Oyster sauce is a popular flavor-packed condiment used in Chinese,
Thai and Vietnamese dishes. If you love or are just familiar with the taste of Asian cuisines, you might also be familiar with oyster sauce.
Oyster sauce is a thick, rich dark brown sauce made from caramelized oyster extract. Its smell and taste can remind you of the sweet caramel with a hint of the salty ocean. Add in the umami flavor to make it savory-tasting. Yes, that is the unique blend of oyster sauce. Oyster sauce does not taste or smell funky and fishy as the fish sauce is. And, it is also not too salty as soy sauce. Culinarians suggest to avoid cooking it in high heat whenever you are going to use oyster sauce because it will lose its umami flavor. Instead, the sauce should be added whenever you are about to finish cooking your dish so that it can preserve its savory taste.
Oyster sauce is available worldwide. You can grab a bottle of this savory thick, velvety brown sauce at the Asian section of the grocery store or in Asian shops or online. If you haven’t tried using oyster sauce, especially when you are not allergic to oysters, then you should consider it adding to your cart the next time you go grocery shopping. Try to explore the flavor of oyster sauce and use it in your dipping sauces, glaze, stir-fries, salad dressings, soups, or add it in your meat or vegetable marinade.
So, how often do you use oyster sauce in cooking? How do you store it after opening a pack of it? What do you do with the leftover oyster sauce that was packed in cans or pouches? How can you tell if it is still usable after you have stored it for an extended period since you usually use other kinds of sauces for cooking?
Here, in this article, get to know about the storage, shelf life, and spoilage attributes of oyster sauce. Let’s find out!
Table of Contents
How to store oyster sauce?
Take note of these following tips on storing oyster sauce correctly:
Providing the ideal storage condition for your food can help cut food costs and contribute to the environment by minimizing food waste.
Can oyster sauce go bad?
Yes, it can. Oyster sauce is prone to mold growth, and the texture gets ruined when you have it kept in the wrong storage condition.
Also, note that it is natural for the oyster sauce to darken over time. That indicates that its flavor also gets stronger because of oxidation. If the taste of your oyster sauce has become too strong for your liking, feel free to discard that. However, that does not mean that it is already spoiled, though. The taste just got stronger to the point that using it for cooking is already useless.
How long does oyster sauce last?
The shelf life of oyster sauce depends on the manufacturers’ production, and it also relies to a large extent on storage conditions. That is why you have to check the “Best-by” date on the label to give you an idea of how long it can still hold its prime. Basically, an unopened pack of oyster sauce has a shelf life of 18 to 24 months.
Generally speaking, the oyster sauce can last up to two days or weeks at room temperature after opening it. However, the quality degrades faster, which is why it is recommended to store it inside the refrigerator. This thick sauce’s shelf life made with oyster extract depends heavily on the producer and the quality. In other words, the higher the quality or kind of oyster sauce you got, the longer you can expect to last.
If you have your oyster sauce refrigerated after opening it, it can last from three to six months. Again, the higher the quality, the longer its shelf life to last.
How to tell if it has already gone bad?
Identifying whether or not your oyster sauce has already gone bad is quite tricky. Check for these following signs:
Generally, an old-stored oyster sauce undergoes changes in its flavor, color, or texture. But, it should not be harmful for consumption unless it starts to give off bad characteristics such as foul odor or mold growth.
Remember that there are health risks involved with consuming foods that have already gone bad. Hence, always bear in mind to apply food safety practices and consume your foods before it spoils!
Is it still safe to use oyster sauce that has already expired?
Yes. It is relatively safe to use that expired oyster sauce, granting that you have stored it correctly and that there should be zero signs of damages in its packaging. Again, just make sure to always check for signs of spoilage before using it.