How To Swap Soy Sauce With Worcestershire

If you're in the middle of a recipe that requires some salty soy sauce and you don't have enough or simply don't have any at all, we've got a solution for you. A bottle of Worcestershire sauce can become an easy substitute that will save you from making that annoying last-minute grocery run. However, because Worcestershire sauce has such a strong taste, it must be diluted to mimic soy sauce the best it can, and knowing the right ratio of Worcestershire to water is crucial.

The next time you're using Worcestershire sauce in place of soy sauce, using a 3-to-1 ratio of Worcestershire sauce to water is key. For instance, if your recipe calls for ¼ cup of soy sauce, you would swap in 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and 1 tablespoon of water. Adding Worcestershire sauce at a 1-to-1 ratio for soy sauce could cause the flavor of your dish to become far too pungent.

Dilute it with water

When figuring out different swaps for ingredients, it's important to know what they bring to the table in the first place. Soy sauce has an umami flavor due to its make-up of fermented soybeans, water, salt, and wheat or rice. Figuring out a close second to soy sauce means that your substitute must also contain an umami flavor. Worcestershire sauce does just that, as it's basically a vinegar that was made by fermenting anchovies, molasses, tamarind, onion, garlic, and several other spices. Anchovies are packed with glutamates and other elements that provide and enhance an umami flavor. Therefore, Worcestershire matches up to soy sauce when it comes to that meaty, savory flavor you're looking for.

Take notice of the spout your bottle of Worcestershire sauce comes in: It's very small, only allowing you to add it in a few drops at a time. This is because of how strong the taste of the sauce is, and the spout prevents it from coming out too fast and risking ruining a dressing, marinade, or sauce. Soy sauce is a different story, as it often comes with a spout that allows you to pour much more freely. That being said, a little goes a long way with Worcestershire sauce, especially when using it as a soy sauce replacement.