Chinese Garlic Sauce

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This Chinese garlic sauce is lightly sweet and so flavorful. It’s amazing as a stir-fry sauce or it can be used as a dipping sauce.

We love to make vegetable stir-fry with this sauce but it is amazing with beef and chicken. It can also serve as a dipping sauce for eggrolls!

Chinese Garlic Sauce on a spoon

Chinese Garlic Sauce

One of the reasons we often order Chinese takeout is it’s just so darn flavorful.

The variety of sauces, spices, and heat levels are completely satisfying because there’s something to fit every mood.

While today’s Chinese garlic sauce is nothing short of flavorful, it is low on the heat. Feel free to add more chilis if you want it spicier.

Toss the sauce with your choice of vegetables and meat for a hearty stir-fry that can be served with rice.

The sauce is also great as a dip for fried dumplings!

If you enjoy this sauce, you should also try my honey garlic sauce, orange ginger sauce and homemade hoisin sauce.

Chinese Garlic Sauce mixed with veggies

Chinese Garlic Sauce Ingredients:

To make this Chinese garlic sauce recipe, you will need:

  • Cooking oil: Use either vegetable or canola oil
  • Garlic: Finely minced for the best texture
  • Ginger: Makes the sauce taste brighter
  • Green chilis: The recipe calls for 1 but feel free to add more if you like spicy food
  • Soy Sauce: Or make it gluten-free by using tamari
  • Chicken broth: Make it vegetarian/vegan by using vegetable broth
  • Vinegar: Adds a light sourness that tastes damn good
  • Brown sugar: Sweet, spicy, and sour – is your mouth watering yet?
  • Sesame oil: Because sesame oil is incredible in Asian cuisine
  • Crushed red pepper flakes: For even more spice
  • Cornstarch slurry: Thickens the sauce so it’s not so watery
Chinese Garlic Sauce Overhead

How to Make Chinese Garlic Sauce:

To make this flavorful sauce, simply…

  1. Cook the garlic, ginger, and chili. Cook just until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients. Add everything but the cornstarch slurry. Bring to a boil then simmer for 1 minute.
  3. Add cornstarch slurry. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and continue to cook until thickened.
  4. Serve right away or cool before storing for later use.
Chinese Garlic Sauce side view

Chinese Garlic Sauce Variations:

There are quite a few ways you can doctor up this recipe.

  • Add 1-2 more tablespoons of minced garlic: For all you garlic lovers.
  • Add another chili pepper: This will make the sauce extra hot.
  • Add Sriracha sauce: This will add more spice and flavor.
Chinese Garlic Sauce and veggies close up

How to Store Chinese Garlic Sauce:

Refrigerate – Allow the sauce to cool for 1 hour then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

If you are looking for more Chinese inspired sauce recipe we’ve got you covered!

Chinese Garlic Sauce

4.49 from 429 votes
Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe image
This Chinese garlic sauce is lightly sweet and so flavorful. It’s amazing as a stir-fry sauce or it can be used as a dipping sauce.
Sauce Fanatic
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Serving Size 8


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh green chiles
  • cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


  • Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and chilis. Cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
  • Stir in the soy sauce, chicken broth, vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil, red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and cook for 1 minute.
  • Stir the water and cornstarch together until fully dissolved and pour it into the sauce. Cook, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.

Make ahead tip

  • Allow the sauce to cool for 1 hour then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Reheat the sauce by warming it over low heat.


Green chilis: Any fresh green chile will work. We used serranos. If you’re in a pinch, canned green chiles will also work.
Red pepper flakes: You can use crushed red pepper flakes or Gochugaru for this recipe.
Makes about 2 cups.


Serving: 4tablespoons | Calories: 81kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 830mg | Sugar: 6g

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients and brands you used in the recipe.

4.49 from 429 votes (425 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. this recipe is absolutely outstanding! i substituted soy free coconut aminos for the soy sauce, and it came out absolutely delicious! it’s been over 10 years since i’ve been able to go to any kind of asian restaurant, so i’ve been trying to experiment at home, and this is the perfect sauce with the perfect consistency. this is going into our regular rotation for dinner nights!

  2. Been looking for a spicy garlic chicken sauce for awhile. After reading reviews decided to give this a try. I normally follow recipes exactly as written the first time, however took advice and used half the rice vinegar. The sauce had the right spice, not really a garlic flavor or taste. This would make a great king pao sauce without the vinegar and maybe half the sesame oil, those two flavors stood out way to much for us.
    Overall I’d give this sauce a 4.5 rating

  3. Can you replace the canola/vegetable oil with olive oil?

    1. Sauce Fanatic says:

      You can. Just keep in mind that the olive has more flavor than canola or vegetable oil.

  4. Anonymous User says:

    Anonymous User

  5. We liked it — esp. my husband — but it was a touch sweet. I’ll make it again with half the brown sugar and see how that goes. Thanks!

  6. Best sauce recipe so far. But i’d go easy on the sugar mine came out really sweet ….I was definitely going for a more savory garlic sauce. Great Recipe

  7. Marcy Lauryl Lewis says:

    Is 2/3 cup of soy sauce correct? Seems like a lot?

    1. Sauce Fanatic says:

      Yes, this is correct. You can use low sodium soy sauce if you prefer.

      1. The green chilis were a nice touch, but way too much vinegar in this recipe. I questioned the amount while adding it, but went ahead anyway, and the result was a much to vinegar-y sauce.
        I’d suggest cutting the amount of vinegar in half… At least.
        Besides the vinegar thing, it seemed like a solid sauce.

  8. Robin Smith says:

    I like to make large amounts of sauces and freeze in individual serving containers for quick dinner prep instead of refrigerating for only 4 days. Too much time required for this recipe to only be able to use it for 4 days. So my question is can you freeze it? Is it as good when thawed and reheated?

    1. Sauce Fanatic says:

      Because cornstarch is used to thicken the sauce, we don’t recommend freezing it. It’s never the same once thawed.

    2. @Sauce Fanatic, Hi,
      Good recipe, but I have been able to freeze for up to 6 months. It will separate and be lumpy and reheating an whisking will not reincorporate it. My husband suggested using our electric “stick” whipper. it worked perfectly and the sauce was as good as new!

    3. if you want to make it freezer friendly ..leave out the cornstarch slurry. freeze without it and only add it when heating up your portioned servings

  9. EXCELLENT sauce. Made to use over Chinese style eggplant. Used 3 slit dried Chinese chili’s for heat. YUM. Nice amount left over in jar. Thanks!

  10. sauce to thick, what should I do to thin water or broth?

    1. Sauce Fanatic says:

      I would use water to thin it out if needed.

  11. We made this tonight (with extra garlic!) and it was delicious! Thanks so much for this recipe!

  12. Marlene Sanna says:

    I made this tonight and replaced the brown sugar with Truvia Brown Sugar. It was really good!

  13. This is exactly what I was looking for! I don’t like any spice so I left out the chili and pepper flakes, and the result was still perfect for me! Thanks

  14. Are the green chilis listed in the recipe the canned ones

    1. Sauce Fanatic says:

      Jeanne, we used finely diced fresh green chilis.

      1. Elizabeth says:

        Do you use rice vinegar or rice wine?

      2. Sauce Fanatic says:

        Rice wine vinegar is the same as rice vinegar. Look for a bottle that has either of those labeled on it. Don’t use rice wine, it’s completely different.

  15. Let me just start off by saying YA’LL NAILED THIS RECIPE!! I’ve tried a few different ones and none of them came close to this one!! It tastes like I ordered this from the restaurant. Thank you so much for sharing, will definitely be make this again, and again, and again!!!

    1. Is ONE TABLESPOON of red pepper flakes correct – seems like it would be way too much and VERY HOT.

      1. Sauce Fanatic says:

        1 tablespoon is correct. As with all cooking, you can adjust the spices/seasonings to taste.

  16. Can I freeze the sauce?

    1. Sauce Fanatic says:

      Greg, we do not recommend freezing sauces thickened with cornstarch.

  17. Kimberly A Hamelton says:

    Best garlic sauce EVER! Made garlic chicken with it. Will NEVER order this out again. We had a favorite home town restraunt that made our favorite but we don’t live there anymore. Have been searching restraunts for a good garlic chicken. Won’t need to anymore. Will forever make it arrt home now. Thank you!!! First time we made it, it was a bit to spicy but uhhhh soo good. The next time, we halved the red pepper and it was perfect.

  18. Kim DeVore says:

    Exactly like from my favorite Chinese restaurant.

  19. Looking forward to trying this but not sure what type of green chili is used.

    1. Sauce Fanatic says:

      We used 1 serrano pepper but if you want it less spicy you can use a milder pepper like a jalapeno.

  20. I tried the garlic sauce, didn’t have all the ingredients, but it was really really good