Worcestershire sauce is a staple in most kitchens. If you are looking to cook a meat pie, or maybe you’re feeling like having a Bloody Mary on a Sunday morning, then you know how important this sauce is.
But there are times when we need to work with what we have, and in those cases, it’s good to know what kind of Worcestershire sauce replacement to use. Or perhaps you just don’t like this kind of flavor and want to know what your options are. Either way, don’t worry, we got you covered!
So, what is Worcestershire sauce?
The story is sort of funny, as this sauce came to be by accident. It originated in Worcester, England when two chemists found it by mistake when mixing ingredients.
Though the original recipe is top secret, the taste is unique thanks to the mix of garlic, lime, molasses, onions, soy sauce, tamarind, and anchovies with fermented malt vinegar.
Okay, and now, when do you use Worcestershire sauce?
Because it packs a very strong flavor, this sauce can be used in all sorts of things. For one, it is often used in marinades, dressings, and even as a condiment for drinks.
It most definitely accompanies meat and meat sauces, which is why it can’t be missed if you’re making a stew. Some countries, like Mexico, use it in their beer to mix things up.
Since you already know the background, let’s get to the Worcestershire sauce alternatives:
#1. Soy sauce
Usually reserved for Asian foods, soy sauce is a great swap for Worcestershire sauce and you can even use the same amount. This sauce is less tart, and sweeter, but it has the same umami.
Because it has a similar consistency, soy sauce can be used in any recipe that calls for Worcestershire sauce–though you may want to try the drink before you serve it!
#2. Steak sauce
You’d be surprised to know that this is a variant of Worcestershire sauce. You can change your recipe tablespoon-for-tablespoon and use A-1 sauce or HP sauce for a very similar flavor.
Steak sauce is made of very similar ingredients, including tomato puree, white vinegar, salt, and orange or citrus puree. It’s found in most steak marinades and other meat dishes.
#3. Fish sauce
This sauce is also fermented, so the taste is similar and you can interchange them without any issues. However, the smell of the fish sauce is very particular, so take that into account when using it.
This smell is masked in cooked dishes, so we recommend soups, stews, or meatloaf, but not in any of your drinks. Fish sauce is traditionally used in Asian dishes, such as pad thai, or ramen, but it is versatile, so don’t be afraid to use it.
#4. Tamarind paste + White vinegar + Soy sauce
Tamarind paste is sweet and tangy, but when mixed with white vinegar and soy sauce, it gives off a very similar flavor to Worcestershire sauce.
The vinegar may make this sauce have a strong tart flavor, so be careful when you use it in certain foods. Mix one teaspoon of tamarind paste with one teaspoon of white vinegar and one teaspoon of soy sauce.
This paste is common in Latin American foods and Asian dishes, so you can find it in the international aisle of your local grocery store, or in one of the localized stores. It’s also a good base for many dishes, so you won’t regret buying it.
#5. Miso paste
This is a fermented paste made of soybeans and koji. It is full of salt, sweet, and tart, which makes it a good substitute for Worcestershire sauce.
To get the best flavor, you should mix one part miso paste and one part water so that it is diluted and adds a similar consistency and taste to Worcestershire.
You probably have had miso in your ramen, or in fried rice, and even in a glaze or marinade, so why not try it in your cooking?
#6. Sugar + Tabasco sauce
Did you ever think sugar would make this list? Well, you’d be surprised at how good this mix of ¼ teaspoon sugar to a few drops– we recommend 5-8–of Tabasco hot sauce is. Make sure the sugar dissolves completely and then you can add it slowly.
Keep in mind that this is spicier than any of these other options, so it’s not for those who don’t like heat.
#7. Oyster sauce
This sauce can’t be missed! The regular oyster sauce you see in the grocery store tends to be made from caramelized oyster juice, sugar, soy sauce, and cornstarch. As with fish sauce, this one has a very pungent smell that you have to be careful with.
Also used in Asian dishes, the oyster sauce has less salt so it can be added in the same proportions as your recipe says for Worcestershire sauce. It is a bit thicker than any other sauces, so it’s usually best used in vinaigrettes or soups.
And You Can Make Your Own!
If you feel like trying something new, then why not make your own homemade Worcestershire sauce? It’s very simple, all you need is apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, onion powder, pepper, brown sugar, and mustard.
Simmer everything together under medium heat until it boils. Let it cool down and store in your refrigerator for as long as 2 months!
The real name of the sauce is Worcestershire, but it sometimes is mistakenly called Worcester sauce, so the plain answer is no, they are both the same, though only one is correct.
The answer depends, as environmental conditions vary from place to place. If you live in a very warm and humid place, keep this sauce in your refrigerator. Keeping Worcestershire in the fridge will prolong its shelf life to up to 3 years.
Soy sauce is a great alternative for Worcestershire sauce, that both can be used interchangeably. However, when thinking of using both altogether, taste must be considered as these might turn any dish saltier than ever.
Although Worcestershire sauce is very versatile and useful, if you ever run out, or you feel like trying something new, you can now try these options. These choices are easy to make or find and you won’t be let down!
*Photo by neillangan/depositphotos