How Do Hoisin Sauce and Oyster Sauce Compare?

Hoisin and oyster sauce are two renowned Chinese sauces that are less well-known than soy sauce. Nonetheless, they are often used in Chinese and Thai cuisine to add flavor.

When comparing hoisin sauce with oyster sauce, it’s easy to get them mixed up since they seem similar and have a smooth feel. Both of these sauces add umami to a variety of meals.

Is hoisin sauce similar to oyster sauce? No, it does not. These sauces have distinct flavors and, contrary to popular belief, are not similar.

If you want to make a superb Chinese cuisine, you need understand the difference between hoisin sauce and oyster sauce. We’re here to help you learn more about these sauces. So keep reading to find out more.

Difference Between Hoisin and Oyster Sauce

The taste difference between hoisin sauce and oyster sauce is significant. Hoisin sauce is sweeter and somewhat saltier, whilst oyster sauce is saltier and milder in flavor.

If you take the time to taste each of these sauces, you will notice the distinctions between these two distinct Chinese sauces. It is almost hard to get a classic taste in your cuisine without them.

Here are some further distinctions between the two sauces:

Hoisin sauce is sweeter and somewhat saltier, whereas oyster sauce is more salted and slightly sweet.

Hoisin sauce has a deep reddish-brown tint, whereas oyster sauce is brown.

Hoisin sauce has a thick texture, while oyster sauce is runny.

Hoisin sauce has a fruity aroma, whereas oyster sauce has a strong aroma.

Constantly refrigerated hoisin sauce may be stored in the fridge for up to two years. Refrigerated oyster sauce may survive up to three years.

Hoisin sauce is used as an ingredient as well as a dipping sauce. Oyster sauce is often used in stir-fries and as a glaze for Peking duck.

Hoisin vs Oyster Sauce Comparison Table

  Hoisin Sauce Oyster Sauce
Ingredients Soybeans, chili, garlic, sesame seeds, vinegar, sugar, spices, starches salt, and water   Oyster extract, salt, sugar, flavors, thickeners, starches, and water
Color Reddish-brown   Brown
Flavor Adds sweet, spicy, and salty elements to a dish, Tastes like a rich barbecue sauce,  Sweetness dominates the saltiness   Has a briny flavor , Offers a blend of salty and mildly sweet flavors.
Smell Sweet and fruity as there are no non-vegetarian ingredients such as fish or oysters     Has a mild odor of fish as it is made of oysters
Popular uses Used as seasoning, Dipping sauce with spring rolls, dumplings, and duck pancakes, Glaze for fish and meat, Used in noodles and stir fry, Used in Hoisin mayonnaise Glaze for beef, mushrooms, and vegetables such as broccoli , Used in dishes such as Szechuan noodles, chow mein, Pad Thai, and beef stir fry  
Nutrition Has high sodium content (400 mg per serving for two tablespoons) because of the presence of salt   It is saltier and has a higher sodium content (490 mg in one tablespoon)

Can you substitute Hoisin for Oyster Sauce?

This question has a yes answer. You may use hoisin sauce for oyster sauce, but keep their distinct flavors in mind.

Since both sauces have a similar consistency, you may use them interchangeably in a shellfish meal or a green stir fry.

Note that hoisin sauce has a sweeter taste than oyster sauce. Hence, if you use hoisin sauce instead of oyster sauce, your meal will be sweeter. If you don’t want a sweet taste, add alternative ingredients like fish sauce or soy sauce instead.

If you’re preparing your favorite dinner and find you’re out of oyster sauce, don’t panic; we’ve got a solution for you. If you prefer the taste of fish, you may add some fish sauce to hoisin sauce to mimic the flavor of oyster sauce.

Additionally, if you are a vegan and do not want to use fish, combine hoisin sauce and soy sauce in a 1 to 1 ratio and voilà! The oyster sauce replacement is complete.

The richness of hoisin sauce is balanced by soy sauce, and this combination complements most foods.

When substituting oyster sauce for hoisin sauce, take in mind that the saltiness of the oyster sauce must be adjusted. To lower the salt level of oyster sauce, for example, some sugar may be added.

What Is Hoisin Sauce?

Hoisin sauce is also known as Peking sauce since it is often served with Peking duck, a Cantonese cuisine. Soybean paste, chile, garlic, sesame seeds, vinegar, sugar, spices, starches, salt, and water are the main ingredients.

Commercial hoisin sauce brands may also include caramel, plum puree, citric acid, xanthan gum, and other additives. Hoisin sauce has long been used in Cantonese, Thai, and Vietnamese cooking.

Vegans and vegetarians may use this sauce since it contains no animal components. It is also available in a soy-free variant for those who are allergic to soy or wish to avoid soy for other reasons.

It’s worth noting that the name hoisin in Mandarin means “seafood,” which is somewhat counterintuitive given that hoisin sauce is completely vegan.

How to Use Hoisin Sauce?

Hoisin sauce may be used in a variety of ways. It has a sweet and tangy taste and is often used to dip spring rolls, dumplings, and duck pancakes. For burgers, combine the sauce with either beef or turkey patties.

It’s also a popular glaze for chicken, fish, other meats, and vegetables. If you want a basic glaze, use the sauce alone; however, mix the sauce with your preferred glaze for an added explosion of flavor.

Hoisin sauce is a staple in all Chinese and Thai stir-fry recipes. Add it to the pan while cooking chicken, beef, pig, or veggie stir fry for a blast of sweet and spicy tastes.

In all stir fry recipes, it is combined with soy sauce. Many individuals choose to eat their favorite Chinese or Thai food with hoisin sauce on the side.

If you want to spice up your chicken wings or French fries, try hoisin as a dipping sauce for a distinctive Asian-inspired flavor. If you want to use hoisin sauce for dipping, get it in a jar rather than a bottle. Because canned hoisin sauce has a thicker viscosity and is simpler to use as a dip.

What Is Oyster Sauce?

Did you aware that oyster sauce was accidentally created?

Lee Kum Sheung of China was said to have left a steaming pot of oyster soup in the nineteenth century. When he returned, the soup had thickened to a thick brown consistency.

Sheung like the taste of the thick reddish-brown paste and chose to offer it as a flavoring to others. It subsequently evolved into the Lee Kum Kee Asian sauce empire.

Oyster sauce is a salty-sweet sauce comprised mostly of oyster extract, sugar, salt, modified corn starch, MSG, wheat flour, caramel color, and water.

Since this location was adjacent to the oyster beds along the shores of Guangdong and Hong Kong, the usage was first restricted to traditional Cantonese cuisine and southern Chinese cookery.

Nonetheless, it is now widely utilized in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine.

How to Use Oyster Sauce?

To add a final touch, glaze meat, mushrooms, and steamed veggies like broccoli with oyster sauce. It is served directly from the bottle as a garnish.

But, keep in mind that oyster sauce has a distinct and forceful taste, so use it sparingly until you get familiar with it.

Oyster sauce is most often used in stir-fried meals such as Szechuan noodles, chow mein, Pad Thai, and beef stir fry. It gives the dish a shiny appearance because to its silky and smooth texture.

When used in a stir-fry meal, it is usually paired with additional ingredients like as brown sugar, rice vinegar, and soy sauce.

To provide a flavor boost to soups, use oyster sauce. With a liberal dripping of oyster sauce, any soup, such as chicken soup or ramen soup, tastes great. Additionally, oyster sauce may be used to end any noodle meal, giving it a rich and acidic taste.

Be sure to add the oyster sauce at the conclusion of your cooking time. Since this sauce loses taste when heated for an extended period of time.

Related: Fish Sauce vs. Oyster Sauce


Can I replace hoisin sauce with oyster sauce?

Alternatives to hoisin sauce that are already prepared

For example, if you’re creating a seafood meal, you may use oyster sauce instead, which has a distinct fishy taste. Soy sauce and tamari sauce are also excellent for seasoning vegetables and stir-fry recipes. Barbeque sauce is an excellent meat alternative.

Which is better hoisin or oyster sauce?

Hoisin sauce is often thicker, while oyster sauce is typically thinner. Nevertheless, the thickness of both might vary depending on the brand or how they are created. If you’re attempting to cut down on salt, hoisin sauce is a better option than oyster sauce.

What does hoisin sauce taste like?

It has an intense salty and somewhat sweet taste. Hoisin sauce has a flavor that is similar to American-style barbecue sauce, but it is considerably saltier, richer, and less sweet. The fermented soybeans provide the delicious umami ingredient that some other sauces obtain by using fish or pork.

What is the best substitute for hoisin sauce?

Substitutes for Hoisin Sauce
Soy sauce. Soy sauce that has been naturally fermented is significantly thinner and saltier than hoisin sauce.
Paste made from miso. Miso is a fermented soybean paste from Japan that imparts delightful nuanced savory flavors.
Sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) is an Indonesian sauce that is even sweeter than hoisin sauce.

Does oyster sauce taste like hoisin 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.

Is hoisin or oyster sauce better for fried rice?

If you want to keep to a typical Asian taste, use oyster sauce instead of hoisin sauce while creating fried rice. The salty taste of the oyster sauce complements the other components of the fried rice more traditionally than hoisin sauce.

What is hoisin sauce best used for?

Hoisin sauce is a popular condiment in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. While most people connect hoisin sauce with Peking duck, it may also be used with Vietnamese rolls or as a dipping sauce for other foods. Hoisin sauce is made with red miso, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, and spices.

Is hoisin or oyster sauce better for stir-fry?

This question has a yes answer. You may use hoisin sauce for oyster sauce, but keep their distinct flavors in mind. Since both sauces have a similar consistency, you may use them interchangeably in a shellfish meal or a green stir fry.

What is oyster sauce best for?

Oyster sauce is a salty condiment that is widely used in stir fries but may also be found in stews, soups, marinades, and even as a drizzle over steamed vegetables.

What does oyster sauce taste like?

Oyster sauce tastes similar to a cross between soy sauce and barbeque sauce. The saltiness comes from the brininess of the oysters, while the sweetness is rich, with overtones of caramel.

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