Oyster sauce is very significant in Asian cuisine especially Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes. It is most preferred due to its availability in the market and it’s relatively cheaper. Like most sauces, it is sweet with an umami taste. It has some oyster extract in it however it still tastes like sweetened soy sauce. Like most sauces, it has dark brown syrup.
The sauce is full of seafood but it does not taste or smell anything like the content. It is therefore good for the pantry.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were cooking and realized you are out of oyster sauce? Don’t panic because we got you covered. Here are some of the sauces that you can substitute for the oyster sauce:-
#1 Soy Sauce
Soy sauce is a key ingredient in any Asian cuisine. It is the best and most widely used sauce in Asia. It can be taken with any meal. It has an amazing and unique salty umami taste that makes food delicious. It is a product of fermented soybeans paste and wheat that has Aspergillus mold. It has existed for longer than any other source.
The source needs a month to be prepared. Soy sauce can be prepared from soybean or rice. Depending on where it was produced, the taste may vary. Cooking is becoming a hobby for most people. As such different flavors of soy sauces are being discovered. No dumplings or sushi can be eaten without soy sauce. It is best for the pantry.
A soy sauce is much thinner with a strong salty taste than oyster sauce. And can be considered a substitute due to the sweet umami taste. When using soy sauce as a substitute, use 1 tablespoon of soy sauce to substitute 2 tablespoons of the oyster source. This is because of the strong salty taste of soy sauce. It can be used alongside sugar and honey for a little sweet taste.
#2 Fish Sauce
It is best, especially when preparing stir-fries. Most people tend to use it together with oyster sauce. Compared to oyster sauce, it is saltier with a stronger flavor. It is prepared by fermenting fish in salt for two years. Just like soy sauce, it has a unique umami taste and should be substituted with half the amount of oyster sauce used due to its salty taste. While cooking you need to add the sauce in small portions.
#3 Mushroom Sauce
It is considered the second-best substitute for soy sauce. Like fish sauce and soy sauce, it has an umami flavor that can be used in various ways to give a unique flavor. It is easy to make compared to soy sauce and fish sauce. You need dried shiitake mushrooms, vegetable oil, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil, and soy sauce. Use aromatics to simmer the mushrooms then add the remaining ingredients and thoroughly mix to create a paste. You can add spices to give the past a unique taste.
#4 Hoisin Sauce
Hoisin sauce has a sweet and salty taste and can be used in the same proportion as oyster sauce. However, it is thicker than oyster sauce but diluted to make it thinner. The level of sweetness of the sauce is much stronger however the umami taste makes it good for most dishes that need sauces. Like the oyster sauce, it is dark brown which gives food a beautiful look when served. It is the best sauce for seafood meals.
#5 Tamari sauce
Tamari sauce is closer to soy source in taste. It is famous for most Japanese cuisine but can be used for any Asian dish. When used to substitute oyster sauce, use one tablespoon of tamari sauce to substitute two tablespoons of the oyster. It is dark-colored syrup and does not have any wheat hence can be used by people allergic to gluten. Users must always check labels to be sure. It is best when to use to dip food before eating because it is not bitter like other soy sources. For saltier food, tamari sauce is the best as it has less salt.
#6 Coconut aminos
Coconut aminos are the healthiest sauce you can use as a substitute. It is best for people with allergies to gluten. It is prepared by mixing sea salt and coconut tree and has a low content of sodium compared to oyster sauce. It is however very expensive.
#7 Sweet soy sauce
It is from Indonesia. It tastes sweeter. It is used in the same amount as an oyster sauce. Despite being from Indonesia, it can be used for any other Asian dish.
#8 Soy sauce and Hoisin sauce mixture
When soy and Hoisin sauces are combined in equal proportion the result is a flavor that is close to the oyster sauce that can be used anytime at home. The sweet, salty umami taste created gives food a taste of both soy and Hoisin sauces that will be loved by your family. This is not easy to make because if you mix the two in the wrong ratios, the result could be a total mess.
Everyone is looking for ways to make their loved ones feel happy, much appreciated, and loved. Oyster sauce is one ingredient in the kitchen that can inspire one to rise every morning with the urge to make their family members happy. Having it or any of the above mention substitutes on your kitchen shelf will help maintain a consistent flavor and happiness at home.