Here's everything you need to know about vegan oyster sauce and oyster sauce brands...
Is Oyster Sauce Vegan?
Oyster sauce is not considered vegan. It likely contains the following sorts of ingredients:
- Oyster extracts
- Fish proteins
Whether you're eating at a Chinese restaurant or buying oyster sauce from the store, you'll need to watch out for this one.
But don't worry, we've got several oysters sauce brands and substitutes listed below...
Oyster Sauce Ingredients
Dynasty Oyster Sauce is a widely available example of a typical oyster sauce. These are its ingredients (non-veg items are in bold):
Ingredients: Oyster Extract (Oyster, Salt, Water), Sugar, Water, Salt, Modified Tapioca Starch, Soy Sauce Extract (Water, Soybeans, Wheat Flour, Salt), Protein Extract (Fish Protein [Pout, Blue Whiting], Acetic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide), Wheat Flour, Caramel Color, Lactic Acid, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, Yeast Extract, Guar Gum, Benzoic Acid as Preservative.
So...clearly not vegan!
But don't fret if you're going out for Chinese. There are plenty of substitutes, and restaurants are very happy to accommodate vegans.
Vegan Oyster Sauce Brands
Brands like Wan Ja Shan and Orchids use mushrooms instead of oysters to achieve a salty-sweet-umami profile.
Wan Ja Shan Vegetarian Mushroom Oyster Sauce
This vegetarian oyster sauce uses mushrooms to get that deep umami flavor without any seafood. Use it wherever you'd use regular oyster sauce.
Ingredients: Water, soybeans, wheat, salt, sugar, starch, mushroom flavor and sodium benzoate less that 1/10 of 1% as food preservative.
Orchids Vegetarian Oyster Mushroom Sauce
Source: Vegetarian Oyster Sauce 17 oz
Just like the other one, mushroom extract is used to create this "mock" oyster sauce that functions just like the real thing.
Ingredients: Mushroom extract, salt, sugar, modified starch, caramel, hydrolysed vegetable protien and sodium benzoate.
If you're a fan of Asian cuisines, make vegan oyster sauce part of your pantry staples. Your taste buds will wonder how they got along without it before.
Oyster Sauce Substitutes that are 100% vegan
Maybe you're cooking a meal that calls for oyster sauce, or perhaps you're out to dinner and oyster sauce is in an otherwise vegan dish you'd like to order.
You can replace it with any of these ingredients that might be in the kitchen:
- Soy sauce with either sugar or hoisin sauce mixed in
- Vegan mushroom stock
- Vegan fish sauce or vegan oyster sauce
That's right, vegan oyster sauce exists! While you may strike out asking for it at restaurants that don't specifically cater to vegans, you can absolutely find it online or at a specialty grocery store.