Best Oyster Sauce Substitutes

Oyster sauce is featured in a number of Asian dishes. It offers a particular taste that combines umami with sweet and salty elements. But, finding it for home cooking may be tough if you don’t know where to search.

To that end, there are a variety of oyster sauce substitutes available for those who want to experiment with recipes. So, before we can determine what works best as an oyster sauce substitute, we must first define oyster sauce.

What Is Oyster Sauce?

Oyster sauce, as the name implies, is made from oysters. It’s seasoned with salt and sugar and has soy sauce thickened with corn starch on occasion. The end product is a cross between barbecue sauce and soy sauce.

It’s mildly sweet with a hint of salt and fish brine. The resultant flavor is similar to caramel. It also has the consistency of ketchup. Also, while having a seafood foundation, it does not taste especially like fish.

Oyster sauce is widely used in Asian cuisine and may be found in dishes such as:

  • Fry in a wok
  • Adobo with Pork or Chicken
  • Beef and Broccoli Grilled
  • Canton Pancit, Noodle Dish

It’s also a versatile sauce that goes well with a variety of dishes, including:

  • Chili
  • Chicken
  • Ginger
  • Onions in Green
  • pak choy
  • Peanuts
  • Fish

It’s a great addition to any meal, but it’s not always simple to come by.

Fortunately, there are a number of oyster sauce replacements available. Nevertheless, not all oyster sauce alternatives are made equal. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the finest oyster sauce substitutes.

Top 5 Oyster Sauce Substitutes

A mixture of Soy and Hoisin sauce is the greatest alternative for oyster sauce. Oyster sauce substitutes include Sweet Soy Sauce and Fish Sauce.

1. Soy Sauce and Hoisin Sauce

Soy sauce on its own is a common substitute for oyster sauce. Nevertheless, it is thinner and lacks the richness of tastes found in oyster sauce.

In contrast, combining it with hoisin sauce is a fast and efficient way to approximate oyster sauce. When soy and hoisin sauces are combined in a 1:1 ratio, the result is a sauce that is partly sweet, partially salty, and has a touch of the sea.

For a somewhat more robust taste, some chefs add a touch of sugar or even Worcester sauce.

It’s a little more complicated than a simple soy sauce change, but the flavor is worth the additional work.

2. Hoisin Sauce

If blending the components is too time consuming and you have it on hand, hoisin sauce is a quick and easy oyster sauce substitute.

Hoisin sauce works well as an oyster sauce alternative since it has a similar consistency to oyster sauce. Moreover, the tastes it adds to a dish are similar, if not identical, to oyster sauce. It has a sweet, salty, and faintly fishy flavor.

The flavor isn’t identical, but it’s similar enough to oyster sauce that you won’t notice the difference.

The major benefit of using hoisin sauce instead of oyster sauce is that you may use it in about the same amount. This means no worrying over dimensions or second-guessing measures. All you need to do is measure, combine, and stir as normal.

Also, unlike fish sauce, which is often used as an oyster sauce substitute, hoisin sauce is generally vegan. As a result, it is an excellent choice for vegetarian or vegan chefs. But, examine the ingredients to ensure that the hoisin sauce you choose suits your dietary needs.

3. Sweet Soy Sauce

Although regular soy sauce lacks the sweetness and consistency of oyster sauce, sweet soy sauce is a suitable substitute in a hurry.

It’s an Indonesian soy sauce that’s a little thicker than the original. It combines umami flavors with saltiness and sweetness. Unlike the soy sauce and hoisin sauce combo above, sweet soy sauce contains enough sweetness that you can skip the sugar.

You should use this oyster sauce substitute sparingly for the best results. Too much will be cloying, but a little goes a long way in most dishes. The only thing missing is the shellfish.

4. Soy Sauce

While soy sauce lacks the sweetness and syrupy composition of oyster sauce, it may serve as a substitute in a situation. What it lacks in texture and sweetness it more than makes up for in umami taste, which is essential when cooking with oyster sauce.

Soy sauce also has a high salt content, which works in its advantage when looking for an oyster sauce alternative. For a true oyster sauce flavor, add some brown sugar to balance out some of the inherent saltiness of soy sauce.

Read our articles on the finest soy sauce brands and Soy Sauce Substitutes for more information.

5. Fish Sauce

Since many people have some kind of fish sauce on hand, it’s a popular and simple oyster sauce substitute. Yet, since fish sauces vary so greatly, there may be differences in cooking and taste.

That’s not to suggest it’s not an excellent substitute for oyster sauce. Nevertheless, if you’re replacing fish sauce for oyster sauce, add it gradually and season to taste.

Fish sauces, like soy sauce, lack the sweetness found in oyster sauce. With that in mind, a little of sugar mixed into the sauce or the meal may help mimic the characteristic oyster sauce flavor.

Homemade Oyster Sauce

If you can’t locate a satisfactory oyster sauce substitute and have the necessary supplies and time, you may make your own oyster sauce.

It may be a costly oyster sauce substitute, but it may satisfy purists who are hesitant to use oyster sauce substitutes.

You will require:

  • 8 ounces oysters
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Soy sauce to taste

Here’s a step-by-step procedure:

  1. To begin, drain the oysters and put aside the liquid.
  1. Then, finely chop the oysters in a food processor and add to a pot.
  1. Bring to a boil with the oyster juice.
  1. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let to simmer for 10-12 minutes.
  1. Remove the saucepan from the heat and season with salt. Let to cool after that.
  1. Drain the sauce through a strainer. You may get rid of any remaining pieces in the seive.
  1. Add 1 tbsp soy sauce per cup of liquid to the mixture.
  1. Add another tbsp soy sauce to taste. Return to the heat and bring back to a boil.
  1. Then reduce the heat to low and let to simmer for 10 minutes.
  1. Put aside the sauce to cool. As it is cooling, get a jar and fill it with water for 15 minutes. After both the jar and the oyster sauce have cooled, pour the sauce into the jar and carefully close.

A prepared jar of oyster sauce may be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month at the proper temperature, ensuring that you have oyster sauce on hand whenever you need it.

Since the recipe does not use sugar, the flavor of the oysters is much more noticeable. If desired, sweeten the sauce to taste to more closely resemble store-bought oyster sauce.


Oyster sauce enhances a wide range of foods with a sophisticated combination of tastes. If you don’t like shellfish or can’t get oyster sauce, there are a plethora of oyster sauce substitutes available.

While looking for oyster sauce substitutes, try to replicate the umami qualities of oyster sauce as nearly as possible. Evaluate the salinity, fishiness, and sweetness of your choice, and add sugar if required.

You should also account for the variable thicknesses and textures of alternative oyster substitutes. Remember that although certain sauces, such as hoisin sauce, may be used in the same amounts as oyster sauce, others should be used sparingly.

And if you can’t find an oyster sauce substitute that you like, you can always create your own. To cut down on meal prep time, prepare it ahead of time before cooking with oyster sauce.

The most crucial aspect of any oyster sauce substitute is the flavor. Experimenting with oyster sauce substitutes gradually can assist you in getting a feel of your dish. It will also guarantee that the finished meal preserves the unique flavor of oyster sauce, despite allowing for alternatives.

So measure carefully, taste often, and enjoy.


What can you use if you don’t have oyster sauce?

The sauce made from fish. While not a perfect equivalent, fish sauce may be used in lieu of oyster sauce in certain recipes. Soy sauce… Since soy sauce is a pantry staple, it’s a simple substitution for oyster sauce…. Hoisin sauce…. Worcestershire sauce with soy sauce…. Teriyaki sauce…. Vegan mushroom sauce.
Jul 12, 2021

Can I substitute Worcestershire sauce for oyster sauce?

Worcestershire sauce, because of its liquid nature, may be used in lieu of oyster sauce in a one-to-one ratio. Worcestershire sauce is traditionally made with fish, such as anchovies or fish sauce, however fish-free versions may be sold in certain places.

How much soy sauce to substitute for oyster sauce?

The soy sauce

I usually use a bit less soy sauce than oyster sauce. For example, in a stir fry that calls for 3-4 tablespoons of oyster sauce, I’d use 2 tablespoons soy sauce and add more if necessary. If you want more sweetness, you can add more white or brown sugar or honey, but I don’t.

Can I substitute oyster sauce for teriyaki sauce?

Since they have a similar taste profile and consistency, oyster sauce is an excellent alternative for teriyaki sauce. Like teriyaki sauce, the sauce is salty, sweet, and somewhat savory, making it an excellent compliment to meats and vegetables. It’s very good in stir-fries.

Does hoisin sauce taste like oyster sauce?

They have extremely distinct flavors. Oyster sauce is derived from oyster extract, while hoisin sauce is made from fermented soybean paste. Hoisin sauce is sweet with a toasted spice scent, whilst oyster sauce is salty with an ocean-like flavor.

What does oyster sauce add to a recipe?

Together with taste, oyster sauce lends a dark caramel hue to any meal, which is known as “the sauce color” in Mandarin, according to assistant food editor Jessie YuChen. It’s a color you’ll see in a variety of Chinese meals, including stir-fried broccoli, Cantonese beef chow fun, and lo mein.

What’s the difference between oyster sauce and fish sauce?

Fish sauce is a transparent condiment with a deep, red-brown color tint, while oyster sauce is a dark, opaque brown sauce that looks more like a syrup. Oyster sauce has a firmer viscosity than fish sauce, which is thinner and more liquidy due to the use of sugar and cornstarch.

Is oyster sauce different than fish sauce?

Is oyster sauce similar to fish sauce? Oyster sauce is produced with carmelized oyster fluids, salt, sugar, and soy sauce thickened with corn starch. There are just two components in fish sauce: fermented fish and salt. As a consequence, the sauces have completely distinct tastes, flavors, and aromas.

Does oyster sauce taste like oysters?

It’s manufactured from oyster extract, however despite the name, it doesn’t taste anything like fish. Oyster sauce, on the other hand, has an earthy, somewhat sweet, and salty flavor. It is made with cooked down (caramelized) oyster fluids, salt, and sugar; other versions contain soy sauce thickened with cornstarch.

Can I use Worcestershire sauce instead of soy sauce?

2 cup soy sauce, 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon water, properly mixed. Since Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce both have strong, acidic tastes, a simple replacement works in a hurry. to take the place of 1

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