We’re sure you’ve used oyster sauce at some point in your cooking life. But what exactly is this viscous, ultra-flavorful ingredient that is a favorite in most Asian cuisines?
Oyster sauce dates back to 1888. It was accidentally invented when a tea store owner left the oysters cooking for too long. The normally clear oyster soup turned into a thick, brownish sauce that had a unique, delicious taste. He soon started selling his newly invented seasoning which turned out to be a hit among the locals.
It’s sweet, salty, and rich in flavor. Despite being sourced from seafood, the flavor isn’t as fishy and pungent as fish sauce, and when paired with other pantry staples, it balances things out perfectly.
So here are 3 reasons why oyster sauce is a kitchen must-have:
- It’s a universal ingredient that improves flavor
Ever made kang-kong or broccoli and tofu stirfry with oyster sauce? There are tons of recipes like these with different veggie variations because its simplicity works. You don’t need any other ingredient to make oyster sauce dishes look and taste delectable. Oyster sauce’s naturally occurring umami enhances the level of flavor in salty, sweet, spicy, sour, and bitter dishes. It’s a universal seasoning that can make the blandest-tasting ingredients taste delicious.
- It’s a great substitute for other kitchen staples
Oyster sauce is a great substitute for soy sauce, even though naturally fermented soy sauce is saltier and a lot thinner than naturally fermented soy sauce. If you’re looking for a hint of sweetness, you could add some extra white or brown sugar. It can also be subbed for hoisin sauce and fish sauce.
- It can be used anywhere!
Even if it’s commonly used in Asian-style cooking like noodles and stirfry’s, it can be used anywhere! Marinade meats and veggies with it, use it as a dipping sauce, its versatility is endless – making it the perfect companion for cooking.
Now that you know the history of oyster sauce and why it’s a must-have, here are some #pinaSARAP recipes that you can enjoy with the family.
UMAMI GRILLED CHICKEN WINGS
- ½ cup Mega Prime Choices Oyster Sauce
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. white sugar
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- <1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 kg chicken wings
- Lime wedges for serving
- In a large bowl, mix together Mega Prime Oyster Sauce, soy sauce, sugar, oil, and black pepper. Toss in the uncooked chicken wings and marinate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the grill. After that, grill the chicken wings over a medium-low fire until cooked through turning occasionally to avoid burning.
- Place into a serving plate and squeeze lime juice over the grilled wings before serving. Enjoy!
HOT SHRIMP AND VEGGIE STIR-FRY
- 1 medium squash, sliced
- 1 bunch asparagus, cut into pieces
- 2 red bell peppers, roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp. Mega Prime Choices Oyster Sauce
- ¼ garlic powder
- ¼ paprika
- ¼ salt
- ¼ pepper
- 1 tbsp. olive oil, for cooking
- 500g large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- ⅓ cup fresh chopped parsley
- 1 lemon wedge, for garnish
- In a large mixing bowl, put together the eggplant, squash, asparagus, bell pepper, Mega Prime Oyster Sauce, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Toss together until well-seasoned.
- In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, pour in olive oil. When hot, add veggie mixture and cook for 8-10 minutes until fork tender. Then add shrimp and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until cooked.
- Cool the cast-iron skillet for 5 minutes and serve the dish as is. Garnish with parsley and a lemon wedge. Enjoy!
EASY CHICKEN FRIED NOODLES
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil, for cooking
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. chili paste
- 3 tbsp. Mega Prime Choices Oyster Sauce
- 2 tbsp. fish sauce
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 medium carrot, julienned
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup chicken meat, sliced
- 400g egg noodles
- ¼ cup spring onions, chopped
- 2 cups bok choy, chopped
- Salt and pepper, for seasoning
- In a wok over medium-high heat, pour in vegetable oil. Then add onions and garlic. Saute until fragrant, add chili paste and stir for 2 minutes.
- Pour in Mega Prime Oyster Sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar. Add in carrots and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Pour in chicken broth.
- Add chicken and cook for another 2 minutes. Then, add the noodles, spring onions, and bok choy. Toss well and let simmer until noodles are tender. Season with salt and pepper.
- Put into a serving plate and garnish with spring onions. Enjoy!
Want more yummy oyster sauce recipes from Mega Prime? Go ahead and check out our Prime Oriental Chicken Pasta recipe or our Beef Salpicao recipe. Get more #pinaSARAP moments with all Mega Prime products available on MEGA online store, Shopee and LazMart!