Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce – Salsa inglesa vegetariana

Click here to go to printable recipe: Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce.

To begin my quest to prepare vegetarian Worcestershire sauce back in Canada, I looked at the list of ingredients both on my bottle of Lea & Perrins™ at home (photo below, left), and on the photo of the Mexican “Inglesita” sauce from my previous post (photo below, right):

The ingredients listed on the “Inglesita” Mexican sauce label are: Organic vinegar, water, cloves, Sinapis alba (white mustard), raw brown sugar, tamarind, cardamom, Tellicherry peppercorn (Malabar black), Muntok peppercorn (Indonesian white), red peppercorn, soy sauce, cinnamon, Allium sativum (garlic), Allium cepa (onion), ginger, turmeric, salt.

Lea & Perrins specifies Malt and Spirit vinegars, so I picked malt as the base, and chose white wine vinegar as a mild spirit vinegar option.  In order to keep it vegetarian, I skipped the anchovies from the Lea & Perrins; this caused a main drop in umami flavour, so I kept the soy sauce listed on the “Inglesita” and added nutritional yeast, a popular vegetarian flavour booster:

011 Nutritional yeast

The list on the Lea & Perrins ends with “spice, flavours”, not much help, so I followed the complete list of spices and aromatics from “Inglesita” (except for cardamom, which I did not have.)  To include all the peppercorn varieties, I found a medley with a convenient grinder attached:

012 Peppercorn medley

Tamarind may be prepared into a paste from pods, as I described in a previous post, or it may be from a jar:

010 Tamarind paste

I did not have white mustard seed, either, so I used prepared yellow mustard (which is a good emulsifier as a bonus), and chose dried onion and garlic powder, instead of fresh, to increase shelf life.  The ingredients for my first attempt looked like this:

001 Homemade Salsa Inglesa ingredients

After mixing all those ingredients, this is how my preparation looked, next to the control Lea & Perrins sample:

005 lighter shade It was too light in colour, watery, and also lacked the punch of classic Worcestershire.  I realized that it needed more sweetness, and that the raw sugar was not enough to thicken the mix, so I added molasses (as in Lea & Perrins.) Also, the aroma of the freshly ground peppercorn medley really made me think of Worcestershire, so I added more:

006 adding flavour and colour

The colour and viscosity were very close now thanks to the molasses, and the flavour was definitely richer.  After a few more attempts, I got as close as I could, trying to keep the recipe afloat, but it became clear that the anchovies were quite perceptible in the original Lea & Perrins, and that, I could not change, because the whole objective was to keep the sauce vegetarian.

However, I prepared the sauce a couple of weeks ago, and it is developing a more interesting flavour profile as it ages (photo at the top of the post); as explained on the Lea & Perrins™ official site: “Lea and Perrins were not impressed with their initial results.  The pair found the taste [of the sauce] unpalatable, and simply left the jars in their cellar to gather dust”.  After a couple of years, they found the old jars and after tasting again,  declared with stentorian pride that ” … the aging process had turned it into a delicious, savory sauce.”  Who knows? Maybe if I keep mine around for a couple of years, it will get even closer to the original Worcestershire.

Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce –

Salsa inglesa vegetariana

Printable recipe: Vegetarian Worcestershire sauce


½ cup malt vinegar
¼ cup white wine vinegar
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp molasses
¼ cup brown sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground peppercorn medley (white, red and black)
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp tamarind paste
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp yellow mustard
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly (photo below, left); pour into a bottle with a cap (photo below, right):

Close with cap and let rest for at least two weeks:

004 label and let rest

At the end of the day, if there were no dietary restrictions, I would just stick to the original Lea & Perrins™, but I liked my sauce as a vegetarian alternative.  My vegetarian daughter will be home at the end of April; I am daydreaming about her trying my salsa inglesa on pizza, the Mexican way!  There are other Mexican recipes that call for Worcestershire sauce, and may be made vegetarian with this sauce; I will share two in my next posts.

I am sharing my recipe at What’s for Dinner? Sunday Link-Up #242 with Helen @ The Lazy Gastronome.

I am bringing my recipe to Full Plate Thursday #474 with Miz Helen @ Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.

I am bringing my recipe to Thursday Favourite Things #429 with Bev @ Eclectic Red Barn, Pam @ An Artful Mom, Katherine @ Katherine’s Corner, Amber @ Follow the Yellow Brick Home, Theresa @ Shoestring Elegance and Linda @ Crafts a la Mode.

I am joining Fiesta Friday #318 with Angie @ Fiesta Friday.

I am bringing my recipe at Over the Moon #215, graciously hosted by Bev @ Eclectic Red Barn, and Marilyn @ Marilyn’s Treats. Special thanks to Bev for featuring my Green Rice at this party.

26 thoughts on “Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce – Salsa inglesa vegetariana

    1. She is my daughter, I do not have sons, other than the dog, hehe. A lot of sauces end up being different than what they were originally thought of; I read ketchup started as a fish sauce(?)

      Liked by 2 people

  1. It is so interesting how aging something changes the whole dynamic taste wise. More flavours and depth. I think of blue cheeses and mature cheese. SoySauce is perfect example I have tried a very expensive aged one and it was so rich and way to salty for me. Similarly balsamic vinegar. Oh I could go on lol. It is a very interesting recipe, and I am sure it will improve the longer it is stored. Why are you concerned with regard to the fresh garlic and onion not storing as long? It stores really well in sauces I have made.


    1. Thanks MsJadeLi! I think there is, too, for someone with knowledge about aging stuff in oak barrels, hehe. Let me know how it turned out, and if you doctored the recipe!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Irene,
    I have never made this sauce, but this looks like a great recipe that I will be sure to try! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and come back to see us soon!
    Miz Helen


  3. Thank you for hosting! This is what I featured the week of 3-2 to 3-6 on my blog. On Tuesday was Oprah Winfrey’s Deviled Eggs. Wednesday was my grandma’s favorite Egg Salad. Thursday was an Easter Egg Bread Ring. And winding up Egg Week was Part of my Tip Friday series How To Peel Hard Boiled Eggs Hands Free. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations! Your post was my feature pick at #OverTheMoon this week. Each Hostess displays their own features so be sure to visit me on Sunday evening and to see your feature! I invite you to leave more links to be shared and commented upon. Please don’t forget to add your link numbers or post title so we can be sure to visit!


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