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Gluten-Free Worcester sauce (also known as Worcestershire sauce) is an essential condiment to enhance countless dishes that require that umami flavour.

Pronounced “woos-ter” or “woos-ter-sheer”, this word is probably the hardest to pronounce correctly in English…and I am a native speaker!

What is Worcester sauce?

The sauce is a concoction of slowly cooked onions, garlic, chillis, various spices, citrus juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, molasses, tamarind and predominantly apple cider vinegar. The consistency of the sauce is similar to soy sauce.

What does Worcester sauce taste like?

There are many layers of flavours in the sauce, broken down as the following:

Tangy: from the apple cider vinegar and tamarind

Fruity & Citrusy: from the tamarind and lemon juice

Sweet: from the molasses, black treacle or brown sugar

Salty: from the fish sauce and Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)

Aromatic: from the onions, garlic and spices

Spicy: from the jalapeno, mustard powder and spices

This combination makes a dynamic sauce to flavour food and even drinks. If you are a true fan of Worcester sauce and have missed out due to the gluten content, please try this recipe. You will be so pleased to have it back again as an essential condiment in your cooking!

How should Worcester sauce be stored?

Once the slow cooking is complete, the sauce is poured into sterilised bottles. Choose tops that have rubber stoppers as the metal ones can corrode over time due to the vinegar presence in the sauce.

Store them in a dark, cool place to mature further and shake the bottle every day for even distribution until opened.

If you have the time to ferment it a little, then I have added an extra step in the recipe to make this possible, simply by adding some whey protein powder. Read further for more details.

Once the bottle has been opened, keep chilled and shake the bottle prior to using the sauce.

Your homemade Worcester sauce can be used as soon as it has been prepared, but as with most condiments, time will improve the flavour with marination and fermentation.

About some of the ingredients



The addition of ACV is two-fold: to act as an effective preservative and to add a fruity mellow flavour. As with all vinegars, once heated, they give off a strong acidic vapour. I recommend either ventilating your kitchen to the max or if possible, cooking it in a slow cooker in a garage or covered outdoor area. The vinegar aroma mellows once the sauce cools down and matures in the bottle.


TAMARI SAUCE (or gluten-free soy sauce)

Tamari soy sauce is brewed using a natural and traditional brewing method to ensure a natural soy sauce taste. No wheat is used in the brewing process. There is a strong and intense umami flavour and is ideal for refining dishes with a tasty and unique seasoning.


This is a sweet & sour paste made from a dark tropical fruit that grows in pods. The fruit pulp is boiled down and sieved to remove any seeds, creating a thick paste that flavours many savoury dishes, especially in Asian cuisine.

It can also be purchased in a pulp block with the seeds. To create a paste, a chunk is removed and hydrated in some warm water to loosen the pulp, followed by sieving it to further remove the seeds and fleshier parts. 


Basically, whey protein is a mixture of proteins isolated from whey, which is the liquid part of milk that separates during cheese production. For a more detailed description, head to this article by Healthline

In its powder form, whey protein has a high percentage of casein (a milk protein). This unflavoured casein is what successfully replaces gluten in baking and helps with preservation.

Should you prefer to make your own fresh whey protein, head to the Eating Rules blog to follow the steps.

How is Worcester sauce used?

Used sparingly, this sauce acts in a similar way as soy sauce does in Asian cuisine. It flavours, salts and adds depth to many savoury dishes, notably in:

Meat marinades
Homemade Sausages

Homemade BBQ sauces
Casseroles & pies – such as potato or Shephard’s pie

Pasta sauces such as meat Bolognaise
Cocktails drinks (non or alcoholic)
Sandwiches as a condiment
Cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks such as tomato juice
Sauces such as Tonkatsu sauce in Katsu Pork

Having trouble finding store-bought gluten-free Worcester sauce?

There are several brands making Worcester sauce. Unfortunately, most of them use two gluten ingredients:

  1. Malt vinegar, which is derived from the grain, barley.
  2. Soy sauce which is made from wheat.

After many failed attempts in finding a gluten-free Worcester sauce in Europe, I researched that one of the only countries that have a gluten-free version is the USA. This brings me to this homemade recipe!

Naturally, the original recipe has never been disclosed. However, the ingredients are listed on the bottle, therefore by substituting malt vinegar and soy sauce with gluten-free equivalents and making logical guesses of measurements needed for the remaining ingredients. This homemade concoction is pretty close to the real thing and works well when needed in my gluten-free cooking.

For those who live in the USA, this article lists all the gluten-free Worcester sauces available.


The story behind Worcester sauce

Lee & Perrins were the original company to make Worcester sauce in the early 1800s after John Lea and William Perrins were commissioned by Lord Sandys to replicate a sauce he discovered during his travels in Bengal, India.

After many failed attempts to make a replica, John and William neglected the unopened bottles in storage for many years, only to discover that the unintentional ageing process, had developed a rich and savoury umami flavour.

For the full story head to Lee & Perrins website


Gluten-Free Worcester Sauce

by Sandra, Fun Without Gluten
Also known as Worcestershire sauce, this wonderful sauce is an essential condiment to enhance countless dishes that require that umami flavour.
If you can't buy store-bought gluten-free Worchester sauce, then this recipe makes a decent batch, close enough to the real thing by substituting a few gluten ingredients.
This sauce is used for endless dishes that have probably stopped you in the past to make it a gluten-free here is your chance to make that dish!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 30 minutes
Course Basics, Condiment
Cuisine British, General
Servings 250 ml


  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, chopped coarsely
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled & bruised
  • 1 Jalapeño green chilli, chopped coarsely
  • 200 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 125 ml water
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp molasses or black treacle * If molasses or black treacle are hard to find, substitute with dark brown sugar.
  • 2 tbsp Tamari soy sauce (gluten-free)
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ tsp whole cloves
  • sea salt, to taste (only added at the end if needed)

To preserve the sauce further


Cooking the sauce:

  • Over high heat, fry and stir constantly the onions, jalapeno and garlic in the olive oil for 2 to 3 mins until slightly soft.
    Fry and stir constantly the onions, jalapeno and garlic
  • Add the remaining ingredients, except the salt and combine well with a wooden spoon.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 5 to 6 hours over the stove. If possible, ventilate your kitchen as the vinegar vapours are quite strong.
    Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer
  • Alternatively, if you prefer to use the slow cooker/crock pot, transfer the mixture, cover with the lid and select the following times: LOW 10 hours; MEDIUM 7 hours; HIGH 5 hours. If you have a garage or covered outdoor area, position your slow cooker here to reduce the strong aroma coming from the vinegar.
  • Stir the mixture every now and then.
  • At the end of the cooking time, taste the sauce and add the salt if needed. There is already quite a bit of salt from the Tamari and fish sauce.
    At the end of cooking the gluten-free Worcester sauce
  • Allow the sauce to cool down before straining it through a fine mesh sieve and/or in a muslin/cheesecloth.
    Straining it through a fine mesh sieve and/or in a muslin/cheesecloth.
  • Press or squeeze as much sauce through the sieve & cloth into a jug. If using a cloth, wring the last remaining remnants until all the sauce is released.
    Pressing the remnants of the sauce through the muslin cloth

Adding whey protein powder to preserve:

  • Only follow this step to preserve the sauce if you intend to store unopened bottle/s at room temperature for several weeks to mature: For each 250ml bottle, combine 1 ½ tsp of unflavoured whey protein with 1 ½ tsp of sauce in a small bowl, mixing well so that no lumps are visible.
    Combining 1 ½ tsp of unflavoured whey protein to 1 ½ tsp of sauce in a small bowl, mixing well so that no lumps are visible.
  • Add this mixture to the jug with the strained sauce. Whisk in well.

Sterilising the bottles:

  • Place the bottle/s and a stainless-steel funnel in a large pan and pour in enough hot water from the tap to cover them. Do not pour boiling water as this will crack the bottles.
    Sterilising the bottles and funnel in a large pot of boiling water
  • Bring the water to a boil and allow to boil uncovered for 10 mins.
  • Turn off the heat and leave the items in the pan until the water stops bubbling, then carefully remove and drain them on a clean tea towel. Leave them to air-dry for a few minutes.

Bottling the sauce:

  • Using the sterilised funnel, pour the sauce into the bottle/s and immediately seal them tightly. Choose tops that have rubber stoppers as the metal ones can corrode over time due to the vinegar presence in the sauce.
    Pouring the sauce into the sterilised bottles with a sterilised funnel


  • Store in a dark, cool place to mature further and shake the bottle every day for even distribution until opened.
  • Once opened, keep them chilled and shake the bottle prior to using the sauce.


  • Keeps for 6 months
  • Unsuitable to freeze
Keyword gluten-free umami, gluten-free worcester sauce, gluten-free worcestershire sauce
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