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Bought vs homemade: Stir-fry sauce

Bought vs homemade: Stir-fry sauce

A stir-fry is a popular dinner option as it’s so easy to prepare. But just how healthy is the stir-fry sauce you are using?


Wattie’s Wok Creations Lemon, Ginger & Sesame Stir-Fry Sauce

Ingredients: Oyster sauce (water, sugar, salt, oyster extracts) flavour enhancer, hydrolysed soy protein, maize thickener, colour, soy sauce (17%) (water, soybeans, wheat, salt) water, ginger paste (12%) (ginger, sugar, water, food acid, vegetable gum, preservative) lemon juice 10% (contains preservatives), sugar, garlic, sesame oil (4.7%), red chillies, maize thickener, vegetable oil, food acid, vegetable gum, natural flavour (62.5g per serve)



Sauce/flavourings in Tofu stir-fry with Asian greens, chilli and lemongrass

Ingredients: 1 stalk lemongrass, 3 cloves garlic, 1 long red chilli, 2 tablespoons reduced-salt soy sauce (water, soybeans (16%), wheat, salt, alcohol, sugar, food acids 262, 270, 260), 2 teaspoons sesame oil, oil spray (15g per serve)

Nutrition information per serve

Most of the energy in a stir-fry comes from the protein and carbohydrates we add, such as meat or tofu, rice and vegetables.

The Wattie’s Wok Creations Lemon, Ginger & Sesame Stir-Fry Sauce, with 1520mg sodium per serve, has a whopping two-thirds of the recommended daily upper limit for sodium.

The Healthy Food Guide stir-fry sauce has only 260mg sodium. That’s 83 per cent less sodium than the Wattie’s sauce. The HFG sauce also has a lot less liquid.

The Wattie’s Lemon, Ginger & Sesame Stir-Fry Sauce has 9.9g of sugar (around 2 teaspoons) in a serve. The only sugar in the HFG sauce is a little in the soy sauce.

Stir-fry sauces can be easy and economical to make, and if you’re using our recipes they won’t be too high in sodium or sugars. If you do buy a stir-fry sauce, check and compare the nutrition information first.


Even reduced-salt soy sauce is very high in sodium, so beware of adding more when you’re preparing your own sauce.

First published: May 2017


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