and ginger are finely minced, and the green chiles are finely chopped. Make a cornstarch slurry by mixing the cornstarch with water until fully dissolved. Set aside.
  • Sauté Base Ingredients: In a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable or canola oil over high heat. Once hot, add the minced garlic, ginger, and green chiles. Cook, stirring continuously with the heat-resistant spatula to prevent burning. Once fragrant, which typically takes about 15 seconds, proceed to the next step.
  • Add Liquids And Seasonings: Pour the low sodium soy sauce, chicken broth, rice wine vinegar, light brown sugar, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes into the saucepan. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  • Simmer: Bring the mixture to a brisk boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium. Let it simmer for about 1 minute, allowing the flavors to meld.
  • Thickening The Sauce: On medium heat, slowly pour the prepared cornstarch slurry into the sauce, whisking or stirring constantly. This ensures even thickening without lumps. Continue to cook, stirring continuously, until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency.
  • Final Taste Test: Take the sauce off the heat. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. If you want it saltier, add a touch more soy sauce. If you desire more heat, sprinkle in some additional red pepper flakes.
  • Cool And Store: Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, transfer to glass airtight containers using a funnel if needed. Seal and store in the refrigerator if not using immediately.

Recipe Video


  • Ensure fresh garlic and ginger for the best flavor.
  • Adjust spiciness by regulating red pepper flakes.
  • Substitute vegetable broth for a vegetarian version.
  • For a gluten-free option, choose gluten-free soy sauce.

Nuoc Mam Cham Recipe

Nuoc Mam Cham Recipe is a vibrant Vietnamese dipping sauce, combining fish sauce’s umami depth with lime juice’s tang, sugar’s sweetness, and chili’s heat.

Green Pea Sauce Recipe

Elevate your dishes with this vibrant Green Pea Sauce Recipe. Blended to perfection with onions, garlic, and a touch of evaporated milk.

Cream Dill Sauce Recipe

Cream Dill Sauce Recipe is a smooth, fragrant blend of fresh dill, rich cream, and a hint of mustard, creating a delicate yet flavorful condiment.

Cocktail Sauce Recipe

Cocktail Sauce Recipe is a zesty, tangy condiment made with a sharp mix of ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. 

Leave a Comment

Author picture


Welcome, fellow flavor enthusiasts to the world of Sauce Chick, where every flavor tells a tale of creativity, passion, and the harmonious fusion of spices and sauces.

More About Me