Food, Substitutes

Substitute for Worcestershire Sauce You Didn’t Know You Can Use

The story of Worcestershire sauce is one of the most famous stories you’ll hear. Two local Worcester country pharmacists experimented, and through their trial and error, finally hit upon the recipe we know call the Worcestershire sauce. That is why the original sauce is called “The Original Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce”, a tribute to its creators, John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins.

With that in mind, sometimes you just need this condiment, but you do not have it in your storage. You’ve emptied the last bottle, and you have no time to run to the store. Or you just cannot find Worcestershire sauce in your local market, and the recipe calls for it.

In all of these cases you can try using either a substitute for Worcestershire sauce, or try to make your own sauce. Both options will work well. If you are gluten intolerant, making your own substitute for Worcestershire is even a better idea.

Worcestershire sauce is made by fermenting malt vinegar and mixing with ingredients such as garlic, lime, molasses, onions, soy sauce, tamarind, and anchovies. The infusion then takes for several months before you get the final product in a Worcestershire sauce bottle.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the substitute for Worcestershire sauce options you can use. I am sure you didn’t thought at some of them.

Wine Vinegar

Bear in mind, no sauce can completely substitute the taste and aroma of Worcestershire. However, in some cases, you can come close to the original, without ruining your meal. One example is using little bit of red wine vinegar, mixed with fish sauce and salt.

When you are barbecuing, this mixture will come in handy. You can use just wine vinegar if you like it. The end result is a sweet, yet acidic taste that is just a shade lighter than Worcestershire sauce. You can always add more or less wine vinegar depending on your taste preferences.

Garlic powder

The original recipe calls for garlic, so you can always try something close. This recipe works wonderfully when you need sauce for a dip recipe. For this substitute for Worcestershire sauce, you need 1 tablespoon of each garlic powder, lime juice, soy sauce, vinegar, molasses, and then two pinches of sugar and some hot sauce. You will get the same taste in your dip as with Worcestershire sauce.

Soy sauce

For your marinades, soy sauce will be a great one for one substitute for Worcestershire sauce. Use equal parts, and you can make a great steak marinade. You should expect a different taste, but I am sure you won’t be complaining. Some people even like the taste of soy sauce better for steak marinades.

Tamarind paste

Tamarind paste can replace many sauces, including Worcestershire and soy sauce. For this recipe, you need a teaspoon of tamarind paste, a teaspoon of white vinegar, and a teaspoon of soy sauce. Blend the ingredients together, and then add a pinch of ground cloves and some hot pepper sauce. The end result will surely impress you.


I am sure you never thought sugar could be a great substitute for Worcestershire sauce. But you will find the recipe just great. You need ¼ teaspoon of sugar and 6 to 8 drops of hot tabasco sauce. Let the sugar dissolve in the sauce, and then use it as a substitute for Worcestershire.

Steak sauce

Steak sauce is actually a Worcestershire sauce variant. Use either A-1 steak sauce or HP sauce when you want to replace Worcestershire for a marinade, soup, or stew delicacies. It works pretty well, and you need the same amount of steak sauce.

Oyster sauce

Another sauce you can use as a substitute for Worcestershire is oyster sauce. That is, if you do not mind the Asian flavor. Most supermarkets also have oyster sauce, or you can look for one in the Asian market. Use equal parts as a substitute.

Fish sauce

Fish sauce is very similar to Worcestershire sauce. Both are based on fermented fish. That is why you can easily use equal parts of fish sauce as a substitute for Worcestershire sauce.

Smoke flavoring

This is a technique practiced by culinary wizards. I must admit, it might be too much for some newbies into the kitchen. Experts recommend use of only a scant dash of the ingredient called “smoke flavoring”. You can use this for meat delicacies that need Worcestershire sauce. Just a word of caution, do not let your dish char after using smoke flavoring. If you do it, your dish will turn bitter and it is pretty much done.

Homemade recipes for Worcestershire sauce

As mentioned in the beginning, another option you can use for a substitute for Worcestershire sauce is a homemade recipe. There are a couple of those, and the good news is they are vegan and gluten free. So, for all of you that are intolerable to gluten, these recipes will come in handy.

Vegan Worcestershire Sauce

Once you prepare this recipe, you can store in a cool place. And then you need one tablespoon of the sauce for the same amount of Worcestershire sauce.

Here are the ingredients:

  • ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 2 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of minced ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon of onion powder
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • A dash of pepper

How to do it?

Simply mix the ingredients together in a cooking pan. Place the pan on a medium heat, and allow it to boil. Simmer on lower heat for 45 seconds, and then let it cool down. Store in a cool and dry place.

Easy homemade Worcestershire sauce

You will get ¾ of a cup with the following ingredients:

  • ½ cup of ACV
  • 2 tablespoons of Thai fish sauce
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of molasses
  • ½ teaspoon of ground clove
  • ½ teaspoon of onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of garlic

How to do it?

Mix the ingredients in a blender, and blend until you get smooth paste. Store in a cool and dry place, and use when necessary. It is not the same taste, but works well, and you can make it with ingredients most of us keep in the pantry.

Cooking apples Worcestershire sauce

Another vegetarian recipe that is a bit more sweet than sour. Here are the ingredients:

  • 3 pounds of cooking apples (sinned, cored, and then cubed)
  • 2 pounds of brown sugar
  • 1 gallon of malt vinegar
  • 6 peeled garlic bulbs
  • 4 tablespoons of salt
  • 2 and a half tablespoons of cayenne powder
  • 2 tablespoons of ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of ground ginger

How to do it?

Put all the ingredients in a crock pot. Let it boil for one and a half hours. Once it starts to boil, reduce to low heat and simmer for entire duration. After some 90 minutes, the mixture will become soft and pulpy. Take off the heat, and spin in the blender. Store in a clean class bottles and then put in a cool and dry place. Let it mature for a week or two, and it will taste even better.

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