Is hoisin sauce the same as oyster sauce



Hoisin sauce and oyster sauce are both popular condiments in Chinese cooking. And they may have a similar glossy appearance but are very different in taste. Let's explore the major differences between hoisin sauce and oyster sauce.

Hoisin sauce and oyster sauce are both popular condiments in Asian cuisine. They have a thick consistency and a brown colour. But that is where the similarities end. They are very different in taste.

Oyster sauce is made from oyster extract, whereas the key ingredient in hoisin sauce is fermented soybean paste. 

Hoisin sauce is sweet with a fragrance of warm, toasted spices, whereas oyster sauce is salty with an ocean-like flavour.Hoisin is a thick, fragrant dark brown sauce with a reddish hue. It is a common ingredient in Chinese cuisine , as well as Vietnamese cuisine.

Here are additional differences between both the sauces:

Flavor: Hoisin sauce is sweeter and slightly salty, and oyster sauce is more salted and somewhat sweet.

Appearance: Hoisin sauce has a rich reddish-brown color, and oyster sauce is brown.

Texture: Hoisin sauce has a thick consistency, while the oyster sauce is watery.

Smell: Hoisin sauce smells fruity, and the oyster sauce has a strong smell.

Shelf Life: Continuously refrigerated hoisin sauce can last in the fridge for up to two years. Oyster sauce, when refrigerated, can last up to three years.

Use Cases: Hoisin sauce is used as an ingredient and as a dipping sauce. Oyster sauce is commonly used in stir-fries and for glazing Peking duck.


Is oyster sauce vegetarian or vegan?

Oyster sauce is not vegetarian or vegan as it is made from boiling oysters in water with other ingredients. However, there are a few brands that offer a vegetarian version that is usually made with mushroom extract in place of oysters.

But it’s the oysters that give it a characteristic taste and aroma that make it a delight in Chinese Cuisine.

please also read The Definitive Handbook on Vegan Alternatives to Oyster Sauce

Is hoisin sauce vegetarian or vegan?

Yes, hoisin sauce is vegan. The main ingredient in hoisin sauce is fermented soybean paste and it contains no animal products.

When cooking Chinese food, it can be difficult to make sense of all the sauces, condiments, and other ingredients involved in the recipes. With this growing list of Chinese sauces, wines, vinegars, and oils, we’re here to shed light on both essential ingredients and more obscure items you may come across at the Asian market. Please feel free to contact us to purchase suitable sauces.

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