How to Make Worcestershire Sauce

How to Make Homemade Worcestershire Sauce #nourishedkitchen

As a die-hard DIYer, my pantry is filled with little things I make myself: ketchup, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, flour mixes.  And my freezer is always home to a few homemade items that are easy to pull out in a pinch for last minute meals: pizza crusts, pie crusts, biscuits and more.  These pantry items and kitchen staples not only help me to maintain my grocery budget while still purchasing otherwise expensive foods like grass-fed meats, raw dairy and organic produce. 

The DIY Pantry

So when The DIY Pantry by Kresha Faber landed in my mailbox, I was thrilled.  Not only did she include recipes for many things I happen to make myself (like sour cream, yogurt, and breadcrumbs), but also many pantry items that I hadn’t yet tried my hand at making.  Among them, this Worcestersauce which has quickly become a happy staple in my family’s kitchen.

A brilliant and useful book, The DIY Pantry includes 150 recipes for very simple, wholesome pantry favorites that come together in thirty minutes or less. Easy. And for families looking to clean up their diets or to avoid allergies, The DIY Pantry makes it not only practical to begin making your own pantry basics, but also easy and affordable.

I’ve long loved Kresha’s approach (she blogs at Nourishing Joy) to foods which, in many ways, mirrors my own: whole foods, prepared at home, with emphasis on wholesome fats, and back-to-basics cooking.  Her approach in The DIY Pantry  is one that makes cooking from scratch easy and attainable, and, most importantly, it provides readers an opportunity to not only come back to the table, but also to avoid tricky ingredients like refined sugars and vegetable oils, dyes and other additives that lurk in the bottles and boxes that line grocery store shelves.

While this Worcestershire Sauce recipe is certainly a favorite, she also includes recipes for dressings, chutneys, spice mixes, chocolate syrup and ice cream, as well as super simple baking mixes for yellow and chocolate cakes.  There’s a lot in this book.

Homemade Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire Sauce offers a wonderful sweet-sour-salty flavor owing to its many ingredients that include traditionally fermented fish sauce and anchovies, spices and even fresh lime.  Together they blend into a wonderful simple, lovely sauce that, in small quantities, adds a lovely depth of flavor to marinades, dips, salad dressings and other sauces.

One bottle lasts a long time, because you typically use so little in each recipe.

How to Make Homemade Worcestershire Sauce #nourishedkitchen

Worcestershire Sauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: makes 1 1/2 cups

Worcestershire Sauce

This recipe for a simple, homemade Worcestershire Sauce may contain many ingredients, all of which contribute to the sauce's unique and complex flavor, but it really is deceptively simple to make. It comes from the book DIY Pantry by Kresha Faber which features 150 natural recipes for pantry favorites.


  • 1/2 cup malt vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1/4 cup naturally fermented fish sauce (find it here)
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 1 tablespoon naturally fermented soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons onion juice, or 1 teaspoon dehydrated onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 8 anchovies, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime


  1. Whisk together the vinegars, molasses, fish sauce, tamarind paste, soy sauce, and onion juice. Set aside.
  2. Heat a small, dry saute pan over medium heat. Toast the spices until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat; then sauté the shallots until transparent and beginning to brown, 2–3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, anchovies, and reserved spices and continue to saute just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Pour in the vinegar mixture and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a full simmer; then remove from the heat and let cool completely.
  5. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl and stir in the lime juice. Pour into a jar or bottle for long-term storage. Will keep in the refrigerator for 1–2 months.


Excerpted from DIY Pantry by Kresha Faber Copyright © 2014 by F+W Media, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved

Learn to Cook Real Food

Inspired Recipes, Tips and Tutorials.

What people are saying

  1. Terry says

    I wonder if we could ferment this to make a longer storage product? (I like to make larger batches, to save time.) Hmmm . . . maybe it would freeze well?

  2. catt says

    Malt vinegar is not necessarily gluten free….unless it is distilled. If it is brewed, it contains gluten.

    • Anastasia says

      Any suggestions to replace the malt vinegar? I cannot use anything with malt in it and no one should, really, as gluten isn’t good for anyone.
      Thank you for the post!

      • Lotis says

        Your comment that no one should use gluten is a personal opinion, probably based on some abnormality with your own enzymes. If you know it to be true it is imperative that you cite your sources rather than playing “expert” about a current t food fad.

      • Deme says

        Do you even know what gluten is? You must be wildly misinformed but more likely very ignorant. If gluten was so bad for humans it would have killed us off long ago. The total population of the U.S. Is over 318 million people, of those less than 1% have celiac disease, the autoimmune response that is triggered by the protein gluten. Less than 1%, of the total population in the U.S. have true celiac disease. Then there are those with what maybe called gluten sensitivity, and out of the total U.S. population of 318+ million Americans only about 5% (roughly 18 million) have this. And scientists aren’t even really sure gluten sensitivity is a real “thing”.

  3. John and Debbie O'phelan says

    I just bought a grass fed local chunk of bottom round, slightly marbled with a thin layer of fat on the outer layer. I’m planning on trying my hand at beef jerky. I wonder if I add a little liquid smoke, bow do you think this would be as a marinade? Im I on a keto adapted diet. Any ideas on subbing out the molasses? I have alternate sweeteners, maybe a touch of maple flavoring? Thanks. Deb

    • Catherine Smith says

      I often use real maple syrup as a substitute for molasses. Just prefer the taste. And liquid smoke makes a great marinade. We smoke beef jerky this way regularly. I have a dehydrator but find we like the taste of the “smoked” products better.

    • Jaime says

      The amount of molasses that would end up in a serving would be minimal, and nothing really comes close to the depth and sharpness it adds. That being said, if you really wanted to avoid it, I’d omit from the recipe then add an alternate sweetner at the end to taste.

    • Lotis says

      Your ideas are all sound, altho’ using this as a base is far more expensive than jerky marinade need be. Do trim as much fat as possible unless you plan on eating the jerky within a few days as it will still go rancid, albeit more slowly than if unmarinated.

  4. Beverly rogers says

    So many of these recipes sound wonderful, however, it would also be a welcome idea to include vegetarian versions for those of us who eshew meat and meat products. I have looked long and wide for a good Worcestershire sauce recipe without the fish sauce and anchovies.

  5. says

    Does the fermentation process of soy sauce affect its gluten content? I’m curious why you mentioned specifically “naturally fermented soy sauce” while labeling the recipe as gluten free. As a gluten free household we avoid any soy sauce that isn’t labeled both wheat and gluten free… Was curious if you had some other information that suggested otherwise… if so would love to read it!

    • Heather says

      Fermentation does not remove gluten from soy sauce. But soy itself does not contain gluten and there are some very nice gluten free soy sauces on the market my personal favorite is San-J brand organic tamari gluten free soy sauce.

  6. says

    Regards the malt vinegar, I’ll read the label and if I can’t find gluten-free, I will adapt accordingly. This is one condiment I’ve been thinking, way in the back of my mind, of trying to make at home. So many memories of it in foods as I was growing up! Thanks for posting!!!

    (I am not totally gluten-free, but I cook this way at home, well, just because I’d rather be safer, after reading Wheat Belly…)

  7. Heather says

    Can’t wait to try this:)
    I am going to use Braggs liquid aminos and see how that tastes. My brother and I were just talking about trying to make this a couple days ago. And while I can read the ingredients on the back of the bottle, it is great to have the amounts already figured out!
    Also, for the people who want vegetarian versions or gluten free versions, if you eat that way don’t you know how to sub out ingredients? Experiment a little!? Replace a protein with something you do eat? Look for a gluten free version of whatever ingredient you need, or realize that there may be some things you just have to avoid?
    I’m always impressed at the patience of many of the food bloggers I read…they spend a ton of time developing, making, photographing, and then writing about a recipe that they have perfected to what they want it to be. Many people are positive in their comments, but it always annoys me a bit to read stuff where a reader wants you to change everything for them. Many substitutions are pretty simple, sub honey or maple syrup for a sweetener, look for a gluten free vinegar, whatever. As a home cook, half the fun is experimenting! Live it up folks:)

  8. Tammy says

    Not GF & to quote you “one bottle lasts a long time…” Yet, it’s only good in the fridge for a couple months max? That, my dear, is MOT a long time when it comes go Worcestershire sauce!

    • Jenny says

      This isn’t a gluten-free blog, so I’m not understanding why you expect this recipe to be, my dear. And if doesn’t last long enough for you, don’t make it. Easy.

      • says

        The reason people have been commenting about the gluten free status of the ingredients is that the recipe was originally labeled here as gluten free – I see that has now been changed to dairy free, thanks – I think that helps clarify things better, especially with the inclusion of malt vinegar and soy sauce!

  9. Pat Bucchioni says

    Heard a recipe on NPR while driving and forgot the book they quoted from. Thank you. The overwhelming opinion was once you taste homemade, you will never look back.

  10. says

    Thanks for sharing this Jenny! One thing I can’t get past on store-bought Worcestershire sauce is the high fructose corn syrup. Love that it can be made at home with natural sweeteners, and with many ingredients already in my pantry. I can only imagine all the other simple and healthy DIY recipes Kresha has hidden in her gem of a book!

  11. Aliyanna says

    Would you actually need the fish sauce…..tried it in catsup once and my family hated it. Is it for a reason or just taste???

    • Maya says

      Try a different brand of fish sauce. I bought one from the Philippines and it was more potent than I was used to. Vietnamese (nuoc mon?sp) is what I prefer.

  12. says

    Fantastic, going to try this soon!
    I have a question: are the anchovies in oil or salted?
    As it happens I have all the ingredients at hand, including a jar of anchovies in oil… 😉

  13. Amy says

    Lasting 6 months in the fridge is a long time for a non-fermented homemade condiment. Typically my homemade dressings last a week. Looking forward to making this gf. The store stuff’s ingredients bum me out. Thank you!

  14. Rachel says

    -Tried this without the fish sauce and anchovies. -Turned out great. Hubbie loves it.

    -Did use fermented red onions that I had in the fridge–actually think I got inspired by Jenny (like usual) and had it at the ready since the winter. Tamarind paste is super tasty.
    -Check out Worchestershire sauce history on Youtube and they ferment half of their products.

    -Jenny=how to make your own malt vinegar??? would be a great next thing! That is if it is not in your fabulous book.
    -Oh yes, used apple cider vinegar and red wine vinegar that I made myself (their own cultures).

    -Jenny (second question): I think real vinegar is full of probiotics too (like sauerkraut etc.), but haven’t come across a lot of info on it. It is cheap and easy.


  15. DawnBarbie says

    Hey Jenny! Super excited to make this, planning to give some to my dad for Christmas!

    Quick question, is that 8 anchovy fillets or 8 cans of anchovies? Looks like there is one anchovy per can? Thanks so much for your help!

  16. michele says

    Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe. I am an ayurvedic nutrition consultant/cook/practitioner and was wondering if you by chance considered using the spice “asafoetida/hing” in the sauce. It is part of the original list of ingredients and is an excellent spice for health on many levels. If you aren’t familiar with it and would like to read more, here is a good reference:
    Carry on well…it’s a joy to read your site and recipes!

  17. Joule says

    This is love. For lack of anchovies & lime I omitted them, and replaced onion juice with half a small onion. By the time I strained every morsel of sauce from the remnants in the pan, the sauce was pretty thick for Worcestershire, and tastes very HP like – I think next time I’ll just zing it all up in the blender instead of straining (except tamarind pits,) since I ate the pan remnants the same way. So much fun to make, and so delicious.

  18. Stephanie Walker says

    I’m thrilled to find a recipe for this. I used to use Kitchen Bouquet for gravy recipes – the idea handed down from my grandmother. However, since I cannot even figure out what is in it I have quit using it. Do you have a DIY substitute for this?

    • homebody says

      Yes, yes, yes, this! I too grew up with Kitchen Bouquet as a must have staple, but now…. as a clean eater and avid label reader, i ditched it but don’t as yet have a substitute. Anyone got one? My primary use was for giving deeper, richer color to sauces and gravies.

  19. Emma says

    You have not added tamarind paste or anchovies which are the two main ingredients in the traditional Worcestershire sauce recipe. In an original recipie from 1860 I found in my grandmothers recipie book
    Tamarind paste can be purchased at Asian grocery. 1/4 cup added. Max of two anchovies per batch

  20. says

    I’ve been very allergic to Worchestershire sauce since I was 18. I use balsamic vinegar instead in everything that calls for W-sauce and instead; it works and no one ever questions it.

  21. Julia says

    Thank you!

    I looked once many years ago for a recipe to make my own Worchestershire sauce as well as Hoisin Souce. They only things I’ve ever found was that it would be “impossible” bc the recipes are closely guarded by larger companies. I’m going to give this a try!

    Do you know a resource for homemade Hoisin (spelling?) Sauce? I’d purchase a book to get if the recipe was totally worth while!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *