Best Worcestershire Sauce Substitute & Recipes in 2023
Best Worcestershire Sauce Substitute & Recipes in 2023. worcestershire sauce recipe, worcestershire sauce substitute vegan, worcestershire sauce uses, worcestershire sauce substitute soy sauce, worcestershire sauce substitute for burgers, worcestershire sauce substitute oyster sauceWorcestershire sauce is a type of sauce that comes from the United Kingdom. It’s an ingredient that can be found in a variety of dishes, ranging from Caesar salad dressing to classic meatloaf to your weekend brunch Bloody Mary recipe. What really is it, after all? What the hell is the correct way to pronounce it? When you don’t have it on hand, what can you use to make a substitute for it? (By the way, the pronunciation is “Woo-ster-shirr.”)
What Is Worcestershire Sauce?
Let’s start with the first question because it’s the most important. What is Worcestershire sauce and how does it work? In the 1900s, a pair of scientists (John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins) in Worcester, England, came up with the idea for a fermented liquid condiment that would eventually become known as Lea & Perrins.
The sauce has a sour, pungent, and umami-heavy flavour. While the exact formula is top-secret and not available to the public, we do know that the sauce has been barrel-aged to enhance its funkiness.
When Should You Use Worcestershire Sauce?
Because Worcestershire sauce packs a powerful, savoury punch, it can be used in recipes where you want to season a meal powerfully and quickly, such as fried chicken. Using a very tiny amount (for example, a couple of tablespoons or less) will accomplish the desired result.
Because of this, delicious beefiness may be found in a variety of sauces and dressings, including marinades and juicy burgers, as well as in stews and soups that are slow-cooked to bring out the savoury beefiness.
Using it in cheesy toast and cheese sauces gives them a meaty dimension. It is particularly good in tomato-based braises and ragus, where it helps to temper the sweetness of the tomatoes. It can also be found in sweet-savoury cocktails such as conventional micheladas and this mezcal spin on the classic. As far as the possibilities go, they are seemingly limitless.
How Do You Substitute Worcestershire Sauce?
After all, what does it matter if you’re in the middle of creating a juicy hamburger, a flavour-packed meatloaf, or a refreshing michelada and realise you’ve run out of Worcestershire sauce? Don’t be concerned; you most likely already have a suitable substitute for the item in question in your cupboard or pantry.
Before we get into the specifics of what these alternatives are, let’s take a look at the main flavour components of Worcestershire sauce.
Among the many “natural ingredients” that go into Worcestershire sauce are vinegar, molasses, anchovies, garlic, tamarind extract, chilli pepper extract (if used), sugar, and salt, as well as other unidentified “natural components” (which purportedly include cloves, soy, the essence of lemons, and pickles).
Generally speaking, the sauce contains notes of savoury (anchovies, salt, and garlic) + sour (tamarind and vinegar) + sweet (molasses and sugar) + spice (chilli pepper extract and cloves) + stink (garlic, onion, and celery) (pickles and the fermentation process itself).
When it comes to substitutes, it’s important to remember that the substitute will never taste exactly like the original. However, the more of the above flavour notes we are able to strike, the more Worcestershire-like our substitution will be, and the more like our finished meal will taste to the original recipe we started with.
In that vein, here are the finest 35 Worcestershire sauce substitutions (many of which you shared with us!). Thank you for your help.).
Best Worcestershire Sauce Substitutes
Soy-based condiments are a perfect substitute for Worcestershire sauce since they have a comparable salty, sour, and somewhat sweet flavour to Worcestershire. They’ve also been fermented, which means they’re full of umami-rich funk. You may use them in Worcestershire’s place in a variety of (all-vegetarian!) ways, ranging from straightforward one-ingredient substitutions to slightly more sophisticated mixtures.
1. SOY SAUCE
substitution works well in this case; for every tablespoon of Worcestershire called for in a recipe, a tablespoon of soy sauce can be substituted. Soy sauce does not have the same tartness or spice as the original, but it does have a lot of umami and sweetness, which more than makes up for it. It will work in almost all recipes that call for Worcestershire sauce because it has a viscosity that is comparable to Worcestershire and can dissolve easily.
2. SOY SAUCE + KETCHUP
There’s no risk in using one part soy sauce to one part ketchup in this situation. Soy sauce will help to thin out the ketchup’s thicker texture, making it more pourable. You’ll get a sour, sweet, funk, and a hint of spice as a result of this recipe; it’s also good on chicken wings. This solution is better suited for dishes such as meatloaf, burgers, or heartier soups and stews; nevertheless, it may be too thick and foggy for salad dressings and cocktail recipes (other than a tomato-ey Bloody Mary, of course).
3. SOY SAUCE + APPLE JUICE
In addition to hitting the salty-sweet-tart-umami notes, this combination (which uses equal parts soy sauce and apple juice) is good for adding to dishes with a lot of other layered flavours, but it might taste too apple-y for simpler (or uncooked) preparations, as it does with the previous combination.
4. MISO PASTE + WATER
Fermented? Check. Are you looking for something salty and a little sweet? Check. When one part miso is combined well with one part water to dilute it significantly, it will give a significant amount of the flavour boosting properties of Worcestershire sauce. Also, because this substitute is a little foggy, it should be avoided in clear cocktails or light-colored vinaigrettes, and avoid using it as a garnish.
5. SOY SAUCE + APPLE CIDER VINEGAR + RED PEPPER FLAKES
Worcestershire sauce contains all of the essential components: salty-sweet, tart, funky, and a hint of spice. Use a two-to-one ratio of soy sauce to vinegar, and only a pinch of red pepper flakes to finish the dish off. When used in meals where a smooth or constant texture is not required like stews and meatloaf, this replacement is excellent; however, sauces and cocktails do not work as well.
6. SOY SAUCE + HOISIN SAUCE + APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Soy sauce and hoisin (a sweet, sour, salty sauce made of plums and fermented black bean and garlic sauce) are also excellent substitutes for Worcestershire sauce, but a small splash of apple cider vinegar helps thin it out even more and adds a tart note. Because of its darker colour and thicker texture, this one isn’t the greatest choice for salad dressings or cocktail mixing.
7. SOY SAUCE + LEMON JUICE + GRANULATED SUGAR + HOT SAUCE
For every tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, you’ll want to dissolve 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar in 2 teaspoons of soy sauce + 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice, according to the package directions. Add a splash of hot sauce (any sort you prefer; Tabasco, Tapatio, or Cholula are all good choices), and you’ll have a delicious combination of sweet, spicy, salty, and umami flavours. This substitute is effective almost anywhere, as long as the sugar is thoroughly dissolved in the water.
8. SOY SAUCE + TAMARIND CONCENTRATE + DISTILLED WHITE VINEGAR
For those of you who have prepared pad Thai or any of Ottolenghi’s recipes, you probably have a bright yellow, red cap-topped bottle of tamarind concentrate stashed away in your pantry. It’s very sour, a touch sweet, very dark in colour, and syrupy in texture; it’s a must-have for any tamarind lover.
It also works well as a substitute for Worcestershire sauce (for one thing, because the original condiment already contains tamarind), especially when combined with distilled white vinegar and soy sauce in equal proportions (for example, a teaspoon of each makes a tablespoon of “Worcestershire”). If colour and texture are not important considerations, this sauce is best used for dishes where colour and texture are not important considerations (such as roasted vegetables) (say, meatloaf or a braise; not a Bloody Mary).
9. SOY SAUCE + TAMARIND CONCENTRATE OR PASTE + DISTILLED WHITE VINEGAR + GROUND CLOVES + HOT SAUCE
The ingredients are the same as for the last substitute: equal parts soy sauce, tamarind concentrate, and vinegar, along with 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (which are supposed to be in Worcestershire sauce) and a dash of spicy sauce (optional). This is a little more complicated than the previous combinations, but it is much more similar in flavour, covering all of the flavour notes—salty, sweet, tart, umami-fied, spicy, and a little heat—and is considerably more complex in preparation.
10. SOY SAUCE + LIME JUICE + BLACKSTRAP MOLASSES + GARLIC POWDER + VINEGAR + HOT SAUCE + GRANULATED SUGAR
When making this sauce, you’ll want to use equal parts sweet-salt-funky soy sauce, sweet-tart lime juice, sweet-earthy molasses (which is already in Worcestershire sauce) and tart vinegar, as well as a generous sprinkle of garlic powder, a smaller pinch of sugar, and a dash of hot sauce. Make use of it in the same proportions as Worcestershire sauce.
11. SOY SAUCE + APPLE CIDER VINEGAR + WATER + BROWN SUGAR + MUSTARD POWDER
This recipe makes a lot of spice, and you’ll have to simmer the components together for them to work, but it keeps for a long time if kept refrigerated in a well-covered jar. Simply blend 1/2 cup of the vinegar with 2 tablespoons of water, 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of mustard powder in a small mixing bowl until well combined. Then, over medium heat, simmer it until the brown sugar is completely dissolved and the liquid has reduced by half. Use the finished mixture to replace Worcestershire sauce in a one-to-one ratio.
In its most basic form, fish sauce is a salty, stinky, and somewhat sweet condiment created from anchovies that have been salted and fermented in barrels. Due to the fact that Worcestershire sauce also contains anchovies, it makes an excellent substitute for the sauce. When using fish or fish sauce-based condiments, you usually need to adjust the amount of salt you use in your dish to compensate for the severe saltiness of the product you’re using.
14. FISH SAUCE + RED WINE VINEGAR + SALT
To make a straight substitution for the Worcestershire sauce called for in your recipe, use a proportionally equivalent amount of fish sauce. If you’re using fish sauce uncooked and by itself, it may be pretty fragrant, so save it for things like meatloaf, soup, or chilli, and leave it out of the michelada.
15. FISH SAUCE + BLACKSTRAP MOLASSES + LIME JUICE
An equal amount of fish sauce and tamarind concentrate, combined until there are no lumps left, contains many of the salty-sweet-umami hints that Worcestershire sauce possesses, tablespoon for tablespoon, and is far less expensive. Again, due of the darker colour and stronger flavour of this mixture, it is recommended that it be used in cooking rather than in dressings and drinks.
16. FISH SAUCE + SOY SAUCE + BROWN SUGAR
Combining equal parts of fish sauce and red wine vinegar, as well as a sprinkling of salt, can help to smooth out the pungent flavour of fish sauce while also adding a touch of acidity to the dish. It should be used in the same proportions as Worcestershire sauce. This one is suitable for almost any use. a combination of FISH SAUCE, BLACKSTRAP MOLASSES, and LIME JUICE A mixture of equal parts fish sauce, sweet molasses, and sour lime juice will produce a dark and murky sauce that is extremely similar to Worcestershire sauce and can be used in the same quantities as the original condiment. Again, stick to things that are cooked or have a darker hue; both fish sauce and molasses could benefit from a little tempering. a mixture of fish sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar
Half fish sauce, half soy sauce, and a generous teaspoon of brown sugar will work well as a substitute for Worcestershire sauce, as long as the brown sugar is thoroughly dissolved before use. Use it in the same way you would use Worcestershire sauce, but only in foods that will be cooked (so that there are no gritty or grainy remains of sugar left behind).
17. FISH SAUCE + LEMON/LIME JUICE OR DISTILLED WHITE VINEGAR + POMEGRANATE MOLASSES OR CRANBERRY JUICE
With an equal pour of each, you’ll hit salty, sweet, funky, and tart notes, and you may use it in place of Worcestershire sauce tablespoon for tablespoon. If you do decide to use pomegranate molasses, keep in mind that it has a darker colour, a strong flavour, and a little syrupy consistency, which would be undesirable in a dressing such as Caesar dressing.
18. FISH SAUCE + SOY SAUCE + TAMARIND CONCENTRATE + KETCHUP + RICE OR CIDER VINEGAR + ALLSPICE
The fact that this substitution takes a large number of components means that it’s preferable to create a large batch and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Equal portions of fish sauce, soy sauce, and tamarind concentrate are used in this recipe, as is half of the ketchup and half of the rice vinegar, as well as a pinch of allspice. Upon completion, you’ll be rewarded with a spicy, sugary, salty, umami-rich mixture that tastes surprisingly similar to Worcestershire sauce. Take into consideration utilising this substitution in recipes that require cooking because the thicker texture, darker colour, and slightly syrupy consistency would not work well in raw preparations or thin sauces due to the thicker texture, darker colour, and slightly syrupy consistency.
19. OYSTER SAUCE
Oyster sauce, which is made from caramelised oyster fluids, sugar, and soy sauce, and is occasionally thickened with cornstarch, is a go-to ingredient for swiftly infusing umami and sweetness into stir fries and other dishes. It can also be used as a 1:1 replacement for Worcestershire in a matchup where both teams are playing. Because oyster sauce has less salt than soy sauce or fish sauce, you may more easily regulate the amount of salt in your recipe when using it. Thin sauces, light dressings/vinaigrettes, and beverages may not work well with this product due to its thicker texture.
20. ANCHOVY PASTE + WATER (OR WHOLE CURED ANCHOVIES, MASHED WITH SALT UNTIL DISSOLVED AND PASTE-LIKE + WATER)
Anchovy paste, which is composed of powdered oil- or salt-cured anchovy fillets, water or olive oil, salt, and, in certain cases, vinegar and sugar, can be used in place of Worcestershire sauce when diluted with equivalent amounts of water or vinegar. Alternatively, mashing whole cured anchovy fillets (such as those found in a jar or a tin) into a paste and combining with an equivalent amount of water would also be an effective method. Use it as a proportional substitute in recipes that call for Worcestershire sauce; however, because it will likely not be completely smooth and will have a fishy and salty flavour, it should be used for cooked dishes only, as opposed to raw dishes.
Many kinds of vinegar, especially those that have been aged and fermented, can impart the same tart-sweet-umami-filled flavour as Worcestershire sauce when used (most of the time!) in the same proportions as the condiment. Many of the vegetarian alternatives listed below are also naturally vegetarian.
21. RED WINE VINEGAR OR BALSAMIC VINEGAR + TAMARIND PASTE OR CONCENTRATE
Red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar can be substituted for Worcestershire sauce in the same proportions as Worcestershire. Tamarind paste or concentrate can also be substituted. While this mixture will be sweet, it will also be much more sour and tangy than the original condiment, so use about half the amount of Worcestershire sauce that you would normally use in this recipe. This will very certainly be too powerful for drinks or dressings as well (which usually already call for some kind of vinegar).
22. SHERRY VINEGAR
While sherry vinegar shares many characteristics with Worcestershire sauce (malty, funky, sweet and sour), it lacks the spice and heat of Worcestershire. Add it to your cooked food or sauce tablespoon for tablespoon, but avoid using it in drinks or as a garnish because it’s a little too puckery.
23. MALT VINEGAR + BLACKSTRAP MOLASSES + TAMARIND PASTE OR CONCENTRATE
An equal amount of each of these three components, thoroughly combined, can be used to make all of the burgers, meatloaf, stews, and stroganoffs of your imagination. It’s not the best choice for a cocktail or salad dressing, though, because it has a very black hue and thick consistency, thanks to the molasses and tamarind in it.
24. BALSAMIC VINEGAR + BEEF OR CHICKEN BROTH + MOLASSES + GROUND GINGER + WHITE PEPPER + GARLIC POWDER + SALT
The following recipe calls for a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, a half-cup of beef or chicken broth, a quarter teaspoon of molasses, and pinches of ground ginger, white pepper, garlic powder, and salt to taste. Bring it all to a boil, then decrease the heat to a low heat and let the liquid to reduce by half, stirring occasionally. Use 1:1 as you would Worcestershire (and in any situation where Worcestershire would be appropriate), then store the remainder in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for future use.
In this case, a direct 1:1 swap of any of the wines (fortified or otherwise) should suffice. While none of these will have the complexity, spice, or subtle heat that Worcestershire sauce has, they are all fermented, smelly, and ever-so-sweet, making them an excellent substitute when you’re in a hurry or need to save money on ingredients.
25. DRY SHERRY
Sherry (a wine that has been fortified with brandy) is earthy, funky, flowery, and a little yeasty in flavour, and it is often used to give depth to meals. It could be a decent substitute for Worcestershire sauce. Because it is not nearly as meaty or spicy as Worcestershire, it should be used in conjunction with a pinch of salt in prepared meals (and avoided in sauces, dressings, and drinks where Worcestershire adds savoury flair).
26. SHAOXING COOKING WINE
This Chinese rice wine has a flavour profile that is comparable to dry sherry, but it is frequently salted, which makes it more akin to Worcestershire sauce in terms of flavour. Cooked dishes may be preferable for this substitution as well, as you will not be left with any alcoholic aftertaste.
27. RED WINE
Really, any kind will do, especially a spicy Shiraz; but, due of its strong flavour, it’s better not to use red wine in sauces or cocktails; instead, it will work wonderfully in meatloaf, burgers, stews, and braises of all kinds.
So, who are some of the surprise Worcestershire replacements? You know, those sauces and seasonings that you might use in other dishes but wouldn’t think to use in the place of a condiment? They’re right here. The proportions will differ substantially, so continue reading to find out how much of each to use.
28. HP BROWN SAUCE
In addition to the ingredients listed above (tomato puree and raisin paste), white vinegar, corn syrup, crushed orange puree, and salt, this sauce includes many of the same taste notes as Worcestershire sauce—it only lacks the spice and fire. While you can use this tablespoon for tablespoon in the same way that you would Worcestershire sauce, because it is a bit thicker than the original condiment, it will not work as well in beverages or as a garnish.
29. MAGGI SEASONING SAUCE
Maggi spice sauce, packaged in an apothecary-style tiny brown bottle, is a great substitute for Worcestershire sauce in a variety of recipes. bursting with umami (due to the roasted and fermented wheat), sweetness, salt, and a puckery tang, this dish is a must-try. Because it’s exceptionally salty and potent, you only need a quarter of the amount in place of Worcestershire sauce when substituting it.
30. COCONUT AMINOS
Coconut aminos is a sauce prepared from matured coconut sap and sea salt that has a soy sauce-like flavour with a faint coconutty sweetness to it. It is commonly used in Asian cuisine. In addition, it contains significantly less sodium than soy sauce and is naturally gluten-free. Coconut aminos, in the same manner that soy sauce is, are an excellent substitute for Worcestershire sauce in the same amount as the original condiment—and by using them, you can better regulate the amount of salt that is added to your finished dish. This Worcestershire replacement works well in almost any situation where Worcestershire is required. While we’re on the subject of substitutes, feel free to use an equivalent amount of coconut aminos in place of any of the soy sauce-based substitutions listed above.
31. LIQUID SMOKE
Simply a dab of this, and only in cooked foods, chilled soups, or dressings (not in drinks or dusted on top) is recommended. If you use liquid smoke in large quantities, it will add a lot of earthy, complex flavours to your recipe in the same way that Worcestershire sauce would. However, liquid smoke does not have any of the added sweetness or saltiness that Worcestershire sauce does, and it can be very intense if you use it excessively.
32. PICKLE JUICE
Consider the following: It is 1) tart and vinegary, 2) salty, 3) slightly sweet, 4) flavoured with coriander, dill, and pepper, 5) occasionally fiery, if peppers are included in the mix, and 6) stinky and fermented. Basically, it’s the same as Worcestershire sauce! When used in proportion to the amount of Worcestershire sauce called for, a splash can make a significant difference in dressings, sauces, various drinks, and cooked foods. However, it will not be as effective as a garnish.
33. MARMITE + SPLASH OF LEMON JUICE OR SOY SAUCE + HOT WATER
In order to make Marmite, which is a controversial condiment that is extra-salty and slightly bitter, yeast extract is combined with highly concentrated vegetable and spice extracts. In fact, when combined with two parts sweetish lemon juice/soy sauce and two parts hot water to aid in dissolving it, it works brilliantly as a substitute for Worcestershire sauce in a variety of applications. This ingredient is excellent in a variety of cooked foods of many kinds; however, owing to its powerful flavour, it is probably best avoided in sauces, cocktails, and as a garnish or topping.
34. BBQ sauce
The classic BBQ sauce is a barbeque must-have because of its distinctive flavour, which is sour and sweet at the same time. In place of Worcestershire sauce, this is an excellent substitute.
35. Anchovy paste + water
Anchovy paste, which is thick and salty with flavorful notes of olive oil, is ideal for use in sauces. When combined with water, Worcestershire sauce gains a pleasant tanginess and anchovy flavour, similar to that of a good aioli or marinara sauce.
36. Sherry vinegar
Sherry vinegar lends a hint of sweetness as well as a rich, full taste to dishes. As a result of its flavour, sherry vinegar is a good choice for seasonings and marinades, and Worcestershire sauce is no exception! This vinegar will serve as a base for your Worcestershire sauce, providing you with all of the taste you require.
If you have only salt in your cabinets, it might give you a flavour that is similar of the little bitterness found in Worcestershire sauce without any additional ingredients. Simply sprinkle some on top of any dish to give it that additional zing.
38. HP sauce
HP Sauce is a brown steak sauce with a spicy kick. It is similar to A1 steak sauce and Worcestershire sauce in that it offers an excess of zesty flavour to dishes.
39. Henderson’s relish
This relish has some of the same flavour characteristics as Worcestershire sauce, such as a slight sweetness and a saltiness that complement the sauce. This sauce, on the other hand, has significantly more taste, providing this condiment a pleasing kick. It can be used as a sauce on meat meals, soups, and marinades, among other things.
40. Soy sauce + lime juice + blackstrap molasses + vinegar + granulated sugar + hot sauce
The main ingredients in this dish are blackstrap molasses and lime juice. The sharpness of the lime blends beautifully with the tanginess of the soy sauce, resulting in a flavour that is evocative of Worcestershire sauce in texture and flavour. The combination of molasses and granulated sugar will provide precisely the right amount of sweetness that you’re looking for in this recipe.
41. Soy sauce + water
If you don’t want soy sauce to overwhelm your dish with too much salt, you can dilute it with water before using it. Soy sauce mixed with water, while not as flavorful as the other Worcestershire sauce substitutes on our list, will be enough to satisfy your Worcestershire sauce needs when you’re out of the house.