The 7 Best Oyster Sauces for Adding Umami to Your Recipes

Rate this post

Oyster sauce is a culinary mainstay for many of us due to its adaptability and rich, umami taste, despite the fact that it was created by mistake! Oyster sauce, made from caramelized oyster fluids with salt and sugar, gives a rich taste to marinades, salad dressings, and a variety of other meals.

In this post, we look at some of the greatest oyster sauces on the market, as well as the unintentional history of oyster sauce and how it is made. We also discuss the best methods to utilize oyster sauce in the kitchen and its nutritional profile, which includes its high salt level.

Best Selection

The Wok Mei oyster flavored sauce (gluten free) is our favorite oyster sauce since it is gluten free, MSG free, and non-GMO.

Budget Selection

Our budget selection oyster sauce is the original Lee Kum Kee premium oyster sauce created from the best oyster extracts.

Product Name Grade
GradeWok Mei Gluten Free Oyster Sauce A
Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Sauce A
Maekrua Brand Thai Oyster Sauce A
Kikkoman Oyster Sauce A-
Vegetarian Mushroom Oyster Sauce A
Panda Oyster Sauce B+
Dragonfly Premium Oyster Sauce B+

1. ​Wok Mei Gluten Free Oyster Sauce  

Highlighted Characteristics

  • A pair of 8 oz. gluten-free oyster sauce jars.
  • This sauce is made in the United States and is devoid of MSG, processed sugars, starches, and dairy components.
  • There are no GMO components in this product.

The Wok Mei oyster flavored sauce (gluten free) is suitable for use in stir fries and as a marinade and contains no monosodium glutamate (MSG), refined starches, or sugars. This oyster sauce is made in the United States and is devoid of GMO ingredients and dairy, as well as being gluten free. This sauce comes in a pair of 8 oz glass jars.

A few customers have expressed dissatisfaction with the taste of this sauce, which they believe is little over-caramelized.


  • Gluten-free certification
  • No GMOs
  • No dairy products
  • Manufactured in the United States
  • MSG is not present.


  • For others, the taste may be a touch too caramelized.
  • Several customers dislike the taste of this oyster sauce when compared to other oyster sauces.

2. Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Sauce 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • A premium oyster sauce created from the best oyster extracts.
  • Two 18 oz glass bottles are included.
  • There is no soy sauce in this recipe.

The Lee Kum Kee premium oyster sauce, which comes in a twin pack of 18 fl. oz glass bottles, is prepared with the best oyster extracts and contains no soy sauce. It does, however, contain MSG as well as wheat flour, making it inappropriate for individuals who are gluten intolerant. A tiny percentage of individuals believe that this sauce is a touch overly sweet.


  • Oyster sauce of the highest quality
  • Oyster extracts of the highest quality
  • There will be no soy sauce.


  • It contains MSG.
  • Several people thought this sauce was a little too sweet.
  • Gluten sensitivity caused by wheat flour Not suited for individuals who are gluten intolerant.

3. Maekrua Brand Thai Oyster Sauce

Highlighted Characteristics

  • A Thai oyster sauce created in Thailand that may be used for any flavoring.
  • It comes in a 10 ounce bottle.
  • There is no MSG added to this product.

Maekrua Brand Thai oyster sauce, made in Thailand, is appropriate for all flavoring uses. This oyster sauce does include wheat and soy thus will not be suited for certain persons with sensitivities or allergies. This oyster sauce comes in a smaller 10 fl. oz. container, and depending on the meal, some may find it a touch too sweet. Despite the fact that it is created using soy sauce, it has no MSG.


  • Oyster sauce from Thailand
  • Sauce for everything
  • Free of MSG


  • Wheat and soy allergies are present.
  • Depending on how it is used, it may taste a touch sweet.
  • 10 oz. little bottle

4. Kikkoman Oyster Sauce  

Highlighted Characteristics

  • 12.6 oz bottle of American-made soy sauce
  • Has a deep umami taste with notes of sweetness.
  • It may be used in marinades and dishes as an all-purpose sauce.

Kikkoman oyster sauce (green label) is MSG-free and comes in a smaller 12.6 fl. oz bottle. This oyster sauce is umami-rich with a touch of sweetness, making it ideal for a variety of marinades and dishes. It may also be used in soups, braises, and sauces as a flavoring. This is likewise devoid of soy sauce, however some customers have reported a minor aftertaste.


  • Manufactured in the United States
  • There is no soy in this product.
  • Rich in umami
  • Sauce for everything


  • This sauce may have a faint aftertaste.
  • 12.6 fl. oz. smaller bottle

5. Vegetarian Mushroom Oyster Sauce 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • Vegan oyster sauce prepared using mushroom essence rather than oyster
  • This huge 35 oz bottle is made in Taiwan.
  • There is no MSG added to this product.
  • It’s great for stir-frying, dipping, and grilling.

Vegan diets are not acceptable for those who have certain intolerances. This mushroom oyster sauce has no MSG and comes in a huge 35 fl. oz container, albeit the plastic seal on the bottle may be flimsy. This vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce is manufactured in Taiwan and contains mushroom essence instead of oyster. It is perfect for grilling, dipping, and stir fries. Since this sauce includes soybeans and wheat, it is not suited for vegetarians.


  • Oyster sauce for vegetarians
  • Made from mushrooms
  • No MSG
  • Sauce for everything


  • The bottle’s plastic seal might be tough to break.
  • Those who are sensitive to soy or wheat should avoid it.

6. Panda Oyster Sauce 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • A bottle of quality oyster sauce measuring 18 oz.
  • This sauce is made in the United States and contains no GMO ingredients.
  • A versatile oyster sauce for flavoring.

The Lee Kum Kee Panda Brand oyster sauce is a premium all-purpose oyster sauce that is free of GMO components. This 18 fl. oz. bottle of oyster sauce, made in the United States, includes MSG as a taste enhancer, as well as modified wheat flour. Several customers believe that this sauce lacks taste when compared to other oyster sauces.


  • Oyster sauce of the highest quality
  • Manufactured in the United States
  • Non-GMO


  • MSG is used to improve the taste.
  • Wheat hypersensitivity Gluten intolerant people should avoid this product.
  • When compared to other oyster sauces, it might seem bland.

7. Dragonfly Premium Oyster Sauce

Highlighted Characteristics

  • Two quality 19-ounce bottles of oyster sauce
  • There is no MSG in this product.
  • This oyster sauce comes in a squeezy plastic container with a pouring cap.

MSG is not included in Dragonfly premium oyster sauce, although it does contain the allergens soybeans and wheat. This is a pair of 19 oz. plastic squeezy bottles with simple dispensing caps. Several recent purchasers have discovered that the oyster sauce received differs from the one promised, and it does include various components in varying amounts.

The marketed one includes oyster extract, however customers got sauce with natural oyster taste. It is assumed that the sauce marketed is for the non-US market, while the sauce supplied is for American customers.


  • Oyster sauce of the highest quality
  • Free of MSG
  • Bottle with a squeezy cap
  • Top of the dispenser


  • May get oyster sauce with components that vary from those stated
  • Natural oyster taste may be used instead of oyster extract.
  • Those who are allergic to soy or wheat should avoid this product.

Considerations When Purchasing Oyster Sauce

Oyster sauce is prepared from a combination of caramelized oyster fluids generated by boiling oysters with salt and sugar over time. The Crassostrea species of oyster is used in the majority of oyster sauces.

While oyster sauce includes oysters, the fact that they have been cooked removes the fishy flavor from the sauce, leaving it rich and delicious with the texture of a thick BBQ sauce that may adhere to anything. It also has a sweet, salty, and umami taste, as well as earthy undertones. It is a frequent ingredient in Thai, Vietnamese, and Cambodian meals, as well as in Cantonese cookery.

Oyster sauce is often equated to hoisin or Peking sauce, although the two are not the same. While the name hoisin means “sea-fresh” in Mandarin, it contains no seafood and is not eaten with seafood. Soybeans, sesame seeds, garlic, salt, sugar, chilies, and spices are used to make hoisin sauce. Hoisin sauce is rich, like oyster sauce, but it has a sweetness that oyster sauce lacks, and its color is more red-brown than the darker brown of oyster sauce. Oyster sauce is also saltier than hoisin sauce.

In the 1880s, a chef accidentally left a pot of oysters boiling for too long and discovered that they had reduced to a rich and caramelized sauce. When the chef tried it and discovered that it was excellent, the current oyster sauce was created. Lee Kum Kee, the renowned Chinese sauce and condiment producer, was the name of this chef!

Oyster sauce making procedures are easier nowadays. Several producers thicken a sugar and salt base with cornstarch or other starches before adding oyster extracts. To increase the umami taste of the sauce, soy sauce, monosodium glutamate, or MSG may be added. Several producers add caramel to the sauce to give it a deep brown hue.

Some oyster sauces use mushrooms instead of oysters. These mushroom oyster sauces have an earthy taste akin to authentic oyster sauce and are also available for vegetarian, vegan, and non-seafood diets.

Pure oyster sauces are also available. These pure oyster sauces are not always permitted to be imported as seafood goods depending on the country. These pure oyster sauces are incredibly costly since they are manufactured entirely of oysters and water and do not include any salt.

These pure oyster sauces are created in the traditional manner by steaming or boiling the oysters to create a broth, which is then boiled further to concentrate the taste. During the simmering process, the broth thickens and starts to caramelize, producing the rich brown oyster sauce.

Premium sauces often include more oyster extract, while budget brands may have less oyster reduction and may also contain chemicals such as MSG or even more salt. Since premium sauces include more oyster, they naturally have somewhat more protein.

How to Use Oyster Sauce

One of the easiest ways to utilize oyster sauce is to combine it with white rice or just pour it over fresh steamed green veggies with hot vegetable and sesame oils. Oyster sauce provides sweetness and saltiness to greens while also contrasting with the taste of more bitter vegetables like Chinese broccoli or other leafy greens.

Oyster sauce enhances shellfish, beef, poultry, bean, and mushroom dishes, as well as blander items like cold silken tofu. Oyster sauce may be used with other sauces to lessen their taste, resulting in a lighter sauce that is great for stir fries.

It may also be used to season stocks and soups, and it makes a wonderful salad dressing when combined with sesame oil and rice vinegar.

Oyster sauce should always be used sparingly and in modest quantities; too much will overshadow the cuisine. If oyster sauce is cooked for an extended period of time or at a high temperature, it will lose its umami taste and, in some situations, become bitter. Since it is a naturally salty sauce, avoid adding more salt when cooking.

Nutritional Value of Oyster Sauce

Oyster sauce has around nine calories per tablespoon and extremely little cholesterol, fat, or saturated fat. It’s also poor in fiber and provides less than 1% of the daily protein recommendation for adults and children. It also includes limited and insignificant levels of micronutrients like as minerals.

Oyster sauce is inherently rich in sodium, and if it incorporates soy sauce, the salt concentration may be substantially greater. A tablespoon contains around 492 milligrams of sodium, which is one-third of the American Heart Association’s daily sodium limit of 1,500 mg.

Oyster Sauce 3-MCPD

The chemical 3-MCPD is generally acceptable for most individuals to eat in meals, however there are some worries about its safety when taken in larger doses by younger age groups. 3-MCPD and its esters are processing pollutants found in a variety of processed foods and vegetable oils, including palm oil.

These compounds occur inadvertently, mainly during oil refining, and they may have long-term and negative consequences on the kidneys and male fertility. Long-term animal investigations have also shown that 3-MCDP causes cancer.

Since the late 1990s, regulatory organizations in the European Union, Asian nations, and Canada have been enacting laws to guarantee that 3-MCPD levels in Asian-style sauces and other items do not exceed limitations. In the past, independent testing of oyster sauces and other Asian-style sauces in several nations indicated significant amounts of 3-MCPD, and these items were taken from the market in some circumstances.

kg, to which manufacturers comply and test. kg of 3-MCPD in acid hydrolyzed vegetable protein (aHVP), which is used in the production of non-fermented soy sauce and other Asian-style sauces. The FDA presently recommends a limit of 1 mg. The current European Union regulation is a maximum dosage of 0.02 mg.

How to Keep Oyster Sauce Fresh

Oyster sauce is a shelf-stable product with a best before date rather than a use by date. Unopened oyster sauce should be kept in a cool, dark area away from direct heat and light. Once opened, oyster sauce should be refrigerated with the top well covered and should last for around six months.

The quality of the oyster sauce will deteriorate with time. By oxidation, the color darkens and the taste intensifies. The components of the sauce will begin to separate, which is a common sign. It may also vary in flavor, texture, or color, although they are typically not dangerous to health unless the small is poor and mold is present. As usual, if in doubt, toss it!


This article has discussed what oyster sauce is and how it is created. We’ve also discussed some of the simplest methods to include oyster sauce into your cuisine, the nutritional value of a serving of oyster sauce, and how to tell if your oyster sauce has gone bad.

We hope that our evaluations of the finest oyster sauce have been useful in adding an umami touch to your cuisine, whether you want a classic oyster sauce, a vegetarian sauce, one devoid of MSG, or one that is gluten free.


Does oyster sauce add umami?

Every stew may be improved by adding a layer of nuanced umami and gloss with oyster flavored sauce.

What is the top grade oyster sauce?

Oyster Sauce 101 + Taste Test VIDEO!
Boat Woman is the number one Lee Kum Kee premium.
Maekrua and Panda tied for second place.
#3 Healthy Young Man.
Mar 8, 2022

Do all oyster sauces have MSG?

The majority of oyster sauces on the market include monosodium glutamate (MSG). MSG-free variations have been available in recent years.

Which oyster sauce has no MSG?

Kikkoman Oyster Sauce is a rich, thick sauce produced from the natural fluid recovered from fresh oysters, with no added MSG. It is thickened to lend body and an appealing shine, and its savory taste is complemented with a hint of sweetness.

What sauce has umami?

Umami is often created from meals that contain glutamates, an amino acid. It is widely found in soy sauce, miso paste, fish sauce, Parmesan cheese, and Vegemite.

What sauces add umami?

A simple remedy for umami is to use umami-rich condiments like ketchup, molasses, tomato paste, fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Marmite, or miso paste.

Which is better hoisin or oyster sauce?

Because of the widely diverse components, the biggest distinction is in the flavor. Oyster sauce is derived from oyster extract, while hoisin sauce is made from fermented soybean paste. Hoisin sauce is considerably sweeter and has an aroma of warm spices, while oyster sauce is highly salty with a subtle marine flavor.

What is premium oyster sauce?

Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Flavour Sauce is created with only the best oyster extracts. This all-purpose seasoning sauce improves the taste and look of any meal with its rich oyster flavor. Short material is showing; double touch to view the full article.

What is the difference between oyster sauce and oyster flavored sauce?

Be cautious not to mix up oyster-flavored sauce with cooked oyster sauce, since the latter contains oyster-flavored sauce as well as chicken broth, soy sauce, sake, and sugar.

Does oyster sauce need to be refrigerated?

Unopened oyster sauce should be stored in a cool, dark area, such as the pantry, at a steady temperature, away from hot equipment such as the stove or dishwasher. Once opened, oyster sauce must be stored in its original glass container in the refrigerator, with the lid well covered.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *