What Is Worcestershire Sauce in Japan?

What Is Worcestershire Sauce in Japan?

There is strict standard that defines Worcestershire sauce in Japan. That standard is called Japan Agricultural Standards (JAS), and the definition of the sauce is below.

・The mixture (puree) of vegetables (including carrots, onions, and tomatoes), fruits juice, and broth seasoned with sugar, vinegar, salt, and spices. Also, starch and other seasonings are added in some cases.

What Is Worcestershire Sauce Made From?

As the standard above suggests, Japanese Worcestershire sauce is made from vegetables (tomatoes, carrots, and onions), fruits juice (prune, apple, and lemon), and broth seasoned with sugar, vinegar, salt, and spices.

What Does Japanese Worcestershire Sauce Taste Like?

When you taste Japanese Worcestershire sauce, you can feel saltiness, sweetness, and sourness at the same time. It’s generally said Japanese one is much sweeter than the one in other countries such as British.

The taste actually depends on the types of the sauce I mention below. Some sauce has stronger flavor of spices, others have really sweet taste. So please check here to see the difference in taste among the following 4 types.

What Are the Different Types of Worcestershire Sauce?

There are 3 types of Worcestershire sauce depends on the thickness of the sauce.
1. Not thick, but watery sauce = Worcestershire sauce ウスターソース
2. Moderately thick sauce = Chuno (medium thick) sauce 中濃ソース
3. Very thick sauce = Noko (very thick) sauce 濃厚ソース

In Japan, generally all of them are called just “sauce ソース”. When it comes to the really watery sauce [#1], people call it “Worcestershire sauce ウスターソース”.
And, [#3] “Noko (very thick) sauce 濃厚ソース” is normally sold as “Tonkatsu sauce とんかつソース” and “Okonomi sauce お好みソース” in stores.

Check here to know more about what they are and how they are used:
[Ultimate Guide] Different Types of Japanese Sauce (Worcestershire, Chuno, Tonkatsu, and Okonomi Sauce)

Why Is It Called Worcestershire Sauce?

Worcestershire sauce originated in the Worcestershire region of England. It’s said that a housewife in that region started to use surplus vegetables and fruits effectively by making her original sauce with some spices. Although the taste of Japanese Worcestershire sauce is very different from the British one, the name of the sauce comes from real British Worcestershire sauce I guess.

Worcestershire Sauce Recipe

The Easiest 2 Minutes Worcestershire Sauce (Recipe)

Good Substitute for Worcestershire Sauce

Easiest Substitutes for Worcestershire Sauce In Recipes

What’s the Difference Between Worcestershire Sauce and Soy Sauce?

▲Soy Sauce

Let’s check the differences in terms of 3 factors below:

Raw Materials

Worcestershire Sauce: Vegetables (tomatoes, carrots, and onions), fruits juice (prune, apple, and lemon), broth, sugar, vinegar, salt, and spices
Soy Sauce: Soy beans, wheat, and salt


Worcestershire Sauce: Salty, sweet, and sour
Soy Sauce: Salty

How to Use

Worcestershire Sauce: To put on deep-fried dishes (such as tonkatsu), okonomiyaki, and takoyaki. To season yakisoba (stir-fried noodles).
Soy Sauce: To put on sushi, sashimi (sliced raw fish), cold tofu, gyoza, etc.


Can You Use Worcestershire Sauce and Soy Sauce Together?

Yes, you can do that. Especially when you make yakisoba (Japanese stir-fried noodles), using both Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce is the best.
By adding soy sauce, the taste of the noodles will be more complex and delicious.
Recipe: How to Make Best Yakisoba with Instant Noodles


Also, it’s highly recommended that adding some Worcestershire sauce to all kinds of food, for example, meat dishes, stews, and stir-frying dishes. It’s because the spicy flavor of the sauce can take away the strong smell of meat, and the sweetness of vegetables and fruits can improve the taste of various dishes.

Personally, I like to add both Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce into tomato meat sauce. Those two seasonings can add more umami (delicious taste) into the tomato sauce.

How Do You Store Worcestershire Sauce?

Japanese Worcestershire sauce can be stored at room temperature only before opening it. Since it deteriorates over time after opening, make sure to put it in the refrigerator. Use it up after opening, regardless of the expiration date.

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