Can I substitute fish sauce for Worcestershire sauce?

In this article, we answer the following question: Can I substitute fish sauce for Worcestershire sauce? We describe the composition of Worcestershire sauce, how and when to use it, and also how to prepare it yourself. 

Can I substitute fish sauce for Worcestershire sauce?

You can substitute fish sauce for Worcestershire sauce at a 1-to-1 ratio, however, you should keep in mind that Worcestershire sauce is different from fish sauce. The spices in it are too overwhelming. But a combination of light soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce seems like a good bet. They both provide umami, the soy sauce has the saltiness, and the Worcestershire sauce is also made from fermented fish.

Fish sauce is like salt in European food/ Although it has a strong smell and is quite offensive, when it is heated, alone or with other ingredients, the smell disappears. The reason that it is used a lot is that it is very versatile and for few who do not know its characteristics, it is an agent that changes the flavor of itself, and that increases the flavor of the other ingredients with which it is mixed. 

That is, when you add it, it already produces a different flavor, for example, sugar or lime juice, or more like meat broth. More than that, each cooking method brings out a different flavor as well. Grilled or steamed, boiled, sautéed, or fried, all the results come out with a different flavor. Finally, the sauce also changes if it is added before or after cooking.

In China, especially in Cantonese cuisine, Worcestershire sauce is also placed next to soy sauce and is used for dim sum, spring rolls, and fried with fish, as well as for marinades and later sautéing meat. 

In Latin America, it is served with refried beans and in the United States and Canada, it is widely used in recipes for meat burgers. In the British Isles, with a multitude of uses and traditions for it, its use to prepare the Welsh rarebit stands out. And finally, it is also used to flavor some famous cocktails such as Bloody Mary and tomato juices.

What is Worcestershire sauce?

It is a fermented liquid sauce that is used to enhance the flavor of other sauces, such as pink sauce, or to dress different dishes, raw or cooked, among which beef and Caesar salad stand out. It is also a fundamental ingredient in some cocktails, for example, Bloody Mary.

Many imitations of the original are distributed around the world including different ingredients such as soybeans, but the authentic Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce is the only recipient of the Royal Order of His British Majesty, an award considered a symbol of excellence and quality. 

Preparation of the English sauce step by step recipe

  1. To make the Worcestershire sauce, crush the garlic in the mortar with a little salt. Grind the onion in the chopper.
  1. Put the garlic and onion in a saucepan over the fire and add the mustard, cinnamon, pink pepper, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, soy sauce, vinegar, and molasses. Grate the ginger and add.
  1. Crush the anchovies with the curry and a pinch of salt in the mortar. Dilute the mixture in water and add it to the saucepan.
  1. Let it reduce for about 20 minutes. Crush the sauce and strain it.
  1. Pour it into a container and let it sit for a minimum of two weeks, shaking it occasionally.

The original sauce, which is marketed under the brand name Lea & Perrins, was launched in England in 1837. The formula for its preparation remains secret, but the sauce is known to age in wooden barrels for 18 months.

Composition of Worcestershire Sauce

The sauce is made from more than 25 ingredients. In addition to vinegar, sugar and water in its composition must be:

  • anchovies;
  • onion and shallot;
  • ginger and celery;
  • horseradish and garlic;
  • asafoetida and tamarind;
  • Lemon and nutmeg juice.

And this is only half of the ingredients in the sauce.

Even if you use all the ingredients, the original taste is unlikely to repeat itself. After all, this Worcestershire sauce must be aged in special oak barrels. And only three years later it is bottled and delivered to supermarkets and restaurants.

This sauce is popular in many countries of the world. It is very concentrated, which makes it inexpensive to use. Sometimes a few drops are enough to decorate and transform the flavor of the dish.

What dishes to garnish Worcestershire Sauce

A complex bouquet of ingredients allows Worcestershire sauce to blend perfectly with a variety of foods. The seasoning is most often used for ready-made meat dishes: pork and chicken cutlets, beef tenderloin, kebab, pork chop. 

The sauce is poured over pasta, pancakes, meatballs, casseroles, vegetable stews. Ideal sauce for fish dishes. In combination with them, the sweet and sour taste of English seasoning is perfectly revealed.

Caesar salad and Bloody Mary booze aren’t complete without Worcestershire sauce, either. It is the most important ingredient in these dishes, making them especially tasty and flavorful.  

Conclusions

In this article, we answered the following question: Can I substitute fish sauce for Worcestershire sauce? We described the composition of Worcestershire sauce, how and when to use it, and also how to prepare it yourself. 

You can substitute fish sauce for Worcestershire sauce, although it would not be our first choice. However, adding soy sauce to the mix it’s a good idea. They both provide umami, the soy sauce has the saltiness, and the Worcestershire sauce is also made from fermented fish.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

References

Bonappetit.com – Fish Sauce

Thestonesoup.com – The Best Simple Fish Sauce Substitutes

Tastessence.com – Worcestershire sauce

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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