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Saturday, October 2, 2010

homemade worcestershire sauce

it takes a lot of ingredients to make worcestershire sauce. a lot. and this particular sauce takes time-- 3 weeks, to be exact. but it is the sauce is dark, thick, and incredibly rich. it's not a high yield recipe, but the flavor is so concentrated that the 2 cups it makes should theoretically last a while. that said, it's so good that i want to put it on everything, not just the bloody marys i originally made it for, so it's probably time to start on the next batch! 

homemade worcestershire sauce
adapted from

2 cups white distilled vinegar
1/2 cup molasses (i used unsulphered blackstrap)
1/2 cup soy sauce (i used low-sodium tamari)
1/4 cup tamarind concentrate (i used tamarind pods, scraping out the gooey pulp. worked fine, but i'll use the concentrate next time.)
3 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
3 Tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp curry powder
5 cardamom pods, smashed
4 chili de arbol, chopped (i used dried)
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1" stick cinnamon'
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2" piece ginger, peeled and crushed
1/2 cup sugar
(recipe also calls for 1 chopped anchovy, but i left it out.)

combine all ingredients except sugar in a saucepan. bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

meanwhile, cook sugar in a skillet over medium heat until it breaks down and begins to caramelize, turning dark and syrupy, about 5 minutes. add sugar to other mixture and combine well. simmer another 5 minutes. transfer to jar with tight fitting lid.

refrigerate for 3 weeks. 

strain solids. 

sauce will keep, refrigerated, up to 8 months, but i doubt you'll have it around that long!


  1. awesome! what do you think about using honey instead of sugar?

  2. i wonder! i'm sure it would be great, just a bit different since honey is such a strong flavor. might be fun to experiment with different honeys to see how the character changes. let me know if you try it!

  3. This is way cool. Why did you leave out the anchovy -- didn't have it on hand? What if I used Granny's molasses instead of unsulphured blackstrap -- would it make it too sweet? This is right up my alley. Thanks!

  4. hey donna, i thought this was your cup of tea! i left out the anchovy because it was just one and yeah, i didn't have any on hand. i think it would bring a little more savory dimension to the sauce, though. as for molasses variety, i just used what i had. there's so much going on in this sauce that i bet variations and substitutions in ingredients will still be wonderful, just each batch will be slightly different from the rest, which can be totally fun! (reminds me-- i should get your ketchup recipe, now that tomatoes are finally coming in!)