K-Recipe: Chinese-Italian Fusion Dished Up by Koreans

by Michelle Li

When I’m feeling particularly lazy, my go-to meal is a vegetable stir fry. Sounds bland right but oyster sauce is non-negotiable! It adds so much flavour to a dish as simple as vegetable stir-fry. Paired with rice and my dinner is quickly complete! So when I came across Oyster Sauce Pasta, I had to immediately make it for dinner that night.

Instagram | @moon.cook

If you haven’t heard of oyster sauce before, you may be a bit weirded out simply from the name. But the best way I can describe it is a savoury yet slightly sweet caramelised condiment. Yes, oyster sauce is made by boiling down oysters to get all the flavour out. But with all the ingredients added after, it ends up being a sauce that has no reminiscent taste of oysters. Salt and sugar is added to the water to give it a deeper flavour and then cornstarch goes in to make a thicker consistency. If you are vegetarian or vegan, there’s an alternative for you too! Vegetarian oyster sauce is made from either oyster mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms. It’s just as delicious and offers pretty much the same umami flavour. 


Oyster sauce is commonly used in Chinese dishes so adding it in pasta is unheard of. But Koreans always seem to get it right with fusion dishes! Oyster sauce pasta is just another that has got Koreans talking. When the flavour comes from one sauce with an intense flavour profile as oyster sauce, a pasta dish can’t be anything but yum 😋 So try oyster sauce pasta for yourself with this easy recipe:


  • Oyster Sauce (can found in Asian supermarkets)
  • Spaghetti
  • Olive Oil
  • 3 Bacon strips
  • 2 Garlic cloves 
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • Cherry tomatoes (optional)
  • Chilli Flakes (optional)
  1. Prep by slicing bacon strips in bite sized pieces, halving the garlic cloves, and cherry tomatoes.
  2. This is the time to go ahead and boil your pasta until it’s almost al dente. Every brand has different cooking times, so make sure you follow their cooking instructions! 
  3. Over low-medium heat, generously add olive oil to another pan. Once it’s hot, toss bacon, garlic and cherry tomatoes in and stir.
  4. Add two large spoonfuls of pasta water into the oiled pan. This will deglaze the pan and creates a thick sauce to evenly coat the pasta with ALL the flavour!
  5. Add the pasta and oyster sauce into the pan. If you need, add a bit more pasta water.
  6. Once the pasta is cooked till al dente, season with salt and pepper, and chilli flakes. Top with parmesan cheese and give it one last toss. 
Naver Blog | @rosycook

All done and ready to serve! If you would like a visual guide to this recipe, here’s the Youtube version. Pasta is another dish that you can really change up to suit your preferences. Instead of bacon, your add-ons could be prawns, chicken, mushroom or pork mince. I’ve seen eggplant too which also looks delicious! We all know how easy pasta is to make whether it’s tomato-based or cream-based. But who knew oyster sauce could be the base too! It may look like a simple pasta dish but don’t knock it until you try it. One bite and the oyster sauce gives the pasta all the flavour to keep you lifting your fork up for more 🤤

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