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Feb 22, 2012 07:21 AM

Degradation of Worcestershire Sauce

I reached for the Lea and Perrin's to add zip to some stir fried vegetables that I was making for dinner. What was once a wonderful striking, acerbic, fish based sauce that lifed sauces, veggies and meats to a new level is now mostly molasses and high fructose corn syrup that instantly carmelizes in a skillet. I remember when it was a perfect addition to many things, and now it's like so many things, another way to add sugar to a sauce. Any one know of any good brands or substitutes available? I guess some nam pla or other fish sauce might be a better choice.

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  1. you can give making your own a try. Haven't done it myself. When cooking, I use fish sauce a lot and other sources of sweet and acid.

    2 Replies
    1. re: seamunky

      I could not aggree more that L&P is not what it was. I made this recipie from Savuer several months back and am happy to report excellent results...not exactly as I remember L&P...I think they used to give it time in wood barrels, not sure. Next time I make the Savuer version I will slightly decrease the sweet and up the anchovies a bit.....but it is very well worth making...

      1. re: seamunky

        I made this, and was generally happy with it. But it is still on the sweet side, thought that is partly due to flub on my part. Add the 1/2c of sugar directly, rather than caramelizing it. Still the 1/2 c of molasses is not a trivial component.

        1. has a couple of Worcestershire Sauce recipes:

 (has tamarind, no horseradish


 (Emeril Legasse, has horseradish, no tamarind)

          1. There is no high fructose corn syrup in L&P.

            3 Replies
            1. re: NanH

              I agree. Don't know what Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce the OP is talking about, but the brand-new bottle sitting right in front of me states: "Distilled white vinegar, molasses, water, sugar, onions, anchovies, salt, garlic, cloves, tamarind extract, natural flavorings, chili pepper extract". Recipe doesn't look or taste any different to me, & I've been using the stuff for DECADES.

              Oh, & no "high fructose corn syrup".

              1. re: Bacardi1

                It may not have HFCS but I bet it has gluten and pink slime. Lousy British.

                1. re: Bacardi1

                  Same here. I have also been using that stuff for decades and do not notice a difference.

                  To me, it had always been sour and sweet, with a bit of spiciness and umami.

              2. L&P is still the standard against which all others are compared (and fail to measure up).

                As for HFCS, the bottle I am just finishing contains it but the one I just bought does not. It contains sugar instead. Neither is "mostly molasses." The first ingredient in both bottles is vinegar.

                HFCS and sugar are equivalent metabolically — whether they behave differently in a skillet I can't say. Perhaps I'll do a test since I have both on hand. There isn't much sugar either way.

                1 Reply
                1. re: GH1618

                  There have been reports of many companies who cheapened their products with HFCS switching to other sweeteners after the HFCS backlash. My guess is this is why. However, I don't remember sugar being an ingredient in the past.