This vegetarian stir-fry sauce is packed with umami with the perfect balance of sweetness and saltiness. It will add depth of flavor to your favorite dishes and will quickly become your secret ingredient for amazing stir-fries!
This vegetarian oyster sauce is perfect for noodle or vegetable stir-fries, but can also be used as a marinade for tofu, seitan, or tempeh.
📘 What is Oyster Sauce
Oyster sauce is a dark and viscous sauce that first appeared in China. The original oyster sauce is prepared with oyster extracts, sugar, and a thickener.
It is often used to add sweetness and saltiness to noodle dishes like chow mein, stir-fried vegetables, and to prepare glazes.
This vegan version is inspired by Lee Kum Kee's vegetarian stir fry sauce, which is an alternative to oyster sauce. It has the same thick consistency as the original, which is perfect for coating noodles and vegetables.
📘 How to Make Vegan Oyster Sauce
It requires just 5 basic ingredients and 10 minutes! Here's what you will need:
- Soy sauce - For a ton of umami and saltiness. If you want to make this sauce gluten-free, use tamari.
- Coconut sugar - Instead of using white sugar, we are using coconut sugar to keep this sauce refined sugar-free. It also brings a subtle caramel flavor and helps darken the sauce.
- Mushroom powder - Basically ground dried mushrooms. You can easily make your own by grinding dried shiitakes in a blender. For a more information, check How to Make Mushroom Seasoning.
- Cornstarch - To thicken the sauce.
- Water - To slightly dilute the sauce and tone down the sweetness/saltiness.
To Prepare the Sauce
- Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan.
- Bring to a boil and whisk regularly until it thickens.
- Remove from heat, let cool, and transfer to a clean jar.
- Done. It's THAT easy!
Not only this sauce ends up being cheaper than store-bought, but it's also healthier and naturally sweetened!
🍜 Where to Use Oyster Sauce
- Noodles: this sauce beautifully coats noodles, giving them the perfect balance of sweetness and saltiness. These Saucy Stir-Fry Noodles make use of vegan oyster sauce.
- Fried rice: For extra umami and a subtle sweetness. You could definitely add a tablespoon or two to this Thai Fried Rice recipe for example.
- Vegetable stir-fry: Stir in a couple of tablespoons of the sauce once your veggies are cooked and stir to coat.
- Marinades: Combine with five-spice or sriracha for a delicious marinade! Perfect for tofu, tempeh, or seitan!
- Dipping Sauce: Dilute with some water, add a squeeze of lime, and minced garlic. Delicious with steamed veggies, sushi, or even summer rolls.
If you are looking for the best vegetarian oyster sauce, look no further! This sauce tastes just like the store-bought version, if not better!
This Chinese-inspired stir-fry sauce is a must-have if you love cooking Asian dishes!
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
Vegan Oyster Sauce (Stir Fry Sauce)
- Add all the ingredients to a medium saucepan and whisk to combine.
- Heat over medium heat, whisking regularly until the coconut sugar has dissolved. Bring to a simmer and a let it cook for one more minute, or until the sauce has thickened.
- Transfer to a clean jar and let it cool completely before storing in the refrigerator. The sauce will thicken more once chilled.
- To use, add 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce to your vegetable or noodle stir-fries. This sauce will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.