Vegan Life > Recipes > Dinner > Sweet Chili Vegan Stir-Fry Sauce

Sweet Chili Vegan Stir-Fry Sauce

June 3, 2022

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A jar of sweet chili vegan stir-fry sauce with bowls of tofu stir-fry in the background

This stir-fry sauce is not your usual boring teriyaki. It's a little spicy, a little sweet, and completely delicious! It's also vegan, so it's perfect for vegan stir-fry dishes. It's quick and easy to make—great for busy weeknight meals that the whole family will enjoy. It stores well in the refrigerator, too, so you can use it over and over again for even more quick dinners.

While sweet chili sauce is one of my favorite sauces, the store-bought versions all seem to be missing something. So I made my own sauce!

To stir-fry vegetables, choose vegetables that will hold up well and don't release a lot of moisture during cooking. Some vegetables that are great for stir-frying include red bell peppers, mushrooms, carrots, snow peas or sugar snap peas, broccoli florets, cabbage, green beans, water chestnuts, and baby corn. Cook your vegetables in a large carbon steel wok over medium-high heat for 2-8 minutes, or until they're just tender but still retaining most of their crispness. Be sure to use an oil with a high smoke point, such as peanut oil, canola oil, vegetable (soybean) oil, or grapeseed oil. Avoid frying with extra-virgin olive oil or sesame oil, since these oils have low smoke points. This delicious sauce can be added directly to your stir-fries at the end and warmed up over medium heat. For more detailed instructions, check out my crispy tofu stir-fry or my noodle stir-fry recipe. Or try my peanut sauce recipe for another stir-fry sauce option.

Tofu stir-fry in a wok with a wooden spoon

This sauce isn't just for stir-fries, though. It's also delicious with rice noodles, dumplings, cauliflower wings, or my crispy fried tofu recipe!

Sambal oelek is a chili paste that is available in many major grocery stores in the southeast Asian section. Your local Asian grocery store probably carries it as well. You can also buy it online, but it might be a little pricier than in stores. If you can't find it in your area, you can use sriracha, chopped fresh red chili peppers, or crushed red pepper flakes.

Sweet Chili Vegan Stir-Fry Sauce

Yieldabout 2 1/2 cups

Prep Time6 minutes

Cook Time4 minutes

Total Time10 minutes



  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until dissolved. Alternately, if you have a jar with a lid that seals (such as a mason jar), you can combine the ingredients in the jar and shake it. Either way, make sure there are no clumps of cornstarch left before proceeding.

  2. Add the sauce to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously until the sauce bubbles and begins to thicken a bit, about 3-4 minutes. The sauce will also turn translucent and darker when it’s ready.

  3. Mix the desired amount of sauce into your finished stir-fry and toss to combine. Or, store the sauce for later use.

Notes & Hints

If you're adding this sauce to a stir-fry, you can also skip cooking it separately and add the amount you want to use to the wok at the end. Just stir it for a few minutes to thicken.

This recipe makes enough sauce for 2-4 stir-fries, depending on how much sauce you like to use.

Store unused sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Nutrition Data

Serving Size: 1/12 of recipe; Calories: 58Fat: 0 g.; Saturated Fat: 0 g.; Cholesterol: 0 mg.; Sodium: 518 mg.; Carbohydrates: 14 g.; Fiber: 0 g.; Sugar: 11 g.; Protein: 0 g.; Vitamin A: 0 mcg. RAE; Vitamin B12: 0 mcg.; Vitamin C: 1 mg.; Vitamin D: 0 mcg.; Calcium: 12 mg.; Iron: 0 mg.; Potassium: 35 mg.; Zinc: 0 mg.

Note: This data should be used only as an estimate. Please see the nutrition section of my terms and conditions for more information on how this data is calculated.

Four vegan dishes: Creme Brulee, Detroit-style pizza, General Tso's Tofu, and Lemon Tart

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