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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Worcestershire Sauce Substitutes

Have you ever wondered what gives Worcestershire sauce its unique flavor?

This popular condiment is made with various ingredients, including vinegar, tamarind, Anchovies, sugar, salt, and spices.

While the exact recipe is a closely guarded secret, there are a few ways to use Worcestershire sauce in your cooking.

For example, it can be used as a marinade for meats or added to soup or stew for an extra depth of flavor.

However, what do you do if you don’t have any Worcestershire sauce on hand?

In this article, we’ll share 5 of the best substitutes for Worcestershire sauce that you can use in your cooking.

What is Worcestershire Sauce?

what is worcestershire sauce

Worcestershire sauce is a fermented condiment that originated in Worcestershire, England.

The recipe for Worcestershire sauce was created by two chemists, John Wheeley Grieve and William Henry Perrin, who were trying to replicate a sauce that had been brought back from India by Lord Marcus Sandys.

The original Worcestershire sauce recipe included tamarind, anchovies, vinegar, sugar, salt, onion, garlic, cloves, and allspice.

Today, the primary ingredient in Worcestershire sauce is still vinegar, which gives the sauce its characteristic tangy flavor.

In addition to vinegar, Worcestershire sauce also contains soy sauce, molasses, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, and other spices.

Worcestershire sauce can be used in a variety of ways.

It is often used as a seasoning for grilled meats or as a marinade.

It can also be added to soups and stews to give them a boost of flavor.

Worcestershire sauce can also be used as a dipping sauce or added to Bloody Marys and other cocktails.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Worcestershire Sauce

If you’re all out of Worcestershire sauce and in need of a substitute, don’t worry.

There are several common pantry items that make great substitutes.

1 – Soy Sauce + sugar

soy sauce sugar

Worcestershire sauce is a common ingredient in many Asian dishes, imparting a savory umami flavor.

However, it can be difficult to find in stores, and it can be expensive.

A simple substitute is made by mixing soy sauce and sugar in a 1:1 ratio.

This homemade Worcestershire sauce will have a similar flavor profile to the store-bought variety but will be sweeter.

To use, simply add the desired amount to your dish while cooking.

If you find that the flavor is too strong, you can dilute it with a bit of water.

This simple substitution allows you to easily make your favorite Asian dishes home without tracking down Worcestershire sauce.

2 – Balsamic Vinegar

balsamic vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is a type of vinegar made from grape juice that has been fermented and then aged in wooden casks.

The result is a dark, syrupy vinegar with a complex flavor that is both sweet and tart.

Balsamic vinegar can be used in various dishes, from salads to main courses.

It is also a common ingredient in Worcestershire sauce.

If you don’t have any Worcestershire sauce on hand, you can use balsamic vinegar as a substitute.

Simply add a few drops of balsamic vinegar to your dish, and you’ll get the same savory flavor with a hint of sweetness.

3 – Fish Sauce

fish sauce

Fish sauce is a popular ingredient in many Asian cuisines, and it can be used as a substitute for Worcestershire sauce in several dishes.

Fish sauce is made by fermenting fish or shellfish in salt water, and it has a salty, umami-rich flavor.

It is also relatively thin in consistency, so it can be used as a marinade or added to soups and stir-fries.

When substituting fish sauce for Worcestershire sauce, it is important to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Start with a small amount of fish sauce and add more to the taste.
  • Because fish sauce is quite salty, you may need to reduce the amount of salt in the dish accordingly.
  • If you are concerned about the fishy flavor of fish sauce, you can try using a light-colored variety or diluted with water.

4 – Red Wine Vinegar + Tamarind Paste

red wine vinegar tamarind paste

Red wine vinegar and tamarind paste are two pantry staples that can be used to create a delicious substitute for Worcestershire sauce.

To make the substitution, simply combine equal parts red wine vinegar and tamarind paste.

The tamarind paste will add sweetness and depth of flavor, while the vinegar will provide acidity and tang.

This combination can be used in any recipe that calls for Worcestershire sauce, and it will add a unique twist to classic dishes.

So next time you’re out of Worcestershire sauce, reach for the red wine vinegar and tamarind paste – you’ll be glad you did.

5 – Anchovies + Water

anchovies water

The anchovies add a depth of flavor to the dish, while the water helps to thin out the sauce.

To make the substitution, simply combine equal parts of anchovies and water in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Then, use the mixture in place of Worcestershire sauce in any recipe.

You may need to adjust the amount of anchovies + water depending on how strong you want the flavor to be.

If you’re looking for a milder flavor, start with 1 part anchovies to 2 parts water.

For a stronger flavor, increase the ratio of anchovies to water.

Anchovies + water can also be used as a marinade for meats or vegetables.

Simply combine the ingredients in a resealable bag and marinate the food for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

The longer you marinate, the more flavorful the dish will be.


In conclusion, Worcestershire sauce has many substitutes that can be used in its place.

Some of these substitutes include soy sauce and sugar, fish sauce, red wine vinegar, tamarind paste, a mix of anchovies and water.

Each of these substitutes will provide a different taste to your dish, so be sure to choose the one that best fits your needs.

Worcestershire sauce is a versatile condiment that can be used in many different dishes.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different substitutes until you find the perfect one.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Worcestershire Sauce

Looking to add depth of flavor to your dish but ran out of Worcestershire sauce? Don't worry, we've got you covered! Here's a curated list of the 5 best substitutes for Worcestershire sauce that will infuse your recipes with rich and savory notes, just like the original.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Soy Sauce + Sugar
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Fish Sauce
  • Red Wine Vinegar + Tamarind Paste
  • Anchovies + Water


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for Worcestershire sauce
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