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Vegan Oyster Sauce Substitutes

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It is common practice to use oyster sauce in a wide variety of Chinese street meals, including Chow Mein, Kung Pao, and other stir fry dishes. Oyster sauce is a fundamental component of Asian cuisines. The umami-rich condiment imparts not only a delectable umami taste but also a dark brown color into anything it is combined with; maybe this is one of the contributing factors that contributes to the fact why it is in such great demand.

On the other hand, if you are cooking with a friend who is vegan, you can run into some difficulties if the dish asks for oyster sauce since, as its name suggests, oysters are the primary ingredient in its preparation. Vegans do not eat any food that has been obtained via the killing of animals or even the results of such killing.

This means that if you want to proceed with the recipe, you may need to obtain a vegan oyster sauce substitute for this one specific reason. Fortunately, there are some viable alternatives to the oyster sauce, and the purpose of this article is to demonstrate how these substitutes can successfully replace oyster sauce in any recipe.

Before we get into these alternatives, let’s first take a look at what oyster sauce is and some of the dishes that call for it.

What Is Oyster Sauce?

Oyster sauce refers to any sauce that is prepared from oyster extract. The most popular kind of oyster sauce is the dark brown condiment that is used in a variety of stir fry dishes. Oyster sauce is made by combining oyster extract, salt, sugar, and cornstarch water that has been thickened.

In general, the quality of the sauce is determined by how black the sauce is. At least, that’s what most people believe, however some oyster sauces are darkened with caramel.

It is reported that oyster sauce was first created in 1888 by a Chinese restaurant in southern China owned by a man named Lee Kum Sheung. The business was located in Guangdong Province.

Uses of Oyster Sauce in Recipes

Oyster sauce is a thick, dark brown condiment that is often used to improve the overall taste of a meal. It gives savory foods a greater sense of depth and heightens the umami flavor. Street dishes like chow Mein, as well as certain American-Asian and other Cantonese cuisines, are among the most common places you’ll see oyster sauce utilized.

This sauce may also be used as a topping for certain foods and salads, and it can also be used to give flavor to soups and sauces. Another application for this sauce is to provide flavor to soups and sauces.

The following are some recipes that include oyster sauce as an ingredient.

  1. Aubergine with prawns in oyster sauce
  2. Bok choi with oyster sauce & chili
  3. Chilli beef with broccoli & oyster sauce
  4. Beef stir-fry with broccoli & oyster sauce
  5. Self-saucing sticky toffee chocolate pudding
  6. The big double cheeseburger & secret sauce
  7. Chimichurri sauce
  8. Chip shop curry sauce
  9. Satay sauce
  10. Easy vegetable lasagne
  11. Wok-fried duck & oyster sauce
  12. Stir-fried greens with oyster sauce
  13. Skewered beef with oyster sauce
  14. Crispy beef in chili sauce
  15. Chip shop curry sauce

Vegan Substitutes for Oyster Sauce

If you follow a vegan diet plan, you won’t consume any foods that come from the killing of animals, including oyster sauce. This implies that you won’t eat any meat at all. Consequently, you may be wondering how you would be able to prepare your go-to Chow Mein and Lo Mein dishes if you did not use oyster sauce. You probably already know this, but did you realize that some plant-based sauces may give your food a taste that is comparable to umami? You read that correctly; you may continue to prepare your go-to dishes without having to put the lives of any animals at jeopardy.

Some of these alternatives deviate from the genuine article in one or more little ways, while others may function well as a direct stand-in for the original.

Soy Sauce

The use of soy sauce is encouraged among vegans and vegetarians all around the globe since it is a widely used condiment. Given that it is a necessary component of a diet, acquiring one should not be difficult. It’s possible that you already have a bottle of soy sauce stashed away at the back of your cupboard.

Since soy sauce is more salty than oyster sauce, sugar needs to be added to it before it can be used, and only a little amount should be used overall while cooking with it. However, the deep umami flavor that soy sauce possesses makes it an excellent choice for usage in savory foods.

Soy sauce should be used at a ratio of one-half tablespoon for one tablespoon of oyster sauce.

Hoisin Sauce

For vegans and vegetarians looking for an alternative to oyster sauce, hoisin sauce is a great option, particularly for use in stir fry and marinade dishes. Its taste is comparable to that of barbecue sauce, and its consistency is the same as that of oyster sauce. Because the taste of hoisin sauce may be somewhat more prominent than that of oyster sauce in some recipes, it is possible that hoisin sauce is not an ideal substitute for oyster sauce in certain dishes. If you are still set on making the switch, the best method to do it is to begin with a smaller amount than normal and gradually increase it from there.

Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki sauce is another fantastic vegan alternative to oyster sauce, and it has a consistency that is very comparable to that of oyster sauce. It is created using sugar, soy sauce, and mirin or sake; this gives it a somewhat sweeter taste; thus, you should keep this in mind when you are replacing ingredients.

You may substitute teriyaki sauce for oyster sauce in any dish that calls for noodles or stir fry as long as you have some teriyaki sauce on hand.

Mushroom Sauce

Since mushrooms are so rich in umami taste and many vegetarians and vegans use them in place of meat in many dishes, we should be able to use them in place of oyster sauce in any recipe that calls for it.

You could prepare your very own handmade oyster sauce using mushrooms as the foundation for the sauce, or if you are lucky, you may be able to get a mushroom-oyster sauce at the supermarket. Either way, you have a few of options.

You may use this instead of oyster sauce in any dish you choose. It will work just as well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is oyster sauce safe for people on a keto diet?

Oyster sauce is one condiment that you should stay away from if you are following a ketogenic diet. Because sugar and salt are the primary components, the product contains a significant amount of carbs.

Is oyster sauce beneficial to my health?

Calcium, which is essential for the growth and maintenance of healthy bones, may be found in plenty in oyster sauce.

Is oyster sauce gluten-free?

Before you buy any oyster sauce from the shop, you should check the label to make sure that it does not contain gluten since this does not apply to all types of oyster sauce.

What is a good vegan substitute for fish sauce?

An ideal substitute for fish sauce is soy sauce, which consists of fermented soybeans, water, salt, and wheat. Soy sauce can be found in most supermarkets. Additionally, it is appropriate for vegetarians to consume. Because it is made from soybeans, which contain amino acids, soy sauce has a robust umami taste and a touch of sweetness.

Can Worcestershire sauce be used instead of oyster sauce?

Because Worcestershire sauce is more similar in texture to soy sauce than it is to oyster sauce, you will find that it is most effective when used as a marinade or in stir-fries. Due to the strong taste of Worcestershire sauce, it is advisable to begin with a smaller amount and then gradually add more as desired. Start with one-half of the quantity of oyster sauce that is called for in the recipe.

What can I replace oyster sauce with?

Hoisin sauce, sweet soy sauce, and soy sauce are your fastest bets when looking for an oyster sauce alternative. Because it has all three flavors, sweet, salty, and umami, oyster sauce is the perfect condiment to use in stir fry. The consistency is thick, almost like syrup, which makes it excellent for coating meals and also good for marinades.


Because of the savory umami taste it imparts to meals and the luscious black colour it imparts, oyster sauce is one of the most often used condiments in Chinese cuisine. Oyster sauce is a mainstay in Asian cuisines. However, if you follow a vegan diet plan, you may be interested in finding a replacement for oyster sauce. Fortunately, there are a few alternatives to this sauce that can provide you with results that are quite comparable to those of the oyster sauce.