Vegan Worcestershire Sauce

Vegan Worcestershire sauce - great for soups, burgers, salad dressing, or even marinating your protein! | Je suis alimentageuse | #vegan #glutenfree It never occurred to me that there would be a need for vegetarian or vegan worcestershire sauce. It wasn’t until I went vegetarian that I even looked at what was in my food. I had no idea where gelatin came from. Or what gives red food colouring its vibrant pigments. Or that there were anchovies in Caesar dressing and worcestershire sauce.

I have a bottle of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce in my cupboard, but it’ll probably go unused because I rarely ever had a reason to use it except for the odd recipe here and there pre-veg days. To top it off, I can’t even use it because of my allergies so it’ll just go to waste. So sad.

I’ve been looking into recipes for a french onion chip dip (dairy-free of course) but so many of the recipes I find require worcestershire sauce. That’s irritating. All I want is a super delicious and vegan way to make a jar of that Ruffles chip dip I used to have all the time during my undergrad.

After a quick Google, I found Martha Stewart’s recipe for Worcestershire sauce. It looked pretty easy, so I was stoked to make my dip. I hurriedly went to the market to get the spices and random ingredients I would need and came home, excited to try this recipe. Chris was here at this time too, and he asked me why it was called Worcestershire sauce.

Vegan Worcestershire sauce - great for soups, burgers, salad dressing, or even marinating your protein! | Je suis alimentageuse | #vegan #glutenfree

Being the curious cat I am, I looked it up. I found out the backstory (which I’ll divulge in a second), but what I actually found out was that Martha Stewart’s recipe had none of the key ingredients that give worcestershire its rather unique flavour profile. There was no citrus, no cinnamon, no tamarind. This is the upteenth time I’ve been disappointed in Martha.

SO UPSET.

Luckily I had the ingredients I needed because I’m a special snowflake and I own things like tamarind all the time for Vietnamese food. Buuuut I was still pretty pissed at myself for thinking that Martha knew best.

Real talk guys, Martha does not know best.

Anyway, back to the backstory of Worcestershire sauce.

Turns out, what we know as Worcestershire sauce was accidentally created by aging an East Indian hot sauce. You can read the full history according to Lea & Perrins here, but in a TL;DR format:

The governor of Bengal brought some of this hot sauce back to England for his two chemist friends in Worcestershire to try. They thought it was gross and left it in a cellar. A year later, they cleaned out the cellar, found the sauce, gave it another try, and was like “Ooh! Delicious! Now let’s profit!”

On a side note, who the hell thinks, “Oh man, remember that disgusting sauce we had and hid in the cellar? I just found it a whole year later. Let’s try some for kicks!”

That just sounds like a bad idea to me.

 

Vegan Worcestershire sauce - great for soups, burgers, salad dressing, or even marinating your protein! | Je suis alimentageuse | #vegan #glutenfree

L&P Worcestershire sauce is aged for 3 years and 3 months, but ain’t nobody got time for that. This sauce is thicker with a brighter, robust flavour to it. Dark ale and tamarind add that sweet, deep flavour that is reminiscent of Worcestershire sauce. If you add more salt to stay a little more true to the anchovy flavour, add another 1 tsp salt (I only put in about 1 tsp because I like low-sodium, but for a more authentic salt-level, use 2 tsp). It has a mysterious sweet and serious spice to it, wrapped in the hugs of cinnamon and clove and little kisses of citrus.

The aging process would probably lower the citrus kick to it to be more like L&P W sauce, but my logo has lemons in it for a reason, man. I love lemons.

Add this to any recipe that calls for Worcestershire sauce, or marinate your proteins in it for some complex flavours and delicious times in your mouth.

Happy & Healthy Saturdays with Je suis alimentageuse

I mentioned in my last post that I would talk about the three words I’ve used to rebrand JSA: vegan, feminist, and nerd. Today I’m tackling vegan.

If you’ve been following JSA at all, you’ll know that I’ve been flip flopping between going vegan and staying vegetarian since June. But before I go further, let’s get one thing straight:

I’m not here to convert you.

Veganism is not a religion. It’s a lifestyle and an ethical alignment when it comes to food.

My blog has always been my creative outlet for photography and a way to document my life and recipes that I enjoy, and that’s what it will continue to be. However, I will also share what I’ve learned when it comes to food activism, animal rights, sustainability, healthy eating and living, on top of the random anecdotes of my life.

Vegan Worcestershire Sauce

I’m vegan because I no longer want to contribute to the food factory industry, the practices of animal cruelty in the world of cosmetics, clothing, materials, or food products.

I’m also vegan because in December 2011, I found out that I couldn’t eat meat because of my skin sensitivities. I don’t eat meat, eggs, or dairy in the name of health because my family has a history of high blood pressure, heart disease, and a myriad of other things that could affect me down the line.

Ironically when I had my blood pressure tested today, I got 100/67, which is on the lower side of the spectrum. Well damn.

I’m vegan for health and for ethics. It started out being just for health, but after learning about some of the inhumane practices in the food industry, I became uncomfortable with contributing to that economy.

I’m not saying you’re not ethical or healthy because you’re not vegan. But I’m just saying that these are reasons why I’m choosing a vegan lifestyle. I believe that all living things have the right to be treated humanely, not like food while they still breathe.

That’s all I think is important to share about my reasons for being vegan today.

To see what my fellow H&H bloggers have written this week, check them out:

Have a great weekend!

Recipe adapted from About.com

Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: ~1 cup sauce
 
This sauce is thick and saucy, great for adding to savoury dishes. It's a very complex-tasting sauce, it starts with a citrusy sweet flavour that's followed by a salty heat from the jalapeño and black pepper wrapped in the spiced hug of cinnamon and clove.
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ⅓ cup dark beer*
  • ⅔ cups water
  • ⅓ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced (seeds removed)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ⅓ cup puréed canned tomatoes (or 2 tbsp tomato paste works)
  • 2 jalapeños, thinly sliced with stem removed
Instructions
  1. Sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat until translucent and soft. Add all other ingredients and lower to a simmer, stirring occasionally until mixture is thick (enough to coat the back of the spoon) and the lemon slices and jalapeño have cooked down to be really mushy (about 1 hour).
  2. Strain mixture over a sieve, and store in a sterilized glass container and use to add to caesars, BBQ'd seitan/tofu, soups, salad dressings, or anything that requires traditional anchovy-laden Worcestershire =)
Notes
*To keep this gluten-free, either use GF dark ale, or just use vegetable broth instead.

See an ingredient listed that’s not in your pantry?

No problem! Check out my substitutions page to see if you can use an ingredient that you DO have in your pantry, or for ways to make this recipe vegan, gluten-free, etc. =)
About Lisa Le

Lisa is the twenty-something, nerdy, procrastinating, feminist blogger and photographer behind Je suis alimentageuse. She loves lemons, avocado, butternut squash, and is a bookworm.

Comments

  1. Okay, I’m seriously going to try this out. I’ve been avoiding all recipes that require W sauce (who has time to spell that one, really… way too much thought!)… What do you think the shelf life of your sauce is?
    ALSO… boo to the many Martha recipes that have failed me. never again.
    Holly Waterfall recently posted…Top 10 Ways Achieving Goals Will Change Your LifeMy Profile

    • I hope you like it!! It’s pretty zingy, if you don’t want the citrus flavour to be that prominent, I suggest only using half the lemon. Personally I sort of love it with the extra kiss of citrus. I have no idea what the shelf life could be. I’m storing mine in the fridge, I expect it to last about two weeks. Maybe more because I cooked it for so long and it was piping hot going into the clean jar. You could probably can/jar it (the original recipe made about 6 cups), but this only makes just over a cup. I’m planning on using it to bake tofu, in some Caesars, and some french onion dip =)

  2. I love the flavour that Worcestershire sauce adds to some dishes. I even love it on plain potato chips! But I’m trying to get away form industrial and full of preservatives sauces. This looks so delicious!! I’m thinking about adding a red chile instead of jalapeños…. mmm. I will definitly try it! Thank you for sharing!

  3. I am definitely going to try this. Store bought, vegan w sauce can be funky in all the wrong ways. Your recipe sounds perfect.
    Vegan Mother Hubbard recently posted…Brandy SidecarMy Profile

  4. A wonderful post! And daaaammmn that is impressive Worcestershire sauce! I too have an old bottle…and one of fish sauce as well….
    Katie @ Produce on Parade recently posted…French Toast SmoothieMy Profile

    • Haha thanks Katie! My substitute for fish sauce is a bit of soy sauce + salt plus a lot of water to get that kind of golden colour. I use it in the vegetarian version of vietnamese dipping sauce, but I prefer the soy-sauce based one (it’s on my blog under Vietnamese recipes)

  5. Well, a stranger in Texas supports your vegan choice. In addition to health concerns and the inhumane treatment of animals is the fact that ridiculous amounts of resources go into producing animal products. It takes 2400 gallons of water and 13 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of beef. Momentarily setting aside personal beliefs and healthcare needs, economically speaking this is a grossly inefficient use of resources. All of that water and grain could be used to help grow food and feed a heck of a lot more people than one pound of beef could. Thirty percent of the Earth’s mass is cleared and used for grazing or growing crops to feed factory farmed animals. In my opinion, drastically reducing or eliminating factory farming would do more toward greening the planet, reducing healthcare, and ending the unnecessary suffering of animals than anything else we can do.

    • Thank you for the comment! I totally agree. All the trees that have been destroyed to make pastures for beef cattle, all the grain, water… you are so right. On top of that, a lot of Canada’s prime farmland has been plotted over to make up the Greater Toronto Area, and more and more farmland is being converted into subdivisions, condos, and malls year after year.

    • Well put, Mteel! I’m vegan for ethical reasons but I’m right there with you regarding the waste of resources. We have people starving and dying of thirst and we could end that so easily. And the greenhouse gasses… Sheesh.

      And I’ve been using Amy’s Worcestershire sauce but I’m also trying to switch to more whole foods/less processed so I’m going to give this a try!

      • Thanks for taking the time to comment Joyce! I’m glad you share similar views on veganism. I hope you let me know how this turns out. Actually I still have it in my fridge and it’s still good. I’ve used it to spruce up stir fries and soups and the citrus has mellowed out a bit, but in a good way.

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  2. […] each Saturday I post a H&H post alternating between happy and healthy for themes. Last week was healthy and touching on why I’m vegan, so this week is about […]

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