This vegan secret sauce makes stir-fry taste just like your favorite takeout


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Photo: Omnivore's Cookbook

Whipping up some stir-fry is one of the quickest (and easiest!) ways to amp up the amount of veggies you’re eating during the day. By throwing some vitamin- and protein-packed staples into a skillet—like broccoli, snap peas, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, and tofu—and eating the mix over brown rice, you’re already checking off an impressive handful of your daily needs. But if you’ve always wondered how to make the healthy staple taste a little more like your favorite flavorful takeout, get ready: it’s all in the sauce.

One redditor recently shared a suggestion that makes any sauce taste more like what’s served at Asian restaurants: adding in some vegan oyster sauce. While the typical takeout and store-bought versions using oyster extract or juice can be super high in sodium and sugar, you can create a much-healthier, vegan version that uses none other than shiitake mushrooms to get the highly-craveable flavor. According to Maggie Zhu, the blogger behind Omnivore’s Cookbook, the trick is using the dried version. “The main ingredient of this oyster sauce is dried shiitake mushrooms, which can’t be substituted by fresh ones. Because they’ve been smoked and dried, their taste is more potent and intense,” she writes in the recipe.

“The main ingredient of this oyster sauce is dried shiitake mushrooms, which can’t be substituted by fresh ones. Because they’ve been smoked and dried, their taste is more potent and intense.” —Maggie Zhu, the blogger behind Omnivore’s Cookbook

To create the sauce, start by soaking the dried shiitake mushrooms to make them nice and tender. After some time in the food processor, combine with some other flavor-boosting ingredients—including garlic, ginger, miso paste, and agave syrup—and you’ll have an end result that can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. Then whenever you want to make some stir-fry, simply add some into your go-to sauce to make the flavor more restaurant-worthy. It’s as easy as that.

Another reason to avoid ordering takeout? Harmful chemicals might be in your food. Or try this recipe for turmeric anti-inflammatory fried rice.

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