Oyster sauce is a clam sauce. It is a genius of Asian cuisine that arose by accident when a Chinese cook in 1888 inadvertently over sewed a couple of clams. When he tasted the result of his mistake, he realized that it had a pleasant flavor. Since then, it has been gaining popularity among all the people trying it from different parts of the world.
Its use is applied at the end of cooking in fry-stir dishes that include vegetables, meat, and even fish. Due to this sauce’s great versatility, you may be interested in integrating it with the usual elements you use to cook.
Maybe you think about buying a little to try it, or you may already have a bottle, but also you are worried about how to take advantage of it before it spoils and you realize you don’t know much about it. If that’s the case and you want to learn, you will be interested in reading this article because you will find everything you need to know.
How to store Oyster Sauce
As we mentioned earlier, this sauce’s potential is found in its versatility with meats and vegetables because it is capable of providing them with the tasty flavor of oysters. That is why it is so popular among cooks, and not only that, if you are a vegetarian, there is a variation that replaces oysters with shiitake mushrooms that manage to emulate the flavor very efficiently.
The culinary benefits of oyster sauce are highly appreciated by those who have already tried it. The only way to enjoy it is if it is well stored, or otherwise, it will end up spoiling, and you will have to discard it. To avoid this scenario, you must follow a series of rules that can be summarized as follows:
Keep it in a good place.
Oyster sauce can be similar to soy sauce and even vinegar when it comes to storage since all of these depend on the same factors that the place where they are to be stored requires to remain in good condition. They should be in a place that is cool, dark, and dry. A pantry should be enough to cover all these parameters, so we recommend that you use one.
Keep it sealed
Once you open the bottle, if you do not plan to continue using it, you must close it in such a way that it remains sealed. Or otherwise, it may be exposed to contaminants that affect the integrity of the oyster sauce, altering its consistency or allowing the development of bacterial activity in its interior, which would translate into the need to get rid of the product.
Avoid the heat
The oyster sauce needs to remain at preferably low temperatures. If you leave it exposed to high temperatures or direct sunlight, this will accelerate the process of degradation of the quality of its flavor and, in the long term, could end up putting the sauce in poor condition.
Sometimes you may find that oyster sauce bottles recommend that you refrigerate them to keep their flavor at the best possible standard. It is an option that applies if you want to store your oyster sauce for weeks and does not extend the period in which it can be consumed. This measure maintains the potency of its flavor for longer.
Can You Freeze Oyster Sauce?
In case you have bought a couple of bottles of oyster sauce and do not plan to consume them all for the moment. You are interested in considering long-term options on how to freeze them. Unfortunately, this is something that you cannot do with this product, so you should keep them with the other conservation methods already mentioned.
The reason that freezing does not work with oyster sauce can be divided into two factors. The first is the high amount of salt in the liquid prevents the process from taking place. On the other hand, oyster sauces also contain oyster soy sauce, which is a product that is fermented and therefore has ethanol, the same compound that prevents freezing in alcohol.
How Long Does Oyster Sauce Last
Luckily, the oyster sauce has a modestly long shelf life due to properties such as its salt levels and its fermented composition, so you won’t have to worry if you have a bottle of this that has been stored for a couple of weeks. It will be just as safe to prepare any dish you need.
In general, you can trust that the oyster sauce will have a label on the outside of its bottle with the date that recommends how long it should be consumed. Once that period has passed, assuming you have followed all the necessary rules to keep the clam sauce in good condition, it will remain safe to consume for at least six months.
As for exact dates, it is difficult to say because they depend on the quality they were manufactured and the recipes that were followed to make them. In general, the estimate of the average life span of all the oyster sauces that you can find in the market is one and a half to two years.
How to Tell If Oyster Sauce Is Bad
A peculiarity of oyster sauce is that after a while, its flavor begins to intensify and can become very strong to enjoy its consumption if this happens to your oyster sauce and reduce the portion you are used to. To use does not help control this situation, so feel free to discard it because if you cannot use it, there is no use to keep it.
We must also highlight that determining if the sauce has gone bad is not always easy due to the dark color and the strong smell that it naturally possesses. Still, in any case, we must be attentive to perceive signs such as the presence of fluff that may be white or black or a change in odor or texture that is unpleasant.
If your oyster sauce has any of the characteristics mentioned above, you should discard it not to run the risk of getting sick from consuming something in bad condition. Something that can happen when the oyster sauce is a bit old is that the liquid separates but, this is not a sign that it has gone bad. This situation can be remedied by shaking the sauce well so that everything is mixed again.