Oyster sauce is a key ingredient in many Asian dishes, but if you have an allergy or just ran out of it, don’t worry! Substituting oyster sauce for other ingredients can be done with ease. In this blog post we will go over the common substitutes and how to use them.
What is oyster sauce?
Oyster sauce is a dark brown, salty liquid made from oysters that can be used to season many different dishes. It servers a couple of purposes. While it has a unique flavor, it does also thicken the dish when it is added. Substituting for it in recipes can either involve substituting the taste or texture of the dish with another ingredient or by using an alternative thickener.
What can I substitute for oyster sauce?
There are numerous ways you can substitute for oyster sauce, and the good news is you may already have these items on hand.
Here are some of our favorite ways to replace oyster sauce in a recipe:
- Soy Sauce
- Fish Sauce
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Tomato Paste
- Extra thickeners
What substitute you chose will of course depend on the recipe you are making, your personal tastes, and what you have on hand.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these replacement options.
Soy sauce for oyster sauce alternative
Soy sauce is a common substitute for oyster sauce, as they both have similar salty flavors. Substituting it will not change the flavor of the dish too much and soy sauce can also be used to thicken up dishes that are made with water or broth instead.
If you are looking for a gluten free substitute for oyster sauce, then gluten free soy sauce makes a great choice!
Fish sauce alternative to oyster sauce
Fish sauce is very similar to oyster sauce in that it’s used as a seasoning. Substituting them will not change the flavour of the dish too much, but fish sauces does differ from oyster sauces by being saltier and less sweet. This can easily be fixed by adding less fish sauce or adding a little bit of sugar to the dish.
Worcestershire Sauce as Oyster Sauce Substitute
If you’re looking for a substitute that is still salty, Worcestershire sauce is an alternative. Substituting them will not change the flavour of the dish too much, but Worcestershire sauces does differ from oyster sauces by being saltier and less sweet. This can easily be fixed by adding less Worcestershire.
Can I replace oyster sauce with hoisin?
You can use hoisin sauce in place of oyster sauce. Substitute a tablespoon for every tablespoon of oyster sauce called for in the recipe and add an extra teaspoon of sugar, if desired to mimic the flavor.
Tomato paste as a substitute for oyster sauce
Tomato paste is also an alternative to using oyster sauces. You can use tomato paste to give the dish that salty flavor it needs without changing the consistency too much from what you are used to.
Substituting for texture of oyster sauce
If any of these substitutions leave you needing to make your sauce even thicker, you have a couple of easy options.
Corn starch is one of the most popular options around, and you can also use something like leftover mashed potatoes or even instant potato flakes.
Looking for other cooking substitutions?
- Top 5 Substitutes for Sesame Oil
- Substitute for Peanut Oil
- Substitute for Onions, the Complete Guide
- 7 Simple Ideas for Marsala Wine Replacement
Your perfect substitute for oyster sauce of course depends on what dish you are cooking, and your own personal tastes. We hope this guide helped you to get on your way!