Worcestershire sauce is a popular recipe ingredient.
It’s a fermented liquid condiment that originated in Worcester, England in the 1900s and it has a tangy, umami like flavor.
Worcestershire sauce is used to add a savory punch to dishes. It can be used in dressings, meat marinades, burgers, stews, soups , and more.
But what if you don’t have any of this versatile condiment on hand?
Fortunately, there are plenty of other condiments that will make terrific substitutes.
If you’re looking for the best sauce to buy, here’s my favorite brand:
Now, let’s look at some of the substitutes that are recommended:
In this post we'll cover:
Best Worcestershire Sauce substitutes
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Soy sauce is one of the best replacements you can use. It’s easy to find and you probably already have a bottle in your cupboard and it has a similar fermented taste.
Soy sauce works to replace Worcestershire sauce on a 1:1 basis. In other words, if the recipe calls for 1 tsp. of Worcestershire you can use 1 tsp. of soy sauce as a substitute.
Soy sauce is not as tart as Worcestershire sauce but it has the umami flavor and plenty of sweetness to make up for it.
It can also be mixed with ingredients like
- apple sauce
- apple cider vinegar
- red pepper flakes
- hoisin sauce
- lemon juice
- granulated sugar
- hot sauce
or any combination of these to produce a flavor that is closer to what you are looking for.
Miso Paste and Water
Miso paste has the fermented, salty, and sweet flavor that makes it the perfect Worcestershire sauce substitute.
Mix it with water in a 1:1 ratio to thin it out and, voila, you’ve got the perfect blend.
The only issue is that the paste will produce a cloudy appearance that is not great for clear or light-colored foods.
Fish sauce has a sweet and salty taste and the fact that, like Worcestershire sauce, it’s made from anchovies, means it checks off all the boxes.
It can substitute Worcestershire sauce at a 1:1 ratio, however, it is quite pungent. This makes it more suitable for dishes with stronger flavors such as meats and chilis.
Fish sauce can also be mixed with ingredients like tamarind, red wine vinegar, salt, soy sauce, brown sugar, molasses, lemon and lime juice, ketchup or any combination of these to help you get the taste you are looking for.
Oyster sauce is made from caramelized oyster juices, soy sauce , and sugar so it should come as no surprise that it makes the perfect substitute for Worcestershire sauce in a 1:1 swap.
It is great for adding a umami taste to sauces and stir fries and it has less salt than other recommended substitutions so it is easy to control the salt flavor.
However, because it has a thick texture, it is not recommended for foods with a thinner consistency such as broths, thin sauces, and light dressings.
Anchovy Paste and Water
Worcestershire sauce is anchovy based so it makes perfect sense that anchovy paste makes a good substitute for the condiment.
Alternately, you can just take whole anchovy fillets and mash them up yourself and add them to dishes.
Combining the paste with an equal amount of water will help to thin out the consistency.
The paste can be used as an equal swap for Worcestershire sauce but it will produce more of a fishy, salty taste.
That along with the fact that it will probably not have a completely smooth consistency makes it more suited for cooked dishes.
Sherry vinegar is great for producing that sweet and salty taste in foods but it doesn’t have the same kick as Worcestershire sauce.
Consider adding your own spices to make up for this. It is an equal swap for Worcestershire sauce in cooked dishes but it can overpower soups.
Any kind of red wine will give foods a flavor similar to that of Worcestershire sauce.
It is best when used in cooked dishes such as meatloaf and stews but it should be kept out of cocktails and dressings.
You might not have guessed it, but liquid smoke is actually a great substitute.
Liquid smoke provides earthy complex flavors similar to those found in Worcestershire sauce.
However, it does not have the same sweetness. It is also quite strong so it is best if used in moderation.
A1 Steak Sauce
A1 is made from ingredients like tomato puree, raisin sauce, salt, corn syrup , and crushed orange puree.
In other words, it has many of the flavor notes as Worcestershire minus some of the spice and heat.
It makes a great tablespoon for tablespoon substitute but it is thicker in texture.
Therefore, it’s best for cooked dishes as opposed to broths and dressings that have a thinner consistency.
Pickle juice has a tangy, tart, salty, and sweet taste that makes it the perfect Worcestershire alternative.
It also has a consistency that is ideal for cooked dishes and sauces alike. It should only be eliminated if you are looking to use it as a garnish.
So, the next time you reach for your Worcestershire sauce only to find out the bottle is empty, you are well prepared to find a fitting substitute.
You can also always add a vegan homemade sauce like this one:
Which of these will you be adding to your dishes?