Worcestershire Sauce vs Liquid Aminos | Savory Condiments Compared
There are many liquid seasonings and condiments used for cooking, but while most people are familiar with Worcestershire sauce, many people are still unfamiliar with liquid aminos.
Worcestershire sauce is a fermented fish sauce with vinegar, tamarind, and molasses as the main ingredients, whereas liquid aminos is a fermented soybean sauce. Both have a savory flavor but Worcestershire sauce is more intense and the flavor profile of liquid aminos is lighter.
This guide explains the difference between Worcestershire sauce and liquid aminos, so you can decide which one of these condiments is the best for your needs.
Either of these sauces can be used to condiment and season food. They’re commonly used for marinades, stews, soups, dips, sauces, and salad dressings.
Liquid aminos are not coconut aminos and they’re also different from Worcestershire sauce even though both sauces have a brown color, runny texture and umami flavor.
Worcestershire sauce is an especially popular condiment for hamburgers, beef roast, and steak, while liquid aminos is usually used as a healthier alternative to soy sauce, since it has lower sodium content and is gluten-free.
In this post we'll cover:
What is Worcestershire sauce?
Worcestershire sauce is a fermented condiment which originated in the city of Worcester in England.
It has a unique flavor that consists of anchovies, vinegar, molasses, tamarind, onion and garlic among other ingredients.
Worcestershire sauce is used as a marinade for meats and vegetables as well as a base for salad dressings, dips and even used in cocktails.
This sauce has a pleasant umami or savory taste, a brown color, and a runny consistency.
What is liquid aminos?
Liquid aminos is a seasoning made from soybeans that have been fermented. It has a salty flavor, similar to Worcestershire sauce.
It is used as a seasoning in vegan and vegetarian dishes, as well as for adding flavor to soups, stir-fries and marinades.
Liquid aminos are typically gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan-friendly.
Unlike Worcestershire sauce, liquid aminos isn’t so flavorful and it doesn’t have a sweet or tart taste.
What’s the difference between Worcestershire sauce and liquid aminos?
The two sauces are both savory flavors that can add depth of flavor to many dishes, however they differ in color, consistency and taste.
Worcestershire sauce has a milder flavor with a brown color and runny consistency, while liquid aminos is more intense in flavor with a clear appearance and thicker texture.
In terms of versatility, Worcestershire sauce wins out since it can be used in a wide variety of dishes and cocktails.
However, liquid aminos is a great choice for vegan and vegetarian dishes since it is made from natural ingredients and has no added sugar or preservatives.
Liquid aminos and Worcestershire sauce are two different liquid condiments but liquid aminos is often used as a substitute for Worcestershire sauce because it is vegan and contains fewer calories.
Liquid aminos are made from soybeans and purified water, whereas Worcestershire sauce is made from anchovies, vinegar, molasses and a variety of other ingredients.
When it comes to the flavor they impart on food, the two sauces do have some similarities.
They both provide savory undertones and can be used to add depth and complexity to dishes.
Liquid aminos are made from only soybeans so the flavors aren’t as complex or rich.
However, the flavor of Worcestershire sauce is more complex and has a slight sweetness to it due to the molasses in its ingredients list.
Liquid aminos tastes similar to soy sauce with only a slight sweetness and may be too salty for some dishes.
Ingredients and flavors
- Worcestershire sauce: umami, savory, slightly sweet
- Liquid aminos: savory, salty
Worcestershire is made from a blend of flavorful ingredients. It usually contains fermented anchovies, vinegar, molasses and tamarind which gives it a complex flavor.
Liquid aminos, on the other hand, are made from only non-GMO soybeans (usually) and purified water, so it is much less complex in flavor.
Main ingredients in Worcestershire sauce:
- herbs and spices
You can try the original Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce if you’re looking to discover the pure flavor of this sauce.
Main ingredients in liquid aminos:
Bragg Liquid Aminos is the most popular brand because it’s a pure form of the sauce and has that classic savory taste.
Texture and appearance
Worcestershire sauce has a brown color, runny consistency and mildly savory flavor.
Liquid aminos are typically brown colored just like soy sauce. The consistency is thicker than Worcestershire sauce and it has a salty flavor.
Both seasonings look similar and they have an almost identical texture.
Worcestershire sauce can be used as a condiment, usually added before cooking in marinades or as a table condiment as part of a sauce.
It also makes an excellent addition to Bloody Marys and Caesar salads.
It’s also used during cooking to enhance the flavor of a dish.
Once the food is cooked, it’s recommended to add Worcestershire sauce at the end of cooking to preserve its flavor and make it tastier.
For example, you can use Worcestershire sauce in steak marinades, BBQ sauces and in dishes like meatloaf or hamburgers.
It also pairs nicely with roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, and in soups. Pair it with sushi if you don’t like soy sauce.
Most of the time, liquid aminos are used to add flavor.
A lot of people use it instead of Worcestershire sauce since it’s a relatively healthy alternative and it’s gluten-free.
It gives a lot of different dishes a very good salty taste.
Liquid aminos can be used in many ways as well, but it is more often used as a substitute for Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.
It adds a savory and salty flavor to dishes, but it doesn’t have the same complexity of flavors as Worcestershire sauce.
Liquid aminos is often used in the same way as Worcestershire sauce, such as in marinades, sauces, and as a table condiment.
It can also be used to flavor dishes such as stir-fries, soups, and salads.
It’s tasty as a topping or can be incorporated into a dish as it cooks.
Pair liquid aminos with vegetables, rice, noodles, beans tofu, tempeh, potatoes, meat, poultry, fish, and even popcorn
Use it in dressings, gravies, homemade sauces, casseroles, stir-fries, and macrobiotics.
When deciding which one to use for a dish, it is important to consider what flavors you are trying to achieve.
If an umami flavor is desired, then Worcestershire sauce would be the better choice; however, if you are looking for a vegan or low-calorie option, liquid aminos may be preferable.
For every 1/2 tablespoon of Worcestershire, you should substitute or use 1 tablespoon for liquid aminos because it’s not as strong.
Worcestershire sauce was invented in the early 1800s by two chemists, John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins, in the British city of Worcester.
It is made from a unique process of fermentation and aging to produce a distinct flavor. It is believed to have been inspired by an Indian sauce.
Liquid aminos was invented in the 1970s by the Bragg family. They wanted t
o create a healthier version of soy sauce and were inspired by the traditional Japanese shoyu.
To this day, the Bragg liquid aminos is the most popular brand sold in the West.
Worcestershire sauce is quite high in sodium and also contains sugar, molasses, onion powder, garlic powder, vinegar, tamarind, and anchovies.
Liquid aminos also contains sodium, but it has fewer calories than Worcestershire sauce with only 5 per teaspoon.
It also contains 16 amino acids, which can help the body’s natural healing and growth processes.
Both of these sauces are high in sodium, so it’s best to use them in moderation.
Can you substitute Worcestershire sauce with liquid aminos?
Yes, liquid aminos can be used as a substitute for Worcestershire sauce.
However, it does have a significantly different flavor that is not as complex or robust.
However, the texture and color is very similar so liquid aminos is a good substitute for Worcestershire sauce.
You’ll have to use almost double the amount of liquid aminos compared to Worcestershire sauce to give the food the same type of bold flavor.
It’s best to use liquid aminos in soups, stews, sauces, marinades, and dressings where it can also make the food taste salty and savory just like Worcestershire sauce.
To make the liquid aminos a bit sweeter, you can add some sweetener.
Worcestershire sauce and liquid aminos are both great for adding flavor to dishes.
Both have their own unique flavors that can add a bit of complexity to any recipe.
Worcestershire sauce is a bit more robust in flavor and contains sugar, molasses, and anchovies, while liquid aminos contains fewer calories and has 16 different amino acids.
In conclusion, it is possible to substitute Worcestershire sauce with liquid aminos, however it will not have the same flavor profile.
Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.