Worcestershire Sauce

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Tangy, vinegary, and slightly hot and sweet: whether it’s used for Bloody Marys or on a steak, this classic sauce cannot be replaced. And it’s so easy to make your own. Bottled and wrapped in brown paper, it’s a manly, old-school kitchen and bar staple that’s gift-able and will last for months. 

NotesTamarind paste can be purchased at Latin American and Asian markets; find fish sauce at Asian markets.



Total Timea day or more

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Taste and Texturehot & spicy, salty, sweet, tangy

Type of DishCondiments


  • ½ cup tamarind paste (see Notes)
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 thin slice fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 whole jalapeno chiles, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
  • ¼ cup white distilled vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar


  1. Put the tamarind in a medium bowl, add 2/3 cup of warm water, and let sit for 10 minutes. Using your bare hands, squish the paste and water together into a liquid slurry Remove and discard all seeds and pods.

  2. In a large, clean, odorless jar with a tight lid, combine the tamarind slurry with all the remaining ingredients, plus ¼ cup of water, and stir or shake to blend. Wrap the jar in brown paper or enclose in a brown paper bag and store in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks to allow the flavors to develop. Shake the contents of the jar every few days.

  3. After 2 weeks, strain the contents of the jar through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl, pressing hard on the solids to harvest as much liquid as you can. Discard the solids. Using a funnel, pour the Worcestershire sauce into a pour-top or shaker-top bottle. Label and date the jar. Note that the liquid will settle and become more cloudy on the bottom; this is just the natural characteristic of the brew.

  4. The sauce will keep for 1 year covered in brown paper in a cool, dark spot in your pantry.


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