Learn About Oyster Sauce

Author: Chef Sydney

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What is Oyster Sauce?

Oyster sauce is a condiment and sauce used in Asian cuisine.  It has a thick consistency and usually looks dark brown.  Oyster sauce comes from the liquid of cooked oysters, also called oyster extracts.  Most oyster sauce also contains salt, sugar, water, and cornstarch.  Vegetarian oyster sauce often uses mushrooms instead of oysters.  Oyster sauce smells rich and fragrant.

What Does Oyster Sauce Taste Like?

Oyster sauce tastes salty like the ocean, meaty, sweet, and rich.  It does not have a strong seafood flavor.

Bowl of oyster sauce
Bowl of oyster sauce.

How Do You Eat Oyster Sauce?

While you can eat oyster sauce on its own, many people combine it with other ingredients to enhance their flavors.  Oyster sauce is best known for bringing out the savory taste of other foods.  The most common uses for oyster sauce include stir-fry sauces, glazes, and marinades.  Oyster sauce flavors chicken, beef, vegetables like broccoli, noodles, and rice dishes.  It is an important component to cashew chicken and even a type of radish cake.  Make homemade hoisin sauce or teriyaki sauce by using oyster sauce.

Where Can You Buy Oyster Sauce?

Find oyster sauce in the international aisle of a well-stocked grocery store.  If you can’t find it, look for oyster sauce in international grocery stores or Asian food stores.  You can also make a substitute sauce at home.

How Do You Store Oyster Sauce?

Store unopened oyster sauce in a cool, dry place.  Once opened, seal the bottle and store it in the refrigerator.

Fun Fact About Oyster Sauce

There are a few variations of oyster sauce, including one made with cream and butter.

Did You Know?

The creation of oyster sauce happened by accident!  Oysters were left to cook for too long and the cooking liquid reduced down into oyster sauce.

Recipes Using Oyster Sauce

Oyster Sauce Substitute

If you can’t find oyster sauce, you can make a substitute at home! Combine equal parts soy sauce and hoisin sauce or a mixture of fish sauce and hoisin sauce. Use in the same manner you would use oyster sauce.

Easy Marinade

Create a tangy and delicious marinade. In a large bowl, combine oyster sauce, soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Use to flavor beef or chicken.

Mushrooms with Oyster Sauce

Use oyster sauce to flavor mushrooms for a tasty side dish. Saute white mushrooms in a skillet in butter until the mushrooms brown. Stir in garlic and oyster sauce. Serve with cracked black pepper.

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

Use oyster sauce to give your homemade teriyaki sauce a rich flavor. Combine oyster sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, maple syrup, and water in a saucepan. Simmer until sauce thickens.

Beef Stew

Create a delicious and tangy beef stew for the whole family to enjoy. Combine cooked beef stew meat, beef broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, garlic, carrots, potatoes, broccoli, ginger, red pepper flakes, and pepper in a large stock pot. Allow the stew to simmer and thicken before serving.


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