Vegetable Stir-fry with Teriyaki Sauce

This is a great base recipe that can be varied endlessly to suit your taste preferences or whatever veggies you have on hand. If you prep the vegetables and whole grain to serve ahead of time you can have this the table in minutes.

Ingredients - Teriyaki Sauce:

¼ cup (60 ml) low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp (15 ml) mirin or rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp (30 ml) sugar or date paste
¾ cup + 2 tbsp (180 ml + 30 ml) water
1 heaping tsp (5 ml or more) chili garlic sauce or 3-4 whole Thai bird chilies, optional (for spicy version)
1 ½ tsp (7.5 ml) cornstarch

Ingredients - Vegetable/Other:

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 small white onion, sauté sliced
¼ head green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 head broccoli, cut into florets (about 1-inch in size)
2 large carrots, julienned
¼ pound (110 g) snap peas, cut on a bias into ½-inch pieces
4 scallions, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp (15 ml) minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp (30 ml) high-heat cooking oil, such as sesame, grapeseed, peanut, or canola oil, optional*


  1. Whisk together tamari/soy sauce, mirin/rice wine vinegar, sugar, chili sauce/chilies (optional) and ¾ cup (180 ml) of water for the teriyaki sauce and set aside.
  2. Add cornstarch to a very small dish and add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of cold water; stir until dissolved and set aside.
  3. Prep all vegetables and set near your burner. Heat a wok or large sauté pan over high heat. Working in batches, add some of the oil and a single layer of vegetables to the pan and cook, stirring/tossing frequently, until a bit softened but still crisp to the bite (2-3 minutes per batch). Set aside until all vegetables are cooked.
  4. Whisk teriyaki sauce ingredients, making sure to stir in the sugar that had settle on the bottom of the bowl and pour into the empty hot pan; cook stirring until boiling. Stir cornstarch mixture and then stir into sauce mixture in the hot pan. The sauce should bubble and thicken within a few seconds. Remove from heat and toss all cooked vegetables in the pan with the sauce. Serve immediately with whole grain rice.


  • *No-oil version: if you prefer to omit the oil, then the technique you’ll be using is a variation of water sauté. For this method, it is best to use a nonstick skillet and add about twice was much water as you would add if you were using the oil. Instead of adding the water ahead of time as you would with oil, add it after the vegetables. Allow the vegetables to brown slightly in the pan before adding, though if they start to stick or the pan gets too hot, add the water at that point. The steam released when the water hits the hot pan helps to finish cooking the vegetables. Vegetables cooked with this method will not brown as much or develop as much flavor as those cooked with oil but should still be tasty when paired with the sauce.
  • This recipe lends itself well to adding protein such as roasted tofu, shrimp, sliced chicken, or other sliced meat. To add, stir-fry protein in a bit of oil until cooked through—about 2-3 minutes; remove from pan, set aside, and proceed with cooking vegetables and other recipe steps as above. Alternatively, you can pre-roast tofu and add near the end of cooking the vegetables.
  • This recipe contains about 7-8 cups of chopped/sliced vegetables—you can substitute all or any portion of the vegetables in this recipe with other chopped/sliced vegetables of your choice.
  • Elevate your stir-fry by incorporating kimchi for a fermentation boost. Adding fermented ingredients to your recipe will give your microbiome a boost.
  • Makes 6 servings.

This recipe is from the American College of Lifestyle Medicine's Culinary Medicine Curriculum. It was designed by Michelle Hauser, MD, MS, MPA, FACP, FACLM, DipABLM, Chef.