Momo27 asked in Food & DrinkEthnic Cuisine · 1 decade ago

Fish Sauce vs. Oyster Sauce?

I'm going to making Pad Thai and most recipes call for Fish Sauce. I've never used it, but I'm sure its not pleasant as far as fishy-ness and smell. I think "God forbid I spill this crap somewhere"

Well... I found one recipe that suggested to use Oyster sauce instead. Somehow, this seems more appealing to me.

1) So which is better as far as Taste?

2) Would it alter the taste of the pad thai much?

Which would you use?


13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Fish sauce and oyster sauce are VERY different and they ARE NOT interchangeable.

    Oyster sauce was much milder smelling and it won't smell fishy at all. You could sample oyster sauce straight from the bottle without having to worry about fishy smell at all. It is not as salty as soy sauce and it will taste sweet. Oyster sauce is thick and it got a slight hint of soy sauce and a unique and somewhat smoldering scent which came from dried, cooked oysters.

    Fish sauce on the other hand, will smell fishy when it is not cooked. Oddly, the fishy smell won't be as strong as it smelled once it was inside your mouth. It was made from dried, salted fish. It is salty (but not as salty as soy sauce) and it got a very unique scent. The scent of fish sauce is fishy but it won't smell the same as fresh or rotten fish. When used in moderation, you will not be able to detect any fish smell. Dishes like Vietnamese pho, pad thai, and Thai fried rice all contained fish sauce; fishy smell were absent from those dishes. There were several types of fish sauce available. Some contained shrimp or squid or crab; those are the ones that will have a more potent smell. But whatever the fish sauce is, it will not stink up your house unless you spilled the whole bottle. All fish sauce I've used got a tiny spout and spilling a large amount of fish sauce is highly unlikely.

    It is okay to try fish sauce. It won't be as bad as it sounds. If you have been to a Thai or Vietnamese restaurant, you have tasted fish sauce in your foods and you have seen fish sauce on your table (it looked like a small bottle of soy sauce). I have mistaken fish sauce for soy sauce once. I didn't even know it was fish sauce the first couple times I squirted it on my foods. I thought that restaurant watered down their soy sauce because the saltiness didn't change too much. It took quite a few good squirts before I finally detected that unique fishy smell but my foods wasn't ruined at all. I don't like the smell of certain fish sauces but I don't have problem eating any of them. I am a person who is quite afraid of foods that tasted fishy and I could handle fish sauce in good amounts.

    I will definitely use fish sauce because there is no other substitute. You need that unique taste in your pad thai or the taste will be off.

    PS: Some of my friends liked the taste of oyster sauce until they found out it was "oyster" sauce. I've also fed a Chinese grandma cheese and she liked cheese very much until she found out that unknown stuff was actually cheese. Don't let foreign food items bother you psychologically. :)

    PPS: Good oyster sauces don't stink. I got a bottle of very high end fish sauce at home and it didn't smell fishy at all. Very unfortunately, it tasted fishy. Fish sauce in the mid price range tend not to smell or taste as fishy. :)

  • 4 years ago

    Fish Sauce Vs Oyster Sauce

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Oyster Sauce Vs Fish Sauce

  • Lotus
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Hi I am Ben from Thailand, Pad Thai's flavour included Tarmarind sauce not Oyster sauce. Oyster sauce will change the flavour to something else "Oyster chicken Noodles or something".

    Originally oyster sauce is use as a paste to give the dish flavouseome then fish sauce is added later to make that dish a bit salt flavour. Instead of fish sauce you would use salt not Oyster sauce.

    Creating Pad Thai you will nedd collect type of noodles and vegetables (been sprout). Some eggs and chicken thigh fillets.

    After that particular dish is made, originally Thai people would add flavour to their dish using sugar, vanigar, chili and fish sauce. It should be available in the restaurants just ask for it.

    But Australian Thai restaurants serves Austrlian customers who already thinks that Pad Thai already is tasty so they don't add any of those staffs. The only thing that matter is how hot it is going to be. Those sauces just ask for it. Check it out they come in little jars in a set of four.

    Like western restuarants there re always salt and peper on the table, well Thai people use those sauces. They are always made available. " In Thailand"

    Source(s): Thaiguy
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  • 5 years ago


    Source(s): Modern People Paleo Guide :
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    Fish sauce is salty, oyster sauce is sweet - you won't get the same results at all. If you spill it then yes, fish sauce is foul and smelly. It is also sort of smelly when you first add it to the cooking food but something interesting happens in the cooking process and it adds a rich flavor. Soy sauce isn't as bad as oyster sauce but still not a good substitute because it definitely adds it's own flavor. Go for the fish sauce.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    They do taste different and are used for different purposes.

    Fish Sauce is added to your cooking generally and Oyster Sauce is used more as a sort of dressing as it is considerably thicker.

    They are interchangeable.

    They both stink and it is said that the stronger the smell the better the quality, so there is no escaping that problem. I guess the principle would be not to spill and replace the cap properly after each use, even if you may want to add more.

  • Ronald
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Asian fish sauce isn't really fishy as it's pretty heavily fermented and is usually pretty salty.

    While oyster sauce will give you the same sort of flavoring, it's not quite the same. I'd say give the fish sauce a try.

  • 121
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Fish sauce and oyster sauce taste a bit different but go for it. Remember oyster sauce goes a long way. ie It's strong. Good Luck...

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You could leave out the fish sauce. I think oyster sauce will change it into something entirely different.

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