Condiments and Sauces/ Recipes/ Super Simple

Small Batch Worcestershire Sauce – Vegan and Gluten Free

28/04/2022

Sweet, tangy and savoury, this Worcestershire sauce recipe packs a huge punch of umami flavour! The best part? It’s small batch, naturally vegan and gluten free.

Jar of homemade vegan and gluten free Worcestershire sauce.

Why We Love This

Vegan Worcestershire sauce is for those looking for a vegan-friendly substitute to the traditional Worcestershire sauce from the supermarket. Even better, it’s also naturally gluten free.

Made with simple pantry staples and ready in 20 minutes, use it in cooking or for making your own homemade sauce blends! Even better, your homemade sauce will have no artificial flavours, preservatives or high fructose corn syrup like some commercial versions do. 

Related: Homemade Kewpie Mayo / Homemade S&B Style Curry Powder

Scooping out some homemade Worcestershire sauce in a saucepan.

What is Worcestershire Sauce? 

Worcestershire sauce was originally created in England, in the region of Worcester, by two chemists known as Lea and Perrins. You may recognise the name from the most widely available brand of Worcestershire sauce by the same name!

Nowadays there are lots of different brands, such as Holbrooks, Heinz and Bull-Dog (a popular Japanese brand that also makes takoyaki sauce and okonomiyaki sauce). You can also buy versions that suit different dietary requirements like vegan, low-sodium and gluten free. 

Traditional Worcestershire sauce is a fermented condiment made with vinegar and tamarind puree (tangy), molasses (sweet), spices (savoury), and sometimes anchovies or fish sauce, the latter making it not suitable for vegans or vegetarians. 

Interesting facts: Some American brands of Worcestershire sauce have much higher amounts of high fructose corn syrup and sodium than other brands available around the world. Meanwhile most brands in Australia are made without anchovies or fish sauce, making them already suitable for vegans and vegetarians!

Today’s recipe is a vegan friendly Worcestershire sauce made without anchovies, using everyday pantry staples to get as close as possible to the traditional flavour without any nasties. It’s also naturally gluten free!

What You’ll Need

  • Vinegar – We used apple cider vinegar, but you can use just about any vinegar such as regular white vinegar, rice wine vinegar, malt vinegar or white wine vinegar.
  • Plum Jam – This adds beautiful sweetness and flavour.
  • Golden Syrup – Naturally sweet and thick, sub with maple syrup, molasses, treacle or packed brown sugar if you need.
  • Lemon Juice – Sub with tamarind paste (more traditional), pomegranate molasses or rice wine vinegar.
  • Garlic and Ginger – Fresh and finely chopped if possible, otherwise sub with garlic powder and ginger powder.
  • Spices – You’ll need cardamom pods (whole, will be removed), allspice, salt and pepper, onion powder, ground cloves and nutmeg.

Optional Tweaks: 

  • Cornstarch / Cornflour Slurry – Add if you prefer a slightly thicker sauce texture. If gluten free, make sure to use cornflour from maize (corn based)) and NOT wheaten corn flour (wheat based).
  • Cayenne Pepper – For extra spicy heat! Otherwise, you can add more ground black pepper for a similar spice intensity.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Storage – Store in an airtight glass bottle or jar in the fridge. Can last for a year or more, but if you spot anything bad or it smells off – throw it out.
  • Consistency – You can strain out the solids for a smooth sauce, but this is not essential.

FAQs

What can I use Worcestershire sauce for?

Worcestershire sauce is a key ingredient in oysters kilpatrick, and a great way to add an extra depth of flavour to pasta sauces (bolognese, amatriciana or napoli sauce) or soups (pumpkin sweetcorn soup or split pea soup).

We use it all the time in homemade sauces like tonkatsu sauce, okonomiyaki sauce and yakisoba sauce.

It’s a perfect marinade or basting sauce for Korean BBQ meats, or as a stand-alone condiment. You can even drizzle it over meat pies or pie floaters, scrambled eggs or baked beans for breakfast.

It’s often enjoyed as a steak sauce, on burgers, or as a flavouring for cocktails like bloody marys!

What are the best substitutes for Worcestershire sauce?

You could start with a blend of soy sauce (savoury) + vinegar (tangy) + tomato sauce / ketchup or BBQ sauce (sweet and slightly spicy). The flavour won’t be the same, but it should get you through in a pinch. Or see this full guide to the best Worcestershire sauce substitutes for more ideas.

Variations

  • Nutty Flavour – Add ground toasted sesame seeds for extra savoury nuttiness.
  • Make it Spicy – Add cayenne pepper, gochugaru (chilli flakes), or even gochujang (Korean fermented chilli paste) to taste.
Vegan Worcestershire sauce on a metal spoon.

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Cooking down Worcestershire sauce in a saucepan.

Small Batch Worcestershire Sauce – Vegan and Gluten Free

Sweet, tangy and savoury, this Worcestershire sauce recipe packs a huge punch of umami flavour! The best part? It's small batch, naturally vegan and gluten free.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Basics
Cuisine: American, Australian, English, Japanese
Servings: 1 Bottle
Calories: 389kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup apple cider vinegar sub rice wine vinegar, malt vinegar or regular white vinegar
  • ¼ cup plum jam
  • ¼ cup golden syrup sub maple syrup, molasses, treacle or packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice sub tamarind paste, pomegranate molasses, rice wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 garlic chopped finely, sub 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ginger fresh
  • 2 cardamom pods whole, will be removed
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Optional

  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper sub chilli powder, optional to add heat
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch / cornflour optional to thicken. If gluten free, make sure to use cornflour from maize and NOT wheaten cornflour.

Instructions

  • Bring everything to a boil (apple cider vinegar, plum jam, golden syrup, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, cardamom pods, allspice, salt, pepper, onion powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and optional: cayenne pepper) in a small saucepan, then simmer over a medium-low heat for around 20 minutes until reduced and thickened to your liking. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking.
    1 ½ cup apple cider vinegar, ¼ cup plum jam, ¼ cup golden syrup, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 garlic, ½ tsp ginger, 2 cardamom pods, 1 tsp allspice, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper, ½ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp ground cloves, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg, ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Optional: Add cornstarch to 1 tbsp cold water to make a slurry, then add to the Worcestershire sauce. Stir until it thickens and switch off the heat. Remove the cardamom pods.
    1 tbsp cornstarch / cornflour
  • Bottle in a clean, air tight glass jar and store in the fridge. For the best flavour, allow flavours to bloom for at least two weeks before using!

Recipe Notes

  • Nutty Flavour – Add ground toasted sesame seeds for extra savoury nuttiness.
  • Make it Spicy – Add cayenne pepper, gochugaru (chilli flakes), or even gochujang (Korean fermented chilli paste) to taste.
  • Storage – Store in an airtight glass bottle or jar in the fridge. Can last for a year or more, but if you spot anything bad or it smells off – throw it out.
  • Consistency – You can strain out the solids for a smooth sauce, but this is not essential.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Small Batch Worcestershire Sauce – Vegan and Gluten Free
Amount per Serving
Calories
389
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
1
g
2
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Sodium
 
2349
mg
102
%
Potassium
 
401
mg
11
%
Carbohydrates
 
80
g
27
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
70
g
78
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
Vitamin A
 
19
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
10
mg
12
%
Calcium
 
79
mg
8
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Small Batch Worcestershire Sauce - Vegan and Gluten Free

Miso E-cookbook

Image of laptop and ipad with text overlay.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.