Can I use black bean sauce instead of oyster sauce?

In this blog, we will answer the question “Can I use black bean sauce instead of oyster sauce?” and some other substitutes for Oyster Sauce.

Can I use black bean sauce instead of oyster sauce?

Yes, you can use Black Bean Sauce instead of Oyster Sauce. If you use this instead of oyster sauce, you’ll get a different but equally wonderful dish that’s more savoury than sweet. Mix in another teaspoon of sugar and thin the mixture with mushroom broth to make it more like oyster sauce.

This thick, creamy (yet fully plant-based) sauce works well over noodles, veggies, and meat. It has a black colour, a thick consistency, and a savoury, but not sweet, flavour similar to oyster sauce. 

Black bean sauce, which is made from fermented black beans (douchi), vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and a small quantity of sugar, has a flavour that is similar to oyster sauce. It will fulfil the coating properties and make the mouthfeel superbly.  

What are some other substitutes for Oyster Sauce?

You can substitute other condiments for oyster sauce if you don’t have any on hand, or if you don’t eat shellfish. Oyster sauce is a sweet and sour condiment made mostly from oyster juice, salt, and sugar. 

There’s also umami, a savoury, tangy flavour. In Asian cuisines, such as Chinese and Thai cuisines, stir-fries, meat marinades, and dipping sauces are all common. Oyster sauce has a flavour that is a cross between a fish sauce and soy sauce. 

It has a dark brown hue and a thick, syrupy viscosity. A good substitute should be able to mimic these flavours and textures as closely as feasible. Here are some tasty oyster sauce substitutes: 

  • Fish Sauce
  • Soy Sauce
  • Hoisin Sauce
  • Vegan Mushroom Sauce
  • Sweet Soy Sauce

Fish Sauce

Fish sauce can be used in place of oyster sauce in some recipes, albeit it isn’t a perfect substitute. This sauce, which is prepared from fermented fish, is thinner and has a fishier flavour than oyster sauce. It’s also less sweet and saltier. 

Fish sauce is especially good for tasty meals that won’t be swamped by it or that already have a fishy flavour, such as stir-fried fish. Fish sauces are typically made with fish and salt. Herbs and spices may have been added by others. 

Long-term fermentation produces a rich and aromatic fish sauce flavour while also reducing the harsh fish odour. 

Fish sauce has a natural salty flavour that isn’t masked by artificial flavours or additions. However, because of its strong flavour, the fish sauce should be used in moderation. 

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is a straightforward substitute for oyster sauce because it’s a pantry staple. It’s also vegan and vegetarian, making it ideal for those who avoid fish. In contrast to oyster sauce, soy sauce is saltier and thinner. 

Sweeten it with sugar if you’re using it in a recipe that calls for oyster sauce. Use half the amount of oyster sauce advised, keeping the dinner from being too salty. 

A preferable substitute is sweet soy sauce, often known as Indonesian kecap manis, which can be found in Asian food markets or speciality stores. Tamari, a gluten-free soy sauce made from fermented soybeans, is an alternative. 

Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin sauce is a rich Chinese sauce with umami, sweetness, and tanginess overtones. It tastes like barbecue sauce and may be made with a variety of ingredients such as vinegar, chilli paste, and garlic. 

Because of its similar consistency, hoisin sauce can often be used in place of oyster sauce in a 1:1 ratio. However, the flavour may be stronger depending on the ingredients, in which case you should use less. 

Hoisin sauce can be substituted for the oyster sauce in stir-fries and marinades. It’s most commonly found in vegan and vegetarian cuisine. 

Vegan Mushroom Sauce

If you’re a vegetarian, this is a suitable substitute for oyster sauce. Soybeans are also a key ingredient in the Mushroom Stir-Fry Sauce. 

Mushrooms, which have a strong umami flavour, can be used to make an oyster sauce alternative without the use of fish or animal products. It’s blended with salt, sugar, flour, cornstarch, mushroom flavour, and caramel colour, but that’s not all. 

For vegetarians or those allergic to shellfish, this is an excellent option. In a mushroom stir-fry sauce, soybeans, sugar, salt, cornstarch, flour, mushroom flavour, caramel colouring, and preservatives are frequent ingredients. 

Sweet Soy Sauce ( Kecap Manis )

One of the best oyster sauce substitutes is kecap manis. This Indonesian sauce has a sweeter flavour than oyster sauce. 

It will work well, especially if you use a maximum 1:1 substitution ratio, but you should start with a 1:2 ratio. Kecap manis is a sweet, thick soy sauce. 

It’s created from fermented soybeans, palm sugar, star anise, and garlic, as well as a variety of sugars and spices. Kecap manis is a condiment as well as a culinary ingredient in Indonesian fried rice dishes like nasi goreng.


In this blog, we answered the question “Can I use black bean sauce instead of oyster sauce?” and some other substitutes for Oyster Sauce.

Hope this blog was informative. If you have any questions, comment below.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!