Worchestershire Sauce; Fancy Name, but Perfectly Spiced Brew


What with the anchovies and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) in most Worchestershire products, a friend had wondered if I had a recipe to make it from scratch.

We’d actually been making our own “Worchestershire Sauce” at the deli for ages, just to save money. A gallon of the stuff seemed too big an investment. After reading the ingredient list, I came up with something close enough to the real thing (for most purposes, anyway), and it was considerably cheaper.

We don’t miss the anchovies at all, though they could be added. This Worchestershire Sauce recipe (on saveur.com) sounded excellent, but I made a simplified version for The New Deli. Our version saves a step; instead of bringing a pot of the vinegar and spices to a simmer, we just “steep” them for a month or so in the vinegar, lazy-man-style. We also use less vinegar than the saveur recipe; maybe their recipe is more authentic, but we do like our blend!

We have an even simpler “Worchestershire” recipe, too, using 1 c. each, soy sauce and white vinegar, plus 1/4 c. Sugar, 1/2 TBS. Molasses, 1/2 TBS. Garlic granules. It’s not as complex a blend of flavors, but it is easy!

If you’re adventurous, you might try the following recipe. It will keep for some time, and you can be creative, using more or less of certain spices. Makes 1 quart.


  • Several tamarind pods (a handful)
  • 1 TBS. mustard seeds
  • 1/2 TBS. peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp. powdered cloves (or 1 tsp. whole)
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • Several cardamom pod seeds (open pods, discard outer part)
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger, dry (or 1 TBS. fresh, sliced)
  • 1/2 TBS. garlic granules
  • 2 c. white vinegar
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1/4 c. molasses
  • 2 c. soy sauce


1. Several weeks ahead, let spices steep in the white vinegar in a glass quart jar. Add the first ten ingredients to the white vinegar; store in a dark place until vinegar is flavored.

2. Heat a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, adding sugar and tilting pan as needed (to get grains to “melt”, as the edges turn golden-colored).

3. When sugar has caramelized, remove from heat and slowly add the molasses and soy sauce, mixing until smooth.

4. Strain the steeped white vinegar into the pot, mixing well, discarding spices. Pour Worchestershire sauce back into the glass jar; store up to a year or so.

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