Oyster sauce illustrates several sauces made by grilling oysters. The most common in recent use is a thick dark brown sauce made from oyster extracts, salt, sugar, and water thickened with corn starch. Some versions may be darkened with caramel, though the high-quality oyster sauce is generally dark. It is commonly utilized in Cantonese, Vietnamese, Thai, Khmer, and Malay cuisine.
Oyster sauce describes a number of sauces made by cooking oysters. The most common in modern use is a viscous dark brown condiment made from oyster extracts, sugar, salt and water thickened with corn starch. Some versions may be darkened with caramel, though high-quality oyster sauce is naturally dark. It is commonly used in Cantonese, Thai, Malay, Vietnamese and Khmer cuisine.
Oyster sauce was invented accidentally by Lee Kum Sheung in Nanshui, Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China, in 1888. He ran a tea stall that sold cooked oysters. One day, Lee was cooking oysters as usual, but he lost track of time and left them to simmer until he smelled a strong aroma. Lifting the lid of the pot, he was delighted to find the normally clear oyster soup had turned into a thick, brownish sauce with an astonishingly delicious taste. Soon he started selling his newly invented seasoning, which turned out to be a hit with the locals. He founded Lee Kum Kee to promote oyster sauce and other Chinese sauces and condiments to all corners of the world.
“True” oyster sauce of good quality should be made by condensing oyster extracts, the white broth produced by boiling oysters in water. This opaque broth, similar to the colour of clam juice found in supermarkets, is then reduced until a desired viscosity has been reached and the liquid has caramelized to a brown colour. No other additives, not even salt, should be added to the sauce, since the oysters should provide all the savoury flavour. However, this method is prohibitively expensive.
Many modern oyster sauces are thickened with cornstarch, flavoured with oyster essence or extract and darkened with caramel.
Origin of Oyster Sauce:
Oyster sauce was introduced accidentally by the great Lee Kum Sheung in Nanshui, Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China, in 1888.
He ran a tea stall that sold cooked oysters. One day, Lee was cooking oysters as usual, but he lost track of time and left them to prepare until he inhaled an energetic zest. Lifting the cap of the pot, he was pleased to find the usually clear oyster soup had turned into a thick, brownish seasoning with an astonishingly flavorful taste. Soon he began selling his recently invented sauce, which turned out to be a hit with the residents. He established Lee Kum Kee to promote oyster sauce and other Chinese sauces and sauces to all corners of the world.
Varieties of Oyster Sauce:
“True” oyster sauce of promising quality should be made by thickening oyster extracts, the white broth developed by boiling oysters in water. This opaque broth, similar to the color of clam juice found in supermarkets, is then decreased until the desired consistency has been attained, and the liquid has caramelized to a brown color. No other additions, not even salt, should be added to the condiment since the oysters should give all the delicious flavor. However, this procedure is prohibitively costly.
Many new oyster sauces are thickened with cornstarch, spiced with oyster aroma or extract, and darkened with caramel.
Uses of Oyster Sauce:
Oyster sauce is used right from the bottle. It is added to other condiments, utilized as a sauce on its own, or splashed on top of steamed vegetables (often Chinese broccoli in Cantonese cuisine) as a finishing taste. The most important way to combine oyster sauce into a recipe is in a stir-fry seasoning.
Oyster sauce is a creamy, syrup-like sauce that is utilized as an Asian BBQ Chilli sauce, or as a glazing sauce in Chinese cooking. It is made from oyster extract, but despite the caption, it doesn’t flavor like fish at all. Instead, the oyster sauce has a loamy, slightly ripe, and salty flavor. It is a mixture of boiled down oyster juices (which have caramelized), along with salt and sugar; some interpretations include soy sauce condensed with cornstarch.
Taste of Oyster Sauce:
Oyster sauce tastes like a mixture of soy sauce and BBQ Chilli sauce. It is both salty and sweet; the salt comes from the brininess of the oysters while the fresh is complex, with evidence of caramel. It is less salty than soy sauce and full of umami.
Some Oyster Sauce Recipe:
Chinese Stir fry Beef with Oyster Sauce
Chinese chicken with Oyster Sauce
Stir-fried Mushrooms with Oyster Sauce
I’m Keith, owner of a small-batch Australian owned and operated company that provides you with fresh, natural additive and preservative-free chilli products.
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