9 Best Oyster Sauce Substitute That You Need In Your Kitchen

Oyster sauce is made by cooking the oysters in water for a long time, which turns into a caramelized juice, thick and flavorful. In the earlier days, the oysters were to simmer in water until they thicken and unleash their flavor in the water and naturally turning the color to brown.

But now we have the oyster sauce substitute itself. In modern days the amount of artificial preservatives and thickening agent usage is more than the natural way to prepare something.

Do you know how was oyster sauce invented? It was an accident that had its hand in inventing the sauce. Lee Kum Sheung in Nanjing had his tea stall selling oysters. Once while working, he forgot about the oysters in the water boiling.

An aroma turned his attention to the oysters, he slowly opened the lid, and to his surprise, the water which used to be always clear had turned to a thick and brown sauce. And further, to add to his delight, the water tasted amazingly delicious. His new invention soon hit the market. He found his brand Lee Kum Kee and promoted the oyster sauces.

Oyster sauces add flavor to every dish it touches. It is more found in Chinese dishes. In the early stage, the sauce had been famous among the Cantonese cooks, and within no time. It spread out and was used in many kitchens in many dishes by many chefs.

We have also come to know from the researches that oyster sauce contains evaporative compounds, that are released from some food items, in liquids, and also from gases which in reality are natural chemicals. These evaporative compounds give the sauce a peculiar taste and an amazing aroma.

 The sauce has a sweet and salty flavor that comes from the sweet and salty amino acids. Substitutes for oyster sauce can be any sauce that adds taste to the dishes as you will. We shall see some of the factors and guidelines to be known to choose the oyster sauce replacement.



Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce

Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce

  • Premium quality product

  • Gluten free

  • GMO-free

Kikkoman Ponzu Soy Sauce

Kikkoman Ponzu Soy Sauce

  • Flavor boosting secret ingredient

  • Low in calories and zero fat

  • Lighter and healthful dressings

Vegan Fysh Sauce

Vegan Fysh Sauce

  • Made from seaweed

  • Wheat free

  • Vegan

  • Organic ingredients

  • Refined sugar-free

San-J Tamari Soy Sauce

San-J Tamari Soy Sauce

  • Vegan

  • GMO-free

  • Made with 100% soybeans

  • Gluten free and kosher

Coconut secrets Coconut Aminos

Coconut secrets Coconut Aminos

  • GMO-free

  • Gluten free

  • Vegan

  • No added MSG

  • USDA organic

Red Boat Fish sauce

Red Boat Fish sauce

  • Paleo and keto-friendly

  • Gluten-free

  • Healthy salt alternative

Marie Sharp’s hot habanero pepper sauce

Marie Sharp’s hot habanero pepper sauce

  • It is vegan

  • GMO-free

  • Gluten free

  • No artificial preservatives

Rao’s Homemade Marinara sauce

Rao’s Homemade Marinara sauce

  • Traditional homemade flavor

  • Keto-freindly

  • No added sugar

Keto Marinara Pasta sauce

Keto Marinara Pasta sauce

  • Low in sodium

  • Keto-freindly sauce

  • Gluten free

  • It is sugar-free

  • It is organic


Best Oyster Sauce Substitute – Buying Guide

Factors to be looked at before buying the oyster sauce substitute

  • Natural brands

It is always recommended to go for the natural brands for a sub for oyster sauce, as it is safer and healthier than the normal sauces. Organic typically contains low sugar and sodium. Organic oyster sauce substitutes like soy sauce, fish sauce, etc. ideally flavors your taste buds with more natural ingredients than a normal oyster sauce alternative does.

  • Low Fat

There are sauces with low fat providing a healthy alternative to oyster sauce. Low-fat sauces complement you with flavor and help you with your diet routine as well. Oyster sauce substitute Kikkoman Ponzu soy sauce is one of the low fat sauce which is flavorful and healthy.

  • Ingredients of the product

Always make sure to check the ingredients list on the product before any purchase. You must be educated about the product ingredients. And it is important to know the ingredients in the substitute for oyster sauce, to check if you are an allergen to any. The ingredients in the oyster sauce alternative may differ from the original oyster sauce, so do check the ingredients items on the product.

  • Vegan

We all are familiar with the term vegan and vegan diets. Now, consider the sauces, the oyster sauce replacement has been producing the vegan sauces, the actual vegan substitute for oyster sauce. And if you are vegan, this news is for you, now you also have a Vegan Fysh sauce, giving you all the flavors and taste just like a fish sauce. And this sauce is the vegan alternative to oyster sauce.

  • Keto

This factor falls in action if you are on a keto diet. And you can count on this that the Keto diet can include sauces and the one Keto-freindly sauces, which are now available as the substitute for the oyster sauce in cooking your healthy and tasty Keto food. Keto diet has just been made tastier with oyster sauce substitute.

  • Quality

This factor must be taken into consideration, as the taste of the sauce depends on the quality of the product. One must be aware of products that are duplicate in the market in the name of oyster sauce substitute. Before purchase make sure you do a detailed check of the product if you find something tricky. Always check the product before you buy the oyster sauce substitute.

Oyster sauces may not be available handy all the time. So what shall we do in this case? Drop the idea of cooking? Not at all, here are some amazing oyster sauce substitute that one can use to make a delicious meal. Oyster sauces are not keto-freindly as it contains so many ingredients which are not keto-freindly.

 There are added sugar, preservatives, and cornstarch which is used as a thickening agent. Preparation of oyster sauces has taken a modern age turn, no more simmering the water and waiting for it to thicken.

The good news is that some of the oyster sauce substitute is keto-friendly, low in carbs, and also no added sugar. Sounds more healthy, isn’t it?

We must be thoughtful before using the substitute in any recipes. The choice of sauce should depend on what are you cooking. For example, some will be a substitute for oyster sauce in fried rice while in stir fries.

 Now, let us dig into some of the oyster sauce substitute and also, check some keto-friendly sauces.

  • Coconut aminos

Coconut aminos have a sweet and salty taste. It has a unique flavor, and one must have space for it on their shelves. The sauce rose to fame cause of the paleo diet. It has the same consistency, which is similar to the oyster sauce and made from coconut sap. Coconut Secret is a brand of coconut aminos and is organic.

  • Fish sauce

Fish sauce is a liquid consistent sauce, made from fish, which is fermented for about two years. It could unleash its umami flavors to any dish it is used in. And that flavor is due to the presence of glutamate. It had a huge worldwide acceptance, and chefs globally used it in various dishes. It is also used as a dip and not only used in dishes. Red Boat is a brand that makes fish sauce from anchovies.

 It has a complex and beautiful flavor with a tint of salt and a caramelized sweet taste. The salt works on fish to dry, and the bacteria divide the fish into salty liquid. The liquid is then drained off and turned into churns to dry and age for the taste. The natural sauce only includes fish and salt, while the others may add preservatives and sugar.

  • Marinara sauce

It is a low-carb sauce consisting of tomatoes, spice, and oil. It is a great oyster sauce substitute if you need to flavor up your stir fry. There are several versions to its origin, one of them is the mid-16th century version, a Neapolitan ship which had returned from the USA, a cook, invented this sauce.

  • Soy sauce

The fermented paste of soybeans is used to make soy sauce along with aspergillus, roasted grain, and brine. It has a strong umami flavor. It can be used directly in foods and can be used as a dip.

It has no syrup consistency as an oyster sauce but can add amazing flavors to dishes with its unique properties. You can use the sauce with a pinch of brown sugar to have much tastier and relevant to the oyster sauce sweetness. Although there are many varieties of soy sauce, they fall into light or dark soy sauce categories.

The light soy sauce is very salty, used as a dip, and also in stir fry, whereas the dark soy sauce is the more aged sauce with its caramel, and the thickening agent cornstarch to make it sweet and less salty than a light soy sauce.

  • Hoisin sauce

Hoisin sauce is equally sweet and salty at the same time and it’s the perfect oyster sauce substitute. Its name was obtained from the cutting short of the Chinese word ‘seafood sauce’. Hoisin sauce is thick, and the fragrance of the sauce is super. It’s dark in color and can be used as a dipping sauce, used in meat, or even used in noodles. The main ingredient is the fermented paste of soybeans.

It is the ideal substitute, and as it has a strong flavor, it can be diluted in oil or water. And this oyster sauce substitute when used in the same proportion, or you may add more or less as per needs.

  • Soy sauce and hoisin sauce: 50:50

When you run out of oyster sauce then this food hack works like magic. Check the pantry and find hoisin and soy sauce, mix both sauces in equal proportion. Soy the salty sauce and hoisin the sweet sauce, when mixed, form the property of oyster and generates the same taste.

While choosing an oyster sauce substitute consider all the aspects of oyster sauce. Cooking is an art and the flavors added to it should be as artistic as cooking. Before substituting, consider the sauces, which can be used, as every sauce won’t be present in every dish.

Art is to make something beautiful, not just adding colors. Here the art is cooking, and the colors are the flavors that you add to it. Remember, every art has a story so is the dish.

The best sauce as the substitute for oyster sauce is soy, be it salty adding a pinch of sugar can bring good taste and add flavors or sauces to the dish, which complements your art of cooking

We have sauces that can uplift your mood with their amazing texture and consistency, which surprisingly adds more flavor than oyster sauce. Just like beautiful artwork.

Best Oyster Sauce Substitute Reviews

1. Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce

Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce - oyster sauce alternative

It is one of the best vegetarian substitute for oyster sauce. It can be used as the substitute for oyster sauce in stir fry, it has the delicious taste of garlic, which flavors an ideal dish.

  • Can be used as the substitute for oyster sauce in stir fry.
  • It is a gluten free substitute for oyster sauce.
  • It is a GMO-free oyster sauce substitute.
check price

2. Kikkoman Ponzu Soy Sauce

Best Oyster Sauce

It is a tangy flavored sauce that can be used in salads, appetizers, and grilled foods. It boosts the flavor of the dish acting as a secret ingredient behind the dish. It is delicious and makes the taste buds.

  • It is low in calories.
  • It contains zero fat.
  • It is healthy and ideal for dressings.
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3. Vegan Fysh Sauce

Vegan Fysh Sauce - substitute for oyster sauce

This sauce is a perfect fit as a substitute for oyster sauce in fried rice and also in a stir fry. This oyster sauce substitute is made up of organic ingredients. And this organic substitute for oyster sauce in recipes add immense flavors with its organic ingredients.

  • Fysh is naturally gluten free.
  • It is a vegan substitute for oyster sauce made with seaweed and not fish.
  • It is refined sugar-free.
check price

4. San-J Tamari Soy Sauce

San-J Tamari Soy Sauce - vegan substitute for oyster sauce

San-J sauce is made with 100% soybeans and no wheat. It is a premium quality sauce and is richer, than normal soy sauce, and is a vegan alternative to oyster sauce. The sauce is fermented naturally, and this process gives Tamari an enhancing flavor and properties.

  • It is a gluten free substitute for oyster sauce
  • It is GMO-free sauce
  • it is a healthy alternative to oyster sauce and enhances the dishes flavor
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5. Coconut secrets Coconut Aminos

Best Oyster Sauce

It is a vegetarian alternative to oyster sauce made with coconut tree sap. It is an alternative for soy and oyster sauce. This sauce doesn’t give you a coconutty flavor as it is made from coconut sap. The tangy and sweet flavor of this sauce is achieved by the coconut tree sap and the sea salt.

It has less sodium, than any other traditional sauce. Containing 17 amino acids makes them the healthy oyster sauce substitute. It is an organic sauce.

  • It is a gluten free sauce alternative.
  • This sauce is GMO-free.
  • It contains organic ingredients.
  • It is vegan, vegetarian sauce.
check price

6. Red Boat Fish sauce

Red Boat Fish sauce - vegetarian alternative to oyster sauce

The flavor and quality offered by this sauce have set the standard for itself.  This sauce can be used in stir fry, vegetables, broths, etc. it adds a different flavor to dishes. It is prepared in an old method with wild caught anchovies, and sea salt in a selective wooden barrel kept for fermentation. The preparation method reflects the taste of the sauce, and this sauce can be used as a substitute for oyster sauce in recipes like fried rice, soups and can also be used in dressing salads.

This sauce also makes an amazing Bloody Mary.

  • It is a keto substitute for oyster sauce.
  • It has no gluten.
  • It is a healthy salt alternative.
  • The sauce is packed with protein.
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7. Marie Sharp’s hot habanero pepper sauce

Marie Sharp’s hot habanero pepper sauce - keto substitute for oyster sauce

This sauce is made with a balanced flavor and compliments every dish. The spicy sauce adds an oomph to the flavor of the dish. It can be used as an oyster sauce substitute, and also the spiciness is balanced with the presence of carrot components. The sauce is made with Belizean habanero pepper, to balance the spice, carrots, natural vinegar, sea salt, lime juice, vinegar, and roasted garlic. It works best as an oyster sauce substitute for wings, eggs, and meat and tastes delicious. In most kitchens of the world, this substitute for oyster sauce in cooking is used.

The sauce is made with fruits, GMO-free and veggies. The sauce is pesticide-free.

  • All-natural ingredients are been used for the sauce preparation.
  • The sauce is vegan.
  • It is keto-friendly.
  • It is a gluten free sauce.
  • It is made with all-natural ingredients, with no artificial preservatives added.
check price

8. Rao’s Homemade Marinara sauce

Rao’s Homemade Marinara sauce - healthy alternative to oyster sauce

Rao’s Homemade Marinara sauce has premium quality and can be used to prepare chicken, seafood, steak, or even just use on vegetables. It provides an authentic taste to the dish making it ideally holy for taste buds. It a vegetarian alternative to oyster sauce containing olive oil, oregano, black pepper, garlic, salt, onion, etc.

  • Prepared with all-natural ingredients
  • It is a keto-friendly sauce.
  • It has no added sugar.
check price

9. Keto Marinara Pasta sauce

Keto Marinara Pasta sauce - substitute for oyster sauce in cooking

Keto Marinara Pasta Sauce is low sodium, it has no preservative, paleo-friendly, and has added sugar. You can try this oyster sauce substitute with your favorite recipe. It is made with tomatoes, which are GMO-free, fresh basil, and garlic.it gives the dishes a peculiar and amazing taste.

  • The sauce is low in carb.
  • It is paleo-friendly.
  • It is a keto substitute for oyster sauce.
check price

Also, check out 7 Best Kosher Salt for Cooking, if you wish to have a good quality Salt.


1.What can I use instead of oyster sauce in a stir fry?

The Lee Kum Kee Hoisin sauce can be used in stir fry instead of oyster sauce. It is irresistibly delicious and with an amazing aroma. It is not only great for stir fry but also for marinating or even use as a dip. This sweet and spicy sauce goes well along with the vegetable and meats.

2.Can I substitute hoisin for oyster sauce?

Yes, you can substitute hoisin for oyster sauce. It is equally sweet and salty and one of the best among the oyster sauce substitute. This substitute will work like magic for your dishes when added in the proper quantity. It is umami flavored, and when mixed with soy sauce in equal proportion, the result is close to oyster sauce. It works great as a dip replacement for oyster sauce.

3.What’s the difference between oyster sauce and soy sauce?

Listing down the differences as pointers below.

• The classic oyster sauce is made by simmering the oyster in water for a long time, and this naturally brought the thick and brown color to it. While soy sauce is made by fermenting the soybeans paste and roasted wheat.

• Both sauces have a different consistency. Oyster sauce is thicker than soy sauce. Though, soy sauce can also be thick but are mostly thin in texture.

• Oyster sauce has a dark brown color, whereas soy sauce is much darker and can even look like black color.

• Using oyster sauce as a substitute for dark soy sauce won’t enable you to achieve the dark color of the dish as provided by soy sauce. Light soy sauce can be sued as an oyster sauce substitute.

4.Is oyster sauce made from oysters?

Yes, oyster sauce is made by oysters. It is an accidental invention of Lee Kum Sheung when one day he left his oysters to simmer in water for a long time. The aroma dragged his attention back, and to his surprise, he noticed the water has turned to a thick brown-colored sauce naturally. And that’s how the oyster sauce was invented. It had a delicious taste and was made by simmering oysters in the classic period. In the modern age, for thickness, the agent cornstarch is being used.

5.Is oyster sauce vegetarian?

The original oyster sauce is made with oysters, and it is not a vegetarian sauce, although there is a vegetarian substitute for oyster sauce, which is prepared with mushrooms instead of oysters. The regular oyster sauce and the vegetarian oyster sauce have the same consistency and color, but the vegetarian mushroom sauce is thinner than the regular ones. The vegetarian oyster sauce came into existence for the vegetarians to taste the flavorsome sauce, which is similar to the oyster sauce but vegetarian.

6.What is a vegan substitute for oyster sauce?

The vegan substitute for oyster sauce is San-J Tamari Soy Sauce, which you can use. It gives a richer, smoother taste, it also enhances the flavor organically. It is a perfect substitute for oyster sauce and can be enjoyed by everyone. It is made with 100% soybeans and no wheat. The organic fermentation process enhances the flavor.
It is the best oyster sauce substitute a vegan can use.

7.Is oyster sauce acidic?

Yes, oyster sauce is acidic. The shellfish group is an acidic food group.

8.Is oyster sauce carcinogenic?

Not likely, the earlier findings were in the year 1999, where food standard agents of the United Kingdom said that the sauces contained the chemicals which can cause cancer. Although the naturally brewed sauces were organic and were not dangerous. The international pressure and strict instructions led to the change of regulations for the manufacturers.
Preferring organic is always recommended as they are not mixed with any chemicals. Sauces from the early ages were prepared naturally, and now in the modern age chemical solutions are added.

9.Is oyster sauce halal in Islam?

Oyster sauce is haram in Islam. There are general rules and standards, like for animals, seafood, birds, and so on. Oyster comes under the rule of haram that is impermissibility. Although, it is not haram for selling, purchasing, or catching, as it is different from eating.
In a hadith, it is mentioned that eating fish with scales is allowed, and eating those without scales is haram.

10.Is oyster sauce plant-based?

No, oyster sauce is not plant-based. It is made with oysters which are simmered in water for a long time to thicken and change their color to form the sauce. Vegetarian oyster sauce is made of mushrooms that are again not plant-based in fact, from the fungi group, which is different from plants and animals.
These are the only two oyster sauce options one made with the oysters themselves, and the other made with mushroom.

11.What does oyster sauce smell like?

Oyster sauces are made by oysters simmering in water, and the flavors are extracted from the oyster and have a milder aroma than a fish sauce. It is sweet and salty. Fish sauce has a stronger aroma and smells like fish, but comparing the aroma of oyster sauce with fish sauce, oyster sauce is subtle and milder.

12.Can I use expired oyster sauce?

The shelf life depends on the date mentioned behind the product as the best before date. Do not use products that are expired it may cause harm. In the case of oyster sauce, if the product changes its color and flavor gets stronger, then the product has started to lose its quality. And also, if the water gets separated from the other ingredients, then that is the indication of the sauce getting spoiled. Consuming it may not cause harmful effects on the body, but always remember to consume food within the expiry date. Do not test try expired food on your body, it may cause harm, and remember to follow food safety measures.

13.Does unopened oyster sauce expire?

The shelf life depends on the best date before mentioned on the product. The unopened sauce shelf is for one year, and the open has to be consumed within 6 months. In case the date of expiry has crossed, the sauce is expired because the sauce shelf is mentioned, and it has to be consumed before that.

14.Can I freeze oyster sauce?

You can refrigerate the opened oyster sauce, but it does not freeze well. In the case of the flavored oyster sauce, freezing the same is not recommended. It can cause changes in its viscosity, and the sauce is filled in a glass bottle, it might break.

15.Which are the best substitute for oyster sauces?

Below are some of the best oyster sauces substitute
• Keto Marinara Pasta sauce
• Rao’s Homemade Marinara sauce
• Marie Sharp’s hot habanero pepper sauce
• Coconut secrets Coconut Aminos
• San-J Tamari Soy Sauce
• Vegan Fysh Sauce
• Kikkoman Ponzu Soy Sauce
• Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce
• Red Boat Fish sauce

16.What is vegan fish sauce?

It is the vegan version of the fish sauce, which is made with seaweed and not by fish. It is made with organic ingredients and has immense flavor. It is also gluten-free.
The taste is similar to the fish sauce but vegan. It doesn’t smell like fish sauce, as said it is made by seaweed keeping the aroma away from a fish smell.

17.Which sauce is the healthy alternative to oyster sauce?

San-J Tamari is a healthy alternative to oyster sauce. This sauce is made 100% with soybeans. It is gluten-free and also a vegan substitute for oyster sauce. It is GMO-free and is considered to be a healthy alternative to oyster sauce. As the sauce is organic the preparation is also the naturally fermenting of the sauce which gives the Tamari an enhancement of flavor.

18.Do we have keto-freindly oyster sauce substitute?

Rao’s Homemade Marinara sauce is keto-friendly oyster sauce substitute. It is a vegetarian sauce, and it is made organically. It has no added sugar. It provides an authentic taste to the dishes like chicken, steak, seafood, or even on the vegetable. It enhances the flavor of the dishes and makes it an ideal solution to taste and keto.

19.Can we use soy and hoisin together?

Yes, hoisin and soy, when used in a ratio of 50:50 it can replace the oyster sauce. And it can be used together in dishes, where the salty flavor of soy and the sweet-salty hoisin add its umami flavor into the dish and turn heaven onto the plate. It is also one of the oyster sauce replacements.

20.Does coconut aminos taste sweet like coconut?

No, coconut aminos don’t taste sweet. It is not made of coconut but made of coconut tree sap. It has a sweet and salty flavor as it is made of tree sap and sea salt. It is gluten-free and also contains less sodium than any other sauce. It can be used as an alternative to soy sauce and substitute oyster sauce in cooking. It contains 17 amino acids making it also a healthy version of sauce and it is organic.

21.Can I use any substitute for oyster sauce?

Few options can be a substitute for an oyster sauce like
• Soy sauce
• Sweet soy sauce
• Soy and hoisin sauce
• Marinara sauce
• Coconut aminos
The above sauces can be used for stir fry, fried rice, dips, dressing for salads, and even with noodles. You can use sauces that will compliment your dish as a sub for oyster sauce.

Kelly Anne

Kelly Anne

Hey there, I am Kelly Anne. Thank you for being here. Hope you like the website and it was helpful. I am a working mother of 2. I love to cook and feed people. My hobbies include cooking (obviously), reading, and rock climbing.

With so many machines and accessories in the market to help you cook it become quite overwhelming to choose from. I own a lot of these kitchen equipments and tried out the others. I want the best for my kitchen and I am helping you find the best for yours.

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