Oyster Sauce. Does Brand Matter?
I went to my local Asian megamart and was flummoxed by the selection of oyster sauces. Does brand matter when it comes to oyster sauce or are they all pretty much the same? Also, I saw Lee Kum Kee sells regular oyster sauce and premium oyster sauce. Is the premium version any better or different than the regular variety?
pay attention to oyster extract content. some contain very little, some are flavoured. i like LKK.
Premium is made from oysters. Oyster flavored is not.
Depends on how you're using it.
If you're using it to flavor something like chow mein then there's no need to use the "premium" stuff.
In 2001, Cook's Illustrated performed a taste test on oyster sauces and recommended Lee Kum Kee's Premium Oyster Flavored Sauce. It also seems to be highly rated on Amazon.
Yes. Brand does matter, to me anyway. Lee Kum Kee is a very good solid standard, if not "the gold standard". However, Lee Kum Kee has several lines and you want a high oyster extract content, as Pata Negra stated. I believe the LKK premium oyster sauce is the original oyster sauce. The rest are lower-tier versions. I am not sure what is the "regular" oyster sauce, but don't get the LKK Panda version.
There is another Cantonese-brand which I really like, but I don't know its English name. It tastes great and it is all natural ingredients.
Just to keep you interested, oyster sauce is accidentially invented by Lee Kum Sheung (李錦裳), who later found the company Lee Kum Kee. The whole company Lee Kum Kee started with one product -- oyster sauce.