6 Substitute For Oyster Sauce In Chow Mein

Last Updated on July 9, 2022 by

Oyster sauce is a famous Asian condiment widely used in chow mein and stir-fry meals. But what if you don’t have any oyster sauce for your chow mein? Can you substitute for oyster sauce in chow mein? Every home chef should have some oyster sauce substitute on hand. According to legend, the oyster sauce was created accidentally by a Chinese oyster chef who lost track of time while cooking oysters. He started selling his sauce after discovering the extraordinarily wonderful taste, and it swiftly spread all over the globe. So can you substitute for oyster sauce in chow mein?

Yes, you can substitute for oyster sauce in chow mein. Soy sauce is the best alternative for oyster sauce since it is the closest in taste, saltiness, and color, but there are numerous other choices you may try in a hurry. If you don’t have soy sauce, you may use fish sauce or create your oyster sauce.

Best Substitutes For Oyster Sauce In Chow Mein

Oyster sauce is black and thick, like a cross between barbecue sauce and soy sauce. It’s salty, sweet, and adds umami flavor to the meal. This recipe is unsuitable for vegans, vegetarians, or persons with shellfish allergies. So what substitute for oyster sauce in chow mein can you use? What if you don’t have any oyster sauce on hand?

We’ve compiled a list of the best substitute for oyster sauce in chow mein. Some are ready-made goods, while others are manufactured from a combination of pantry essentials to get a similar taste profile.

1. Soy Sauce

Because it is a pantry staple, soy sauce is a simple substitution for oyster sauce. It’s also vegan and vegetarian, making it ideal for individuals who avoid seafood. On the other hand, soy sauce is saltier and thinner than oyster sauce. It would help if you also used less than the amount suggested for the oyster sauce to prevent oversalting the meal. Sweet soy sauce, commonly known as Indonesian kecap manis, is an even better replacement and may be obtained at Asian food markets or specialist shops.

Here are a few of our favorite soy sauces for you to try.

Kikkoman Soy Sauce

This is one of the most well-known soy sauce brands. It’s well regarded and well-liked. This company organically brews all of their soy sauce, providing you with wonderful taste and quality. When it comes to soy sauce, it’s pretty reasonably priced and dependable.

La Choy Soy Sauce 

Another well-known brand of soy sauce is La Choy. Their soy sauce is fantastic for various uses and has a delicious taste. The taste is a little deeper than Kikkoman, making it another wonderful alternative with distinct qualities.

2. Black Bean Paste

Black bean paste is another Chinese substitute for oyster sauce in chow mein. It’s produced with fermented black beans, which give everything they touch a deep, rich taste. This is one replacement that has the same punch as an oyster sauce. While the flavor isn’t identical to oyster sauce, black bean paste contains those crucial salty and umami characteristics. It works as a substitute if you don’t mind a slightly different flavor profile. 

It has a similar texture to oyster sauce, although it may be thicker sometimes. Because of its consistency, black bean paste pairs nicely with oyster sauce in a one-to-one ratio. However, if you are unfamiliar with the item, you should taste it before adding it to your recipe. This way, you’ll better understand how strong the taste will be and may modify it appropriately.

3. Fish Sauce

Fish sauce is commonly prepared from anchovies and oyster sauce from oysters. The one thing fish sauce can provide that soy cannot is that elusive ocean taste. Fish sauce may be substituted for the oyster sauce in chow mein, but it should be noted that it has a saltier, less sweet taste and a thinner consistency. Less is more when it comes to fish sauce, so start with a little and add more as desired. Use just half as much fish sauce in a dish as oyster sauce. You could even want to start with a quarter of the amount and work your way up.

Here are a few of our favorite soy sauces for you to try.

Thai Kitchen

When you visit your neighborhood grocery shop, Thai Kitchen is the brand you’ll probably find. It’s a trustworthy, well-known brand with a delicious taste. Fresh, high-quality ingredients are used to make it. It does not have MSG, and neither has dairy or gluten.

Red Boat

Red Boat is a premium fish sauce that is more expensive. The sauce is very clean with only two ingredients—fish and salt. Preservatives, MSG, and water are not added to the sauce. This sauce is tasty and well-made.

4. Teriyaki sauce

Teriyaki sauce, which is lovely and rich, can work well instead of oyster sauce in chow mein. Compared to oyster sauce, teriyaki sauce is often sweeter, less salty, and less fishy. Soy sauce blended with sugar, rice wine, and other ingredients gives it its taste. Oyster sauce is listed as an ingredient in some teriyaki sauces, so you’re not even close to running out of it! You can use teriyaki sauce for oyster sauce in stir-fries and noodle meals.  

You may use the same quantity of teriyaki sauce in your chow mein since it has a similar texture to the oyster sauce and a moderate, non-overpowering flavor. You can always add a little extra if you think the taste isn’t strong enough.

5. Anchovies

This could be a stretch in some recipes, but in others, it’ll be the ideal substitution for oyster sauce. Some individuals hesitate before eating anchovies, particularly those who dislike seafood. Anchovies are wonderful and aren’t fishy. 

This is especially true when you incorporate them into a sauce or stir fry. You won’t find large pieces of fish in your meal since they melt in the oil. Instead, the item will give a salty, umami taste similar to oyster sauce. Anchovies are typically used to produce a fish sauce, so it stands to reason that they would work well as a substitute for oyster sauce in chow mein.

6. Hoisin And Soy Sauce Mixture 

While hoisin and soy are also an acceptable substitute for oyster sauce in chow mein, combining the first two may be the best option. You will then get the full umami flavor of soy sauce and the sweetness and thickness of hoisin sauce. 

Except for the tang from the salty sea, this combo is sweet, salty, and virtually everything you get with oyster sauce. However, if the oysters themselves are what you dislike about the oyster sauce, the hoisin/soy mixture can be a better option for your stir-fry requirements.

To reduce the possibility of contamination, it is usually advisable to combine the soy and hoisin sauces just before using them. Oyster sauce may be replaced with the combination 1:1; thus, for every tablespoon of oyster sauce called for in a dish, use 1 1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce and 1 1/2 teaspoons of hoisin.

What Can I Use Instead Of Oyster Sauce In A Stir Fry?

Soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, or hoisin sauce are fast alternatives for oyster sauce. Oyster sauce is perfect for stir-frying since it mixes umami, sweetness, and salt. The thick, almost syrup-like consistency is ideal for coating meals and marinades.

A few drops of soy sauce may be quickly substituted since it makes a nice basis. As an alternative, it may be added for better blending. You may come close by adding a little bit of brown sugar. Alternately, combine Worcestershire, brown sugar, and soy sauce. To achieve a more accurate texture match, equal amounts of soy sauce and hoisin sauce should be used.

While sweeter than oyster sauce, sweet soy sauce contains the same umami and salt characteristics. If you decide to go with this, use it cautiously. Additionally, hoisin may be used by itself.

Is Oyster Sauce And Worcestershire Sauce The Same?

Despite not being the same, oyster sauce and Worcestershire sauce have similarities. Both are umami-enhancing ingredients prepared using seafood and added to savory foods. However, Worcestershire sauce is produced using anchovies, while oyster sauce is created with oysters. Oyster sauce has a thicker consistency and a little sweetness to balance the brine flavor. The sauce in Worcestershire is saltier, fruitier, and thinner.

The two may be substituted, although they aren’t a great replacement. If Worcestershire sauce were used in place of oyster sauce, it would be too overbearing. Additionally, it must be thickened to match the texture more closely. Mix a few drops of Worcestershire sauce with soy sauce and sugar if you wish to use it instead of oyster sauce.

Conclusion On Substitute For Oyster Sauce In Chow Mein

You can substitute oyster sauce in chow mein. There are lots of substitutes for this dish, like soy sauce and anchovies. Starting with the minimal substitute amounts we have specified and adjusting the quantity to taste is what we advise. This stops you from heavily seasoning or oversalting your cuisine. We advise trying several options to see which you like best.