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Are you a fan of Worcestershire sauce but need a good substitute? Perhaps you decided to pursue a vegan lifestyle and can no longer enjoy this unique sauce.
Whatever your reason is, you may find that it’s difficult to find a suitable replacement for Worcestershire sauce. The good news is that with some creative engineering, you can make some worthy alternatives.
What Is Worcestershire Sauce?
Worcestershire sauce is a condiment that’s been fermented with vinegar and seasoned with various ingredients, including anchovies, tamarind, molasses, garlic, and onion, among others. The taste is sweet, which is largely attributed to the vinegar.
It’s important to note that Worcestershire sauce in its traditional form is not suitable for vegans, nor can it be used in kosher meals that include meat. Moreover, some brands are gluten-free, while others are not.
The origin of Worcestershire sauce traces back to chemists experimenting with making new sauces made with vinegar. But after making a batch that they didn’t care for, they left it in their basement, where it fermented. Upon discovering it some time later, the chemists found that they had created a sauce worth keeping.
In fact, they favored this new sauce so much that they began producing more to bottle and sell. New batches were allowed to ferment for two years with regular periodic stirring. Thus is the story behind the most popular sauces of all time.
Of course, the ingredients in Worcestershire sauce prevent many people from enjoying it. Whether a recipe calls for it or you just want to replicate the taste, we’re presenting our top picks for the best substitutes. You may even find that you prefer these alternatives over the original sauce.
Best Worcestershire Sauce Substitutes
The ingredients in liquid smoke include water, hickory smoke flavoring, salt, molasses, vinegar, and caramel color. Even if you don’t grill, liquid smoke can give your meals a smoky and savory taste. In fact, liquid smoke’s flavor palette resembles that of Worcestershire sauce.
Soy Sauce + Ketchup
Strong flavoring is what soy sauce is famous for. This is why it is used in many substitutes for Worcestershire sauce. But unlike Worcestershire, this simple blend offers healthier benefits while delivering a flavor palette that is very similar to the original.
Soy Sauce + Apple Juice
Using this Worcestershire sauce substitute, the salt in the soy sauce blends perfectly with the light fruity flavor of apple juice. Just like Worcestershire sauce, this mixture will give your dishes a delicious and sweet flavor.
Miso paste is a mixture of salt, water, soybeans, and rice. It is often used in a wide variety of sauces, broths, and even salad dressings. We really like this mixture, as it provides a sour taste similar to Worcestershire sauce that won’t disappoint.
Soy Sauce + Sugar
Here, the salty taste of soy sauce and the sweet taste of sugar provide an excellent balance. Feel free to use granulated, powdered, or even liquid sugar. You will find that the contrast of sweetness and saltiness adds a taste similar to Worcestershire sauce.
Soy Sauce + Distilled White Vinegar + Tamarind Paste
Tamarind in paste form is a cooked version of the delicious fruit in the form of a syrup. When combined with the always tangy soy sauce, it helps to increase the saltiness. And with distilled white vinegar to help balance out the taste, this blend of ingredients makes the sauce close to the texture and taste of Worcestershire sauce.
This delicious sauce comes from Jamaica and contains spices and ingredients such as peppers, sea salt, ginger, raisins, black pepper, mango concentrate, thyme, cloves, and garlic. Together, you’re getting a sweet and salty substitute that will remind you of Worcestershire sauce.
Soy Sauce + Brown Sugar + Apple Cider Vinegar + Mustard Powder + Water
In this Worcestershire sauce substitute, apple cider vinegar and soy sauce match up perfectly. Another nice bonus is that the mustard powder and brown sugar add a tasty sweet and sour combination to this clever alternative. And by adding water, this blend lasts as long as a large bottle of Worcestershire.
Soy Sauce + Hot Sauce + Tamarind Paste + Ground Cloves + Distilled White Vinegar
The cloves and hot sauce add an appealing flavor to this sauce mixture, providing a different but welcome taste from your traditional Worcestershire sauce.
What’s more, when the tamarind paste gets mixed in with soy sauce, it adds a degree of saltiness, while the distilled white vinegar serves to balance out the taste. Thanks to this sauce, your dishes enjoy a major flavor boost.
Fish Sauce + Tamarind Paste
This combination is sure to spice up your dishes. Fish sauce is based on anchovies and sea salt. And adding the salty flavor to the tamarind blend provides you with a sugarless sweet taste. Together you get a rich mixture that makes a wonderful Worcestershire sauce substitute.
Fish Sauce + Red Wine Vinegar + Salt
Thanks to the strong and rich flavor of red wine vinegar, you get the taste of grapes. And with the combination of salt and fish sauce, you’re left with a tangy blend that is very similar to that of Worcestershire sauce.
Fish Sauce + Brown Sugar + Soy Sauce
Brown sugar is sweet, fish sauce is savory, and soy sauce is salty. These three ingredients deliver a flavor palette very close to Worcestershire sauce.
Balsamic Vinegar + Chicken or Beef Broth + Molasses + Garlic Salt + Pepper
Balsamic vinegar’s rich, sweet taste goes well with many meals. It’s of little wonder, then, that it can be used in place of Worcestershire sauce to sweeten recipes.
Using wither chicken or beef broth gives this hearty blend a subtle flavor while also diluting the mixture and give it a consistency that’s very similar to that of Worcestershire sauce.
Discover More Great Substitutes
We have plenty more vegan-friendly alternatives for you, so be sure to head back over to our food substitutes page for more excellent ideas.