Food - Drink
Fish Sauce Vs. Oyster Sauce: What's The Difference?
By NATASHA BAILEY
Fish sauce and oyster sauce are two super-savory condiments popular in Asian cuisines from all around the continent, and while both are made from seafood, they taste quite different. Fish sauce is made by fermenting heavily-salted seafood, which may include sardines, anchovies, and shrimp, then pressing the mixture to extract liquid.
Fish sauce is often used in South Asian cuisine to enhance the earthy flavors in veggies and the natural richness of meats, but this potently salty and savory condiment can also bring nuance to salads, pasta sauces, soups, fried rice, and even savory cocktails. Meanwhile, oyster sauce is produced and used differently.
The original oyster sauce, invented in 1888 by Chinese cook Lee Kum Sheung, was a result of oyster broth left to boil for too long, turning it deep brown, syrupy, and sweet. This condiment is still made in a similar way, but wise shoppers must seek out real oyster sauce made with real oysters over artificial "oyster-flavored" sauce.
Oyster sauce has a deeply caramelized sweet-savory flavor, and while it is concentrated and potent, like fish sauce, fish sauce is even more salty and intense. To replace fish sauce with oyster sauce or vice-versa, Healthline says to use a 1:1 ratio, and you can also add sugar to the fish sauce to make it taste more like oyster sauce.