Looking for a Worcestershire sauce substitute?
Worcestershire sauce is a pantry staple in many households. This flavorful liquid is made from vinegar, molasses, anchovies, garlic, tamarind extract, chili pepper extract, sugar, salt, natural flavorings, and more. Worcestershire sauce is used in many favorite soups, casseroles, and sauces.
So, what do you do if you run out of Worcestershire sauce, need a quick substitute, or are looking for a vegan alternative?
Before you run out to the grocery store or scratch the whole thing and order takeout, read on to find a Worcestershire sauce swap that you already have in your kitchen.
Here are several easy ways to substitute for Worcestershire Sauce in a pinch!
A General Guide to Substituting Worcestershire Sauce
Try mixing sweet, savory, and acidic flavors when you plan to substitute for Worcestershire sauce. For a genuinely accurate Worcestershire sauce substitution, it's also essential to get sweet flavors from a condiment like ketchup or brown sugar and to add a little bit of hot sauce or chili powder for spiciness.
If you have similar-tasting foods like hoisin sauce or tamarind concentrate on hand, they're also worth adding to your Worcestershire sauce substitute.
As you layer the flavors, your homemade replacement will quickly resemble the flavorful complexity of store-bought sauce.
Here's our guide to the 20 best substitute ingredients for Worcestershire sauce and how to use them.
The 20 Best Substitutes For Worcestershire Sauce
Soy sauce is one of the best ingredients you can start with for a Worcestershire sauce substitution. For one portion of soy sauce, add two parts of acid (like vinegar) and two portions of something sweet (like ketchup or brown sugar). Add a dash of spice with hot sauce, too.
Combining ketchup with another ingredient is a great way to make a sweet and thick Worcestershire sauce. Mix one part ketchup with one-half parts of a savory sauce like coconut aminos or soy sauce and one part vinegar.
Another excellent way to add sweetness and tartness to a substitute Worcestershire sauce is to use apple juice. Combine one part apple juice with one-half part of a savory sauce like soy sauce, but you aren't likely to need much additional acid.
There's no doubt that Hoisin sauce, with its delightfully fragrant and sweet flavor, is a delicious addition to any dish. It's also perfect for replacing Worcestershire sauce with an equal proportion of soy sauce.
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With loads of umami and layered flavor, miso paste is a delicious ingredient. After following one of our recommended recipes for a Worcestershire substitute, adding miso paste is a great way to add complex flavors and layers to your sauce. This is an excellent substitute for anchovy flavors in a vegan Worcestershire sauce.
Tamarind paste, also known as tamarind concentrate, is an excellent ingredient for Worcestershire sauce substitutions if you have it on hand. Mix the tamarind paste with equal parts vinegar and soy sauce to make your Worcestershire sauce substitution.
If you don't have ketchup on hand, a great way to add a tangy sweetness to your Worcestershire sauce substitute is to add lemon juice and brown sugar. For every part of soy sauce you use, you should add ⅛ part sugar and ⅛ part lemon juice, ensuring the sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Add vinegar and hot sauce to taste.
With a salty, tangy, and slightly sweet flavor, fish sauce offers many complex flavors worth adding to your Worcestershire sauce substitute.
After creating a base using our recommended general recipe, you can add a few drops of fish sauce to taste — make sure to use a low-sodium soy sauce, or it might turn out too salty.
If you're looking for a vegan or kosher option, here are some of the best substitutes for fish sauce!
One of the best ways to add sweetness to your Worcestershire sauce recipe substitute is by using blackstrap molasses. It's one of the original ingredients used to make Worcestershire sauce and packs a flavorful punch. Combine it with equal parts soy sauce and vinegar. Add ingredients like lemon juice, garlic powder, ketchup, and hot sauce to taste.
Red Wine Vinegar
Red wine vinegar is one of the best acidic additions to your homemade Worcestershire sauce substitute. This vinegar is perfect for almost any substitution since it adds robust and tangy flavors.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Like the other vinegar on this list, apple cider vinegar is an excellent choice for substitution in Worcestershire sauce. Apple cider vinegar adds a bit of extra fruity tanginess to your Worcestershire sauce, especially when combined with fish sauce or liquid smoke to balance the flavors out.
If you want to make the perfect Worcestershire sauce substitute. You only need a few drops to make the substitution work, and once you've tasted the mixture, you'll quickly see how the hot sauce adds another incredible layer of flavor. (If you have it on hand, you can use fermented hot sauce to boost the dish!)
While apple cider vinegar is the best for tartness and red wine vinegar is the best for a robust sauce, there's no doubt that balsamic vinegar is the best for making a salty and briny Worcestershire sauce. The balsamic vinegar is an incredible complement to additions like fish sauce and miso paste.
If you don't have fish sauce on hand, anchovy paste is another great thing to add to your Worcestershire sauce substitute. Anchovy paste is one of the ingredients you'll find in Worcestershire sauce, so if you intend to make it as close to the original as possible, this is a must-have.
With a wonderfully sweet and salty flavor, oyster sauce is an incredible addition to any Worcestershire sauce substitution. Oyster sauce works in the same way as miso paste and anchovy paste, adding another delicious layer of flavor.
Like red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar is an excellent ingredient to add to your Worcestershire sauce substitute if you want a robust and complex flavor. It's also similar to black vinegar, offering a delightfully rich flavor. However, sherry vinegar has little to no sweetness than red wine vinegar. It leaves the sauce with a complex and almost nutty flavor.
Coconut aminos are a great low-sodium alternative to soy sauce. Use it the same way as soy sauce, adding one part of coconut aminos to two parts of your sweet ingredient (like ketchup) and two parts of vinegar. Due to the lower salt content, you can add more to your taste.
Steak sauce is an easy-to-find alternative to Worcestershire sauce. While it does have its unique zesty flavor, it offers much of the same appeal — and you can mix in ingredients like coconut aminos or vinegar if you want to make it more similar to Worcestershire sauce.
If you want a slightly more tangy and flavorful substitute for Worcestershire sauce, one excellent ingredient you can add is BBQ sauce instead of ketchup. You'll get a perfectly spicy and complex sauce when you mix two parts of BBQ sauce with one part soy sauce and one part vinegar. Try adding fish sauce and a drop of hot sauce to the mixture.
It's no hidden secret that Worcestershire sauce packs a lot of flavors. One of the essential flavors is garlicky tang; luckily, it's easy to achieve at home with the right amount of garlic powder or paste. Once you've finished mixing a base for your Worcestershire sauce, add a dash of garlic powder and mix to taste.
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What Is the Best Substitute for Worcestershire Sauce?
Ultimately, the best substitute for Worcestershire sauce depends on your preferences and what you have available. Every pantry is different, but as long as you combine the right portions of savory, sweet, and acidic ingredients, you'll end up with a good substitute. And by layering flavors like fish sauce and miso paste, you can create a truly incredible substitute for Worcestershire Sauce.