Just ran out of Worcestershire sauce and need it urgently within 45 minutes for that marinated London broil which won’t be the same without it? Well, simply use a Worcestershire sauce substitute.
Everybody knows the story of how exactly Messrs John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins, two local Worcester county pharmacists, through trial and error, had hit upon the recipe of Worcestershire sauce (enunciated “worstershire” sauce in the quintessential British accent) which led to the creation of the legendary, “The Original Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce”. The rest is now history and somehow this condiment has pervaded most cuisine forms silently and steadily.
Today, many of us cannot consider our kitchen larders to be complete without a bottle of this dark, agreeably pungent sauce concocted by fermenting malt vinegar and mixing it with other elements, such as anchovies, garlic, lime, molasses, onions, palm sugar, soy sauce, tamarind and other seasoning agents, and then allowing the infusion to mature for several months in wooden barrels made of oak. It just has to be there.
What happens when scarcity strikes and we don’t have time to run to the grocery store. Well, in such a case a Worcestershire sauce substitute comes in handy. It would be unfair to say that there is absolutely no difference that can be detected. But with these substitutes for Worcestershire sauce you can minimize the effect of the absence of Worcestershire sauce.
Quick Substitutes for Worcestershire Sauce
Here are some good options for substituting Worcestershire sauce. See to it that you stick to the measurements.
Using a little bit of red wine vinegar with a small helping of fish sauce, mixed with salt can also make for a commendable condiment for substituting Worcestershire sauce while barbecuing. In fact, some say that using only red wine is also an option in itself. Its sweet, yet acidic taste is definitely a shade lighter than Worcestershire sauce, so add a little more if you plan to use it.
If you need the sauce for a dip recipe, use a tablespoon each of garlic powder, lime juice, molasses, soy sauce, vinegar, two pinches of sugar and 3 dashes of hot sauce to replace it.
An equal part of soy sauce will do the trick. Soy sauce makes for an excellent steak marinade as well. The taste will be different, but you will not be complaining at all! A lot of people actually use tamari soy sauce to replace Worcestershire sauce.
Blend together a teaspoon each of tamarind paste, soy sauce and white vinegar. To that add a pinchful of ground cloves and just a tad hot pepper sauce. You will be pretty satisfied with this substitute for Worcestershire sauce.
For a requirement of 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, you can dissolve about ¼ teaspoon of sugar in 6 – 7 drops of hot tabasco sauce.
You can use an equal amount of A-1 steak sauce (a tarty Worcestershire sauce variant) or HP Sauce when it comes to either making a steak marinade, soups, stews or beef delicacies for that matter. It works pretty well.
A few culinary wizards also recommend the use of only a scant dash of the ingredient called “smoke flavoring”, especially in meat delicacies asking for Worcestershire sauce. You can go all out of the box and experiment with a bit of liquid hickory smoke. Beware of the fact that if you let your dish char after using this replacement, your dish will turn bitter and be done with!
So, these are pretty good Worcestershire sauce backups which you can use in that moment of hurry. But if you have a little more time, you can try making Worcestershire sauce at home. Try it.
Homemade Worcestershire Sauce Substitutes
Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
~ Apple cider vinegar, ½ cup
~ Water, 2 tbsp.
~ Soy sauce, 2 tbsp. (low-sodium variety)
~ Brown sugar, 1 tbsp.
~ Garlic powder, ¼ tsp.
~ Mustard powder, ¼ tsp.
~ Onion powder, ¼ tsp.
~ Ginger, ¼ tsp. (minced)
~ Cinnamon, a pinch
~ Pepper, a dash
Mix all the components together in a cooking pan and place on a medium flame. Allow it to boil and then allow it to simmer on a lower flame for 45 seconds more. Let it cool down before using and store in a cool, dry place. One tablespoon of this can be used to substitute an equal amount of Worcestershire sauce. This makes about ¾ cup of the sauce.
Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce with Mushroom Soy Sauce
Make about 2 cups of this solution with,
~ Cider vinegar, 1 cup
~ Molasses, ⅓ cup (dark)
~ Mushroom soy sauce, ¼ cup
~ Water, ¼ cup
~ Lemon juice, 3 tbsp.
~ Mustard powder, 1½ tsp. (dried)
~ Salt, 1½ tsp.
~ Onion powder, 1 tsp.
~ Ginger, ¾ tsp. (ground)
~ Black pepper, ½ tsp.
~ Garlic, ¼ tsp. (granulated)
~ Cinnamon, ¼ tsp. (ground)
~ Cayenne pepper, ¼ tsp.
~ Cardamom, ⅛ tsp. (ground)
~ Cloves (or allspice), ⅛ tsp. (ground)
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor and then boil until only two cups of it is left in the saucepan. Make sure you let it simmer on low heat. Run the solution through a sieve. Pour it in a bottle with a tight lid and refrigerate for storage.
Worcestershire Sauce with Fish Sauce
Make about 3 to 4 cups of this condiment with,
~ Cider vinegar, 2 cups
~ Canned tomatoes, 1 cup (diced)
~ Shallots, ½ cup (finely chopped)
~ Honey, ¼ cup
~ Vietnamese fish sauce (a.k.a. nước mắm), 2 tbsp. (the Thai variety called nam pla would also work)
~ Black pepper, 1 tsp. (freshly ground)
~ Cardamom, 1 tsp.
~ Ginger, 1 tsp. (ground)
~ Grape seed oil, 1 tsp.
~ Chili powder, ½ tsp.
~ Cinnamon, ½ tsp.
~ Clove, ½ tsp. (ground)
Begin by heating the oil in a pan and then sautéing the chopped onions until they are caramelized. Next, add the tomatoes to the softened onions and let a simmer set in for 2 – 3 minutes. Once done, remove the pan from heat and add all the other ingredients to the sautéed veggies, barring the honey. Stir to mix well and then let the mixture come down to room temperature. Once the concoction has cooled down sufficiently, pour in the honey and stir to mix. Now blend the mixture in a food processor until smooth. Strain it with a fine-mesh sieve next and store it in a lidded jar in the refrigerator. Use for up to 4 weeks.
Tip: Use the back of a ladle or spatula to push the blended mixture through the sieve.
Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce with Tamarind
The beauty of this concoction is that you can use it over a period of about 3 months. You’ll need,
~ Soy sauce, ¾ cup
~ Barbados molasses, 2 tbsp.
~ Tamarind concentrate, 2 tbsp. (low-sodium variety)
~ Lime juice, 1 tbsp.
~ Malt, 1 tbsp.
~ Cloves, 6
~ Nutmeg seeds, 1½
~ Warm chili, 1 (cut open)
~ Lemon peel, 1″ square
~ Ginger root, 1″ (slivered finely)
Place a saucepan on the stove and slowly pour all the ingredients into it, one after the other. Stir slowly as a simmer develops and allow it to boil for 8 – 10 minutes. Now take the vessel off the flame and set it aside to stand unperturbed for at least a day. After that, run it through a sieve and keep it in a clean, tight-lidded bottle in the fridge and use accordingly.
Tip: Try adding a little Sichuan peppercorns to the sauce for that extra sharpness!
Worcestershire Sauce with Balsamic Vinegar
This next preparation can be used both as a soy sauce substitute and a Worcestershire sauce double. To concoct a cup of this dark sauce, you must have,
~ Balsamic vinegar, 4 tsp.
~ Organic beef broth (or chicken broth), 1½ cups
~ Molasses, 2 tsp. (unsulphured variety)
~ Ginger, ¼ tsp. (ground)
~ Garlic powder, a pinch
~ White pepper, a pinch
~ Salt, to taste (optional)
You need to brew all the ingredients together, barring the salt, for about 15 minutes on medium heat. Once the liquid begins to boil, allow it to simmer steadily until the entire thing reduces by half. Once you have about a cup of the liquid left, stir in the salt (if you want it at all) and then store it in the fridge for up to seven days. Also, make sure that the bottle is well-lidded. This sauce is not extremely salty and, therefore, works wonders when used as a base sauce for dishes such as Asian sesame-glazed salmon, chicken chop suey, Korean-style chicken and yakisoba or fried noodles.
Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce with Brown Vinegar
~ Brown vinegar, 17 fl. oz.
~ Green apple, 1 (small, cored, peeled and cubed)
~ Garlic clove, 1 (minced)
~ Ginger, ½ (ground)
~ Treacle (or molasses), 1 tbsp.
~ Honey, 1 tbsp.
~ Cayenne pepper (or chili paste), 1 tsp.
~ Cloves, ¼ tsp. (ground)
~ Allspice, ¼ tsp.
Commingle everything in a frying pan and let a steady simmer set in on low heat. Brew for 60 minutes approximately and then strain the mixture. Pour it in a steralised bottle with a tight lid. Storage for a long time is possible if kept in the fridge.
Vegan Worcestershire Sauce with Tamari
For this, you will need,
~ Tamari, ¼ cup
~ Brown rice syrup, 6 tbsp.
~ Water, 6 tbsp.
~ Apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp.
~ Barley malt syrup, 1 tsp.
~ Ginger, 1 tsp. (ground)
~ Garlic, ¼ tsp. (granulated)
~ Cayenne pepper, ⅛ tsp.
~ Onion, a scant pinch (granulated)
~ Cloves, a dash (ground)
Put all the ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth. Then pour it all out into a glass jar with a good lid and then refrigerate. Storing it for a while helps the liquid to mature and all the flavors commingle to produce a yummilicious Worcestershire sauce alternative.
Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce with Chiles de Árbol
For 2 cups of this concoction, you need:
~ White vinegar, 2 cups (distilled)
~ Molasses, ½ cup
~ Soy sauce, ½ cup
~ Sugar, ½ cup
~ Tamarind concentrate, ¼ cup
~ Yellow mustard seeds, 3 tbsp.
~ Kosher salt, 3 tbsp.
~ Black peppercorns, 1 tsp. (whole)
~ Cloves, 1 tsp. (whole)
~ Curry powder, ½ tsp.
~ Cardamom pods, 5 (crushed)
~ Chiles de árbol, 4 (chopped)
~ Garlic, 2 cloves (crushed)
~ Anchovy, 1 (chopped)
~ Yellow onion, 1 (chopped)
~ Cinnamon, 1 stick (1″ long)
~ Ginger, 1 ½” piece (peeled and crushed)
In a 2-quart cooking pan, throw in all the ingredients except the sugar. Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat in order to let the mixture simmer for a good 10 minutes. Simultaneously, get the sugar to caramelize on medium-high heat in a skillet for just 5 minutes. It is ready once it turns syrupy and takes on a dark amber color. Add this to the vinegar concoction and commingle it well by stirring. Get this to cook for no more than 5 minutes. Pour the condiment in a clean, lidded glass jar and place it in the fridge for at least 27 days. Post that, run the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and store in a bottle. You can use this for about eight months by storing it in the fridge.
Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce with Cooking Apples
You will need,
~ Cooking apples, 3 pounds (skinned, cored and cubed)
~ Brown sugar, 2 pounds
~ Malt vinegar, 1 gallon
~ Garlic bulbs, 6 (peeled)
~ Salt, 4 tbsp.
~ Cayenne, 2½ tbsp.
~ Ginger, 2 tbsp. (ground)
~ Cloves, 2 tbsp. (ground)
Place all the ingredients in a Crock Pot and let it boil for 1½ hours. Once it starts to boil, let the entire thing sit on low heat and steadily simmer for the entire duration. After 90 minutes, you will see that it has all become soft and pulpy. Take it off the heat at this point and spin it in the blender once. Store in clean glass bottles and refrigerate. This sauce becomes better if you let it mature for a bit.
So, now you have quick Worcestershire sauce fill-ins as well as nine homemade Worcestershire sauce recipes which you can use in case you are a vegetarian or vegan (as commercial Worcestershire sauces use anchovies). So, try and test these concoctions when you can and let me know some other viable alternatives for Worcestershire sauce. Until then, ciao!