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7 Best Oyster Sauce Substitutes

What Is Oyster Sauce?

Oyster sauce is made by concentrating umami of oyster, and adding viscosity with starch or flour to the liquid extracted from oysters. Sugar, salt, and soy sauce are also added depending on the manufacturer.

Oyster sauce has a unique flavor and rich umami taste. It is often used for stir-fried dishes, simmered dishes, and soup dishes. There are some famous Chinese cuisine mainly using oyster sauce, but it also can be used as a secret ingredient in various Japanese cuisine.

Good Substitutes for Oyster Sauce

Although it’s a great idea to keep an oyster sauce in your refrigerator, it may not be there when you want to use it.

If you are looking for a good substitute for oyster sauce, please refer to the following.

1. Soy sauce + Sugar (Honey) + Chicken stock powder

Mix 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and a pinch of chicken stock powder.

If you use honey instead of sugar, the sauce will be a little thick and get closer to the real oyster sauce.

You can use other type of stock powder or bouillon cube in place of chicken stock powder.
Although this combination has a weaker flavor than the real oyster sauce, it’s enough to use as a substitute.

2. Worcestershire sauce + Soy sauce + Chicken stock powder

Mix 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, and a pinch of chicken stock powder.

Since the Worcestershire sauce is made from a lots of vegetables, fruits, and spices, it can add rich and deep taste.

You can use other type of stock powder or bouillon cube in place of chicken stock powder as well.

3. Worcestershire sauce + Sugar (Honey)

Mix 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar or honey.

Because Worcestershire sauce is a little sour, it’s a good idea to add a little sugar or honey. By doing this, the sauce will be mild and nice. It will be easy for children to eat too.

4. Soy sauce + Sugar (Honey) + Dashi

Mix 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sugar or honey, and 1 tablespoon of dashi.

If you can get dashi including homemade dashi, dashi packet, or dashi granules, please try to use it with soy sauce and sugar. Since dashi contains a lots of umami ingredient, it will be great substitute for the umami of oyster.

5. Fish sauce + Sugar (Honey)

Mix 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Since fish sauce has very unique strong smell, you should add sugar or honey. The great thing about fish sauce is that it has the same seafood umami ingredient as oyster sauce.

Japanese fish sauce has much saltier taste than the Thai fish sauce, so please be careful and check the taste of your fish sauce in advance. Add more sugar as needed.

6. Okonomi sauce + Soy sauce + Chicken stock powder

Mix 1 tablespoon of okonomi sauce, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, and a pinch of chicken stock powder.

Okonomi sauce is the sauce exclusively for okonomiyaki. The taste is similar to Worcestershire sauce, but the differences are that it contains dashi and more sugar. So, it can create complex and deep taste.

If you have chicken stock powder at home, please add it to make the sauce even more delicious. If don’t, you can skip it.

7. Takoyaki sauce + Soy sauce + Chicken stock powder

Mix 1 tablespoon of takoyaki sauce, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, and a pinch of chicken stock powder.

Takoyaki sauce also contains dashi, so it’s almost the same as okonomi sauce. Generally, it’s said that takoyaki sauce is a little sweeter than okonomi sauce. So, if you prefer sweet taste, this should be a good substitute for you.

Conclusion

Basically, adding soy sauce is essential to make the replacement. It’s excellent seasoning that matches with various type of seasoning.

If you have a Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce, or okonomi sauce, they would be great replacement too. In addition to these main ingredients, a little sugar definitely upgrade the umami taste of the sauce.

Please try to make different type of substitutes above, and find your favorite one!

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