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Homemade Worcestershire Sauce: Guten Free and Corn Free (with a Soy Free option)

I should have titled this post “WOO-HOOcestershire Sauce” because according to everyone I had taste it for me, it’s that good.  In fact, I pulled out my aging bottle of Lea & Perrins (which is gluten-free) for a side by side comparison, and my husband said the homemade Worcestershire sauce was much better all around, it has less of a bite to it and as Mike put it, tastes “handcrafted.”  I like that word, handcrafted.  Sounds so gourmet. :-D

So, you may be wondering why the heck I brewed up some homemade Worcestershire sauce in the first place.  The answer, plain and simple, is because Lea & Perrins contains high fructose corn syrup and I’m allergic to corn.  So why not just suck it up and learn to live with out it?  Well, in case you haven’t picked up on this little personality quirk of mine yet, I do not do well with the words “no forever” when it comes to food.  I learned my lesson the hard way when I cheated on the gluten-free diet for the first few years after my celiac diagnosis.  Part of my ability to happily live a strict gluten-free lifestyle today is due to my stubborn resolve to find homemade recipes for the foods/ingredients I want, which I can then tweak to fit my family’s dietary needs (which right now, is pretty darned overwhelming!).

Once I tested the recipe and found we liked the results, I made another batch, only this time I tripled the amounts since it does take 3 weeks to “brew” in the refrigerator…it’s not something you can whip up and use in a jiffy.  I’ve been using this homemade Worcestershire Sauce for the past few weeks in my homemade grass-fed beef jerky and homemade barbecue sauce (recipes coming soon) and it works great!

Homemade Corn-Free Worcestershire Sauce

Rating: 51

Serves: about 2 cups

Recipe adapted from Nola.com

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Yacon Syrup (or Molasses)
  • 1/2 cup Bragg's Liquid Aminos (it's gluten-free and non-GMO) or you can use Gluten Free Tamari (San-J brand is now non-GMO too, but the alcohol could be derived from corn) or try Coconut Aminos for a soy-free version
  • 1/4 cup Tamarind Paste
  • 3 tablespoons Yellow or Brown Mustard Seeds
  • 3 tablespoons Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon Whole Cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon Curry Powder
  • 5 Cardamom Pods, smashed
  • 1/2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, smashed
  • 1 (1-inch) Stick Cinnamon
  • 1 Anchovy, chopped
  • 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 (1/2-inch) piece Ginger, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 cup Agave or Coconut Nectar (or sugar)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients except the sweetener in a 2-quart saucepan; boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Add agave or coconut nectar (or sugar) to vinegar mixture and whisk to combine; cook sauce for 5 minutes; transfer sauce to a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.
  3. Refrigerate, covered, for 3 weeks; strain to remove solids; return to jar. Refrigerate for up to 8 months.
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http://www.adventuresofaglutenfreemom.com/2011/04/homemade-corn-free-worcestershire-sauce/

What’s your favorite way to use Worcestershire Sauce?

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Comments

  1. Heidi – this is soooo cool. I have this recent urge to make my own sauces and condiments but I really never would have thought of worcestershire sauce. I am so going to hang onto this recipe so I can make it. TY!

    • You're welcome Nancy! I never really had the *urge* to make my own condiments before, but now that I have to, I wonder why the heck I didn't do this a lot sooner…they taste better and are CHEAP to make! :-D

      xo,
      Heidi

  2. Janet says:

    Thanks you! I've been lamenting what to do about having a soy free version of Worcestershire sauce.

  3. Jeri says:

    I don't use Worstershire sauce very often but have the Lea and Perrins in the frig. Used it last week for pulled pork.

    I'm looking forward to that beef jerky recipe. I got a dehydrator for Christimas and haven't used it yet.

    • I never used it very much either (before needing to make 99.9% of our food from scratch), I think the Lea & Perrins had been in my fridge for a year too long, LOL! I will get the beef jerky recipe up sometime next week, it has been a real life saver snack for my family lately, so much so that I make 5 lbs. at a time!

  4. Heidi, that's wonderful! I'm so glad to know there's an option besides Lea & Perrins. Not that I don't like them, but…what if they changed their recipe for some reason? I'd be lost if it weren't GF anymore! Lost! We use a bottle in no time — it's one of the rare sauces that my husband will eat, so it's in a lot of my recipes.

    I like your "handcrafted" label, too — "WOOHOOstershire!"

    Hugs!

    Pat

  5. Wow, you get more impressive all the time! This is quite a recipe. I probably won't be making WooHoocestershire sauce anytime soon, but I'm over-the-top amazed at your attention to detail and resolve to come up with your own adjusted "copy cat" recipes. It sounds wonderful, although I don't think I've ever used the other version before.

    Having said that, I do put a couple of ground up anchovies in my beef stew. I hide them in the brothy stuff, totally ground up. It adds a richness and depth that is sooo good.

    Anyway, you're amazing Heidi-girl!

    xo

  6. Jennifer says:

    Wow! I am so impressed. I make a lot of things from scratch, but I never even got the nerve to tackle Worcestershire sauce before. I've just done without (I'm allergic to corn, too.) I'll have to get up the gumption to try this. It has some new ingredients for me, though. I'm so grateful you take the time to figure this stuff out!

  7. Christine says:

    This will be quite helpful! Dr. recently told me I likely am allergic to refined sugar, and a challenge led to finding a tomato allergy, so it's good to have at least one condiment I could use for my meats since I grew up putting ketchup or A1 on most meats and that's no longer an option. Plus, with Worchester, I can have my well-liked stews and roasts back. :-) Thanks so much Heidi!

  8. Laurel says:

    Wow, what an endeavor of course, if anyone could make it happen it would be you, Heidi. I'd love to give this a go but since I can't tolerate vinegar and my usual sub for that is lime juice… Actually I did look over the recipe 3 times to see if I thought I could get away with it flavor wise. Somehow though…

    In other news I believe you've stolen my husband's heart. He just shared/endorsed your facebook page to all of his 1001 buddies. So if you get comments from the odd musician or actor or hippie or whatnot. I wonder if Chevy Chase and Ernest Borgnine and all actually read their facebook pages or if they have a flunky do it? Al tells me that Corbin Bernsen answers all his own mail. Anyway, totally off the subject but you must have really blown him away. I guess I'll have to continue stealing your tricks if I want to hold on to him. After all I'm old and nobody wants to see me in a miniskirt and merry widow trying to attract a man.

    Love and kisses and congrats on another stunning triumph.

    • Laurel,

      I wonder if water kefir would work in place of the vinegar????

      As for your husband, please thank him for me (and I love all the odd musicians/actors/hippies and whatnots!) :-D So I am dying to know, what impressed your hubby? The WOOHOOcestershire Sauce? I bet this might make a good perfume (I've got a Texan hubby too ya know!)

      xo,
      Heidi

      • Laurel says:

        Wall lil lady shore do put on tha grub jus smell that WOOHOOcestershire a comin in from tha back 40

        Um. as Al would say 'Don't get me lyin.' Honest to gosh he does say that ALL the time!

  9. You totally rock! I love this. Wish I had this the other day when I was making my BBQ sauce. I can't wait to give this a try.

    • Diane,

      Please let me know what your opinion of the Worcestershire Sauce is after you make it (this is when it is exceptionally difficult for me not being able to taste, grrr!).

      xo,
      Heidi

  10. Matt says:

    I was curious when you listed this as allergy-friendly – and disappointed to find the allergy was corn. I'm allergic to fish, so this still doesn't help… still got an anchovy in it!

    • Hi Matt!

      I started thinking of that AFTER I published this post! Since the recipe only calls for one anchovy, it must be for the saltiness and not the fish flavor. I did a Google Search and found a forum thread on CHOWHOUND: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/444509, and I'm wondering if a Chickpea Miso, Capers, or Olives would work in place of the anchovies? If you try it, please let me know how it pans out for you.

      Heidi

      • Brad (Guest) says:

        Anchovies are essential to a good Worcestershire not for fish flavor but for  glutamate and inosinate; inosinate greatly increases the ability of glutamate to provide the “umami” flavor.  Unfortunately there are few vegetable sources of inosinate, and none that I know of which will ferment in a Worcestershire batch.  You can leave the anchovy out without much affecting the flavor; it’s only the enhancement of the flavor of other foods that will be reduced.

        HTH

  11. Christine says:

    In the past, it has made me quite sad when I found recipes that required Worcestershire sauce as I knew of no gluten free substitute. But no longer!

  12. Jeanette says:

    Heidi, you are amazing! This recipe obviously took a lot of time to get just right. We have a mustard allergy – do you think it would taste ok without it, or do you have a substitute to recommend? Thanks so much!

  13. kc says:

    It would be so helpful if you could include some brand names for corn-free versions of tamarind paste and anchovies. As we all know, with a corn allergy, sometimes the brand name makes all the difference between a product that seems safe but containing hidden corn (corn used in manufacture or packaging of product thus not listed on label) and a completely corn-free version.

    • If you have some sort of Asian grocery store you can access, they generally carry dried anchovies. Nothing in the bag but little dry fishies. My kids like them for salty snack food.

  14. Sonya says:

    I'm seriously in awe of this recipe! While I was cooking up other condiments (thanks for the mayo recipe too!) this morning I saved this one for last. It's "aging" now, can't wait to try the BBQ sauce recipe with it to compare to my other standard BBQ sauce.

  15. Tracy says:

    Can you substitute molasses or something else for the yacon syrup?

  16. Jim says:

    You use yacon syrup and either agave or coconut nectar. How do they differ? Could you use, say, all agave nectar?

    Jim

    • Hi Jim!

      I used the yacon syrup in place of molasses in the original recipe because it's the only cane sugar-free substitute for molasses that I know of. I cannot detect any molasses flavor in the end product, so I think agave nectar would work just fine. I believe the sweetener is used more for balancing out the acidity of the vinegar and soy sauce (or soy sauce substitute) and doesn't play a critical role in the end flavor of the sauce.

      If you try it, please let me know how it turns out for you (yacon syrup is expensive!).

      Best,
      Heidi

  17. Do you have a possible substitute for the tamarind paste?  It is in the legume family, so it isn’t an option for us.

    Thanks!
    Erika

  18. Rachel Lewis says:

    The bottle of Lea & Perrins I have in my cupboard has no corn syrup on the label… is it hiding under the “natural flavorings” or did they maybe change the recipe?

    • Arisce Noir says:

      I believe that they must have changed the recipe! Which is great for me since we can’t do corn either. My last bottle of L&P sauce had HFCS, but that was 2 years ago. The website doesn’t list corn as an ingredient anymore.

  19. Kate Mahoney says:

    I cannot possibly describe how much I *LOVE YOU* for figuring out a way to do this and posting the recipe. Worcestershire sauce is one of my favorite seasonings, and I’m very excited to make my own that I can use despite my dietary restrictions. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!

  20. Martine says:

    Is it possible to use no sugar/sweetener? Due to the killing effect of the sugar/sweetener or maybe use stevia ?

    Thanks
    Martine

  21. This recipe sounds great! The only thing that troubles me is the agave
    nectar. You said originally you wanted to avoid high fructose corn syrup
    (which is generally about 55–60% fructose), but agave nectar contains
    anywhere between 55–90% fructose. (!!!!) I’m definitely curious about
    the coconut nectar. It looks like it maybe has only about 10% fructose?
    I’ll have to check it out! Thanks for a great recipe. My hubby will be
    thrilled. :)

  22. Burkey says:

    Good call on the Coconut Aminos, great product.

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