In creating a vegan alternative to traditional oyster sauce, I combined the flavors of oyster and shitake mushrooms, and black beans to marry a savory, spicy, garlicky substitute that provides the same umami essence one would expect to find in an oyster sauce that I now keep in my fridge for lettuce wraps and stir frys. And because I make it fresh, I control the ingredients and avoid the MSG and unwanted additives inherent in store-bought varieties. The black beans aren’t the same as black beans used in Mexican cuisine, they’re fermented, dried and then reconstituted to create the sauce.
Recipe notes: sauce can be made up to a week ahead. What you will need: Yields 12oz. Active prep time 30-minutes. Difficulty level: Very easy
- 3-Tbsp dried fermented black beans, soaked in warm water for 30-minutes
- 1/4-cup dried Shittake mushrooms
- 1/4-cup dried oyster mushrooms
- 1 1/2-cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 1/3-cup low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 1-teaspoon rice vinegar
- ½ to 1 teaspoon sriracha chili sauce or sambal oelek, for heat (optional)
- ¼ cup pitted Medjool dates
- 1Tbsp + 1tsp plum sauce
- 1-Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot dissolved in 2-Tbsp water
- Drain black beans and mash with a fork, and set aside.
- Drain mushrooms, reserve liquid and set aside
- Slice mushrooms
- Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat
- Add garlic, ginger and saute till soft and fragrant
- Add green onions and saute till softened.
- Add mashed black beans and mushrooms, and cook for another minute
- Add remaining ingredients, except for cornstarch and cook till dates have broken up and dissolved.
- Bring to a boil and stir in cornstarch/arrowroot mixture and simmer till thickened.
- Allow to cool
- Transfer sauce to blender and pulse
- Store in a desired jar and refrigerate