Worcestershire sauce has a distinct taste, but it can be hard to figure out its many ingredients just by tasting it. Two chemists from Worcester, Lea, and Perrins, made it in 1835. It has been popular for many years. Worcestershire sauce is a must-have in the kitchen, used to marinate meat and as a seasoning. It’s also an essential part of the bloody mary mix.
What is Worcestershire Sauce?
Worcestershire sauce is a dark brown condiment made from fermented anchovies, vinegar, sugar, and spices. It is also called Worcester sauce. Worcestershire sauce probably came from a Malaysian herb similar to kecap manis, a thick, sweet soy sauce from Indonesia.
Worcestershire sauce is a fermented condiment made from vinegar, anchovies, molasses, tamarind, onion, garlic, and other spices. The taste is salty and sweet, and the vinegar gives it a distinct tang. The most common kind of Worcestershire sauce is not suitable for vegan or vegetarian diets, and it can’t be used in a kosher meal with meat. It may or may not be gluten-free, depending on the brand.
5 Ways to Use Worcestershire Sauce
Is there a bottle of Worcestershire sauce in the back of your kitchen cabinet? You can use it in a lot of different ways.
1. Caesar Salad Dressing:
One of the essential parts of a good Caesar salad is the anchovies. Adding their flavour to the dressing is easy when you use Worcestershire sauce.
2. Bloody Mary:
This classic tomato cocktail gets a taste boost from Worcestershire sauce. If you like how a Bloody Mary tastes a little fishy, you should also try a Bloody Caesar.
3. Tonkatsu Sauce:
Tonkatsu sauce is a dipping sauce for Japanese tonkatsu made with ketchup and Worcestershire sauce (breaded and fried pork cutlet). Pork chops made in the style of Shanghai come with a similar sauce.
Most of the time, Worcestershire sauce is added to the meat to make Swedish meatballs. It also tastes excellent in hamburgers, meatloaf, and almost any other dish with ground meat.
5. Steak Marinade:
Some of the flavours in Worcestershire sauce are the same as those in steak sauce, but they are more robust. Add a couple of spoonfuls to the steak marinade.
What are the Varieties of Worcestershire Sauce?
It would help if you tried several brands and types to find your favourite Worcestershire sauce. You can also try it out by adding it to other savoury sauces like soy, oyster, or fish sauce when you cook.
Gluten-free Worcestershire: One reason Worcestershire sauce in the U.S. is made with distilled white vinegar instead of malt vinegar, which has gluten, is that gluten-free diets are becoming more popular. Check the label to make sure your Worcestershire sauce is gluten-free.
Vegetarian or Vegan Worcestershire Sauce: The anchovies in the original recipe are taken out for vegan or vegetarian Worcestershire sauce. Usually, this will be written in a big way on the label.
Low Sodium: Some brands, like Lea & Perrins, make versions with less sodium for people on a low-sodium diet or who don’t like things as salty.
What is Worcestershire Sauce Made of?
Worcestershire sauce’s main ingredient is vinegar, which gives the sauce a tangy taste and keeps the other ingredients fresh. Anchovies add umami (savoriness). The unique flavour of Worcestershire sauce comes from tamarind, which is the fruit of the Tamarindus indica plant. In Arabic, this fruit is called an “Indian date.” The pods, which look like brown pea pods, have a thick, sticky pulp that feels like dates and tastes like a spicy mix of dates and apricots. The Original Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce in the U.S. has the following ingredients:
- Distilled white vinegar
- Chilli pepper extract
- Natural flavourings
- Tamarind extract
The recipe for Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce in the U.S. differs from the recipe in the U.K. Instead of malt vinegar, white vinegar that has been distilled is used. Also, it has three times as much sugar and salt as the other. Because of this, the version sold in the United States is sweeter and saltier than in Britain and Canada.
What does it Taste Like?
Worcestershire sauce has sour, sweet, salty, and savoury flavours. It’s a great condiment because these flavours go well together. The umami flavour from the anchovies is a big reason why people like it. Different brands may have other spices. Even within the same brand, like Lea & Perrins, the sauce in the U.S. is sweeter and saltier than the sauce in the U.K., even though they are both called the same thing.
The anchovies or soy sauce in Worcestershire Sauce give it a strong umami flavour. It’s sour from the tamarind and vinegar and sweet and spicy from the molasses and sugar. Even though it tastes similar to ketchup and brown sauce (steak sauce) and has the same history, Worcestershire sauce is more concentrated and is meant to be used a few drops at a time.
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John Lea and William Perrins made this sauce in Worcester two English chemists. They were trying out vinegar-based seasoning sauces and had thrown out a batch that didn’t taste right. The sauce fermented and got more complex flavours while in the basement. The partners put more spice in bottles, and people in Europe, America, and all over the world began to like Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce. To make the sauce, they let it sit for two years and stirred it every so often. After that, they took out the solids and bottled the sauce.
Worcestershire sauce is made by many companies, as well as the original Lea & Perrins brand, which is now mostly just a generic name. HP Sauce is another kind of brown sauce, and it is said to have been seen in the Houses of Parliament, which is how it got its name. It is similar to authentic Worcestershire sauce, but it is not the same.
Cooking with Worcestershire Sauce
Worcestershire sauce can be used in many different ways when cooking or as a topping. It is often used in marinades or brushed on meat, fish, or poultry before grilling, frying, or baking. It can be used to steam vegetables, grill them, or stir-fry them. Worcestershire sauce can add flavour to sandwiches, shellfish, and salads. It is used to season soups and stews and make them taste better.
Top Recipes with Worcestershire Sauce
Worcestershire sauce is used in many recipes, from spices to soups and from vegetable dishes to meat dishes.
- Red Wine and Worcestershire Sauce Marinade for Chicken
- Oysters Kilpatrick
- Classic Southern Comeback Sauce
How to Make your Own Worcestershire Sauce?
Making your Worcestershire sauce is not hard, but you need many things. Feel free to try things out and make changes to suit your tastes. You can even try to make the sauce your own by adding a secret ingredient.
You only need a saucepan to simmer the ingredients, which are olive oil, sweet onions, tamarind paste, garlic, ginger, jalapeos, anchovies, tomato paste, cloves, black pepper, dark corn syrup, molasses, white vinegar, dark beer, orange juice, water, lemon, and lime.
- In a big pot, heat the olive oil and cook the onion until it is soft.
- Add the jalapeos, garlic, ginger, and tamarind paste. Cook for another 5 minutes over medium-low heat.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to mix them all. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer, stirring every so often, for about five hours, or until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Pour the Worcestershire sauce through a sieve into glass jars or bottles and put it in the fridge. You can also put it in a canner with boiling water.
Before you open the bottle, you can keep Worcestershire sauce at room temperature. 1 Once the bottle has been opened; it needs to be put in the fridge to keep the flavour. Worcestershire sauce has a shelf life of about a year, after which it may lose its taste and smell. Most bottles of Worcestershire sauce will have a “best by” date written on them. This date tells you when the sauce will taste and be at its best.
History of Worcestershire Sauce
In the 1800s, English colonists were the first people to try Indonesian kecap manis. Back home, the British took the sauce and made it their own. They used mushrooms, shallots, and anchovies without soybeans to make the mushroom ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and other thick, brown sauces.
Chemists John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins, who ran a shop in the English city of Worcester in the West Midlands, came up with the idea for Worcestershire sauce. Legend has it that Sir Marcus Sandys, a former soldier, brought the recipe back from India. Lea and Perrins forgot about the spice in their cellar, where it turned into a fermented sauce.
This story is probably not true since fermented sauces were famous then. In Japan, China, and Thailand, people often use a version of Worcestershire sauce that doesn’t have anchovies. Instead, they use soy sauce or fermented fruits. The condiments section of the grocery store is where you can find Worcestershire sauce. Most of the time, it comes in 10-ounce bottles.
Worcestershire sauce is a fermented condiment that gives savoury dishes more tang and umami. This thin, brown sauce with hints of mustard and cherry came from an experiment that went wrong in England. Salt-laden, decomposed anchovies or sardines. Molasses, salt, cloves, tamarind, and pepper may also be added.