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~ What are some food items that are similar to Worcestershire sauce based on taste? ~

~ What are some food items that are similar to Worcestershire sauce based on taste? ~

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  1. Worcestershire is a complex sauce with no substitute, in my opinion. I use only Lea and Perrins, which contains anchovy, so that is an essential component of the taste.

    1. Depends on how you plan to use it. To add to a meat base or a sauce, a couple drops of fish sauce (nuoc-mâm or nam pla) should do the trick, as they are also made of anchovies. A bit more pungent, though. The same way, one or tho smashed anchovie fillets with a splash of balsamic or sherry vinegar can do the job.

      Seldomly, I use Marmite in the same way as Worcester sauce, to add a depht of flavor to stews or ragùs.

      But I'd have to agree that sometimes, nothing can replace Lea and Perrins.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mokafeinomane

        Since some seems to like Lea and Perrins, this is a good enough similarity:

        Vinegar, Water, Sugar, Onions, Anchovies, Salt, Garlic
        and mix. there we go :)


        1. re: designparadise

          You're missing tamarind, which is a essential part of the flavor, not to mention contributing both a touch of sweetness and some acidity.

          I used to use a lot of worcestershire - kind of a family tradition - but now I tend to use just anchovy paste instead, especially when I want to bump the savory element without adding sweetness or fruitiness.

        1. HP sauce is a close substitute.

          1. what's the reason for not using Worcester sauce? Or where are you trying to replace it?

            5 Replies
            1. re: smartie

              Replacing it whenever any recipes asks for Worcester sauce. I don't like having to buy all these different stuff :)

              1. re: designparadise

                It last for a pretty long time and is a useful thing to have in the cupboard. It's not even that expensive so might be worth just getting one of those little bottles?

                1. re: pj26

                  I agree. I've only bought one nottle in the last five years and it's still good IMO.

                2. re: designparadise

                  Since you feel that so many recipes ask for it, why not purchase a bottle? I've had mine for a good year now, it lasts forever, and its flavor is pretty unique.

                  Also, why go through the trouble of trying to recreate it by mixing the ingredients yourself? Sounds like a hell of a lot more hassle than *buying* the freakin' sauce.

                  1. re: linguafood

                    really, it is like a dollar something for the small

              2. Lea & Perrins is a unique taste. But replacing it with something else is going to depend on what you're making and why you don't want to use Worcestershire.

                1. Aren't anchovies in Worcestershire sauce? Isn't vinegar? Otherwise, I'd settle for another flavor that you think you prefer.

                  1. tamarind and fish sauce come to mind--both are elements of Wor. sauce (anchovy being the fish sauce) but I agree that there's really not any one thing that is the same.

                    1. The essential ingre. seems to be Vinegar, Anchovies (or any oily fish), and a little of tamarind (optional).

                      So basically the taste seems like "somewhat sour" so I'll just use anything sour :) Easy enough :)

                      1. I actually keep multiple kinds of Worcestershire sauce around the house, but if I needed to engineer a substitute, I would start with soy sauce plus vinegar (and I would have to figure out which vinegar) then figure out some seasonings to add.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: FoodPopulist

                          A1 steak sauce is similar, but thicker and a little sweeter.

                        2. What part of the world do you live in? Sauces in my fridge that have a similar flavor to Worcerstershire are A1 steak sauce, yakisoba sauce and tonkatsu sauce, but I don't know what's available to you. Worcestershire is much thinner and isn't nearly as sweet as the others, but if your recipe only calls for a small amount, I think substituting any of the others would probably work.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: gmm

                            Yeah, tonkatsu sauce is a good substitute. It's what I use instead of Worcestershire, as it's more readily available.

                            If I were trying to substitute from scratch based on other things I have on hand, I'd probably use black rice vinegar, Thai fish sauce, onion and/or garlic powder, and salt.

                            1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                              Where in the world is tonkatsu sauce more readily available than Worcestershire? L&P may not be widely available in Japan, but there are Japanese brands.

                              Opps - I should say the tonkatsu is the Japanese take on Worcestershire :)

                              1. re: paulj

                                I'm in Taiwan. Both are imported, but I can get tonkatsu sauce in the standard grocery store, but worchestershire only in the specialty shops. We use the tonkatsu sauce more at home, too - for both tonkatsu and okonomoyaki.

                                1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                  I have a Japanese cookbook (UK Hermes House) that claims you can make Tonkatsu sauce by 'mixing a fruit sauce, such as ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce'. And the recipe for okonomoyaki says to 'spread on some o-konomi yaki sauce or Worcestershire sauce' (plus mustard and mayonnaise). Fortunately I can readily buy all 3 sauces, so I don't need to make the substitutes - at least not until I run out of space in fridge and condiments shelf. :)

                              2. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                Someone that doesn't want to buy Worcestershire sauce probably won't have black rice vinegar or Thai fish sauce, either.

                            2. I'd say tamarind paste, but I agree with the other posters - just buy a bottle of Worcestershire sauce. It's cheap enough and nice as a condiment if you are worried about not using it in enough recipes. I have it on eggs (particularly nice with boiled or fried eggs), hot chips, steak, schnitzel, pot noodles, cheese on toast, basically anything really! There are loads of uses for it.

                              1. This post is put here by mistake. It was meant for another threadI) I remember in my youth the very first time I looked at the ingredients of WS and saw the word Anchovy. Of course this is after I had been using it for a very long time. I hate Anchovy, Sardines and Herrings with a passion and really tried to get a liking for them. All of a sudden it was like the taste of Anchovy magnified by a million. I stopped using WS for about two years. Growing a little older and developing my palate allowed me to once again fall in love with this beloved sauce.

                                1. Back when I was buckling into this cooking thing an older friend suggested that I might be using Worcestershire sauce just a LITTLE too much … and she was right, though I still depend on it for some things. However, I've discovered that anchovy paste or fish sauce will perform a lot of the important functions whenever I might not want the tamarind component in there, anchovy paste being the preferred item for gravies and sauces. Fish sauce is just too salty for some things, even saltier than the anchovy paste. Downside is that anchovy paste is considerably more expensive than either nam pla or Lea & Perrins - a tube will NOT last the year or so a bottle of the others will.