Does Oyster Sauce Need to Be Refrigerated After Opening?

Last Updated on November 16, 2022 by Claire

Does Oyster sauce need to be refrigerated? For the preservation of the Oyster sauce, there are basic requirements which include: storing it in a cool and dark place, storing it in an environment with a constant temperature, keep away from hot appliances.

The sauce should be in its original glass pack with the cover tightly affixed. When the oyster sauce is opened, it should be stored in a refrigerator.

The storage container should be made of glass or transparent plastic. So if your oyster sauce is packed in a can, you should transfer it to a plastic or glass container and store it in the refrigerator. It is beneficial to properly store your oyster sauce properly. These benefits include reducing wastage, saving food costs, and healthy eating.

Does Oyster Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated

Does Oyster Sauce Need to be Refrigerated?

Oyster sauce is predominantly used in Chinese dishes. Its texture is similar to syrups, thick, dark, and slimy. Similar to other sauces, it requires effective storage to avoid going bad.

However, other storage methods are effective. Oyster sauce would last longer and keep fresh when stored in a refrigerator. But it’s best if it stays refrigerated once opened. Keeping it in a storage room when opened at normal temperature will keep it at the optimal quality for, at best, a month. On the other hand, storage in a refrigerator will keep it for several months once it is opened.

Even manufacturers recommend that users not frequently using oyster sauce keep them refrigerated. When not placed in the fridge, its quality drops until it loses its taste.

Will Oyster Sauce Go Bad If Not Refrigerated?

Oyster sauce is different from these sauces and ingredients. Many of these sauces have natural preservatives in high quantities when compared to oyster sauce. So for preservation, keeping oyster sauce in a cool, dark place is necessary. The storage unit might be a shelf in your pantry or a cold cabinet with limited lighting. Also, it should be packed in an airtight container.

The oyster sauce pack is usually airtight and would be sufficient for storage when the top is screwed on tightly. For those bought-in cans, refrigerate the remnant in a plastic or glass pack with a tight covering after opening.

An opened pack of oyster sauce would not necessarily go bad immediately when stored outside a refrigerator, but it will deteriorate faster than when stored in a fridge. The process can take weeks, even up to a month. But when stored in a fridge, it would last for several months, making refrigeration the better option for storing oyster sauce.

How To Tell If Oyster Sauce Is Bad

It is sometimes difficult to spot a safe-to-eat sauce from a bad one. So how do we then differentiate a bad oyster sauce from a safe one?

Oyster sauce usually shows signs when it is no longer ideal for consumption. These signs include an unpleasant odor and green or white fuzz on the sauce’s surface. But some of the signs of deterioration are not easily visible as others.

The sauce isn’t entirely bad now, but it is becoming less useful. Over time, the oyster sauce flavor tends to heighten and the coloration darker. So when the taste gets too strong, it is time to use less of the sauce or eventually thrash it.

Another important aspect of the oyster sauce is that the product is thickened with cornstarch during manufacturing. You shouldn’t attempt to stir up the mix, as it would be ineffective. So when you notice water at its surface, it means it is losing its quality and should be discarded.

What is the difference Between Oyster Sauce and Fish Sauce?

Each sauce has a unique taste, the same as oysters and fish. While fish sauce can be used as a substitute for oyster sauce, fish sauce has a special flavor that is difficult to replicate.

Contrary, oyster sauce can also be used as a substitute for fish sauce in some of its recipes. Both sauces derived their names from the principal ingredients in the sauces – oyster and fish respectively. The sauces also have different preparation methods.

Both sauces also have different flavors, textures, and colors. To properly use any of these sauces, it is proper to understand their basics.

Oyster sauce is prepared by mildly heating oysters in water until the fluids thicken to form a sauce. Packaged versions include ingredients such as cornstarch, salt, and sugar. These versions contain a small quantity of real oyster sauce. The vegan version is made from oyster mushrooms.

Fish sauce is prepared from the fermentation of fish, adding salt as a seasoning. Several fish breeds can be used to make the fish sauce, but the most popular is the anchovies.

It produces a hard fish flavor by fermenting. With a prolonged fermentation process, the fish flavor is stronger, with an extra nutty edge but less odor. The fermentation process can last up to 18 months.

Oyster sauce differs with its brown color. The color of the fish sauce is either an amber color or reddish brown. Some fish sauces are spiced with chilies and garlic but are nutty, salty, clear, and watery. On the other hand, the oyster is thick and syrupy, with a salty and sweet taste.

The fishy taste of the fish sauce can be eliminated by adding a small amount of lime juice. By comparison, oyster sauce is milder in taste when compared to fish sauce.

Does Oyster Sauce Have Oysters In It?

The oyster sauce is made from an oyster. They are slowly boiled to extract the sauce from the oyster. The sauce is salty and used in preparing stir-fries. It is also used in soups, stews, and marinades.


An unopened oyster sauce is recommended for storage in a cool, dark place. Once opened, the sauce should be refrigerated in a plastic or glass pack, and the lid properly affixed.

Storage areas such as cupboards and pantries are adequate for storing unopened oyster sauce, as they have constant temperatures. Also, keep the sauce away from hot appliances.