Food Guts - Ingredient Information

Ingredient Lookup

Oyster Sauce

Nutritional Information

1 tbsp, oyster sauce

  • Calories 9
  • Calories from Fat 0.36
  • Amount%DV
  • Total Fat 0.04g0%
  • Saturated Fat 0.008g0%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 0.013g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0.012g
  • Cholestreol 0mg0%
  • Sodium 492mg21%
  • Potassium 10mg0%
  • Total Carbohydrate 1.97g1%
  • Dietary Fiber 0.1g0%
  • Sugars 0g
  • Protein 0.24g0%
  • Calcium 1mg0%
  • Iron 0mg0%
  • Vitamin A 0%
  • Vitamin C 0%

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Oyster Sauce on Wikipedia:

Oyster sauce Oyster Sauce produced by Lee Kum Kee Traditional Chinese 蠔油 Simplified Chinese 蚝油 Literal meaning oyster oil/liquid Transliterations Mandarin - Hanyu Pinyin háo yóu Cantonese - Jyutping hou4 jau4

Oyster sauce is a viscous dark brown sauce commonly used in Chinese, Thai and Khmer cuisine. It is especially common in Cantonese cuisine.



Oyster sauce is prepared from oysters, brine, and flavor enhancers such as MSG. It typically contains preservatives to increase its shelf life. The sauce was invented in 1888 by Lee Kam Sheung, in Nam Shui Village in Guangdong Province, China.[1] His company, Lee Kum Kee, continues to produce oyster sauce to this day, along with a wide variety of Asian condiments.



A ``true`` oyster sauce of good quality should be made by condensing oyster extracts, the white broth produced by boiling oysters in water. This opaque broth is then reduced until a desired viscosity has been reached and the liquid has caramelized to a brown colour.[1] No other additives, not even salt, should be added to the sauce, since the oysters should provide all the savory flavour.

Modern artificial

Many modern oyster sauces are actually diluted solutions thickened with starch, colored with caramel coloring (E150), with oyster extracts and preservatives.


Vegetarian oyster sauce

Vegetarian oyster sauce prepared from mushrooms, often oyster mushrooms, is also popular and generally lower in price. It may contain more taste enhancers if less mushroom extract is used to reduce costs.


Most of the oyster sauces available on the market contain added monosodium glutamate (MSG). Though in recent years MSG-free varieties can also be found.[2] The taste of MSG and non-MSG variants is similar.


Oyster sauce adds a savory flavor to many dishes, making it an ideal choice for flavoring meat and vegetables. The sauce is a staple for much Chinese family-style cooking. It is commonly used in noodle stir-fries, such as chow mien. It is also found in popular Chinese-American dishes such as beef with stir-fried vegetables. Oyster sauce can also be used as a topping for some dishes.


In 2001 the United Kingdom Food Standards Agency found in tests of various oyster sauces and soy sauces that some 22% of samples contained a chemical called 3-MCPD (3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol) at levels considerably higher than those deemed safe by the European Union. About two-thirds of these samples also contained a second chemical called 1,3-DCP (1,3-dichloropropane-2-ol) which experts advise should not be present at any levels in food. Both chemicals have the potential to cause cancer and the Agency recommended that the affected products be withdrawn from shelves and avoided.[3][4]

The joint Australia New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) said it had taken emergency action to amend its food standards code to set a limit for 3-MCPD in soy sauce of 0.02 milligrams per kilogram, in line with European Commission standards which come into force in the EU in April 2002.

Britain's Food Standards Agency (FSA) singled out brands and products imported from Thailand, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Brands named in the British warning include Golden Mountain, King Imperial, Pearl River Bridge, Jammy Chai, Lee Kum Kee, Golden Mark, Kimlan, Golden Swan, Sinsin, Tung Chun and Wanjasham soy sauce.

In July 2001, the FSA issued another statement clearing Lee Kum Kee's name after the company produced laboratory certificates from accredited, reputable laboratories. These certificates show that Lee Kum Kee products now comply with the proposed EU limit for 3-MCPD. [1]


^ a b ^ ^ press release soysauce ^ Chart with five mentions of affected oyster sauces

External links

How To Make Homemade Oyster Sauce BBC Food Beef in oyster sauce recipes