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Widely used in Chinese cooking, oyster sauce is a thick, richly flavoured brown sauce made of dried oysters, brine and soy sauce. Oyster sauce imparts colour and a rich, salty flavour to stir–fries and braised dishes without overpowering their natural flavours. It is sold in bottles and once opened should be refrigerated. It is also used as a table condiment. When buying oyster sauce, check the ingredients list to ensure it contains ‘premium oyster extract’ rather than an imitation.