Chinese Clear Sauce

Chinese Clear Sauce
Chop Suey Sauce Header

Chinese Clear Sauce or Chop Suey Sauce is a seasoned sauce that is used for Chinese Stir Frys or Chop Suey. Coating the vegetables in a clear glistening sauce.

Just make the below recipe and cook until thickened. Hot Chop Suey with Vegetables & Meat with a Glistening Flavorful Chinese Clear Sauce to coat it all. How thick or thin you like is entirely up to you.

Clear Sauce Liquids

The Liquid for the Clear Sauce is broth or water. Exchange the broth to match the protein being added.

Broth

The broth will add more flavor especially if adding protein. Although in Chinese Restaurants, only water is used. The flavoring comes from the seasoning used and the natural flavors of the vegetables. Some restaurants will use Vegetable or Chicken broth as the main liquid. Used across all dishes no matter the choice of meat that is used.

Seafood Broth

For any seafood of choice, use Hondashi or Seafood Broth. I find Hondashi is superior in adding in Rich Umami Flavors that are well versatile across any seafood. Use about 1 tsp of Hondashi or more for a stronger flavor.

Hondashi
Hondashi

Pork Broth

Use Pork Broth or Consomme if the choice of protein added is pork. Use 1 cube of Knorr Pork Bouillon Cubes.

Beef Broth

Use Beef Broth or Beef Consomme if the choice of protein added is beef. Use 1 Maggi Bouillon Beef Cubes.

Beef Maggi
Beef Maggi

Chicken Broth

Chicken Broth or Consomme is pretty universal with meats. Use 1 Maggi Bouillon Chicken Cubes.

Chicken Maggi
Chicken Maggi

Vegetables Broth

Vegetable Broth or Consomme may be added in the case where no proteins are being added or as a universal broth to accompany any choice of protein. The Natural Flavors in the Vegetable Broth can help enhance the flavors of your choice of vegetables added.

Other Liquids

Add other liquids to enhance or shape the flavors. Such as Sake or other cooking wines, Soy Sauce, Mirin for sweetness, Chili Oil for Heat, Hoisin, or Oyster sauce.

With Beef & Broccoli, Hoisin or Oyster sauce is commonly added.

Fats

The fat is not added directly to the Clear Sauce. Instead, it is introduced by stir-frying the meat if used and the vegetables.

The Fat added also gives the sauce its sheen and should be a Neutral Oil, Sunflower Oil, or Peanut Oil. Optionally mixed with Sesame Oil for additional Flavor.

If adding in proteins then try to use rendered fat from the choice of protein added. This will by far elevate the flavors and help the protein of choice stand out. Visit Rendered Fat for more information on rendering fat from meat.

Rendering Pork Fat
Rendering Pork Fat

Clear Sauce Seasoning

The common seasoning in Chinese cooking is Salt, Sugar, MSG, White Pepper. Aromatic Vegetables are often added. Such as Garlic, Ginger, Green Onions, or Scallions.

I add the addition of Cream of Tartar for 2 main reasons. First, it contributes a barely noticeable acidity that is really quite effective at elevating the flavors. The second reason is that it preserves the natural colors of the vegetables.

Clear Sauce thickeners

Most people use Cornstarch and it works fine. I just find Potato Starch is much better and so use this as the main thickener in Chinese Clear Sauce.

Careful with the heat, if the heat is extremely high, the thickener added will break down. more so with cornstarch than potato starch, but it can still break down and lose its thickening power. Generally heat just enough so that it thickens, then remove from the heat.

If you stir fry the vegetables over high heat with a bit of water in order to soften hard vegetables. Ensure that all the water has evaporated as to not dilute and thin out the Chop Suey Sauce.

How to Thicken Chinese Clear Sauce

If you do end up thinning the sauce out or breaking the sauce by exposing it to high heat for too long. Mix equal amounts of Potato Starch and water and add to the Stir fry over heat until thickened to the desired consistency.

How to thin out Chinese Clear Sauce

If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more water or broth over heat to thin the sauce out.

Chinese Clear Sauce Powdered Mix

For Home use, nothing beats a powdered dry mix that you simply add to the liquid to create a clear sauce on demand.

Mix together the following to create your own homemade version of a Chinese Clear Sauce powder Mix. Then When Needed Mix 3 Tbl of the Powder mix for every 2 Cups of Water. Add in any other small amounts of liquids as you see fit for additional flavor.

Store it in a Spice Jar or other container.

  • 2 Tbl Potato Starch
  • 1 tsp Broth Powder & White Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt & MSG
  • 1/8 tsp Cream of Tartar & White Pepper

How to make Chinese Clear Sauce

Combine the Chinese Clear Sauce ingredients and bring to a boil to thicken. Then add to cooked Stir-Fried Vegetables or combine all of the sauce ingredients together and add into the stir fry towards the end and cook until just thickened.

Another method is to add the Powder mix to 1 cup of water. Stir fry the vegetables as you normally would and then add 1 cup of water to the wok with the vegetables and bring to a boil to soften any hard vegetables. Once soften, add 1 Cup of water with the Powder mix to thicken the sauce. Remove from the heat as soon as it is thickened.

Either way you do it, it’s a fast and effective way of having a good quality stir fry sauce on demand.

Chinese Clear Sauce Pin
Chinese Clear Sauce Pin

Chinese Clear Sauce

Restaurant Quality or better Chinese Clear Sauce used with your choice of Vegetables & Proteins for Stir Frys or Chop Suey.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time3 mins
Course: Ingredient, Sauce
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Chinese Clear Sauce, Chop Suey Sauce, Stir Fry Sauce
Servings: 1 portion
Author: JAH

Equipment

  • Saucepot

Ingredients

  • 2 C Water
  • 2 Tbl Potato Starch
  • 1 tsp Broth Powder & Sugar – See notes for variations
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt & MSG
  • 1/8 tsp Cream of Tartar & White Pepper

Instructions

  • Combine All ingredients together in a saucepot. Bring to Boil until thickened and set aside.
  • Add to the Chop Suey once all the vegetables are cooked. Mix well and serve.

Notes

Add 1 tsp of Chicken Broth Powder or 1 Chicken Maggi Bouillon Cube for Chicken Chop Suey.
Add 1 tsp of Pork Broth Powder or 1 Pork Knorr Bouillon Cube for Pork Chop Suey.
Add 1 tsp of Beef Broth Powder or 1 Beef Maggi Bouillon Cube for Beef Chop Suey.
Add 1 tsp Hondashi or Seafood Broth Powder for Seafood Chop Suey.
Add 1 tsp of Vegetables Broth Powder for All-around flavoring or Vegetable Chop Suey.