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Homemade Japanese Worcestershire Sauce | 自家製ウスターソース

Learn how to make your own Japanese Worcestershire sauce at home! This savory, sweet, and tangy sauce is essential for Japanese home cooking.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Dressing/Sauce
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 6 cups

Ingredients

Fruits & Veggies

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 pounds fresh tomatoes** or one 29oz can of tomatoes
  • 1 rib of celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 medium apples**
  • 1 inch knob of ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 3 dried shiitake (10g)
  • 3 cups kombu dashi**

Spices**

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cinnamon stick or ½ tsp ground cinnamon

Seasonings

  • cup soy sauce
  • 6 tbsp vinegar (balsamic, apple cider, red wine)**
  • ¼ cup sweetener of choice**
  • salt and pepper to taste

Thickener (optional)

  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour or gluten-free flour

Instructions

Stovetop

  • Simmer fruits and veggies: Roughly chop the fruits and veggies and add to a large pot with the dashi. Bring to a boil, lower to simmer, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. If using kombu, remove after 20 minutes of gentle simmering, or sooner if you notice it starting to melt into the sauce.
  • Add spices and simmer: Stir in the spices and simmer for another hour.
  • Blend: Turn off the heat and remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Use an immersion blender to blend everything together, or transfer to a blender in batches. Be careful not to over-blend -- you don't want a super smooth mixture -- or you won't be able to strain out the pulp effectively.
  • Strain: You want to use a very fine mesh strainer to remove as much of the pulp as possible (this will result in a very smooth sauce with a longer shelf life). I recommend using a nut milk bag if possible, but be aware that it will stain your nut milk bag orange/red. Let the mixture cool first until cool enough to handle since you will be using your hands to squeeze out the liquid. (Save the pulp! It's full of fruit and veggie puree and flavor from the spices, great in stews and curries.)
  • Add seasonings: Add the strained liquid back to the pot and stir in the seasonings. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Add thickener (optional): For a thicker sauce, mix flour with some cold water (just enough to dissolve the flour) until smooth and no lumps remain. In the last 10 minutes of simmering, add in the flour mixture. Stir frequently until sauce thickens. (Add more flour, one tablespoon at a time, if you would like a thicker sauce.)
  • Cool and Store: If you notice small clumps of flour in your sauce, strain it again before storing. You can just pour it through a fine mesh strainer or sieve. Let cool completely, then transfer to bottles or jars, seal, and store in the fridge for 1-2 months.

Instant Pot

  • To make it in the Instant Pot, follow the stovetop directions but use these times instead:
  • Simmer fruits and veggies: Pressure cook 20 minutes at high pressure, quick release. OR if using kombu, pressure cook 30 minutes at low pressure, quick release, and remove kombu.
  • Add spices and simmer: Pressure cook 20 minutes at high pressure, quick release.
  • Add seasonings: Sauté on low for 30 minutes.

Notes

TOMATOES: Any variety of canned tomatoes will work (whole, diced, crushed, or sauce).
APPLES: Use sweet apples such as Fuji, Gala, or Pink Lady. Avoid green apples like Granny Smith as these are more sour.
DASHI: If you don't have premade dashi, you can use water and add 8g of kombu. Simmer the kombu with the fruits and veggies and remove after about 20 minutes.
SPICES: Feel free to play around with the spices. Allspice, sage, and fennel are also commonly used. Avoid very pungent spices like cardamom, turmeric, curry powder, cayenne, and chili powder as they can overpower the sauce.
VINEGAR: You can use any combination of vinegars. For a darker sauce, use all balsamic vinegar.
SUGAR: Use any sugar or liquid sweetener you like. I prefer coconut sugar and brown sugar.