The only thing I really miss since I started the whole rampant vegetarian thing is the taste of Worcester sauce in all sorts of dishes. Is there a way to get close to the flavour without doing anything rude to any anchovies?
I have found a few recipes on the web:
There are also a few hard to find ready-made vegan Worcestershire sauces on the market, such as Annie's.
When I read these recipes (which I have never made) I can tell that their flavor profile is missing some key aromas present in the original Worcestershire sauce. As strange as it may sound these sauces could use some of the aromas found in Parmigiano-Reggiano and in broccoli. Whichever recipe works out, someone should write a blog post on this topic.
I had to do the same last year when I was making an egg-mayonaise salad, and found out too late we didn't have any Worcestershire sauce anymore.
What worked nicely for me was combining HP brown sauce (bought while on holiday in the UK) with a smoke-flavoured barbecue sauce. It was two teaspoons of one (probably HP, but I'm not sure anymore) and one of the other.
While the mixture itself seemed to resemble Worcestershire sauce only approximately, there wasn't any way to make out the difference in the finished dish. I did ask people who knew the recipe if they thought it was any different than usual, and nobody did.
Both ingredients say "suitable for vegetarians" on the bottle, so I guess this should do...
If you can find it, Henderson's Relish is an excellent vegetarian substitute.
Sadly it is only well-known in a small area around Sheffield where it is made, and it is difficult to find it once you get some distance away.
If there is a Trader Joe's near you, I've found a vegetarian Worcestershire sauce there and it has been pretty good.
Also a quick Google search finds a few other options.
I use miso as a substitute. It adds some of the same type of depth that worcestershire sauce adds.
You could try experimenting with vinegar, sugar and tamarind, you should get a close approximation.
Try Hoisin sauce mixed with Soy sauce and a bit of vinegar. That'll get you close.
you can try to make the original recipe without any fish sauce added, and even replace that perhaps with pommegrenate paste or something similar
Marmite or Vegemite with a splash of lemon juice or soy sauce with lemon juice is also a good replacement. Marmite is my favorite replacement so far but you only require a small amount dissolved in some hot water.
One of the best substitutes I've found is Mushroom Catsup.
Don't be fooled by the name, it is a thin, brown sauce with plenty of savory flavor, not really similar to the thick tomato stuff we are familiar with. Given the relative historical timing, it may be that Worcestershire sauce was a substitute for mushroom catsup in traditional cooking. I've tried several commercial vegetarian Worcestershire sauce versions - including cornet bay, bourbon barrel, and Annie's, and while they're all great I still prefer mushroom catsup.
The recipe I've used can be found here https://savoringthepast.net/2012/08/01/did-george-washington-use-ketchup/, or bottles of the Geo Wakins brand can be purchased through the site's store or on amazon.
You can get Vegetarian Oyster sauce which doesn't replicate the full Worcestershire sauce experience but does give some of it.