Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Oyster Sauce Suggestions Please


Recommended Posts

I recently purchased a bottle of Lee Kum Kee premium oyster sauce, which has been my go-to choice for quite some time. However, I hadn't purchased it for a couple-three years.  When I used it last night I was somewhat disappointed - it didn't taste the way I remembered it.  Could be the sauce has changed, or, more likely, my palate has changed.  In any case, I'd like to experiment with some different options.

 

What suggestions do the oyster sauce sophisticates have to offer?  Maybe something not as salty, or less filled with additives and coloring?  I've heard that some Thai oyster sauces are an improvement over LKK.  Any suggestions in that regard?

 ... Shel


 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

What suggestions do the oyster sauce sophisticates have to offer?  Maybe something not as salty, or less filled with additives and coloring?  I've heard that some Thai oyster sauces are an improvement over LKK.  

 

LKK is the McDonald's of Chinese sauces. Their products are nearly all mass produced in huge factories on the Chinese mainland and sold world wide.

 

I recommend this one.

 

http://www.honestfoods.com/oyster.html 

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to post
Share on other sites

I also do not like LKK

 

where I go there are various 'oyster sauce's'

 

look carefully at the first ingredient 

 

it should read  'oyster extract'   not soy bean, sugar etc

 

that's the best I can do.  might need to take a microscope a small magnifying glass to read some of the fine print, though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

look carefully at the first ingredient 

 

it should read  'oyster extract'   not soy bean, sugar etc

 

that's the best I can do.  might need to take a microscope a small magnifying glass to read some of the fine print, though.

 

Carrying a small magnifier seems like a good idea.  Lately, it seems that I've been reading, or trying to read, lots of fine print.  I can read the ingredient list on the LKK easily ...

 ... Shel


 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive also had that brand, indeed Im looking at a bottle now.  

 

Ill have to get another for the 'bull pen'

 

an odd note here:

 

the actually label itself says 'oyster extract, ..., ... '

 

but there is a superimposed label in black and white over that that says ' soya bean paste, sugar, ....'

 

cant say why.

 

but its very good.

Link to post
Share on other sites
 

LKK is the McDonald's of Chinese sauces. Their products are nearly all mass produced in huge factories on the Chinese mainland and sold world wide.

 

I recommend this one.

 

http://www.honestfoods.com/oyster.html

 

 

Oyster extract is listed as the very last ingredient in their ingredient list. Sounds to me that this brand is more befitting of the McDonald's comparison

Edited by takadi (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Amoy has/had an oyster sauce with dried scallops in it that was just divine, It had a very intense "bivalve" flavor that was just amazing. Unfortunately I haven't seen it sold in my local asian groceries in a very long time. I tried looking it up online and it is nowhere to be found... I suspect Amoy has discontinued it. Oh well

Edited by takadi (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Oyster extract is listed as the very last ingredient in their ingredient list. Sounds to me that this brand is more befitting of the McDonald's comparison

 

 

Really?

 

Here's the relevant label on the bottle of LKK oyster sauce I'm currently using.

 

DSCN2459a_800.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was referring to the product from the honestfoods site

 

Ah, OK.  I misunderstood you then.  Yes, that one from Honest Foods does indeed have oyster extract as the last item in the list of ingredients.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Oyster extract is listed as the very last ingredient in their ingredient list. Sounds to me that this brand is more befitting of the McDonald's comparison

 

 

Perhaps they are being more honest than most. Many brands list oyster extract first but then concede that it is in fact oyster with water and salt. Listing the actual percentage of oyster is extremely rare. 

 

All I can say is that I tried it (in London) and found it to be very pleasant.

 

Here in China I use a brand which lists water as its first ingredient. Given that LKK lists water twice, salt twice, and sugar twice, probably not that unusual.

 

I wil confess, however, that I am no connoisseur oyster sauce - I seldom use the stuff.

 

an odd note here:

 

the actually label itself says 'oyster extract, ..., ... '

 

but there is a superimposed label in black and white over that that says ' soya bean paste, sugar, ....'

 

cant say why.

 

 

 

That is very common here. Different labelling laws in different countries mean that imported goods are often relabelled.

Edited by liuzhou (log)

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried the Thai-produced Maekrua oyster sauce side-by-side with the USA-produced Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce.  I still prefer the LKK sauce, by far.  The Maekrua sauce seemed more salty and sweet than oysterish.  Definitely sweeter.  JMTC.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

I tried the Thai-produced Maekrua oyster sauce side-by-side with the USA-produced Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce.  I still prefer the LKK sauce, by far.  The Maekrua sauce seemed more salty and sweet than oysterish.  Definitely sweeter.  JMTC.

 

I bought Maekrua a few weeks ago based on this thread and I have to agree with you, it is pretty awful. A very bad syrupy consistency with a sickly sweet taste. There was also a taste of oxidized soy sauce. Explains why it was dirt cheap

Link to post
Share on other sites

David Thompson (Nahm) recommends Megachef brand, which is the one that I use. I notice that it can be purchased in the USA now from Amazon. Link here. As an aside, Andrea Nguyen gave their fish sauce a very good review.

 

the ingredients:

 

IMG_1440%5B1%5D.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just picked up some Megachef oyster sauce and fish sauce at the store. Haven't opened the bottles but hope they're good. The oyster sauce was quite cheap ($3.99 for 600ml, ~20oz). The LKK premium was over $7 for a smaller bottle. Can't believe how much Amazon is charging for Megachef.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      I've recently become aware of the existence of this chain of Xi'an restaurants in NewYork. Are there more elsewhere?
       
      They were recenty referenced in a BBC article about biang biang noodles.
       
    • By liuzhou
      Following my posting a supermarket bought roast rabbit in the Dinner topic, @Anna N expressed her surprise at my local supermarkets selling such things just like in the west supermarkets sell rotisserie chickens. I promised to photograph the pre-cooked food round these parts.

      I can't identify them all, so have fun guessing!



      Rabbit
       

      Chicken x 2
       

       

       

      Duck
       

       

       

      Chicken feet
       

      Duck Feet
       

      Pig's Ear
       

       

      Pork Intestine Rolls
       

       

      Stewed River Snails
       

      Stewed Duck Feet (often served with the snails above)


       

      Beef
       

      Pork
       

      Beijing  Duck gets its own counter.
       
      More pre-cooked food to come. Apologies for some bady lit images - I guess the designers didn't figure on nosy foreigners inspecting the goods and disseminating pictures worldwide.
    • By liuzhou
      While there have been other Chinese vegetable topics in the past, few of them were illustrated And some which were have lost those images in various "upgrades".
       
      What I plan to do is photograph every vegetable I see and say what it is, if I know. However, this is a formidable task so it'll take time. The problem is that so many vegetables go under many different Chinese names and English names adopted from one or other Chinese language, too. For example, I know four different words for 'potato' and know there are more. And there are multiple regional preference in nomenclature. Most of what you will see will be vegetables from supermarkets, where I can see the Chinese labelling. In "farmer's" or wet markets, there is no labelling and although, If I ask, different traders will have different names for the same vegetable. Many a time I've been supplied a name, but been unable to find any reference to it from Mr Google or his Chinese counterparts. Or if I find the Chinese, can't find an accepted translation so have to translate literally.
       
      Also, there is the problem that most of the names which are used in the English speaking countries have, for historical reasons, been adopted from Cantonese, whereas 90% of Chinese speak Mandarin (普通话 pǔ tōng huà). But I will do my best to supply as many alternative names as I can find. I shall also attempt to give Chinese names in simplified Chinese characters as used throughout mainland China and then in  traditional Chinese characters,  now mainly only used in Hong Kong, Taiwan and among much of the Chinese diaspora. If I only give one version, that means they are the same in Simp and Trad.
       
      I'll try to do at least one a day. Until I collapse under the weight of vegetation.
       
      Please, if you know any other names for any of these, chip in. Also, please point out any errors of mine.
       
      I'll start with bok choy/choy. This is and alternatives such as  pak choi or pok choi are Anglicised attempts at the Cantonese pronunciation of the Mandarin! However in Cantonese it is more often 紹菜; Jyutping: siu6 coi3. In Chinese it is 白菜. Mandarin Pinyin 'bái cài'. This literally means 'white vegetable' but really just means 'cabbage' and of course there are many forms of cabbage. Merely asking for bái cài in many a Chinese store or restaurant will be met with blank stares and requests to clarify. From here on I'm just going to translate 白菜 as 'cabbage'.

      So, here we go.


       
      Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis
       
      This is what you may be served if you just ask for baicai. Or maybe not. In much of China it is 大白菜 dà bái cài meaning 'big cabbage'. In English, usually known as Napa cabbage, Chinese cabbage, celery cabbage, Chinese leaf, etc.  In Chinese, alternative names include 结球白菜 / 結球白菜 ( jié qiú bái cài ), literally knotted ball cabbage, but there are many more. 
       
      This cabbage is also frequently pickled and becomes  known as 酸菜 (Mand: suān cài; Cant: syun1 coi3) meaning 'sour vegetable', although this term is also used to refer to pickled mustard greens.
       

      Pickled cabbage.
       
      In 2016, a purple variety of napa cabbage was bred in Korea and that has been introduced to China as 紫罗兰白菜 (zǐ luó lán bái cài) - literally 'violet cabbage'.
       

      Purple Napa (Boy Choy)
       
    • By liuzhou
      Yesterday, an old friend sent me a picture of her family dinner, which she prepared. She was never much of a cook, so I was a bit surprised. It's the first I've seen her cook in 25 years. Here is the spread.
       

       
      I immediately zoomed in on one dish - the okra.
       

       
      For the first 20-odd years I lived in China, I never saw okra - no one knew what it was. I managed to find its Chinese name ( 秋葵 - qiū kuí) in a scientific dictionary, but that didn't help. I just got the same blank looks.
       
      Then about 3 years ago, it started to creep into a few supermarkets. At first, they stocked the biggest pods they could find - stringy and inedible - but they worked it out eventually. Now okra is everywhere.

      I cook okra often, but have never seen it served in China before (had it down the road in Vietnam, though) and there are zero recipes in any of my Chinese language cookbooks. So, I did the sensible thing and asked my friend how she prepared it. Here is her method.
       
      1. First bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the washed okra and boil for two minutes. Drain.

      2. Top and tail the pods. Her technique for that is interesting.
       

      3. Finely mince garlic, ginger, red chilli and green onion in equal quantities. Heat oil and pour over the prepared garlic mix. Add a little soy sauce.
       

      4. Place garlic mix over the okra and serve.
       
       
      When I heard step one, I thought she was merely blanching the vegetable, but she assures me that is all the cooking it gets or needs, but she did say she doesn't like it too soft.

      Also, I should have mentioned that she is from Hunan province so the red chilli is inevitable.
       
      Anyway, I plan to make this tomorrow. I'm not convinced, but we'll see.
       
      to be continued
       
       
    • By missdipsy
      Two of my family members are pescetarian, one of whom is my picky daughter who only likes a few types of fish cooked in very specific ways so to all intents and purposes is mostly vegetarian. Many Chinese soup recipes involve meat or fish, or at least meat broth, so I'd love to find a few more recipes that would suit my whole family (I also don't eat much pork as it doesn't always agree with me, and a lot of soups involve pork so this is also for my benefit!). Vegetarian would be best, or pescetarian soups that are not obviously seafood based (I could get away with sneaking a small amount of dried shrimp in, for instance, but not much more than that!).
       
      Any kind of soup will do, although I'd particularly like some simple recipes that could be served alongside a multi-dish meal. But I'm always interested in new recipes so any good soup recipes would be welcome!
       
      Any suggestions?
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...