Oyster sauce is a popular Asian sauce that is made from oysters. Oyster sauce is great, and it adds an extra layer of flavor and depth to your dishes.
Oyster sauce can be made in many ways, from different ingredients. It is usually dark and thick, and it can be found in most Asian stores as well as a lot of general stores.
In this article, we are going to tell you about oyster sauce, where it comes from, and how to know if it may have gone bad.
What Is Oyster Sauce?
Oyster sauce is a thick brown sauce that is typically used in Chinese cooking, as well as a lot of Asian cuisine. In consistency, oyster sauce is thick, and slightly syrup-like.
It has a fermented and salty taste, with a hint of sweetness. It is a really dark brown, almost black, color. It is as thick as golden syrup, rather than maple syrup.
Where Does Oyster Sauce Come From?
Oyster sauce originates from China, and it has been made in China since the 1860s or 1870s.
It was first made in southern China, and later spread to countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. It is now an extremely popular aspect of Chinese cooking and culture.
How Is Oyster Sauce Made?
Back in the 1870s, oyster sauce was traditionally made by boiling and simmering oysters in water until they turned into a thick caramelized liquid.
This is because the water would combine with the viscosity of the oysters, and it became a reduced and flavorful sauce.
Nowadays, oyster sauce is made with oysters, water, salt, sugar, MSG, corn starch, and the possible additions of wheat flour and caramel color.
It is still made similarly, with the oysters being caramelized on their own, first. Then, sugar and salt are added and simmer with the thick liquid.
Corn starch is added to this mix to thicken it even more, into a thick and syrupy liquid.
Does Oyster Sauce Go Bad?
Like many other condiments and food products, oyster sauce can indeed go bad. Oyster sauce needs to be stored properly, and it will stay good for the best part of two years!
It can even stay good for longer, but it will always say on the packaging how long it will be good for.
If you store oyster sauce in the fridge, it will stay good for up to two years, but if it is not refrigerated, it will stay good for over six months.
How Do I Know If Oyster Sauce Has Gone Bad?
Always check the label to find out how long your oyster sauce can be used for. However, sometimes this is not entirely accurate, as it can depend on where and how you store it.
The best way to tell if your oyster sauce has gone bad is to smell it and look at it. If your oyster sauce has a funny smell to it, or if it has an odd appearance or fluff, it has gone bad.
If your oyster sauce smells incredibly strong and pungent, or incredibly fishy, it is likely that it has gone bad.
If your oyster sauce has become abnormal in appearance, and if it is moldy, watery, or completely solid, then it is definitely likely that is has gone bad.
How Long Is Oyster Sauce Good For?
Oyster sauce is good for up to two years if you store it correctly. If you do not store it correctly, it is likely that it will last less than six months, but possibly less than three.
Do not change how you store the sauce. If you are going to store it in the fridge, do not suddenly store it in the cupboard, as this will increase how soon the sauce may spoil.
How Long Is Oyster Sauce Good For If Prepared In A Dish?
If oyster sauce is used in a dish, it will last as long as the actual dish will last. For example, if you have made oyster stew, or ramen, this will last up to two days.
The oyster sauce is a component of this dish, meaning it is good for as long as the dish will last for.
Is Oyster Sauce Bad For You?
Oyster sauce is not bad for you, as long as it is in moderation.
Oyster sauce is a sauce made from boiled down oysters, so it actually contains no fat, calories, and it has a good amount of calcium.
The saltiness comes from the fermentation and the added salt, so it is absolutely fine in moderation.
How To Store Oyster Sauce
To store oyster sauce currently and safely, store the unopened bottle or tube in a dry and cool place, such as the pantry or a cupboard.
It should be stored at a stable temperature, away from heat.
When you have opened the oyster sauce, it should be stored in the refrigerator. It should be kept cold, with its lid tightly closed to stop any bacteria from ruining it.
Can I Make My Own Oyster Sauce?
Like many sauces and condiments, you can actually make oyster sauce yourself, at home. To make oyster sauce, you will need eight ounces of oysters, a teaspoon of salt, and a dash of soy sauce.
Drain your oysters, but reserve their liquid, and add them to a blender or food processor. Next, put them into a saucepan.
Add the rest of the oyster liquid to the pan, and bring the oysters to the boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for at least ten minutes. Stop the heat, and add salt.
Let it cool, and drain the sauce in a sieve. Add two tablespoons of soy sauce to each half a cup of your homemade oyster liquid.
Turn this concoction on high heat, and simmer for ten minutes. Allow to cool, and transfer to a jar or airtight container.
What Does Oyster Sauce Taste Like?
Oyster sauce can be an acquired taste, and a lot of people dislike the taste.
However, oyster sauce is not something that you eat on its own, as it is simply added to dishes as an addition, not a singular dish.
It has been described that oyster sauce tastes earthy, salty, and slightly sweet. It tastes like a slightly fishy, fermented, salt.
Where Can I Buy Oyster Sauce?
You can buy oyster sauce at all Asian stores, and you can buy it at a lot of normal stores, especially natural food stores.
What Is Oyster Sauce Good For?
Oyster sauce is great for dishes where you want to add an extra bit of depth or umami. It is good for a lot of Asian dishes. It is used straight from the bottle, and nothing needs to be added to it.
Oyster sauce is usually added to other sauces, or as an addition to dishes, but mostly wet dishes such as soups, ramen, stew, and meat.
It can sometimes be drizzled on top of steamed or pan-fried vegetables, too. It is good for overly sweet dishes, because it adds a hint of that salty umami flavor.
It is sometimes added as a finishing touch to certain dishes, too, as it has a thick and syrupy texture.
What Does Umami Mean?
Umami is a word that is often used to describe oyster sauce and fish sauces. It means a category of flavor that tastes sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. It has a level of depth.
What Is Similar To Oyster Sauce?
Oyster sauce is unique, but there are several things you can use instead of oyster sauce.
This includes fish sauce, soy sauce, vegan mushroom sauce, teriyaki sauce, or hoisin sauce. All of these sauces share similar characteristics as oyster sauce.
Oyster sauce is a unique and delicious sauce that is popular in Asian cooking and culture.
It may be uncertain how long oyster sauce will last for, and you may not know what happens if it goes bad.
Well, now you know! We hope you learned about oyster sauce, how to store it, and how to know if it has gone bad.