Thai Stir-Fried Vegetables With Garlic, Ginger, and Lime

Thai vegetable stir-fry with a scoop of white rice in bowls

The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
215 Calories
12g Fat
25g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 215
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 708mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 96mg 479%
Calcium 99mg 8%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 666mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Making a "simple stir-fry" isn't always all that simple if you can't get the stir-fry sauce to taste just right. But with this no-fail recipe for Thai stir-fried vegetables, the technique is a shoo-in mostly because the sauce is made up before beginning to fry the vegetables, allowing you to adjust the flavors to your liking. This can be made vegetarian/vegan by substituting soy sauce for the fish sauce.

This is quite a "saucy" stir-fry that is never dry and is terrific served over rice or noodles. Feel free to experiment with your own choice of vegetables, using whatever is fresh and available where you live.

Great as a side dish, you can turn it into a main course by adding tofu, wheat gluten, cashews, cooked shrimp, or slices of chicken as a protein source. Enjoy this dish with egg rolls or spring rolls on the side and sliced fruit for dessert.

Best of all it takes about 20 minutes from start to finish—perfect for gathering the family around the table for a weeknight meal. Things will go even faster if much of the slicing, dicing, and chopping is done the night before. 


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  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots, or purple onion

  • 5 to 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 to 2 thumb-size pieces galangal or ginger, sliced into matchsticks

  • 1/2 to 1 small fresh red chile, thinly sliced or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chile flakes

  • 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced

  • 5 to 6 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced

  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets

  • 1 small head broccoli, cut into florets

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips

  • 3 baby bok choy, or other small Chinese cabbage, cut in half or thirds

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped Thai basil

  • 1 cup jasmine or coconut rice, for serving

For the Stir-Fry Sauce

  • 2/3 cup coconut milk

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce, or soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

  • 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed chile flakes

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar

Steps to Make It

Make the Stir-Fry Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for the stir-fry sauce recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  2. In a large cup or small bowl, combine coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, chile flakes, and brown sugar, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Taste test, keeping in mind that the first taste should be spicy-salty, followed by sweetness and the rich taste of the coconut milk. Adjust these flavors to suit your taste, adding more lime juice if too sweet or salty (note that it will be less salty when combined with the vegetables).

    Stir-fry sauce ingredients mixed in a small bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

Stir-Fry the Dish

  1. Warm a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat.


    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  2. Add 2 tablespoons oil and swirl around, then add the shallots, garlic, galangal, and chile flakes.

    Shallots, garlic, and seasonings frying in oil in the wok

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  3. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes, then add the carrot, mushrooms, optional cauliflower, and 1/4 of the stir-fry sauce. Continue stir-frying 2 to 3 minutes.

    Carrots and mushrooms added to the wok

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  4. Add the broccoli and red pepper plus enough stir-fry sauce to gently simmer vegetables (about 2 minutes). This is meant to be a "saucy" stir-fry that is never dry so the sauce can flavor the rice or noodles it is served with.

    Broccoli and red pepper added to the mixture in the wok

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  5. Finally, add the bok choy or Chinese cabbage. Add more of the stir-fry sauce as needed, almost enough to just cover vegetables in sauce. Simmer until bok choy or cabbage is cooked but still bright green with some crispness (2 to 3 minutes more).

    Bok choy added to the vegetable mixture in the wok

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  6. Remove from heat and taste test. If not salty enough, add a little more fish or soy sauce. If too salty or sweet, add a squeeze of lime juice. Add more sugar or chile if desired. Top with fresh basil and serve over Thai jasmine rice or Thai coconut rice.

    Thai vegetable stir-fry with a scoop of white rice in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond


  • Any leftover stir-fry sauce can be stored for one week in a covered container in your refrigerator for future stir-fries.

Recipe Variations

  • Use this sauce to make a main course dish by adding cooked chicken or shrimp or adding tofu/cashews if vegetarian/vegan.
  • If using raw chicken or raw shrimp, combine with 3 tablespoons of the stir-fry sauce as a marinade. Add marinated chicken/shrimp at the beginning of stir-frying together with the shallots, garlic, galangal, and sliced red chile or chile flakes.