Thai fish sauce or oyster sauce do it yourself also the (vega) version. Thai fish sauce oyster sauce also the (vegan) version, but what is fish sauce?
The answer to that question is quite simple: it is nothing but fermented fish. The ancient Romans also called it garum (weird guys who were Romans). It’s actually not that hard to make. All you need is patience! Read the recipe for fermented fish sauce below and you’ll see that you can easily make it yourself.

Make your own fermented fish sauce


1 kg fresh mackerel
150 g sea salt
1 large weckpot.

The most important thing about this recipe is that the fish should be really fresh and definitely not cleaned. All the goodies that are in the mackerel are needed during fermentation! If you use salt with iodine then the fermentation process takes longer, so see if you can find salt without iodine.


It’s a bit of a job, but the best result is to chop the fish to a pulp with a knife. I tried this in the food processor, too. Was a lot faster but still a completely different end product. When the fish is fine enough to cut, mix in the salt. Put this in a clean weckpot with 1 litre rubber ring. Place the weckpot in a dark place at room temperature. Make sure it’s around 20 degrees Celsius.

Now the patience in the recipe comes back because you have to stir the fish sauce with a clean stainless steel spoon every week. So first pull on the rubber ring so that the contents of the pot do not pop in your face when you open it! Stir the fish sauce well with a spoon and put the lid back on the pot. This fermentation process takes about 12 months. Below you can see a picture of the fish sauce in the various months that it is fermenting.

Thai fish sauce or oyster sauce do it yourself also the (vega) version

Thai fish sauce (vegetarian) recipe ingredients

1.5 litres water

1 piece dried kombu seaweed
3 strips dried wakame seaweed
5 garlic cloves finely chopped
20 grams dried shiitake
1 dl dark soy sauce
0,5 dl juice from a can of pineapple
2 st pineapple rings from tinned
sea salt
1 tablespoon dark miso


Put the kombu in a small bowl and pour 2.5 dl of water on it, let it well for at least 1 hour. You can also put the wakame in a small bowl, pour 2.5 dl of water on it. Allow this to be well for at least 1 hour. Finally, put the shiitake in a small bowl and pour 2.5 deciliter water on it again. Let this well for at least 1 hour. If the kombu, wakame and the shitake are enough force, pour the bowls with the moisture into a pan. Add the rest of the water, garlic, soy sauce, pineapple juice, pineapple rings and the miso and bring to the boil. Then lower the heat and let everything boil in half. Add the salt and cook the moisture over low heat for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool well. Then put a lid on the pan and put the pan in the fridge. After 24 hours, remove the pan from the fridge and pour the fish sauce through a sieve. Put the fish sauce in a clean bottle and the sauce is ready to go!

This sauce can be stored in the bottle for at least 2 months. The seaweeds give the taste of the sea to the vegetarian fish sauce and also have a lot of umami.

Wat is Umami

It is also called the5th  taste and gives a rich deep taste to your dishes. Many fermented products are rich in umami below an overview of umami rich products.

Soy sauce Fresh mushrooms Seaweed Vegan umami
Ketjap Dried mushrooms Tempeh Edelgist
Tamari Tomato Matchapoeder Fermented tofu
Miso Tomato paste Balsamic vinegar Tamari

Thai fish sauce or oyster sauce do it yourself also the (vega) version

Oyster sauce self made vegetarian recipe

For this oyster sauce you need dried shiitake that you can buy in the toko. Also nice to dry shiitake yourself in a food dryer. Then you know at least where the mushrooms come from and a food dryer you can use for anything.  You can vary the taste of the homemade oyster mushroom by using a different kind of mushroom.


1 lt water
60 gr dried shi take
30 gr sugar
4 tbsp water
2 tsp salt
2 dl dark soy sauce (for vegan use then tamari)
1 tsp potato starch made with 3 tbsp water


Put the shiitake in a bowl and pour the water over it. Allow the shiitake to well for at least 4 hours. After 4 hours, remove the shiitake from the bowl and turn it together with the shiitake moisture in the food processor to a puree.  Put the sugar together with the tablespoons of water in a pan and caramelize the sugar. Then extinguish the sugar with the shiitake puree, salt and soy sauce and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and let it boil to half. Now you can taste the homemade oyster sauce and add some extra salt if necessary. Seal the sauce with the potato starch porridge to the desired thickness. (if you want to make the oyster sauce sugar-free, replace the sugar with a natural sugar)

It is also nice to add the grater of half a lime and the juice during cooking. This gives you an even more beautiful taste.

replace fish sauce with oyster sauce

This is fine in a recipe but keep in mind that the dish is going to get a little wetter because fish sauce is a lot thinner. It is best to tie the dish with a potato starch porridge as in the recipe above.

Replacing oyster sauce with fish sauce

Of course you can also, make sure that you may have to add extra water to your dish. That depends on the preparation.

Sugar-free oyster sauce

This recipe for homemade oyster sauce can also be made sugar-free. Then you can use dates in this recipe. That gives a nice natural taste and depth to the oyster sauce.

So enough information now to make your own oyster sauce or fish sauce. When you’re done, you can try your sauce right on this recipe stir-fried langoustine

Lots of fun with cooking!

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