6 Best Oyster Sauce Substitutes

Oyster sauce can quickly be forgotten about powering its far more well known pantry neighbors like soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, hoisin sauce, or your favored do-it-yourself stir-fry sauce. But this savory sauce, which is normally labeled as “oyster flavored sauce,” is a single of our favourite approaches to deliver salty, umami-packed flavor to vegetable stir-fries, shrimp fried rice, and a lot more. So what must you use if you run out of oyster sauce? And what is oyster sauce, in any case?

What Is Oyster Sauce?

Oyster sauce originated in the southern portion of China in the early 20th century and has due to the fact come to be a beloved component, notably in Cantonese cooking. It is ordinarily drizzled over veggies like Chinese broccoli when cooked. These days, the most well-liked brand of oyster sauce discovered in several grocery merchants is Lee Kum Kee, which helps make its sauce with water, sugar, oyster extractives (oyster, water, salt), modified cornstarch, monosodium glutamate, wheat flour, and caramel shade. It does not just flavor salty, nor does it style totally fishy. It is a elaborate sauce, not to mention one that has a loaded, thick regularity that resembles ketchup. Other brands of oyster sauce will have a similar taste but may stream a lot more conveniently from the bottle like maple syrup.

Teriyaki Sauce

Sweet, often smoky teriyaki sauce can double as a substitute for oyster sauce, particularly when used as a glaze. Conventional teriyaki sauce is built with a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar, cornstarch, and h2o. You can certainly make your very own by cooking everything in a smaller pot on the stove right until it is thickened, but there are lots of delightful bottled variations obtainable that are additional easy.

Hoisin Sauce

This sweet-meets-nutty-satisfies-marginally-spicy sauce is a well known condiment in Cantonese Delicacies, a lot like oyster sauce, creating it a terrific 1:1 substitute.

Fish Sauce

Unlike teriyaki or hoisin sauce, fish sauce has a liquid-like consistency that far more intently resembles soy sauce or vinegar. It’s made by coating compact fish (like anchovies) in salt and allowing them marinate till the fish obviously begin to crack down, releasing a briny liquid that is then bottled and labeled as fish sauce. This Vietnamese pantry staple can be drizzled instantly above sautéed or roasted greens, or you can include it to a dipping sauce with dark brown sugar, chile sauce, and lime juice for a makeshift choice to oyster sauce.

Soy Sauce

You know and love soy sauce for dipping or using as the base for a stir-fry recipe. On its individual, the consistency of soy sauce (at least the type normally found at American grocery merchants) and oyster sauce are not alike at all. Oyster sauce is viscous and soy sauce is in essence water. To make up that change, incorporate 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to a one particular-50 % cup of soy sauce in buy to thicken it.


Tamari is basically gluten-absolutely free soy sauce (it is manufactured from fermented soybeans and absolutely nothing else!), so the identical procedures earlier mentioned implement listed here. It tends to be a tiny thicker and significantly less salty than frequent soy sauce, although the big difference is negligible so you’ll nonetheless want a thickener like cornstarch or arrowroot powder.

Mushroom Broth

For a fully vegetarian (reward: vegan!) substitute for oyster sauce, use mushroom broth. Mushrooms the natural way have a ton of that irresistible umami flavor, so you will never eat it just mainly because you are not applying oyster sauce. Like soy sauce and tamari, you will even now will need a thickening agent to obtain the very same regularity as oyster sauce due to the fact the broth tends to be very watery.

What substances do you like to use in place of oyster sauce? Audio off in the remarks below!