Oyster sauce is an amazing ingredient that can add so much flavor and depth to your dishes. It is a staple in many Asian dishes.
It’s made from oysters and soybeans, so it has a rich umami flavor that makes any dish taste delicious.
But what if you don’t eat seafood or are looking for an alternative to the oyster sauce?
To make your search easier, I’ve put together a list of my favorite oyster sauce substitutes that will let you enjoy your favorite dishes without worrying about your health.
Give these swaps a try today or just read till the end for an easy-to-follow homemade oyster sauce recipe.
Table of Contents
- 11 Best Oyster Sauce Substitutes
- What Is Oyster Sauce?
- How to Make Oyster Sauce at Home (Easy Guide)
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Words
11 Best Oyster Sauce Substitutes
The best substitutes for oyster sauce are hosin sauce and fish sauce. You can also use teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, and tamari sauce can also be used as oyster sauce replacement in most recipes.
If you’re in the middle of preparing a recipe and you are out of oyster sauce, try these handy oyster sauce substitutes instead.
1. Hoisin Sauce
Hoisin sauce is a popular Chinese condiment made from fermented soybeans, vinegar, sugar, salt, and spices.
It has a sweet and savory flavor with a thick, syrupy consistency. Hoisin sauce is commonly used as a dipping sauce or marinade, and makes an excellent oyster sauce substitute in stir-fries and other Asian dishes.
2. Fish Sauce
Fish sauce is a popular Southeast Asian condiment made from fermented fish and salt. It has a strong, pungent smell but a delicious, salty flavor.
Fish sauce can be used as a dipping sauce, marinade, or seasoning, and makes an excellent oyster sauce substitute in Thai and Vietnamese dishes. However, be careful when cooking as the strong smell will linger.
3. Soy Sauce
Soy sauce is a fermented soybean and wheat mixture that has become popular around the world. In addition to being used as a seasoning, it is also used as a dip and a marinade. Soy sauce has a salty, umami taste that can enhance the flavor of many dishes.
It is commonly used in Asian cuisine, but has also become popular in Western cooking. Just remember that it will change the flavor of your dish, so use it sparingly.
4. Teriyaki Sauce
Teriyaki sauce is a popular Japanese sauce made from soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar. It has a sweet and savory flavor with a slightly thick consistency.
Teriyaki sauce is commonly used as a marinade or glaze for meat, fish, and vegetables. It also makes an excellent oyster sauce substitute in stir-fries and other Asian dishes.
5. Vegan Mushroom Sauce
Mushroom sauce is a vegan-friendly alternative to oyster sauce. It is made from mushrooms, onions, garlic, and spices. It has a thick consistency and a deep, rich flavor.
Mushroom sauce has a savory, umami flavor that can enhance the taste of many dishes It is commonly used as a gravy or condiment, and makes an excellent oyster sauce substitute in vegan and vegetarian dishes.
6. Sweet Soy Sauce
Sweet soy sauce is a type of soy sauce that is popular in Indonesia and Malaysia. It is made from soy sauce, sugar, and molasses.
It has a thick, syrupy consistency and a sweet, savory flavor. It is commonly used as a dipping sauce or marinade and makes an excellent oyster sauce substitute in Asian dishes.
7. Tamari Sauce
Tamari sauce is similar to soy sauce which is popular in Japan. It is made from fermented soybeans and has a rich, savory flavor. Tamari sauce is commonly used as a dipping sauce, marinade, or stir-fry seasoning.
Its strong, salty flavor makes it the perfect substitute for oyster sauce when looking for a gluten-free alternative.
8. Worcestershire Sauce
Worcestershire sauce is a popular condiment made from malt vinegar, molasses, salt, garlic, and tamarind extract.
It has a distinctively tangy flavor that can add depth of flavor to many dishes. Worcestershire sauce is commonly used as a marinade or seasoning for meats and vegetables. You can also add it to soups and stews for an extra flavor boost.
9. Black Bean Sauce
Black bean sauce is a savory and slightly sweet sauce made from fermented black beans, soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, and other seasonings.
It is commonly used in Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine. Black bean sauce has a strong umami flavor that can enhance the taste of many dishes. Try it in stir-fries, noodles dishes, or as a dipping sauce.
10. Miso Paste
Miso paste is a Japanese condiment made from fermented soybeans and salt. It has a thick, salty texture with a delicious umami flavor.
Miso paste can also be used as a marinade for meats and vegetables. It works well as an oyster sauce substitute and can be used in Asian dishes or stir-fries.
11. Chinese Brown Sauce
Chinese brown sauce is a thick, dark sauce made from soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, and other seasonings. It has a rich, savory flavor and a thick texture that can be used as a substitute for oyster sauce in any dish.
Brown sauce has a strong savory flavor that can add depth of flavor to many dishes. It is commonly used in stir-fries and other Chinese dishes. Try it in noodles dishes, soups, or stews.
What Is Oyster Sauce?
Oyster sauce, also called oyster-flavored sauce or oyster-flavored dressing is a thick brown condiment used in many types of Asian cuisine to add flavor and taste to food.
It is typically made with ingredients like soy sauce, oysters, water and sugar, and has a unique, salty, and umami flavor that is difficult to duplicate.
It can be used as a condiment or ingredient in sauces, marinades, and glazes, or added to stir-fries, noodles, rice, and other dishes.
It is often used in Asian cuisine but can be explored in cuisines from around the world. It’s sometimes even found in America, where it is incorporated into various recipes for its umami-rich taste and thick texture.
Oyster sauce has a complex umami flavor that is difficult to replicate, but these substitutes will give you a similar flavor profile.
How to Make Oyster Sauce at Home (Easy Guide)
Making the oyster sauce from scratch is not very difficult, but it does require a few specialty ingredients.
- 1/2 cup dried oysters
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
Oyster Sauce Recipe
- Combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and oysters in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then remove from the heat and set aside for 20 minutes so the oysters can rehydrate.
- Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl, discarding any solids that remain.
- In a small saucepan, combine the sesame oil and cornstarch. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.
- Add the oyster mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes more, or until heated through.
This sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Oyster Sauce Taste Like?
Oyster sauce is rich and dense, with a salty, umami taste. This sauce has a unique flavor that can’t really be duplicated with other ingredients.
It has an earthy kind of smell to it. There are some who describe it as having a “seafood smell” but this will vary depending on the brand you buy.
This sauce is often used in Asian cuisine but can be used in other dishes as well. It’s a popular ingredient in marinades, sauces, and glazes.
How to Use Oyster Sauce?
Oyster sauce can be used in many different ways, but it is most commonly found in Asian cuisine. It can be used as a dip, condiment, or ingredient in sauces, marinades, and glazes. It can also be used to add flavor to stir-fries, noodles, rice, and other dishes.
When cooking with oyster sauce, it’s important to remember that a little goes a long way. Too much can overpower a dish, but when used properly, it adds delicious flavor.
It often contains sugar so it’s important to keep an eye on the recipe to see how much your dish requires.
What Can I Use Instead of Oyster Sauce in a Stir Fry?
If you are looking for a substitute for oyster sauce in a stir fry, you can use hoisin sauce, vegan mushroom sauce, soy sauce, or Chinese brown sauce.
Is Oyster Sauce and Worcestershire Sauce the Same?
No, they are not the same.
Oyster sauce is made of oysters simmered in water and sugar for a few hours to make a thick, flavorful sauce.
On the other hand, Worcestershire contains anchovies, which means it is not vegetarian.
Oyster sauce is a thick, salty, and savory condiment that can add flavor to many dishes.
If you don’t have any on hand or cannot find it in the store near you, these are some excellent substitutes that will get your mouth watering just as fast.
Do any of them sound good to you? Let us know in the comments below.