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Thread: substitution for oyster sauce?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New York, NY
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    48

    Question substitution for oyster sauce?

    that's it... just suggestions for a substitution, if you have them. We tried fish sauce in the past and hated it; now looking to avoid oyster sauce as well. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Lenexa, KS
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    1,338
    I found this at foodsubs.com... are you avoiding the oyster sauce because of the bad fish sauce experience? If so, you may still want to give the oyster sauce a try. I find the fish sauce to be quite an acquired taste... the oyster sauce if much milder... more of a sweet/spicy soy sauce.

    http://www.foodsubs.com/CondimntAsia.html


    oyster sauce Notes: This Cantonese dipping sauce is both sweet and salty. Look for bottles of it in Asian markets and large supermarkets. Substitutes: Bring to a boil, then simmer in a covered pot for 30 minutes: 2 C fresh oysters + 3 C water + 1 C bottled clam juice + 1 teaspoon salt + 1 clove of garlic + white portion of 1 green onion + 1 slice of fresh ginger root, then add a mixture of 1/4 C soy sauce + 1 teaspoon sugar + 2 teaspoons cornstarch + 3 tablespoons water, and simmer for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally, then strain out the solids in the sauce and discard. (adapted from a recipe in Jennifer Brennan's excellent book, The Cuisines of Asia. See my sources.) OR soy sauce

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Naperville, IL, USA
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    2,454
    Here's what Cook's Thesaurus (www.foodsubs.com) has to say:

    This Cantonese dipping sauce is both sweet and salty. Look for bottles of it in Asian markets and large supermarkets.

    Substitutes: Bring to a boil, then simmer in a covered pot for 30 minutes: 2 C fresh oysters + 3 C water + 1 C bottled clam juice + 1 teaspoon salt + 1 clove of garlic + white portion of 1 green onion + 1 slice of fresh ginger root, then add a mixture of 1/4 C soy sauce + 1 teaspoon sugar + 2 teaspoons cornstarch + 3 tablespoons water, and simmer for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally, then strain out the solids in the sauce and discard. (adapted from a recipe in Jennifer Brennan's excellent book, The Cuisines of Asia.) OR soy sauce

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    3,014
    I was going to say the same thing Holly did -- oyster sauce is very unlike fish sauce, so you may be pleasantly surprised.
    Oyster sauce is very thick, more like hoisin sauce, and not nearly as pungent as fish sauce (although I do love fish sauce, as well.)
    If you're looking for a vegetarian version, my Thai cookbooks suggest mushroom sauce as a good substitute.
    "What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?"
    By W. C. Fields

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    48
    Thanks for the suggestions. I bought my first bottle of oyster sauce today and am hoping we like it more than the fish sauce. It is worth a try, anyway. Appreciate everyone's help. Have a good weekend.

  6. #6
    Yes, oyster sauce is totally unlike fish sauce. Oyster sauce is more mellow, deep and rich than fish sauce. If you like smoked oysters,
    "Vegetarian oyster sauce" is made from mushrooms and can be used instead of the "real" oyster sauce. The flavor isn't exact, but it's similar enough. "Vegetarian oyster sauce" is readily available at Asian markets or well-stocked supermarkets.

  7. #7
    Oops. A case of errant finger.

    I meant to say that if you like the rich flavor of smoked oysters, you'll probably like oyster sauce, too.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    Posts
    2,300
    I ca't stand fish sauce but I cook all the time with Oyster sauce - it doesn't tase fishy at all. As mentioned above, it tastes similar to Hoisen sauce.

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