Homemade Worcestershire Sauce

IMG_20131102_194417_867 Recipe: Liquids & pastes:

  • 4 cups vinegar (I used a combination of malt, apple cider, white and balsamic)
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup black soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup tamarind paste
  • 4 to 6 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • Zest and juice of one orange – no white

Spices and seasonings:

  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup brown & yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 T whole cloves
  • 1 T coriander seeds
  • 1 T minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 T cracked black peppercorns
  • 1/2 T cracked white peppercorns
  • 1 T ground turmeric
  • 1 T fish sauce
  • 12 cardamom pods, smashed
  • 12 dried red chilies, chopped
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 2 T fennel seeds

Aromatic Veggies:

  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 6 crushed garlic cloves


This is, like most of my recipes, a mashup of a bunch I found online but is mostly based on this one.


I started by assembling everything. There are a lot of ingredients so I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed.  I put cracked the cloves and peppercorns with  a mortar and pestle first. Then put all the spices in a few bowls together with the salt.

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Then I threw them all in a dry Dutch oven and gave them a good toasting before adding the onions and garlic and cooking them till soft.


Then I added all the liquids, anchovies and tamarind paste. I cooked and stirred till the paste mostly dissolved.



Then I put the sugar in a small nonstick pan and cooked over medium high flame till it caramelized. I let it get pretty dark and bubbly and never stopped stirring. I poured the caramelized sugar into the sauce mix and made sure to scrape it all out with a silicone spatula. Then I let it cook on very low heat for about an hour, stirring often.





I let it cool and poured it all into this big jar and stuck it in the back of my fridge for a little over a month.


P.S That is ChefTap on my Kindle Fire in the background. Have you tried that app? I LOVE it.

Now I’m going to strain and bottle it. I bought 5oz. bottles form Leeners and am going to water bath can them.  Leener’s site says that these bottles and caps can be used for water bath canning if the PH of the sauce is  greater than 4.6, the bottles have been hot-filled and the caps are on securely. I’ve never canned anything in bottles before but I’m excited to give it a try. I may still store them in the fridge though just to be safe. ( *UPDATE: I kept several of these bottles in the cupboard for over a year and they were not only safe to eat, they were delicious!)


I washed the bottles, inserts and lids in hot soapy water and rinsed them really well. Then I put them in my water bath canner and filled it partway with hot water. I set this steamer basket inside the scanner because the bottles are so small their were floating around a bit. I turned the heat to medium high and let it simmer to sterilize the bottles.


Then I started straining the sauce. I wish I had done this the night before. There was a lot of solid material in that jar and I had to put it all in cheesecloth and squeeze it like crazy. I ended up putting the cheesecloth wad in a colander and weighing it down with the heaviest thing I had in the kitchen. I let it sit for a few hours, occasionally twisting and squeezing the liquid out as much as possible.


When I managed to get as much liquid out as  I could, I brought it to a boil. I dumped the water out of the bottles.  I poured the hot water from a couple of them over the lids and inserts to sterilize them and keep them hot.


I used a little funnel to fill the bottles up to just over the start of the neck. I had enough for eight 5oz. bottles. When they were full I wiped the rims well with a paper towel dipped in hot water then put the inserts and lids on. I tightened them fingertip tight and processed them for ten minutes.


When they were cool I put the shrink wrap seals on them and heated them with a hair dryer. They look great!


By the way, it tastes delicious! Much more rich and flavorful than the store bought stuff and  it has a little bit of a kick to it.


2 thoughts on “Homemade Worcestershire Sauce

  1. You, my dear are a fancy, fancy lady! I am going to try your recipe. I am not totally opposed to anchovies and fish sauce but I am wondering if you have any suggestions for a substitution that would make it vegetarian?

    • Aww, shucks. Thanks. Most vegetarian recipes just leave the fishies out but I think some kombu or other seaweed might work. Also, dried shitakes or porcinis would add a nice umami element.

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