As a proud passionate foodie, I’m always looking for new recipes to try out. I was at the grocery store yesterday and could not find Worcestershire sauce.
That led me to come up with a few Worcestershire sauce substitutes that would work in my recipe.
These substitutes are all different flavors, but they should help you get your favorite dish on the table!
For those who’re in the middle of preparing a recipe, the substitutes for Worcestershire sauce mentioned below are: Soy sauce, Fish sauce, Balsamic Vinegar, HP Sauce, Hoisin Sauce, and 14 others.
- What Is Worcestershire Sauce?
- 19 Best Worcestershire Sauce Substitutes
- What Does Worcestershire Sauce Taste Like?
- Worcestershire Sauce Uses
- Worcestershire Sauce Benefits
- Worcestershire Sauce Ingredients
- Worcestershire Sauce Side Effects
- How to Make Worcestershire Sauce at Home
- Related Questions:
- Final Words
What Is Worcestershire Sauce?
Worcestershire sauce is a fermented liquid condiment that has a distinctive flavor. It’s made by combining various ingredients like molasses, vinegar, and tamarind paste.
This is how Worchester sauce looks like:
Many people use it for meats, fish, and vegetables. It gives the food a tangy taste with smoky undertones. This substitute can be used in any recipe that calls for Worcestershire sauce.
It’s a key ingredient in many recipes, like meatloaf and steak. It would also work well with chicken dishes. You can even substitute it for salad dressings!
19 Best Worcestershire Sauce Substitutes
1. Fish Sauce
Fish Sauce is the most popular substitute for Worcestershire sauce. It’s a liquid condiment that contains fish and salt. Fish sauce is typically used in Asian recipes such as Pho (read more about fish sauce here)
You will want to substitute half of the amount called for in your recipe because it has twice the sodium content than Worcestershire.
If you substitute 1:1 fish sauce for Worcestershire, it will give your food a sweeter flavor with an umami taste. This sour, salty, and savory substitute is also great for adding an extra kick to your recipe.
2. Soy Sauce
Soy sauce is a substitute for Worcestershire sauce that you can use in Asian recipes or on steaks and burgers. It adds delicious salty flavor to a recipe, but it doesn’t have much of the signature Worcestershire taste.
It’s also a quite popular replacement since it’s available at basically any grocery store. If you substitute 1:1 soy sauce for Worcestershire, it will instantly give your recipe a salty flavor that is similar to Worcestershire.
However, if you substitute half the amount called for in your recipe, you’ll be just fine. To add sweetness, you can add a small amount of brown sugar or molasses, whichever you’ve handy with.
Soy sauce works best with Asian-inspired dishes. It is also great with vegetables and meats like pork!
3. Balsamic Vinegar
Another easily available substitute for Worcestershire sauce is Balsamic vinegar. This substitute is particularly good for marinades or dressings.
It has a distinct acidic taste to it, which means you’ll want to substitute half the amount called for in your recipe.
Remember, if you substitute full balsamic vinegar, your recipe will be too acidic and sour. This ingredient pairs well with tomato sauce in recipes like spaghetti or lasagna.
If you substitute half the amount called for in your recipe, it will work perfectly. The balsamic vinegar makes a great Worcestershire sauce substitute because of its bold but not overpowering taste!
4. HP Sauce
HP Sauce is a substitute for Worcestershire sauce that has been around since the late 1800s. It’s a classic British condiment and it’s loaded with flavor!
In parts of the United Kingdom, it’s also known as Brown Sauce. It offers a much thicker consistency and has a rich, tangy taste to it, which means you’ll want to substitute half the amount called for in your recipe because of its powerful taste.
You’ll need to simmer it on low heat in order to avoid lumps. The substitute should be boiled until you notice a dark layer forming on top of your pan as this is what gives HP Sauce its unique flavor!
5. Hoisin Sauce
This substitute for Worcestershire sauce is great for giving a dish a little Asian flair. It’s a traditional Chinese condiment that has a sweet, spicy taste to it that makes it perfect for marinades and barbeque sauces.
Hoisin sauce is most commonly used in recipes like Pork Fried Rice or BBQ Ribs. It works well when substituting for Worcestershire sauce – you just need to substitute half the amount called for in your recipe.
6. Fish Paste
Fish paste is a substitute that’s commonly used in Thai Curries, but it can also substitute Worcestershire sauce! Substitute one-third of the amount called for with fish paste and substitute the other two-thirds with Worcestershire sauce substitute.
Fish paste has a very strong flavor to it, so you’ll want to substitute half of the amount called for in your recipe if you substitute full fish paste. It adds depth of flavor and is perfect when used in Thai curries or Pad Thai!
7. Tomato Paste
Tomato paste is a substitute for Worcestershire sauce that you’ll want to use in Italian-inspired recipes. Tomato paste is thicker than tomato sauce, so it will give your meal a rich and hearty flavor.
This substitute is a bit different from Worcestershire sauce, but it won’t hurt to substitute it for half the amount called for in your recipe.
You can substitute tomato paste for Worcestershire sauce in recipes that are tomato-based, like meatloaf!
8. BBQ Sauce
Another substitute for Worcestershire sauce is BBQ sauce. If you substitute 1:1, you’ll end up with a recipe that will taste sweeter than it should.
However, if you substitute half the amount called for in your recipe, you’ll create something that has just enough sweetness to it without being overpowering.
BBQ sauce will also add an onion-based complex flavor to your food. It works well as a replacement in recipes like BBQ Ribs or Chicken Marinade.
9. Miso Paste
Miso paste is a substitute for Worcestershire sauce that’s commonly used in Japanese and Chinese recipes. Miso paste has a salty, savory taste to it, but without any heat or additional spice.
When using miso paste as a substitute for Worcestershire sauce, substitute half of the amount called for by adding broth because otherwise, you won’t have enough salt.
It’s ideal in soups or noodle dishes, but you can substitute it in pretty much any recipe!
10. Tamarind Paste
Tamarind paste is a substitute for Worcestershire sauce that’s commonly used in Indian cuisine. It can be found in African, Caribbean, and South Asian recipes.
If you’re looking to spice up your recipe with a little tanginess, this substitute for Worcestershire sauce is perfect!
But, on its own, it doesn’t add the sweetness found in the original sauce. For that. I’d suggest pairing it with equal parts soy sauce and a splash of apple cider vinegar.
11. Anchovy Paste
Fun fact: Anchovy is a key ingredient in Worcestershire sauce – responsible for adding that mouthwatering umami taste.
Anchovy paste is a substitute for Worcestershire sauce that’s commonly used in Latin American cuisine. It comes from the compressed fish leftovers!
The taste of anchovy paste adds a salty touch to your recipe, so you’ll want to add some sugar and vinegar to it to offset the saltiness.
A teaspoon of anchovy paste can replace half a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce but use it at your own discretion.
This fish-based substitute will be ideal for preparing dishes like Vinaigrette, seafood stews, and salad dressings.
You can also substitute anchovy paste in places where Worcestershire is used as an ingredient, like Caesar dressing!
The only downside is that anchovy paste can be a bit more difficult to find in local stores.
12. Prepared Mustard
Prepared mustard is a Worcestershire sauce substitute that adds heartiness to your recipe. It has the same tangy flavor as Worcestershire sauce, but it’s also spicy too.
It’s difficult to substitute prepared mustard for Worcestershire sauce because it has a slightly different flavor. But, you can try adjusting the number of spices in your recipe.
When substituting 1:1, use ground black pepper and not fresh! The results will be an acidic sauce instead of something with a slightly sweeter taste.
Marmite is a Worcestershire sauce substitute that’s made with yeast extract. It has a salty and savory taste to it, but it’s quite unique so you’ll want to add caution when using it in your recipes.
The secret ingredients of Marmite include tomatoes, spices, celery extracts, and other vegetable extracts. It works well as a seasoning or an ingredient for soups, stews, curries, and sauces.
It’s a British condiment, so it’s commonly used in European recipes but you can use it wherever Worcestershire sauce is called for!
14. Liquid Smoke Flavoring
Liquid smoke flavoring adds an umami taste to your food, which is the reason why many people enjoy using it on meat dishes when barbecuing.
It’s a great substitute for Worcestershire sauce, especially when you’re trying to cut back on sodium.
Try mixing a few drops with olive oil and vinegar in place of the Worcestershire sauce called for in your recipe. You can also add it to your favorite vinaigrette!
15. Pickle Juice
Pickle juice is commonly used in Eastern European and American recipes. It has a salty flavor to it, which pairs well with the sweetness found in the Worcestershire Sauce.
Use a squeeze of pickle juice to replace Worcestershire sauce in your recipe if it’s called for.
The best part? You can prepare it at home. To prepare pickle juice, add 1 teaspoon of vinegar for every 4 tablespoons of water to the jar containing your favorite pickles.
16. Oyster Sauce
Oyster sauce is a Chinese condiment that’s also popular in other regions of the world. It contains anchovies, which are a key ingredient found in Worcestershire sauce recipes!
Its distinct flavor comes from soybeans, oysters, and even salt.
In Chinese cuisine, oyster sauce is used when stir-frying meat dishes. It makes meat taste sweeter, fattier, and more tender.
You can also use it in combination with other sauces mentioned above to enhance the flavor of other ingredients!
It’s an ideal Worcestershire sauce substitute if you’re trying to reduce your sugar intake but need a sweet kick in certain recipes.
17. Coconut Aminos
Coconut aminos are a savory liquid that’s similar to soy sauce, but it doesn’t have any Soy in it! It also has a slightly sweeter taste, which makes it the perfect Worcestershire sauce substitute for most recipes.
It can be used when you’re trying to cut back on your sodium intake because its salt content is lower than soy sauce, but it still tastes great.
It’s a gluten-free liquid that combines the best of both worlds: salty and sweet! The resulting flavor is usually much lighter in color compared to soy sauce as well.
You can also use coconut aminos as a substitute for fish sauce because it comes in similar flavors.
18. Steak Sauce
We all can agree on one thing – meat dishes are the best when eaten with steak sauce.
It provides a hint of sweet flavor to meat dishes, which makes this Worcestershire sauce substitute work well for marinades and sauces.
And as the name suggests, steak sauce is an excellent alternative for recipes that include beef.
Steak sauce provides a sweet flavor that comes from a variety of vinegar-based products, sugar, spices, and even mustard!
It’s also an excellent supplement for seafood because it helps improve its texture and taste. Most people use it on their favorite chicken recipes as well.
19. Red Wine
Thanks to its bold flavor, a good quality red wine can be a great Worcestershire sauce substitute! It’s used in many Asian recipes, such as desserts and savory dishes.
Red wine pairs well with the umami flavor. So it will work perfectly when you’re trying to amp up the flavor of your meat recipe or gravy.
What Does Worcestershire Sauce Taste Like?
Worcestershire sauce’s complex flavor comes from the fermented anchovy stock, but also soy sauce, vinegar, molasses, and garlic.
Worcestershire sauce recipes vary depending on the food you’re using it in, but here’s a rundown of what Worcestershire sauce tastes like:
Worcestershire Sauce Uses
Worcestershire sauce is used in a variety of different recipes. It comes in handy for everything from marinades to salad dressings. Here are the most popular Worcestershire sauce recipes:
- Cottage Pie
- Lomb Sloppy Joes
- Devilled Sausages
- Gluten-free BBQ Sauce
- Jamaican Oxtail Stew
Worcestershire Sauce Benefits
Worcestershire sauce owes its distinct flavor to fish. Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to provide a number of health benefits. Some of them include:
- Helps improve brain function
- Improves heart health
- Helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce pain caused by arthritis or other conditions
- Improves vision and eye health
These fish are also high in protein. Protein has been shown to play a vital role in supporting both muscle mass development and repair.
Worcestershire Sauce Ingredients
The main ingredients in Worcestershire sauce are anchovies and molasses, but it also contains a few other ingredients such as:
- Spices and herbs (like cloves, chile peppers, allspice berries, celery seed, etc.)
Worcestershire Sauce Side Effects
Worcestershire sauce has some rare side effects that may not affect everyone who uses it. But since it’s made with fish, people with seafood allergies or an intolerance to fish should avoid using this product.
How to Make Worcestershire Sauce at Home
There are many different kinds of Worcestershire sauces out there, but most of them follow the same basic recipe. Here’s an easy-to-follow recipe for homemade Worcestershire sauce:
Step 1 – Add 1 cup of vinegar to a blender and let it soak for 5 minutes. Make sure you use white or apple cider vinegar.
Step 2 – Add ½ cup of molasses to the vinegar and blend it on high for 30 seconds, or until well-mixed.
Step 3 – Transfer the mixture into a saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low when simmering is complete.
Step 4 – Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. Make sure to stir regularly.
Step 5 – Add 1 teaspoon of salt and several cloves of minced garlic to the sauce while it’s still simmering. You can also use fresh garlic instead if you have some on hand!
Step 6 – Once you have the mixture the way you want it, remove it from heat and let it cool.
Step 7 – Pour the mixture into a clean glass jar and store it in the refrigerator. It’s best to use this sauce within 10 days.
How to Pronounce Worcestershire Sauce?
If you’re interested in learning how to say Worcestershire sauce, here’s the correct pronunciation: woo-ster-shirr
How to Use Worcestershire Sauce on Steak?
You can use Worcestershire sauce to add an extra layer of flavor to a variety of different types of steaks. Here’s how you can make the most out of your Worcestershire sauce and steak combo:
- Marinate steaks in a mixture of Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic for at least 2 hours before cooking
- Add Worcestershire sauce to a steak sauce or marinade
How Long Does Worcestershire Sauce Last?
You can store Worcestershire sauce in the refrigerator for a couple of months, but it’s best to use it within 2 days of opening the jar.
Keep in mind that freezing this sauce isn’t recommended because it can ruin the flavor and texture of your sauce. The two main reasons why you shouldn’t freeze Worcestershire sauce are:
- It causes it to lose its consistency and thickness
- It can cause the color of your sauce to change
However, you should try to keep it in a refrigerator for longer usage.
What Happens If You Don’t Refrigerate Worcestershire Sauce?
If you don’t refrigerate Worcestershire sauce, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria and spoil more quickly.
It’s best to keep this sauce in the refrigerator so it lasts longer and doesn’t spoil before you’re able to use it.
Why Is Worcestershire Sauce Called a Sauce?
When you think of sauce, it brings to mind something that’s runny. This isn’t the case with Worcestershire sauce, as it has a very thick texture.
While this product is technically a sauce, it’s too thick to be considered one in the traditional sense of the word.
What Worcestershire sauce does have in common with other types of sauces is that it’s made for dipping or spreading, not for cooking with.
Worcestershire sauce is a great condiment to have on hand. If you’re looking for the best Worcestershire substitutes, the options above are among the best.
Each of these products will add that delicious Worcestershire flavor to your favorite meals, so choose one to try out today.
What do you think? Let me know what you think of these substitutes, or if there is an even better substitute that I missed. Leave a comment below!