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How to Make Worcestershire Sauce

Wondering How to Make Worcestershire Sauce? We'll Help You

One of the indispensable ingredients in several recipes, Worcestershire sauce can be made at home too. Here are some tips for the same.
Tastessence Staff
Last Updated: Jul 14, 2017
One among the popular condiments that has been used since 1840, Worcestershire sauce, is now an indispensable ingredient in various recipes, especially those with fish or meat. Apart from its popular use as a flavoring agent for meat and fish, this sauce is also used for adding flavor to cocktails like Bloody Mary. It is said that this sauce was developed for the first time by the English chemists named John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins, during the 1830s. The story is that Lord Marcus Sandys, the ex-governor of Bengal was inspired by an Indian sauce recipe. During 1835, he approached these two chemists of Worcester, England and requested them to prepare the sauce for him. The chemists prepared the sauce for Lord Marcus Sandys.

Though, the Lord was satisfied, the chemists did not find the sauce appealing and palatable. They discarded the barrel with the sauce in the cellar. After two years, they came across this barrel and found that the sauce has transformed to a delectable condiment. It was during 1837 that the chemists started commercial production of the sauce in the brand name of Lea & Perrins. Now, Worcestershire sauce is popular across the globe and is used widely. You may prepare this sauce at home too.

Worcestershire Sauce Ingredients

Even though, the traditional Worcestershire sauce recipe of Lee & Perrins is still kept as secret, the following are said to be the ingredients used in this recipe - malt vinegar, tamarind, molasses, palm sugar, anchovies, soy, shallots, garlic, salt and red onion. The use of tamarind and palm sugar indicates the connection between the present day sauce and its so-called Indian counterpart. Apart from the above said ingredients, certain spices and flavorings are also used in the traditional recipe and it is believed that they are cloves, lemon, pepper and cinnamon.

You may also come across various regional variations of this sauce. In United States, Worcestershire sauce is made with white vinegar instead of malt vinegar and palm sugar is replaced with high fructose corn syrup. Usually, the ingredients are fermented for at least two years, before straining and packing the sauce. Now that you have a fair understanding about the history of this sauce and its ingredients, let us take a look at how to make Worcestershire sauce from scratch.

Worcestershire Sauce Recipes

Ingredients for Recipe I
  • Vinegar - 2 cups
  • Molasses - ½ cup
  • Dark soy sauce - ½ cup
  • Tamarind pulp - ¼ cup
  • Water - ½ cup
  • Crushed anchovies - 1 tablespoon
  • Onion (chopped) - 1
  • Crushed garlic - 2 cloves
  • Ginger - 1 slice (1.5 inches thick)
  • Peppercorns - 1 tablespoon
  • Whole cloves - 1 teaspoon
  • Yellow mustard seeds - 3 tablespoons
  • Red pepper flakes - ½ teaspoon
  • Cinnamon stick - 1 (one inch length)
  • Cardamom pods - ½ teaspoon
  • Salt - 3 tablespoons
  • Curry powder - ½ teaspoon
How to Prepare

Take a small piece of cheesecloth and place chopped onion, ginger, garlic, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, peppercorns and mustard seeds on it. Now, tie the cheesecloth as a bag, with the ingredients inside. Keep it aside and take a large saucepan. Add vinegar, molasses, soy sauce and tamarind pulp to the saucepan, along with the spice bag. Allow the mixture to boil well, before cooking it on medium heat, for about 45 to 50 minutes. Take a small bowl, into which you have to add water, curry powder, crushed anchovy and salt. Mix well and combine them with the mixture that is cooking in the large saucepan. Now, remove the saucepan from heat and let it cool. Once the mixture is completely cool, transfer it to a glass container with a tight lid. Cover the container and store it in the refrigerator for at least two to three weeks. Make sure to stir the contents occasionally. Don't forget to squeeze the spice bag, while mixing the contents. After two to three weeks of refrigeration, you can strain and use the sauce. Refrigerate it after use and shake the bottle well before you use.

Ingredients for Recipe II
  • White vinegar (distilled) - 2 cups
  • Light corn syrup - 1 ½ cups
  • Water - 1 cup
  • Large onion (chopped) - 1
  • Garlic cloves - 2 (large)
  • Jalapeno chili (chopped) - 1
  • Lemon with peel and white pith removed - ½
  • Prepared white horseradish - 2 tablespoons
  • Chopped anchovies - 2 tablespoons
  • Ground black pepper - ¾ teaspoon
  • Ground cloves - ¼ teaspoon
  • Salt - 1 teaspoon
  • Olive oil - 2 tablespoons
How to Prepare

Take a large saucepan and heat the oil in it. Add the chopped onion and jalapeno chili. Stir till the onions turn pink and tender. Add all the other ingredients (lemon should be chopped) and allow the mixture to boil. Once the mixture starts boiling, lower the heat to medium and cook for around 45 minutes. Stir the mixture in between. Once done, strain it and store the sauce in the refrigerator. You can use it after a week.

So, try these recipes that are easy to make, provided you have the required ingredients. If you like homemade Worcestershire sauce, then you may prepare it in large amounts and store for further use. This homemade sauce is also inexpensive, as compared to the store-bought versions.