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Acceptable substitute for oyster sauce?

I am allergic to oysters and don't want to risk it but I also don't want to compromise flavor in my Asian dishes that call for it.

asked by emilysev almost 3 years ago
8 answers 140359 views
added almost 3 years ago

Are you allergic to fish? If not, you could try subbing fish sauce if you're sure it's not contaminated with oysters.

added almost 3 years ago

I do not think there are oysters in oyster sauce. Worcestershire sauce is a good substitute, but try reading the list of ingredients on the oyster sauce bottle.


HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

added almost 3 years ago

Oyster sauce does indeed have oysters in it, at least in the extact form. Also there might be scallops. Worcestershire sauce is not a good substitute because it does not taste anything like oyster sauce. I know that you can get a vegetarian "oyster" sauce made with mushrooms. Hopefully the poster is not allergic to mushrooms.

One other thing I would suggest as a substitute is dark soy sauce. You would not need as much, but the flavor is closer than Worcestershire or fish sauce.

added 6 months ago

Question: my daughter is allergic to wheat dairy eggs and walnuts. We want to fix lo mein for her but both soy sauce and oyster have wheat in them what is best to use. Ill try and find the The vegetarian oyster sauce

Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 6 months ago

Most Tamari is wheat free and easy to find. Check the label for ingredients just to be sure, but typically, they contain no wheat. I prefer it over soy. It's darker and richer. I have a jar of Sun Luck Hoisin and a jar of Wok Mei Oyster Sauce and neither contain wheat. I bought them both at Albertsons, so easy to find.

added 6 months ago

I get a vegetarian oyster sauce, made with mushrooms.
You want a deep umami flavor--soy or tamari are part of that, maybe try some mushroom stock base (Better than Bullion has one) added in. Perhaps Black Bean sauce would work, just know that some are spiked with chili or garlic and that becomes the predominant flavor. Miso also has some of the flavors you are looking for.
Hoisin is too sweet and Worchestershire too acidic. Fish sauce Dan also be sharp, but a bit mixed in adds a depth of flavor.

added 6 months ago

*can. (Where the heck did 'Dan' come from? Silly autocorrect!)