In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Is Worcestershire sauce the same as soy sauce? We will explain the differences between these two important sauces, and how to use them in the kitchen.
Is Worcestershire sauce the same as soy sauce?
Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce are not the same ingredients, although both are common condiments found in supermarkets around the world. Soy and Worcestershire can be used interchangeably. This option is particularly useful for vegetarians, as the Worcestershire ingredient list includes anchovies.
Similarly, people with soy allergies can look to Worcestershire for a flavor boost even though the two products are vastly different from each other.
The ingredients in Worcestershire sauce have little in common with soy sauce. Soy comes from soybeans, wheat, enzyme puree, and salt fermented together for about six months. The result is a salty-sweet flavor and a very light body.
Ingredients in Worcestershire include anchovies, vinegar, onion, molasses, cloves, chili extract, high fructose corn syrup, garlic, and tamarind, which gives the sauce a distinctive aroma. The only ingredient in both soy and Worcestershire share in common is salt.
Soy and Worcestershire sauces, nowhere near the same
It has happened to anyone who comes home after buying Chinese food and realizes that the restaurant workers did not provide him with the typical soy sauce bags. That may mean that lumps or fried rice will not have their traditional side this time.
However, every cautious cook has a vial of this condiment in his pantry. Although it may happen that when you check, you realize that what you have is Worcestershire sauce and not the traditional oriental. There more than one diner could say what the problem is if they are similar. Well, you have to answer that person, what the hell are you talking about?
It is true that both preparations look similar in terms of presentation, color, and, perhaps, their powerful flavor. It is also true that more than once they have substituted one for the other in different recipes. But what is not correct is that they are the same or that they taste the same. Each one has its specific traits and, therefore, it is good to know them.
The oldest of the two is soybean, originated in China due to the need to find variants for the Buddhist diet, which was strictly vegetarian. At first, it was more of a paste made of fermented soybeans, which tasted extremely salty and looked like a kind of miso.
This was also used to preserve food. It was then with its spread to other countries that it acquired its current texture, which, it is said, is the liquid that emerges from the previous mixture. It began to be made industrially, some respecting their original recipe for long fermentation in wooden barrels and others using chemical mechanisms.
For its part, Worcestershire or English sauce began as a secret recipe from India and became popular thanks to pharmacists John Lea and William Perrins in 1835. Faced with an attempt to replicate the Hindu preparation, they obtained an impossible to ingest liquid.
For this reason, they left it in a barrel practically forgotten, and a year later, when they tried it again, they realized that it worked as an aromatic and pleasant sauce. Thus began its marketing under his first name.
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Now it is clear that the soy sauce is clearly made from this legume, wheat, water, and salt. On the other hand, according to records, the English woman has vinegar, molasses, sugar, salt, anchovies, tamarind, onion, and garlic.
But, based on documents found in 2009 by a former employee of the Lea & Perrins firm, it was discovered that he also had cloves, lemon, pickles, and nothing more and nothing less than soy sauce. Yes, everything indicates that one is part of the other and, perhaps, few had noticed.
Regardless of this, the flavors are different. While in the soybean the salty flavor stands out, in the other the sour and acid predominate, certainly with fruity touches.
Basically, both are used for everything. But Worcestershire is a bit more versatile. While soy is more of a dressing for certain oriental-style preparations, Worcestershire is used for soups, marinating meats, and even drinks.
A complex bouquet of ingredients allows Worcestershire sauce to blend perfectly with a variety of foods. The seasoning is most often used for ready-made meat dishes: pork and chicken cutlets, beef tenderloin, kebab, pork chop.
The sauce is poured over pasta, pancakes, meatballs, casseroles, vegetable stews. Ideal sauce for fish dishes. In combination with them, the sweet and sour taste of English seasoning is perfectly revealed.
Caesar salad and Bloody Mary booze aren’t complete without Worcestershire sauce, either. It is the most important ingredient in these dishes, making them especially tasty and flavorful.
It is true that both preparations – Worcestershire sauce and Soy sauce – look similar in terms of presentation, color, and, perhaps, their powerful flavor. It is also true that more than once they have substituted one for the other in different recipes. But what is not correct is that they are the same or that they taste the same. Each one has its specific traits and, therefore, it is good to know them.
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