Worcestershire sauce—that famous brown sauce with a name that’s hard to pronounce.
For sure, all of us have mistakenly pronounced this at one point in time.
But even if we can’t say it right, we can’t deny the fact that we consider this to be one of the best condiments in the world.
Since it contains flavorful ingredients like malt vinegar, anchovies, molasses, and tamarind, it’s commonly used in boosting the flavors of a wide array of dishes—from sauces to marinades to cooked dishes and even drinks!
It seems no other condiments can match up to it. But if you’ve run out of stock, there are a few Worcestershire substitutes that you can try.
Good news: most of these are easy to pronounce!
So what are these condiments?
Continue reading to find out!
The Best Worcestershire Substitutes You Can Make at Home
Surprise: You can make homemade Worcestershire sauce using some of the commonly found ingredients in your kitchen.
Here are some of them:
1. Soy Sauce
This is one of the most versatile food items in your kitchen as it can be used as a condiment, dip, and even sauce.
But wait, there’s more.
It’s also a great Worcestershire sauce substitute that you can use. Though it doesn’t have the same tartness and spice as the original sauce, it packs a lot of sweetness and umami than makeup.
Also, the substitution is relatively straightforward. You can use a 1:1 swap for this purpose.
There are also many things that you can add to soy sauce that make it a worthy alternative. Here are some of them:
– Soy Sauce + Apple Juice
Mix equal parts soy sauce and apple juice, and you can get all the right flavors—tartness, sweetness, and saltiness.
- Pro Tip: To tame down its apple flavor, this substitute is best used for cooked dishes.
– Soy Sauce + Ketchup
Same with apple juice, ketchup is added to make soy sauce sweeter. The good news is it also makes the sauce thicker.
- Pro Tip: Due to its consistency, it’s highly recommended for burgers, soups, stews, and meatloaf, but it won’t work well on cocktails and salad dressings.
– Soy Sauce + Red Pepper Flakes + Apple Cider Vinegar
Here’s the mix that will give you the full flavors of Worcestershire sauce. The soy sauce gives a salty flavor, and the vinegar offers a tart, funky, and sweet taste, while the red pepper flakes give it a bit of heat.
- Pro Tip: This blend is perfect for dishes that don’t require a smooth texture like stews and meatloaf.
– Soy Sauce + Apple Cider Vinegar + Hoisin Sauce
Mix equal parts soy sauce and Hoisin sauce, and you get a sweet, sour, and salty sauce that tastes almost the same as Worcestershire sauce!
Hoisin sauce is made from garlic sauce, black beans, and plums.
All of its ingredients give off a sweet and sour flavor when combined.
The apple cider vinegar is added to thin out the mixture and boost its tartness.
- Pro Tip: Its dark color and thick texture make it not a suitable Worcestershire sauce alternative for salads.
– Soy Sauce + Garlic Powder + Granulated Sugar + Lime Juice + Hot Sauce + Vinegar + Blackstrap Molasses
This might be the best soy sauce combination to help you achieve the complex earthy flavor (thanks to molasses) and sweet and tarty (vinegar, lime juice, and granulated sugar).
Use the same amount of Worcestershire sauce that the recipe calls for.
2. Fish Sauce
Fish sauce is a condiment made from salted and fermented anchovies known for their salty and funky taste.
- Pro Tip: If you’re using fish sauce to substitute Worcestershire sauce, please adjust the saltiness of your dish since it’s saltier than the latter.
Since Worcestershire sauce is made from fermented anchovies, too, both condiments have the same flavor profile, except for one thing: fish sauce lacks sweetness.
To address this, fish sauce is mixed with the following ingredients:
– Fish Sauce + Lemon Juice + Cranberry juice
Mix equal amounts of the mentioned ingredients and use a 1:1 swap for Worcestershire sauce.
– Fish Sauce + Soy Sauce + Brown Sugar
Add a considerable pinch of brown sugar to a mixture of equal parts soy sauce and fish sauce. Stir well until it dissolves.
3. Balsamic Vinegar or Red Wine Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar is similar to Worcestershire in a lot of ways. It’s dark, made from fermented ingredients, and is sweet, tart, and tangy. However, it has a thinner consistency. (*)
If you don’t have balsamic vinegar on hand, you can replace it with red wine vinegar.
- Pro Tip: This can substitute Worcestershire sauce in marinades and dressings.
Here are some of the mixtures that you can try:
– Balsamic Vinegar or Red Wine Vinegar + Tamarind Paste
Mix equal parts of red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and tamarind paste.
- Pro Tip: The mixture is a lot tangier and tarter than the original sauce, so use only half of the amount of Worcestershire you need.
– Balsamic Vinegar or Red Wine + Beef broth + Spices + Molasses
Mix a cup of beef broth with a tablespoon of the vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon of molasses, and a pinch of each of the following spices: white pepper, salt, garlic powder, and ground ginger. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer until it’s reduced by half.
- Pro Tip: Use a 1:1 ratio as an alternative to Worcestershire.
Fun Fact: Is balsamic vinegar like Worcestershire sauce?
No, they are not the same. Balsamic vinegar is made from white Trebbiano grapes which are boiled down to a thick syrup and then aged in wooden casks. Worcestershire sauce is a steak sauce that is made from soy sauce, vinegar, molasses, anchovies, garlic, onion powder, and other spices.
Other Alternatives You Can Try
4. Anchovy Paste
Since Worcestershire contains anchovies, using anchovy paste as a substitute is apparent.
Anchovy paste may seem fancy, but it’s just mainly a mixture of salt-cured anchovies, sugar, vinegar, and olive oil.
When using this, add the amount of water equal to the amount of Worcestershire that the recipe calls for.
- Pro Tip: This is best used for cooked dishes.
5. Coconut Aminos
If you’re on a low carb or keto diet or a vegan or vegetarian, one of the best Worcestershire substitutes for you would be coconut aminos.
This sauce is based on sea salt and coconut sap.
It tastes almost like soy sauce but has a slight coconut flavor.
- Pro Tip: Use the following 1:1 ratio for dips, marinades, and soups.
6. A1 Steak Sauce
Here’s the sauce that adds a lot of flavor to your meaty dishes, especially steaks.
The sauce is made with corn syrup, tomato puree, white vinegar, crushed orange puree, salt, and raisin paste.
If you don’t have a bottle of A1 in your pantry, you can also use HP Sauce.
- Pro Tip: You can substitute this 1:1 with Worcestershire in cooked dishes. However, it won’t suit drinks and garnish due to its thick consistency.
7. Barbecue Sauce
This is one of the most widely available Worcestershire sauce substitutes, so you most likely have this at home.
However, please take note that it’s a lot sweeter than the original sauce, so you can try adding more salt to your dishes if you’ll be using this.
- Pro Tip: A 1:1 ratio is recommended when using this alternative.
8. Maggi Seasoning
If you want to boost the flavors of your dishes, this is the bottle that you’d reach out for.
It comes in a small bottle but doesn’t be fooled. The sauce is packed with umami which is brought about by its roasted and fermented wheat.
- Pro Tip: Please be warned that this is extra salty, so you should use only ¼ teaspoon for every teaspoon of Worcestershire needed.
9. Oyster Sauce
For those who love stir-fries, this is the best substitute for Worcestershire sauce to use.
The sauce is caramelized oyster juices, soy sauce, sugar, and cornstarch.
- Pro Tip: You can use it on most dishes except dressings and cocktails due to its thick consistency.
10. Shaoxing cooking wine
The Chinese cooking wine is a bit yeasty, floral, and earthy. But since it’s salted, it’s considered one of the best Worcestershire sauce substitutes.
Please note that it contains high amounts of alcohol, so it can only be used in cooked dishes.
11. Pickle Juice
Worcestershire sauce and pickle juice are alike in so many ways. Both are salty, a bit sweet, vinegary, and tart. And if you add peppers to pickle juice, it can give you a bit of heat too.
- Pro Tip: This alternative is best used for dressings, drinks, and sauces.
Worcestershire sauce is one of the most potent flavor boosters you can have in your arsenal. It can make any dish, drink, sauce, marinade, or dressing come to life.
To be honest, it’s one-of-a-kind.
But if you need it but don’t have one at home, you can use any substitutes for Worcestershire sauce that we’ve shared with you on our list.
Just please take note of our tips on how to use them, and you’re good to go!