We’ve all been there: you’re in the middle of cooking and realize you need substitutes for Worcestershire sauce.
That’s where we come in! Below we’ve outlined a list of replacements for the famous condiment that will turn your day around.
I’m willing to argue that Worcestershire sauce is one of the most underrated ingredients.
It adds such a great savory bite to any recipe and instantly elevates a dish.
That’s why it’s so tragic to be halfway through a recipe before realizing you’re all out of the condiment.
If you’re in this classic predicament then read on! Here’s a comprehensive list of substitutes for Worcestershire sauce.
What is Worcestershire sauce?
Worcestershire sauce is a flavoring agent that enhances stews, meats, dressings, you name it!
There’s a saucy secret behind the sauce since no one really knows what’s in the recipe.
All we know is that the top-secret British staple is a combination of vinegar, sugar, anchovies, garlic, and spices.
While the sauce’s origins are murky, the flavor profile packs a mean punch.
It’s one of those magical ingredients that tastes salty, sour, sweet, and smoky all at the same time.
Despite the mysterious recipe, this sauce is pretty easy to replicate since you just need to reproduce the flavor profile.
There are a number of ways to accomplish this.
1. Soy Sauce + Sugar
It’s easy to see why using soy sauce and sugar makes a great substitution for Worcestershire sauce.
The soy sauce brings the saltiness and the sugar brings the sweetness.
To create this substitution, mix 2 tablespoons of soy sauce with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.
Taste as you go and adjust the ratios as necessary.
2. Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar also makes a great replacement for Worcestershire sauce.
It’s also one of those magical liquids that taste sweet and sour at the same time.
Less is more when it comes to balsamic vinegar.
One glug too many can create an acidic dish. Start with a little and see if your recipe needs more.
Be mindful of any other acidic ingredients in your recipe if you use this substitution. You don’t want to go too heavy on the vinegar.
3. BBQ Sauce
Almost all BBQ sauces include Worcestershire sauce, so it makes sense that this would be on the list.
Luckily, BBQ sauce accomplishes that same sweet, smokiness that Worcestershire sauce does so well.
Using BBQ sauce as a substitution will bring even more flavors to the dish as well.
This can be good or bad depending on what you’re trying to make.
4. Fish Sauce
This unlikely alternative to Worcestershire sauce is great if you’re cooking the dish.
Fish sauce needs to be cooked down in order to get the best flavors from the seasoning.
Fish sauce on its own might not pack the same taste as Worcestershire sauce.
However, pairing it with other common household ingredients will create the perfect substitute.
Use equal parts fish sauce and soy sauce with a smattering of brown sugar to create a great alternative to the British staple sauce.
5. Sherry Vinegar
Sherry vinegar is created from sherry wine and is more acidic in flavor.
This high acidity helps transform dishes the same way that Worcestershire sauce does.
Because it’s so strong, use the same amount of sherry vinegar as you would use Worcestershire sauce in a recipe.
6. Soy Sauce + Ketchup
This unlikely combination creates a fool-proof Worcestershire sauce substitution.
And who doesn’t have these two ingredients lurking around in their pantry?
The soy sauce brings that sought-after umami savoriness, and the ketchup brings some tangy sweetness to the mix.
Together, it’s a winning combination that will elevate your recipe.
7. Soy Sauce + Apple Juice
You probably never imagined yourself mixing apple juice and soy sauce together, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
The great thing about this substitution is that it creates a neat liquid that dissolves easily into a dish.
Your dinner guests will have no idea they’re tasting apple juice in their steak tartare.
8. Coconut Aminos
Coconut aminos are a great seasoning to have on hand no matter what the occasion.
They also make a pretty convincing substitute for Worcestershire sauce.
The plant-based staple is created from fermented sea salt and coconut palm sap.
It’s full of umami flavors that are salty, savory, with just the right amount of funk.
Use coconut aminos as a Worcestershire sauce substitute at a 1:1 ratio in order to not overpower the dish.
This condiment is renowned for its sweet tanginess which makes steak even better. You can also find it in most American fridges.
It also conveniently has Worcestershire sauce inside it already, so it makes a great substitute for the classic sauce.
10. Oyster Sauce
Oyster sauce is a sweet and salty condiment made from, you guessed it, oysters.
You commonly find this sauce used in Asian cuisine since it adds an unparalleled flavor to any dish.
It also makes the perfect alternative to Worcestershire sauce.
While Worcestershire sauce uses anchovies to give it a subtle, fishy taste, oyster sauce still makes a great stand-in.
11. Miso Paste
If you’re wondering what the secret ingredient is in most Asian dishes, it’s miso paste.
You can attribute all those savory, umami flavors to the fermented soybean paste that adds a rich, delicious taste to any dish.
Because miso is fermented, it channels some of those sour, salty flavors found in Worcestershire sauce, making it a great substitution.
12. Anchovy Paste
Since anchovy paste is already found in Worcestershire sauce, you can see why it would make a nice alternative.
The pastes can be quite fragrant and, well, fishy. So be sure to use it in small amounts since the flavor is pretty pungent.
13. Hoisin Sauce
You can often find this sweet sauce in stir-fries, ramen, and other Asian dishes.
But it can also be swapped in for Worcestershire sauce in a pinch.
My favorite thing about hoisin sauce is that it brings all the smoky sweetness of BBQ sauce, along with a touch of umami.
It adds wonderful spice to any dish.
You either love or hate the British staple, but after reading this, you might buy some to keep on hand.
The polarizing seasoning is a mixture of yeast extract and concentrated spices, which give it such a tongue-tantalizing flavor.
If you want to use it as a substitute for Worcestershire sauce, simply add a splash of lemon juice or soy sauce.
Then, add some hot water to dilute it.
Vegemite is Marmite’s Aussie cousin and has a very similar taste.
Like Marmite, Vegemite is created from brewer’s yeast, which gives it a salty flavor.
You can use a little bit of Vegemite in place of Worcestershire sauce, but it’s best to stick with cooked dishes.
The seasoning can quickly take over a dish if used raw.
16. Tamarind Paste
Tamarind paste is an Asian and Middle Eastern staple, used to add a slightly sour flavor to recipes.
The paste is citrusy, smoky, and sweet. A little goes a long way, so consider this when subbing out Worcestershire sauce.
17. Red Wine
We all know that wine adds wonders to a dish, but it also makes a great stand-in for Worcestershire sauce.
The best way to use the nectar of the gods is to add it to the dish first.
This way, the wine cooks down, leaving a pleasant acidity in the recipe.
With this method, you might need to keep an eye out for other vinegars in the recipe.
You won’t want to turn your dish into acidity-city.
18. Shaoxing Cooking Wine
This rice wine is a staple in Chinese cooking. It adds a salty sweetness to stir-fries, soups, marinades, and more.
One of the magical things about Shaoxing cooking wine is that it tastes similar to Worcestershire sauce.
19. Liquid Smoke
If you haven’t discovered the amazing powers of liquid smoke, this is your sign to grab a bottle next time you’re at the grocery store.
As the name suggests, this secret ingredient adds a touch of smokiness to every dish.
All you need is a few drops to create a sensational smoky flavor.
20. Dry Sherry
If you want to up your cooking game, you should keep a bottle of dry sherry around your kitchen.
Not only does it make a good alternative to Worcestershire sauce, but it also just enhances your cooking with a single splash.
21. Pickle Juice
You might think twice about dousing your New York sirloin with pickle juice.
But if you need a substitution for Worcestershire sauce, this salty brine works wonders.
22. Maggi Seasoning Sauce
Maggi Seasoning Sauce tastes like soy sauce, only better.
One taste of this sensational sauce will leave your palate confused in the best way possible.
It’s chock-full of umami flavors with a salty, sweet tang.
You only need a quarter of the amount as a substitution for Worcestershire sauce.
When in doubt, add some salt. It might not taste exactly like Worcestershire sauce.
But adding a little extra salt can help make your dish extra tasty.
24. HP Sauce or Henderson’s Relish
These two sauce options share many similarities with Worcestershire sauce.
Henderson’s relish is basically the vegan alternative, and HP just has a thicker consistency.
Both make excellent substitutions, and even better, require no work to prepare.
25. Fish Sauce And Tamarind Concentrate Mix
This mixture accomplishes double duty. The fish sauce brings wonderful savoriness.
The tamarind concentrate brings citrusy sweetness.
Together, the combo is a winning stand-in for Worcestershire sauce.
26. Soy Sauce And Hoisin Sauce Combination
Not only does this combination make the perfect alternative to Worcestershire, but it can take your dish to a whole new level.
These powerful ingredients add a sweet, salty, umami flavor to your dish.
You might just forget that you needed Worcestershire in the first place!
27. Soy Sauce, Apple Cider Vinegar, And Red Pepper Flakes
This trio makes a suburb swap to the British staple sauce. Simply mix, then use a 1:1 ratio for a Worcestershire replacement.
It’s salty, tangy, spicy, and acidic. What more could you ask for?
28. Malt Vinegar + Molasses + Tamarind Paste
All you need are three equal measures of the above ingredients to make the perfect Worcestershire replacement.
The blend will have a thicker consistency but works great in cooked dishes.
It might not seem like the most obvious choice, but honey can help transform a dish.
If you find your concoction is lacking in flavor, sometimes it means there’s not enough sweetness.
Adding honey will help rectify this in a similar way to Worcestershire.
30. Balsamic + Beef Stock + Molasses + Ground Ginger + Pepper + Garlic Powder + Salt
Don’t be intimidated by the number of ingredients found in this substitution. You might already have a lot of them in your pantry!
To create this magical mixture, combine 1 cup of broth with ¼ cup of molasses in a pot.
Then, add a touch of ginger, balsamic, pepper, garlic powder, and salt.
After simmering the mixture, you can use it in a 1:1 ratio to replace Worcestershire.
31. Soy sauce + Lime Juice + Blackstrap Molasses + Vinegar + Granulated Sugar + Hot Sauce
This combination works great to mimic the complex flavors found in Worcestershire sauce. Simple mix, then use a 1:1 ratio.
The best part about this blend is that you get all the great tastes of Worcestershire, plus an extra spiciness from the hot sauce.
32. Red Wine + Tamarind Paste
While you can use either of these ingredients as an alternative to Worcestershire sauce, they’re much better together.
Combining these two elements creates a sauce that’s citrusy, acidic, sweet, and complex.
33. Anchovy paste + garlic + lemon juice + egg yolk
This unlikely mixture creates an award-worthy sauce that might arguably be better than Worcestershire.
Each ingredient brings something to the table.
There’s saltiness from the anchovies, zest from the lemon juice, body from the egg yolk, and a spicy bite from the garlic.
Together, this sauce might just become your new secret weapon in the kitchen.
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