11 Best Oyster Sauce Substitutes

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.

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.

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 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.

11 Best Oyster Sauce Substitutes

1. Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin Sauce Substitutes

Hoisin sauce is a popular Chinese condiment made from fermented soybeans, vinegar, sugar, salt, and spices.

It has a thick consistency and a rich, savory flavor. It’s the perfect substitute for oyster sauce and can be used in any dish that calls for it.

2. Fish Sauce

Fish Sauce Substitutes

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 is the perfect substitute for the oyster sauce in Thai or Vietnamese cuisine. However, be careful when you’re cooking as the strong smell will linger.

3. Soy Sauce

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is a fermented soybean and wheat mixture that has become popular around the world.

It’s used in many Asian dishes and can be easily substituted for oyster sauce. Just remember that it will change the flavor of your dish, so use it sparingly.

4. Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki Sauce Substitutes

Teriyaki sauce is a popular Japanese sauce made from soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar.

It has a sweet and savory flavor that makes it the perfect substitute for the oyster sauce in Asian cuisine.

5. Vegan Mushroom Sauce

Vegan mushroom sauce is a delicious, umami-rich sauce made from mushrooms, cashews, and a variety of spices.

It has a thick consistency and a deep, rich flavor that is perfect for replacing oyster sauce in any dish.

6. Sweet Soy Sauce

Sweet soy sauce is a popular Indonesian condiment made from soy sauce, sugar, and molasses.

It has a thick, syrupy consistency and a sweet, savory flavor that is perfect for replacing oyster sauce in Asian dishes.

7. Tamari Sauce

Tamari Substitutes

Tamari sauce is similar to soy sauce but uses only organic soybeans.

It has a strong, salty flavor that makes it the perfect substitute for oyster sauce when you are looking for a gluten-free alternative.

8. Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire Sauce Substitutes

Worcestershire sauce is a popular condiment made from malt vinegar, molasses, salt, garlic, and tamarind extract.

It has a thick consistency with a rich umami flavor that makes it the perfect oyster sauce substitute in any dish.

9. Black Bean Sauce

Black bean sauce is a popular Chinese condiment made from fermented black beans, vinegar, salt, and sugar.

It has a savory flavor that makes it the perfect oyster sauce substitute in Asian dishes.

10. Miso Paste

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.

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 popular condiment made from soybeans, oil, and other spices.

It has a rich, savory flavor and a thick texture that can be used as a substitute for the oyster sauce in any dish.

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.

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.

What Does Oyster Sauce Taste Like?

This sauce has a unique flavor that can’t really be duplicated with other ingredients. It is rich and dense, with a salty, umami taste.

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 the oyster sauce in a stir fry, there are a few different options to choose from: 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.

Final Words

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.

I’m a passionate food blogger on a journey to become a go-to person who can help others prepare delicious foods. I share recipes, food substitutes, and other cooking tips. Read more about my journey...

Leave a Comment