Hey folks,

Happy Wednesday to ya!  I LOVE Asian cuisine and Thai food tops my list.  However, when eating out at restaurants, one ingredient that I must be careful about is Oyster sauce.  This is a commonly used ingredient in lots of asian dishes and it is NOT vegan.  Oyster sauce is made from cooking oysters. However, some modern oyster sauces cut a few corners by cooking oysters for a short period of time in brine and then adding soy sauce and carmelized sugar to get the desired color and hint at the taste of umami from oysters.  Cornstarch is sometimes added to thicken it and some companies use MSG to enhance the flavor as well.  The bottom line is whichever way it's made, oysters are definitely involved.

Click here for more on this topic as well as some vegetarian/vegan alternatives to use at home.  If you dine out, I would be on the safe side and steer clear of dishes that contain oyster sauce and ask if you're not sure.  This is also important to those of you that are allergic to shellfish as well!

SOURCES: wikipedia.com, wisegeek.com