Worcestershire sauce is a popular fermented condiment used to add flavor to many recipes and dishes, made from a complex blend of different ingredients. Learn more about it.
Where extremely spicy sauces are the essence of Asian regions and countries, there are sauces of other flavors across the globe. In England, traditional sauces are usually a blended balance of multiple flavors. One of the oldest sauces is the Worcestershire sauce, a condiment for all types of dishes.
What is Worcestershire Sauce?
Worcestershire sauce is a popular fermented condiment used to add flavor to many recipes and dishes. It is a versatile sauce, made from a blend of many different ingredients.
The taste is similar to fish sauce or soy sauce, though more complex. As its name suggests, it was first made in Worcestershire, England, and is 200 years old in tradition.
There have been many copyright claims over the original recipe of this sauce, but it was first made by the company Lea and Perrins, started by John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins.
What is Worcestershire Sauce made of?
Worcestershire sauce includes a variety of ingredients, a list of the usual are as follows:
- Tamarind Extract
- Chili Pepper Extract
Other ingredients will vary from maker to maker, which might include soy, lemon, pickles, and other "natural flavorings".
Since it’s a fermented sauce, all the ingredients are mixed with water before the sauce is stored in a jar for consumption. Other than the above ingredients, there are a few undisclosed ones, too, and there have been attempts to replicate the original recipe as much as possible.
How do you pronounce Worcestershire Sauce?
Worcestershire sauce is pronounced 'Wus-ster-shur’ sauce.
‘Worcestershire’ can be tricky to pronounce. You need to pronounce ‘Worce’, ‘Ster’, and ‘Shire’ separately to get it right.
When pronouncing ‘Worce’, make sure the ‘r’ is silent. In ‘Ster’, pronounce it just as is. The last syllable should be pronounced like ‘shur’ rather than ‘hire’ in ‘shire’. The ‘shu’ should be pronounced similarly to that in ‘shush’.
Bring together all the syllables to pronounce ‘Wus-ster-shur’ sauce.
What does Worcestershire Sauce taste like?
The major taste of Worcestershire sauce is that of fish. When eaten, you’ll feel the joy of umami in your mouth. Although overall, there are a few other distinct flavors in Worcestershire sauce that your taste buds may recognize.
Due to many ingredients, it is the perfect blend of a variety of tastes. The ingredients below give the sauce its different flavors:
- Garlic, onions and vinegar: Adds sour notes.
- Sugar and molasses: Adds a bit of sweetness to the sauce.
- Fish: Gives the main essence of umami and fish flavor.
How do you Use Worcestershire Sauce?
Worcestershire sauce is a very versatile ingredient if you’re looking for something more than an ordinary dipping sauce. You can use it with a variety of cooking methods.
It’s an ideal choice when grilling meat for the barbeque and is often a component in barbecue sauce recipes. It can also be added to a frying pan while you’re stir-frying your food. Another way to use Worcestershire sauce is for garnishing over meat.
It is outstanding for adding flavor and complexity to a Bloody Mary, making a variety of brown sauces, and adding punch to soups, stews, and pots of chili.
Out of sauce? See these Worcestershire sauce substitutes.
Where to Buy Worcestershire Sauce?
Worcestershire sauce is readily available in England, but it is also exported to countries all across the globe. It is stored conveniently in a bottle, making it easy to be stocked at superstores.
You can find it either in the sauces section or in the condiments section. It’s easier to buy ready-made product, as the process of homemade sauce can get longer due to many ingredients.
- Buy Worcestershire Sauce from Amazon (affiliate link, my friends!)
How do you store Worcestershire Sauce?
Worcestershire sauce needs to be stored in an airtight jar or bottle in a dark, cool place to last long. Keep it away from household appliances such as washing machines, electric ovens, stoves, and dishwashers.
You don't need to refrigerate Worcestershire sauce, but can store it in your pantry.
It is naturally gluten free.
See some of my own recipes that use Worcestershire sauce as a flavor addition.
Recipes with Worcestershire Sauce
- Tonkatsu Sauce
- Homemade Chili Sauce
- Remoulade Sauce
- Shrimp Creole
- Pork Chop Marinade
- Pimento Cheese
- Yakisoba Noodles
- Brunswick Stew
- Texas Chili
- Michelada Recipe
So many possibilities!
A vegetarian alternative is Henderson’s relish,very similar to Worcestershire sauce but does not contain any anchovies
It’s made in Yorkshire England ,so I’m not sure if it’s exported to the U.S.
I am unable to lay my hands on Worcestershire sauce in my present location. Could you suggest any good alternatives or substitutes for Worcestershire sauce?
Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says
Bennie, yes, I have a page for Worcestershire Substitutes that you can review here: https://www.chilipeppermadness.com/ingredients/worcestershire-sauce-substitutes/. I hope this helps.
Christine StJohn says
Since it's Southern, the authentic way of pronouncing it is to slur the words in a deep voice; "What's this here sauce".
DAN COUNCIL says
Thank you Mike. Go Bears!
Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says
Thanks, Dan. Yeah, Go Bears!! =) =)