Oyster sauce is a common condiment used in East and Southeast Asian cuisine.
It’s made from oysters that have been cooked and then strained to create a thick, dark brown sauce.
This sauce is salty, savory, and has a slightly sweet taste. It’s often used as a marinade or stir-fry sauce and can be added to rice or noodles.
If you’re out of oyster sauce or just don’t want to buy a bottle, don’t worry!
We’ve got you covered with this list of 12 oyster sauce substitutes.
Substitutes for Oyster Sauce
- Miso Paste
- Fish Sauce
- Coconut Aminos
- Tamari Sauce
- Hoisin Sauce
- Chinese Brown Sauce
- Teriyaki Sauce
- Sweet Soy Sauce
- Dark Soy Sauce
- Light Soy Sauce
- Soy Sauce
- Vegetarian Mushroom Oyster Sauce
Miso paste is a fermented soybean paste that is commonly used in Japanese cuisine.
It has a similar savory flavor to oyster sauce, making it a suitable replacement in many recipes.
In addition, miso paste is high in umami, giving dishes a rich depth of flavor.
When substituting miso paste for oyster sauce, it is important to start with small amounts and adjust to taste.
For best results, look for a miso paste that is light in color and mild in flavor.
Avoid using dark or strong-flavored misos, as they will alter the flavor of the dish.
Fish sauce is a popular ingredient in many Asian cuisines, and it is often used as a substitute for oyster sauce.
While the two sauces are similar in taste and texture, fish sauce has a stronger flavor that can be overpowering in some dishes.
However, when used sparingly, it can add depth and complexity to a dish.
In addition, fish sauce is a good source of umami, which can help to round out the flavors of a dish.
Finally, fish sauce is usually less expensive than oyster sauce, making it a good option for budget-minded cooks.
When substituting fish sauce for oyster sauce, it is important to start with a small amount and add more to the taste.
Bear in mind that the strong flavor of fish sauce can easily overwhelm other ingredients, so use it sparingly.
Coconut aminos are a suitable substitute for oyster sauce. It is made from the sap of coconut trees and has a similar umami flavor.
This condiment is a good choice for those who are allergic to shellfish or are looking for a vegan option.
When used as a substitute, it can provide the same savory taste without the fishy smell.
Coconut aminos are also lower in sodium than oyster sauce and are sugar-free.
This makes it a healthier option overall. When used as a substitute, it can help to cut down on the saltiness of a dish.
In some cases, you may need to add a little bit of water to thin it out.
This condiment can be used in stir-fries, marinades, and sauces. It is especially good when used with chicken or tofu.
When substituting it for oyster sauce, you may find that it imparts a slightly sweeter flavor. This is due to the natural sugars in coconut sap.
In many cases, the oyster sauce can be replaced with Tamari sauce as a substitute.
There are several benefits of using the Tamari sauce as a replacement which include it being vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and less salty than oyster sauce.
Additionally, the Tamari sauce will not change the flavor profile of a dish as much as some other substitutes might because it is soy-based and has a similar umami taste.
Finally, Tamari sauce is easy to find in most grocery stores in the international aisle.
Hoisin sauce is a popular condiment in Chinese cuisine, and it can often be used as a substitute for oyster sauce.
Hoisin sauce is made from soybeans, sugar, vinegar, and spices, and it has a rich, sweet-savory flavor.
Because of its sweetness, hoisin sauce can be an excellent substitute for the oyster sauce in recipes that call for a savory-sweet flavor profile.
Additionally, hoisin sauce can be used as a glaze or marinade for meats, and it can also be used to add flavor to stir-fries and noodle dishes.
Chinese Brown Sauce
One of my favorite substitutes is Chinese brown sauce for oyster sauce. This substitution works well in many recipes, including stir-fries, lo mein, and even some soups.
The benefits of using Chinese brown sauce as a substitute for oyster sauce include its rich flavor, versatility, and availability.
Chinese brown sauce is made from a variety of ingredients, including soybeans, vinegar, sugar, salt, and spices.
This combination gives the sauce a deep, complex flavor that enhances the taste of many dishes.
Additionally, Chinese brown sauce is very versatile and can be used in a wide range of recipes.
Finally, it is widely available in most supermarkets. In comparison to other substitutes, such as hoisin sauce or soy sauce, Chinese brown sauce has a more robust flavor that can help to boost the taste of a dish.
While it may change the overall appearance of the dish slightly, the substituted ingredient is usually not noticeable.
Teriyaki sauce is a common substitute for oyster sauce. It is made with soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar, and has a similar salty-sweet flavor.
Teriyaki sauce is a good choice for stir-fries, grilled meats, or marinades. It can also be used as a dipping sauce.
Teriyaki sauce is a good substitute for oyster sauce because it has a similar flavor profile.
However, it is important to keep in mind that teriyaki sauce is saltier than oyster sauce.
As a result, it is important to use it sparingly. Additionally, teriyaki sauce will give food a slightly different color than oyster sauce.
Sweet Soy Sauce
In many cases, sweet soy sauce can be used as a substitute for oyster sauce.
Sweet soy sauce is a thick, dark brown sauce that is made from soybeans, sugar, and salt. It has a sweet, slightly salty flavor with hints of molasses and caramel.
Unlike oyster sauce, which is made from oysters, sweet soy sauce is vegetarian and vegan-friendly.
Additionally, sweet soy sauce is less expensive than oyster sauce and can be easily found in most grocery stores.
When substituting sweet soy sauce for oyster sauce, it is important to keep in mind that the flavors will be slightly different.
The dish may be sweeter than intended and will lack the briny flavor of oyster sauce.
Dark Soy Sauce
Dark soy sauce can be used as a substitute for the oyster sauce in many recipes.
It has a similar salty, umami flavor, and can help to add depth and richness to dishes.
Unlike oyster sauce, dark soy sauce is vegan-friendly, making it a good option for those with dietary restrictions.
It is also less expensive than oyster sauce, making it a more budget-friendly option.
When using dark soy sauce as a substitute for oyster sauce, keep in mind that it is darker in color and slightly sweeter than oyster sauce.
As a result, it may change the appearance and flavor of your dish slightly.
Light Soy Sauce
In many recipes, the oyster sauce can be replaced with light soy sauce without affecting the taste or texture of the dish.
Light soy sauce is a thin, amber-colored sauce made from fermented soybeans, wheat, and salt. It has a salty, umami flavor with hints of sweetness.
Oyster sauce is similar, but it is made from oysters that have been simmered in water and then strained to remove the solids.
The remaining liquid is then thickened with cornstarch and flavored with salt and sugar.
As a result, oyster sauce is slightly sweeter and thicker than light soy sauce.
While both sauces can be used as a stir-fry seasoning or marinade, light soy sauce is a better substitute for the oyster sauce in dishes where you want a light flavor.
For example, light soy sauce would be a good choice in a stir-fry made with delicate ingredients like seafood or vegetables.
In contrast, the oyster sauce would be better suited for heartier dishes such as beef or chicken stir-fries.
Soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans, while the oyster sauce is made from oysters that have been simmered in water and then strained.
However, soy sauce can be a suitable substitute for the oyster sauce in many recipes.
It has a similar salty flavor and can help to add depth and umami to a dish.
When substituting soy sauce for oyster sauce, it is important to keep in mind that soy sauce is also much darker in color.
As a result, it may change the appearance of the dish slightly.
Additionally, soy sauce is typically quite a bit saltier than oyster sauce, so it is important to use it sparingly.
Vegetarian Mushroom Oyster Sauce
There are many reasons why you might want to use a vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce as a substitute for oyster sauce.
The benefits of using a vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce include the fact that it is lower in calories and fat than traditional oyster sauce.
It is also completely vegan and gluten-free, making it a great choice for those with dietary restrictions. In terms of taste, vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce is very similar to its seafood counterpart.
It is rich and savory, with a slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with chicken, beef, and veggies.
When substituting vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce for regular oyster sauce, keep in mind that it may make the dish slightly less salty.
You may need to add a bit of additional seasoning to compensate.
What is the best oyster sauce substitute?
The best oyster sauce substitutes are Miso Paste, Fish Sauce, Coconut Aminos, Tamari Sauce, Hoisin Sauce, and Chinese Brown Sauce.
What can I use if I don’t have oyster sauce?
If you don’t have oyster sauce, you can use a variety of other sauces as substitutes. Some of the most common substitutes are soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and fish sauce.
What does oyster sauce taste like?
Oyster sauce is a thick, dark brown sauce that is salty, savory, and slightly sweet.
There you have 12 substitutes for an oyster sauce that will work in a pinch. When substituting, be sure to pay attention to the flavors of the dish and adjust accordingly.
So go ahead and experiment with these substitutes and see which one you like best!