The Healthy Cook: Stir-Fried Vegetables in Black Pepper Sauce

For a stir-fry that looks (and tastes) great, use a mix of colors. The dish cooks in a flash, so prep all your ingredients before you turn on the burner.


  • 1½ Tbs. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1½ Tbs. dry sherry*
  • ½ tsp. brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • ½ tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. + 1 Tbs. peanut oil
  • 4 cups mixed chopped vegetables


In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch with 3 Tbs. water. In another small bowl, mix together the black pepper, garlic, and 1 tsp. peanut oil.

  1. In a large sauté pan or wok over high heat, heat the remaining 1 Tbs. peanut oil until very hot but not smoking. Stir-fry the vegetables until tender-crisp, 2–3 minutes.
  2. Push the vegetables to one side of the pan. Add the oil/garlic/pepper mixture to the open space and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Whisk the soy sauce mixture again, then pour it over the oil/garlic/pepper. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Toss the vegetables with the sauce.

*You can substitute 1½ Tbs. white wine (or 1½ tsp. sherry vinegar + 1½ Tbs. water). Don’t use cooking sherry.

Nutrition Information

Per serving (¾ cup):

  • Calories: 100
  • Total fat: 5 g
  • Sat fat: 1 g
  • Carbs: 11 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Total sugar: 5 g
  • Added sugar: 1 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Sodium: 240 mg

For more recipes

Go to for:

  • Very Veggie Fried Rice
  • Braised Leeks

Cooking questions?

Write to Chef Kate at