You're not alone in feeling the pain of disappointment after finding out that oyster sauce actually contains oysters. But if you're vegetarian or vegan, fear not, because we've got you covered.
Below, we share some of the best vegan and vegetarian oyster sauces on the market, as well as recipes if making it at home is more your style. Skip the oyster byproduct and unethical ingredients and instead opt for the ethical, plant-based options below.
There are plenty of vegan and vegetarian oyster sauces on the market.
If the cringeworthy prospect of consuming a sauce containing “oyster extracts" — the salty leftover liquid from boiled oysters — is too much to bear, you'll be relieved to know that there are many vegan and vegetarian oyster sauces available to purchase.
Especially for those short on time (or for whom cooking homemade meals is not an option given various limitations) having ready-made ethical options accessible is a must.
For the best vegan and vegetarian oyster sauces on the market, we sought to find those that are accessible regardless of location; one shouldn't have to live within walking distance of specialty stores just to pick up a bottle of ethical oyster sauce.
The first option we recommend is from the brand 24Vegan, which makes a non-GMO vegan oyster sauce with no MSG added. It can be purchased from both Walmart and Amazon. 24Vegan is a California-based brand from Kimberly Vodang, who was born and raised vegetarian and offers other products like vegan fish sauce, stir fry sauce, and chili paste.
Lucky Foods is another trustworthy and highly-rated brand that offers a vegan oyster sauce that utilizes coconut sugar, shiitake mushrooms, seaweed powder, and other ingredients to mimic the traditional oyster sauce taste, and is available on Amazon.
And for those lucky enough to live within driving distance of Sprouts, the supermarket chain's brand of vegan oyster style sauce is perhaps the most affordable on the market at $3.99, and utilizes porcini mushroom powder and garlic puree for a less sweet, more savory profile.
Although Wan Ja Shan literally calls its version "Vegetarian Mushroom Oyster Sauce," it is indeed vegan and is purchased from Amazon. Made in Taiwan, the base includes mushroom powder as well to make the sauce savory.
Try recipes to make your own vegetarian oyster sauce.
Instead, let the simple, easy-to-make recipes below come to your rescue and save time, money, and skip the preservatives for your own delicious homemade oyster sauce.
Veecoco's Five-Ingredient Vegan Oyster Sauce
This excellent recipe from Veecoco (an online vegan cooking school) utilizes a handful of shiitake mushrooms, water, brown sugar, soy sauce, and corn starch for a delicious homemade vegan oyster sauce.
Souped Up Recipes' Vegan Oyster Sauce
The deep, rich colors in Chinese chef Mandy's vegan oyster sauce video, shared on her Souped Up Recipes YouTube page, will definitely have you drooling over your keyboard before your homemade oyster sauce is finished simmering.
Khatti meethi rasoi's Vegan Oyster Sauce
Khatti meethi rasoi's recipe is pretty simple, using common ingredients like soy sauce, sugar, and soy sauce, as well as dry mushrooms.