The first question that comes to mind is, is Oyster sauce made with Oysters? The answer is both yes and no. The original recipe included oysters initially. Then, slow cooking of oyster broth created this recipe. But now we have vegan substitutes for everything.
You must have heard about accidental discoveries. Well, fun fact! Oyster sauce is one such unintentional discovery. There are a lot of food recipes that have been discovered by making a mistake or by accident. So, mistakes are not always that bad. Just as a mistake, someone in China accidentally overcooked the Oyster broth, and that’s how the recipe for Oyster sauce was born. And now, it is a staple food for China and is widely used all over Asia.
Oyster sauce is thick-textured, brown in colour liquid, with a savoury taste. The contents of the sauce may vary a bit according to the method, but the taste remains the same. Apart from the incredible taste, there are a lot of health benefits to it that we will be covering as we move along.
Nutritional Properties of Oyster Sauce
As per USDA, 100 grams of Oyster sauce holds the following nutritional values:
- Energy: 51 kCal
- Protein: 1.35g
- Total lipid (fat): 0.25 g
- Carbohydrates: 10.9 g
- Fibre: 0.3 g
- Calcium: 32 mg
- Iron: 0.18 mg
- Sodium: 2730 mg
Health Benefits of Oyster Sauce
Let’s look at a few health benefits of the Oyster sauce. Due to the various Nutritional Properties of oysters, there are specific benefits due to the multiple components.
According to the Agricultural Research Service, Oysters contain maximum zinc, i.e., 39.3mg per serving. And zinc is beneficial in boosting our body’s immune system and increasing metabolism. Zinc is also very effective in wound healing and improves your sense of smell and taste. Having a high zinc content also helps you reduce the risk of age-related issues.
According to the Harvard Research, there are various health benefits of Vitamin B12, including:
- Formation of red blood cells and DNA
- Improving the function and development of brain and nerve cells
- It helps increase the bone health and prevent osteoporosis
- It may provide an energy boost
The iron content also has the following benefits: growth and development of the body. Iron also helps the body in creating Haemoglobin. It is a protein in the red blood cells of our body that is responsible for carrying oxygen from our lungs to all the different parts of the body, including the brain. It also leads to a hormone balance in our body.
According to the table provided above, we can note that Oyster Sauce has a large amount of Sodium present. So, let us walk through the benefits of sodium.
- Sodium maintains the proper balance of water and minerals in our body
- It improves nerve impulses, as sodium is responsible for the relaxation and contraction of our body’s muscles
- Reduces muscle cramps
- It helps in the development of the human brain
- Improves the health of teeth and skin
Homemade Recipe for Oyster Sauce
Simple Homemade Recipe
Buying the oyster sauce is very convenient, but if you are very particular about your diet. You would like to make your sauce at home. Here is a straightforward recipe to try to make at home. Just follow the below steps to make the perfect sauce for yourself and your family.
- Soy sauce: 8 tsp
- Liquid from canned oysters: 5 tsp
- White granulated sugar: 2 tsp
- Reserve the oyster liquid separately
- Combine the liquid with soy sauce
- Dissolve the sugar in the solution by whisking it in properly
- You can adjust the seasoning according to your taste and liking
If you are more into cooking and are willing to put more effort into making a traditionally made recipe at your home, this would be perfect for you. It is the proper way the oyster sauce gets made in specific parts of Asia.
- Shucked oysters with liquid: ½ lb (225 g)
- Water: 1 tbsp
- Salt: ¼ tsp
- Light soy sauce: 4 tbsp
- Dark soy sauce: 1 tbsp
- Reserve the liquid in a bowl and chop the Oysters with a sharp knife into small pieces.
- Mix the chopped oysters, reserved liquid, and 1tbsp water in a saucepan
- Boil them together.
- Simmer the ingredients for 10 minutes in low flame
- Add salt to the pan
- Using a strainer, separate the liquid
- Add soya sauce to the liquid in the pan
- Simmer the combined liquid for another 10 minutes
- The Oyster Sauce is ready. To store it, keep it airtight in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Vegan Oyster Sauce
In the above section, we used oysters in our recipe. Let us now look at the Vegan recipe for the same.
- Dried shiitake mushrooms: 1.75 oz (50 g)
- Flax seeds: 1 tbsp
- Vegetable oil: 1-½ tbsp
- Sesame oil: ½ tbsp
- Ginger (sliced thinly): 3 to 4 inches
- Water: 2 cups (500 ml)
- Dark soy sauce: 1 tbsp
- Light soy sauce: 1 tbsp
- Sugar: 1 tsp
- Salt: ½ tbsp
- Soak mushrooms and flax seeds in water for 4 hours.
- Heat the vegetable oil in the saucepan
- Saute the sliced ginger in the pan
- When it is brownish, remove the ginger and set it aside.
- Now add the sliced mushrooms to the pan with some sesame oil, and cook for one minute.
- Add salt and soy sauces to it.
- Pour water and sugar into the pan.
- Let it simmer in low to medium flame for 10 minutes
- Remove the ingredients from the pan and let it cool
- Pour the pre-cooked ginger, the cooled-down ingredients, and flax seeds into a blender and blend it until smooth.
- Heat the paste gently for 5 minutes.
- The sauce is ready, and you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
When to Avoid Consumption?
Now that we know the health benefits of the oyster sauce, it is essential to see if it is suitable for your body or not. In addition, it is necessary to mention in which condition you should avoid the consumption of Oyster Sauce.
If you are allergic to shellfish, you are indeed allergic to oysters. And obviously, it goes without saying that if you are allergic to oysters, do not try the traditional oyster sauce. In such a case, you can pick the alternative vegetarian recipe for the sauce. It is a common allergy in adults as well as children. Also, before trying any recipe, go through the ingredients carefully, and find out if you are allergic to any particular component or not.
If you have high blood pressure, you must consume the Oyster sauce in limited quantities. Also, sauce consumption leads to an increase in uric acid, and if you overeat, it will have adverse effects on your body.
Oyster sauce is a delicious dark brown colour, thick texture sauce with a salty taste. The various health benefits are unique. The different essential minerals like Iron, Magnesium, Sodium, Zinc, Vitamin B12 and other compositions make it healthy. The fact that it has zero cholesterol and is entirely fat-free is one of the reasons everybody looks forward to it. You can enjoy the delicious taste of various dishes and food items.
You can eat it with a snack or with your daily meal. The oyster sauce adds a lot of flavour to your food and improves it. Also, we should not forget everything has its drawbacks and consequences. Therefore, you should monitor the amount of consumption, and there are amazing homemade recipes for the oyster sauce dish.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. 1 What is an oyster sauce made of?
A. Oyster sauce is traditionally made of oysters mixed with soy sauce, salt, and water. There are also different recipes to make the sauce without Oysters. Vegan Oyster sauce is also available in the market, which contains mushroom, soy sauce, sugar, salt, and different additional flavouring components.
Q. 2 Does oyster sauce taste like fish?
A. No, oyster sauce does not taste like fish. It is a normal misconception because oysters are seafood. People assume it might taste like fish. But actually has a sweet and sour flavour, making it likeable worldwide. It is very different from the taste of a fish.
Q. 3 What can be used instead of oyster sauce?
A. There are a lot of options in the market. If you want a substitute for the oyster sauce because of the presence of oysters, you can try the vegan oyster sauce instead. You can find more about that in this article.
And if you wish to try other alternatives, there are many options you can go for, like soy sauce, fish sauce, hoisin sauce, or duck sauce. These are a few of the versatile sauces you can find. Also, you can make a homemade version of the sauce if you are not very happy with the packed products.
Q. 4 What is the difference between oyster sauce and soy sauce?
A. Soy sauce is an essential ingredient primarily used in Chinese food. Also, oyster sauce uses soy sauce. Soy sauce gives the oyster sauce a salty flavour. In addition, soy sauce is completely vegan, whereas oyster sauce can use oysters or a vegan alternative. You can try whichever you prefer.
Q. 5 Can you use teriyaki sauce instead of oyster sauce?
A. Yes, you can completely replace the oyster sauce with teriyaki sauce. The texture of teriyaki sauce is entirely similar to the oyster sauce, making it a perfect replacement. However, the teriyaki sauce is a bit sweeter than the oyster sauce due to the more sugar in the solution.
Q. 6 What is the juice in an oyster called?
A. The juice in the oyster is called oyster liquor. It is the natural juice present in oysters. The oysters need to be fresh. After coming out of the water, this oyster liquor keeps the oyster fresh; it would go bad without it. While eating the oyster, you should also consume the oyster liquor.
Q. 7 Can you replace soy sauce with oyster sauce?
A. If you are unwilling to eat the oyster sauce, you can replace it with soy sauce. As the oyster sauce is made with soy sauce and combines other ingredients, it would taste a bit different, but you will get the base of the flavour from soy sauce and use it as an alternative.
Although if you want to try other alternatives, you can also go for the fish sauce, hoisin sauce, and duck sauce.
Q. 8 Is oyster sauce good for weight loss?
A. If you are keeping a healthy diet and are focused on your weight loss, the oyster sauce will not harm that. There is zero cholesterol in the sauce, hence no trans or saturated fats. Also, the oyster sauce contains some bit of protein, and protein diets help in weight loss.
But having said that, you must keep the consumption in control. Excessing oyster sauce consumption might harm your body in different ways.
Q. 9 Are oysters good for you?
A. Oysters have a lot of health benefits. They are rich in iron, Vitamin B12 and zinc. Each component is very beneficial to your health. Also, it helps boost the immune system and reduce the risk of age-related issues. It also helps form red blood cells, and DNA helps develop the human brain and improves the glucose balance in the body. But, it would help if you were sure that you were not allergic to shellfish.
Q. 10 Are oysters eaten alive?
A. Yes, you can also eat the oysters alive. If the oysters are alive, it is only then that we consider them to be fresh. After coming out of the water, the liquid in the oyster (oyster liquor) keeps the oysters alive and fresh. While eating the oyster, do not throw the liquid. You are supposed to enjoy the oyster along with the oyster liquor.