Oyster Sauce Substitute For Preparing Your Favorite Recipes
Oyster sauce has been a key ingredient for many recipes throughout Asia. Many people look for an oyster sauce substitute as per their needs to prepare the most delicious recipes for their loved ones.
You have probably eaten oyster sauce in many food and recipes without even realizing that you have as many recipes we consume in restaurants and hotels have them in common. This savory and sweet condiment is a staple of that cuisine, Cantonese cuisine, and Vietnamese cuisine as well.
If you have decided to cook or get some beef with broccoli, classic stir fry, or that chicken wings, you are definitely going to need some oyster sauce to add magic to the delicious recipes.
If you cannot find one in your area or if you are looking for certain vegan products as an oyster sauce substitute, we have covered it all for you. Do not worry, there are few alternatives to the regular oyster sauce that we find utterly delicious and feel like adding them to all the recipes.
This piece of the article contains 7 alternatives of oyster sauce or oyster sauce substitutes that you would love to replace if you are trying to cook something very delicious for your family.
Before proceeding to oyster sauce substitute, would you like to know what exactly oyster sauce is and how it tastes (if you have not tried it till now)? Let’s see.
What Is Oyster Sauce?
In the traditional way, oyster sauce is made by boiling oysters in brine till the broth thickens and caramelized. This results in a viscous, sweet, and glistering syrup-like sauce with a saltwater flank.
This process is not that easy and takes a certain time to carry out. When it is prepared in industries, they use the oyster extract in place of oysters many times. They also use MSG, caramel color, cornstarch, salt, and sugar to make the oyster sauce. Looking at these ingredients it is not very hard to figure out that oyster sauce is extremely tasty, isn’t it?
There is no doubt in the fact that this sauce does contain oysters, but you do not have to worry about fishy taste at it is not entirely fishy if you do not enjoy this taste much. Instead of a fishy taste, the flavors added to it make it tastes sweet and rich having a salty undertone. Oyster sauce has a high-gloss finish that complements all the dishes it is used in and it has a perfect viscosity for coating velveted meats and other tossed recipes. After all, this is what we are looking for in a sauce.
It is enough to get an idea of what is oyster sauce and how it tastes, let’s proceed to some roster sauce substitutes for you. These options contain some vegan alternatives too, so check them out.
Oyster Sauce Substitute
If you do not have oyster sauce in your area, or you do not wish to it because of oysters, or you have other issues with oyster sauce, these oyster sauce substitutes are a must-try for you.
1. Mushroom Stir-Fry Sauce
For everyone reading this, if you are allergic to shellfish or you have tuned vegetarian, this mushroom stir-fry sauce is an excellent choice for you. This oyster sauce substitute has a soybean base, salt, sugar, cornstarch, mushroom flavors, flour, and some amazing caramel preservatives and colorings. All these ingredients are quite the same as oyster sauce making it an amazing oyster sauce substitute.
Due to the presence of wheat flour in this sauce, the customers who are sensitive to gluten are suggested not to go for this option. Some well-known brands that offer excellent mushroom stir-fry sauce are Wa Jan Shan, Kimlan, and Lee Kum Kee.
This is similar to oyster sauce in terms of flavor and texture. The flavor notes of this recipe are salty, sweet, and umami. You can use it as an oyster sauce substitute in many recipes especially in recipes having tossed products.
2. Fish Sauce
Fish sauce is kept in oyster sauce substitute because both come from sea creatures, otherwise, there are not many similarities between them both. It is not a great oyster sauce substitute but if you love the taste of a dish, you can still go for it. Using few drops of this sauce can also add great flavors and authenticity to Cantonese recipes and that cuisine. The two sauces are different in texture and taste, you cannot compare it with oyster sauce but both are equally tasty for adding to any recipes.
It is suggested that you only use few drops of this substitute and not more than that. Use them inside mixed dishes and stir-fry dishes to enhance the taste.
3. Black Bean Sauce
This plant-based oyster sauce substitute is an excellent choice for you. This sauce is dense and creamy, you can use it with noodles, meat, and vegetables. The color is quite dark and does not match oyster sauce at all. It has a viscous consistency and some savory flavors like oyster sauce.
The only thing different from oyster sauce is that it does not taste sweet. It is made from black beans that are fermented along with vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, and very minute amounts of sugar. Black bean sauce is not entirely an oyster sauce substitute as it does not mimic the taste but people still love and enjoy using it in any recipes they prepare.
It also contains soy sauce due to which we cannot call gluten-free. If you do not wish to eat gluten, you can still hop on to some other substitutes mentioned below. However, if you have decided to use this as your oyster sauce substitute, you are going to get an amazing taste that is savory than sweet. If you want the taste to be similar to oyster sauce, you can just add a spoon of sugar and you are good to go.
In the end, drizzle your recipe using mushroom broth. You are going to love how it turns out. Most people use this sauce to prepare noodles. Just start with this food item for great taste.
4. Hoison And Soy Sauce Mixture
Sometimes mixing two ingredients can give a great result. Many people have claimed that using the mixture of hoisin and soy sauce in a 1:1 ratio tastes the same as an oyster sauce which makes it on the list of oyster sauce substitutes.
Instead of boiling shellfish, if you can get the results directly, it is great. We know that hoisin sauce is slightly thicker and more viscous as compared to oyster sauce. Adding soy sauce in the same quantity or ratio will make the resultant mixture thin out and have the same consistency as the oyster sauce.
The saltiness of the resultant sauce will cut the sweetness present in the hoisin. Both these contaminants boats fermented quirkiness in them. Just to remind you again, both the sauces are plant-based and have gluten in the form of wheat inside their ingredients.
5. Hoisin Sauce
Although the consistency of hoisin sauce is slightly thicker as compared to oyster sauce, it still makes a great oyster sauce substitute. This makes a great substitute for the oyster sauce in case you are preparing for stir-fry dishes.
When we compare both these excellent sauces, it is seen that oyster sauce contains certain spice components that are more flavored like fennel, garlic, chili flakes, etc. These flavors are definitely worth munching on as they enhance the taste of any boring recipe too well.
Hoisin not only contains extra spices, but it also has some acidic elements in it such as orange, vinegar, and plums. Oyster sauce is just added by many chefs to increase the flavors or add flavors and it probably acts as a background ingredient while hoisin is excellent and it clearly steals the show with its incomparable taste. Like other Chinese food items, hoisin also has gluten in the form of wheat but it is safe to be eaten by vegetarians as no animal products are mixed in it.
So, the similarities between oyster sauce and hoisin sauce are their taste and sweetness. The flavors are sweet, garlicky, and acidic in nature. You can easily add this sauce in dippings, tossed dishes, and stir-fry dishes. What are you waiting for? just give it a try.
6. Kecap Manis Sauce
This one is highly popular in Indonesian cuisines. It is made from sweetened soy sauce and has a healthy dosage of palm sugar. These things make it flavor more like molasses and the texture appears similar too. It is somewhat similar to the oyster sauce that is why it makes a good oyster sauce substitute. Both the sauce tastes savory and sweet.
The only difference we have noticed is that it lacks the saltwater funk that oyster sauce has and which makes the highlight of oyster sauce in most of the recipes.
The consistency of this sauce is extremely viscous which clearly states that it performs wonderfully in marinades and stir-fry recipes. You can use this sauce as a substitute in some other recipes as well.
This sauce has more sugar content as compared to oyster sauce, if you do not love a sweet taste in sauces, you can easily add some soy sauce to it to balance the taste and make it taste more like traditional oyster sauce.
Like other sauces, even this sauce has no animal products and completely based on plant products but it has some portions of gluten in it.
The similarities between both the sauce in their sweetness and texture. The only noticeable difference is the proportions of sweetness. You can use it in basting and marinades.
7. Soy Sauce
Like other oyster sauce substitutes, soy sauce is not a good oyster sauce substitute as it lacks the needed sweetness for which many people prefer oyster sauce.
Also, the soy sauce has a watery texture that does not resemble the thick and shiny texture of the oyster sauce. If you do not have oyster sauce and you are left with soy sauce only, then you can use it as the taste is still great but you will not have the consistency same as the oyster sauce on stir-fry ingredients and for marinating.
The base of soy sauce is salty and made with fermented soybeans unline the sweet and savory taste of the oyster sauce.
We still have a hack that can turn it somewhat similar to oyster sauce. You can add one or two tbsp of sugar inside of it and few drops of Worcestershire sauce and then stir them to get the taste and consistency. Remember that adding Worcestershire inside it will make it a non-vegetarian sauce as it has anchovies. Also, if you are sensitive to gluten-containing ingredients, you should avoid using soy sauce and find some other replacements for oyster sauce.
These were 7 amazing substitutes for an oyster sauce that you try anytime.
The Bottom Line
While you are choosing an oyster sauce substitute, you have to take into consideration which aspects of this sauce are most important to preserve it. You can use any of them as the taste and consistency are mentioned. Select as per your choice and enjoy great recipes.
Do you love mushroom recipes? Check out some delicious stuffed mushroom recipes for dinner.