Pouring oyster sauce from metal spoon into glass bowl isolated on white background.
Food - Drink
The Accidental Invention Of Oyster Sauce
A staple in Chinese cooking, oyster sauce is a salty, dark, caramel-colored sauce that can amplify the flavors of other ingredients in a dish while adding a uniquely rich, sweet and salty umami flavor. Oyster sauce has been enjoyed since 1888, but this popular and beloved condiment wasn't even invented on purpose.
Lee Kum Sheung “created” oyster sauce when he forgot about oysters he left cooking on the stove, and the mollusks simmered down into a caramelized brown paste that tasted delicious when added to other dishes. Today, the Lee Kum Kee brand of sauce is made with “oyster extractives, MSG, and sugar,” says Epicurious.
You can actually make your own oyster sauce for stir-fries, stews, and more by boiling shucked and chopped oysters and simmering the liquid (per I am a food blog). Salt, light and dark soy sauces, and sugar are added to thicken the sauce, and when stored properly, the mixture will keep in an air-tight container in the fridge for a week.