Out of Worcestershire Sauce? Here are 15 great alternatives!
Ah, Worcestershire sauce. It can be used as a dressing for a salad, can be added to a bloody mary to make it stronger… There are so many uses for this marvellous sauce.
It can be used for dressings, cheese sauces, salads, marinades, tomato dishes, cocktails, burgers and more. If your dish is lacking a little bit of flavor, then add some of this wonderful stuff to give it more pizazz.
There are so many different options, and there is a use for this stuff for any person’s taste.
If you don’t have any worcestershire sauce on hand, then you don’t need to panic. There are a wide variety of different things that you can use instead.
You can use soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, barbecue sauce, oyster sauce and coconut aminos. You can even combine a bunch of different ingredients to make something truly unique.
Alternatives for Worcestershire Sauce
Unfortunately it’s not possible to fully replicate the taste of worcestershire sauce with any of these alternatives, but you can certainly get something pretty close that will make you miss the absence of it a little bit less. With that in mind, here are our top 15 best alternatives for worcestershire sauce.
Have you ever taken a moment to look at the ingredient list of worcestershire sauce? If you have then you will notice that there is one key ingredient that cannot be missed – balsamic vinegar.
Once this is added in, a bunch of other flavors are then included in order to change how it tastes and the sort or flavor you will get. As it so happens, it tastes very similar to worcestershire sauce because of this fact.
Thanks to this, balsamic vinegar is pretty much the ideal alternative if you don’t have any worcestershire sauce available to use.
But what exactly is balsamic vinegar? To be specific, this marvellous concoction is primarily made out of unfermented grape juice. If you look at it then you will notice that it appears to be quite dark in terms of color, and has a bitter, tangy sort of taste.
Not only does it have a great flavor that works with a wide variety of different things, but it also comes armed with lots of health benefits.
When you consume balsamic vinegar, you can get a lot of great side effects such as reduced acid reflux, blood sugar, blood pressure and you can even reduce the levels of cholesterol in your body.
Now, in order to get the effects of worcestershire sauce, you will need to get some tamarind paste and balsamic vinegar. Mix them together in equal amounts and you have your worcestershire sauce substitute all ready to go.
This dark and delicious flavor has an umami flavor. It’s a little thicker than worcestershire sauce and contains an awful lot of sodium. As such, if you already have high blood pressure then you may want to stay away from this particular substitute.
What’s great about this is how versatile it is. It works with pies, hamburgers and steaks, and you can even use it as a marinade. Some people will add it to noodles.
If you want to get the tart taste of worcestershire sauce then you can add in equal amounts of ketchup to get that effect.
If you’re vegetarian and you need something to use instead of worcestershire sauce, then you should definitely give coconut aminos a try. It consists of a fermented combination of coconut palm sap and sea salt.
It doesn’t contain any gluten, wheat or soy, so it’s perfect for people that may have allergies to any of those ingredients. It has a delicious umami flavor that’s savory in nature, so it is also great for things like marinades or dipping sauces.
If you want to then you can even put this stuff into soup. If you’re trying to reduce your sodium intake then it’s good for that. You should use the same amount of this as you would use if you had worcestershire sauce.
This kind of sauce primarily consists of fermented anchovies, giving it that fishy yet savory taste. It doesn’t have the same sweetness that you get from worcestershire sauce though.
If you want that taste then you are going to need to add fish sauce, soy sauce and tamarind concentrate together in equal amounts to get the desired effect.
When you have done this, you can then add in a little bit of rice vinegar, ketchup and allspice.
We all love a little bit of barbecue sauce! It has slightly more sweetness than worcestershire sauce, and it’s used primarily either for marinading or as a dipping sauce.
You can get a wide variety of different kinds of barbecue sauce, though you’re going to need something especially tangy in order to replicate worcestershire sauce.
This is a pretty thick sauce and while the color is sort of similar, it’s also a little lighter than worcestershire sauce. The taste is pretty akin to worcestershire sauce though which makes it a good substitute.
It’s used in a similar way to worcestershire sauce but it’s good to remember that extra sweetness that you’re going to get.
Consisting of caramelized oyster juices, cornstarch and soy sauce, oyster sauce is used primarily for things like stir fries and for getting that delicious umami taste.
If you are going to use this sauce instead of worcestershire sauce then it’s best to use a 1:1 switch to reduce the amount of salt in the meal.
This kind of vinegar is actually made out of sherry wine. It is put into barrels for roughly 6 months and then it turns into sherry vinegar instead of wine. The flavor profile is incredibly similar to worcestershire sauce.
With that being said, you won’t get the same amount of spice with this stuff. You may need to add something to get that extra spice. It’s a good 1:1 substitute for worcestershire sauce, though.
Apple Juice and Soy Sauce
Now we’re onto a couple of combinations that you can use! With this you can get a wonderful umami flavor consisting of apple juice and soy sauce.
It’s sweet yet salty, and it adds a lot of texture and flavor to your dishes.
Apple Cider Vinegar, Hoisin Sauce and Soy Sauce
For this, mix all of the ingredients in equal amounts and it will taste quite similar to worcestershire sauce. If you would prefer a thinner finish and want something a little more tart, the apple cider vinegar is perfect for the mix.
Fish Sauce, Brown Sugar and Soy Sauce
If you’re adding the sauce in during the cooking process, then this substitute will be suitable thanks to the sugar content.
For this, you will need half soy sauce, half fish and then you will need to combine the two, gradually adding small amounts of sugar until it begins to dissolve into the liquid.
Water and Anchovy Paste
Worcestershire sauce actually consists of anchovies, so this is a good alternative to use to get a similar taste. The pastes usually consist of salt cured anchovy fillets, sugar, vinegar and olive oil. It’s an easy combination to put together.
You’re going to need to add the same amount of water. When you have done this, the sauce is perfect for use in dishes that you’ve cooked – ie, not things like salads. Now, if this sauce isn’t something that you currently have then you don’t need to worry.
Instead, you can simply mash up the anchovy fillets that you get out of the jar, and then you can add in just as much water in order to get the desired effect.
Tamarind Paste and Red Wine Vinegar
Add these two ingredients into a potin equal amounts and start stirring to get the ideal worcestershire sauce substitute!
The taste is slightly stronger than worcestershire sauce, so it’s a good idea to only add around half of the usual amount to the dish so that the flavors don’t overpower it.
Shaoxin Cooking Wine
Want a slightly more alcoholic kick to your dish? Shaoxin cooking wine is perfect for it. This is a Chinese rice wine that tastes a lot like sherry, though it tends to be salted so it has a savory flavor.
It’s a great substitute to worcestershire sauce thanks to this. Ideally though you should use it in cooked dishes rather than uncooked, since it has a strong alcoholic taste that can overpower dishes.
Cranberry Juice, Lemon Juice and Fish Sauce
Grab these three ingredients and stir them together in equal amounts. It makes a wonderful zesty and tart flavor akin to worcestershire sauce. When using the formula for a dish, use a 1:1 substitute.
A1 Steak Sauce
This kind of sauce consists of white vinegar, tomato puree, raisin paste, corn syrup, orange puree and salt. It’s quite similar to worcestershire sauce in terms of taste. It is much spicier though and you won’t get the same level of heat with worcestershire sauce!
If you are going to use this as a substitute then you can use the same amount as you would normally use if you had worcestershire sauce.
More Things to Know
As the name suggests, worcestershire sauce was originally made in Worcestershire, a place in England. It was initially created by a pair of chemists way back in the 19th century, and they were asked to make a sauce similar to one that was produced in Bengal.
Unfortunately they were unable to replicate the taste. They put the sauce that they had created into a bunch of jars, and then worcestershire sauce was made and they replicated the taste.
When they had done this, they then began to sell the bottled sauces all across the world, starting with Europe and then ending up in the US.
These days, you can find Worcestershire sauce in over 75 countries throughout the world, and it’s a staple for a wide variety of different dishes.
It consists of sugar, salt, onions, molasses, vinegar, garlic, chili pepper extract, tamarind extract and anchovies, alongside a number of other ingredients. The taste is very unique, being a strange blend of savory, salty and sweet all at the same time.
In most cases, you can use substitutes that are soy based instead of worcestershire sauce, which is a good choice for vegetarians. You can then change the rest of the recipe as needed. We’ve suggested a number of different options here that you can use, so feel free to experiment!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I substitute worcestershire sauce for balsamic vinegar?
These two ingredients are quite similar in many respects so yes, you can use one instead of the other. It does depend on the recipe though. Some substitutes just aren’t going to taste right with certain dishes, so that’s something that you should remember.
Is hoisin sauce similar to worcestershire sauce?
Yes, they are similar in some respects. Worcestershire sauce tends to be thinner and fruitier than hoisin sauce though.
Is there tomato in worcestershire sauce?
There certainly is sometimes! It depends on the recipe used by the manufacturer for the most part. Certain brands will use all sorts of different ingredients.
You can find worcestershire sauce in a lot of different varieties, and they are all good for different purposes. You can get gluten free versions, low sodium, vegan – you name it and you’ve got it.
If you haven’t opened it then you can just store it at room temperature, but an opened bottle needs to go into the freezer in order for it to keep well.
It’s a staple of the kitchen, so it’s definitely something you should always have stocked in your cupboard. If you are running low though, any of these substitutes should work just fine!