Oyster sauce and fish sauce are popular condiments, and they are frequently used in many dishes in Asian cuisine to add lots of flavors.
Since oyster sauce and fish sauce are both seafood-based condiments, you may be wondering if the oyster sauce is the same as fish sauce. I looked into it, and here is what I discovered!
Is Oyster Sauce The Same As Fish Sauce?
Oyster sauce is not the same as a fish sauce because they are made out of different ingredients. Moreover, oyster sauce is very thick like maple syrup while the fish sauce is thin like soy sauce. Additionally, they are both salty sauces, but the oyster sauce is earthy and a bit sweet whereas fish sauce is fishy and briny.
Are you curious about learning more about fish sauce and oyster sauce? Keep reading!
What Is Oyster Sauce?
Oyster sauce is a syrupy, rich, and thick sauce that features a deep brown color. Despite being called oyster sauce, the oyster sauce does not taste like oysters.
Generally, the oyster sauce has an earthy, salty, and slightly sweet flavor, which comes from caramelized oysters, sugar, and salt.
How Do You Use Oyster Sauce?
Typically, oyster sauce is used to add a complex mix of sweet, earthy, and salty flavors to foods like stir-fries, such as fried rice, beef and broccoli, satays, and more.
Additionally, oyster sauce is an excellent addition to stir-fries because oyster sauce adds a deeper color to foods to make the dishes look more appetizing.
What Is Fish Sauce?
Fish sauce is a thin, brown sauce that tastes extremely salty and fishy, and fish sauce features a very strong, pungent scent.
Typically, fish sauce is made by fermenting small fish, such as anchovies, in salt for several months or even years.
Normally, manufacturers coat the fish in salt and place the fish into barrels to hang, and as the barrels hang the fermenting fish breaks down to create a briny and salty liquid, which is fish sauce.
How Do You Use Fish Sauce?
Normally, fish sauce is used to add salty flavors to recipes while boosting the taste of other savory and salty ingredients.
Since the fish sauce is very strong and salty by itself, many recipes may use fish sauce and omit salt altogether.
Fish sauce is a popular ingredient to throw into stir-fries, but the fish sauce can also be added to soups since the fish sauce can easily blend into other liquids.
Moreover, you may use fish sauce as a table condiment to add salty flavors to your rice, meat, soups, and more.
What Is The Difference Between Oyster Sauce And Fish Sauce?
Firstly, a huge difference between the oyster sauce and fish sauce is their textures because the oyster sauce is incredibly thick like maple syrup whereas fish sauce is thin like soy sauce.
Another difference between fish sauce and oyster sauce is flavor because while both sauces are salty, fish sauce is primarily briny and fishy while the oyster sauce is earthy and slightly sweet.
Moreover, fish sauce and oyster sauce have slightly different uses in cooking. Both sauces are great for adding flavor to recipes, but the oyster sauce can add lots of deep colors while fish sauce cannot.
What Do Oyster Sauce And Fish Sauce Have In Common?
Generally, something fish sauce and oyster sauce have in common is that both are used to add flavors to food, particularly salty flavors.
However, fish sauce and oyster sauce are normally not used in the same amounts because people only add a little fish sauce since the fish sauce is very pungent.
On the other hand, people can add several tablespoons or even half a cup of oyster sauce to recipes without overpowering the dish.
Can You Substitute Oyster Sauce For Fish Sauce?
If you are making a stir-fry, the oyster sauce can replace fish sauce if you are looking for a salty flavor.
However, you need to be aware that the oyster sauce is much darker and thicker than fish sauce, so you may have a slightly different color and texture in your stir-fry dish.
Moreover, the oyster sauce will lack the pungency and noticeable saltiness that fish sauce has, so you may need to add salt to your stir-fry recipe.
Additionally, it may not be wise to use oyster sauce in other recipes that call for fish sauce, especially if the recipe is not a stir-fry.
Should You Use Oyster Sauce Or Fish Sauce For Fried Rice?
Generally, you can use either oyster sauce or fish sauce in a fried rice recipe depending on what flavor you want.
However, the oyster sauce may be better to use than fish sauce in a fried rice recipe because the oyster sauce will darken and coat the rice well.
Can You Substitute Fish Sauce For Oyster Sauce?
You can add a little fish sauce to your recipe if you want a bit of salty and complex flavors instead of oyster sauce.
However, you will not get the same depth from the fish sauce that you would get from the oyster sauce.
For instance, fish sauce is salty and pungent whereas oyster sauce is earthy, salty, and sweet, so your dish may “lack” some flavor if you only use fish sauce.
Moreover, you cannot use fish sauce in an equal ratio to the oyster sauce since the fish sauce is extremely pungent and strong in flavor.
Take a look at our related articles to learn what oyster sauce is used for, if oyster sauce goes bad, and if oyster sauce contains shellfish.
While the oyster sauce and fish sauce are both condiments made out of seafood, they are not the same because the oyster sauce is made from oysters, and fish sauce is made from fermented fish.
Moreover, most oyster sauces are very thick with earthy, savory, salty, and sweet flavors whereas fish sauce is much thinner with a brinier and saltier flavor.
Due to the difference in texture and flavor, fish sauce and oyster sauce are not interchangeable in most recipes.