Worcestershire sauce is a pungent, savory condiment that originated in England. Today, it is used to add flavor to dishes all over the world. While Worcestershire sauce can be a great way to enhance the flavor of food, it is not always available when you need it.
Also, despite its popularity in many dishes, Worcestershire sauce is not for everyone. Some people are put off by its strong flavor, while others may be concerned about its high sodium content.
Fortunately, there are several Worcestershire Sauce substitutes that can be used in its place. If you’re looking for a perfect substitute for Worcestershire sauce that will still give your food a flavor boost, there are several options worth exploring
Table of Contents
- 19 Best Worcestershire Sauce Substitutes
- What is Worcestershire Sauce?
- What Does Worcestershire Sauce Look Like?
- How to Make Worcestershire Sauce at Home
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What Does Worcestershire Sauce Taste Like?
- What are Worcestershire Sauce Uses?
- What Is Worcestershire Sauce Made Of?
- How to Pronounce Worcestershire Sauce?
- How to Use Worcestershire Sauce on Steak?
- How Long Does Worcestershire Sauce Last?
- What Happens If You Don’t Refrigerate Worcestershire Sauce?
- Why Is Worcestershire Sauce Called a Sauce?
- Can You Use Worcestershire Sauce Instead of Soy Sauce?
- Final Words
19 Best Worcestershire Sauce Substitutes
The best substitutes for Worcestershire sauce are fish sauce and soy sauce. You can also use HP sauce, Balsamic Vinegar, and BBQ sauce as Worcestershire sauce substitutes in most recipes.
Whether you’re out of Worcestershire or are looking for a vegan or gluten-free alternative, I’ve got you covered with these 19 best substitutes for Worcestershire sauce that will suit your needs.
Read on to find out more about the best substitutes for Worcestershire sauce and how you can use them in your recipe.
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 as 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.
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 replacement 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 for 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. It 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
Anchovy paste is a substitute for Worcestershire sauce that’s commonly used in Latin American cuisine. It comes from the compressed fish leftovers!
Fun fact: Anchovy is a key ingredient in Worcestershire sauce – responsible for adding that mouthwatering umami taste.
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. Refer to these substitutes for anchovy paste in that case.
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 alternative 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.
Coconut aminos can be used when you’re trying to cut back on your sodium intake because their 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 in 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 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.
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.
What Does Worcestershire Sauce Look Like?
This is what Worchester sauce looks like:
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:
- Add 1 cup of vinegar to a blender and let it soak for 5 minutes. Make sure you use white or apple cider vinegar.
- Add ½ cup of molasses to the vinegar and blend it on high for 30 seconds, or until well-mixed.
- 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.
- Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. Make sure to stir regularly.
- 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!
- Once you have the mixture the way you want it, remove it from heat and let it cool.
- Pour the mixture into a clean glass jar and store it in the refrigerator. It’s best to use this sauce within 10 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Worcestershire Sauce Taste Like?
Worcestershire sauce has a unique taste that is both salty and tangy. It is also slightly sweet, with a hint of spice. Some people compare the taste to soy sauce, but with a more complex flavor.
Worcestershire sauce’s complex flavor comes from the fermented anchovy stock, but also from soy sauce, vinegar, molasses, and garlic. It is often used as a condiment for meats, fish, and vegetables. It can also be added to soups and stews to give them an extra boost of flavor.
What are Worcestershire Sauce Uses?
It comes in handy for everything from marinades to salad dressings. Worcestershire sauce is used in a variety of different recipes:
- Cottage Pie
- Lomb Sloppy Joes
- Devilled Sausages
- Gluten-free BBQ Sauce
- Jamaican Oxtail Stew
What Is Worcestershire Sauce Made Of?
Worcestershire sauce is made from a combination of vinegar, soy sauce, anchovies, onions, garlic, and spices. It also contains molasses, sugar, and salt.
How to Pronounce Worcestershire Sauce?
The correct pronunciation for Worcestershire sauce is: woo-ster-shirr
Here’s a quick video if you want to listen to the pronunciation:
How to Use Worcestershire Sauce on Steak?
You can simply brush it on the meat before cooking, or you can add it to a marinade. Worcestershire sauce adds a depth of flavor that can really make a steak stand out.
When grilling or frying steak, cook it to your liking and then brush on a layer of Worcestershire sauce. You can also add Worcestershire sauce to the pan after cooking or even drizzle it over the steak before serving.
If you want to try something different, you can also marinate your steak in Worcestershire sauce. Simply combine equal parts Worcestershire sauce and olive oil, and then add your steak. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight if you have the time.
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?
What Worcestershire sauce does have in common with other types of sauces is that it’s made for dipping or spreading, not for cooking.
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.
Can You Use Worcestershire Sauce Instead of Soy Sauce?
Worcestershire sauce can be used as a substitute for soy sauce in many recipes. It has a similar salty flavor, but with a more complex taste.
Worcestershire sauce is also less likely to make food taste too salty. If you are looking for a healthier alternative to soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce is a good choice.
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.