Sometimes simpler is better.
This sauce always takes a little time to construct, and as the evening progressed during this batch I found myself ad libbing a bit. I wanted to try some jaggery in this version, and then my son had a crucial insight about ingredient density that led me to only use jaggery. The result is both less sweet and may be closer to classic Worcestershire sauce.
You can read about the first version here.
It’s still a time investment, but like many investments it has its dividends.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup malt vinegar
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons umemboshi plum vinegar
- 1/4 cup jaggery
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/4 cup dried currants
- 1/2 cup tamarind paste
- 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground Indian long pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Grains of Paradise
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 cup shallots, finely minced
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed or finely minced
- 1 clove black garlic, finely minced (or 1/2 teaspoon black garlic powder)
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground dry ginger
- 10 dried anchovies, minced finely or pulverized in a spice grinder
1Put wet ingredients—water, vinegars, fish sauce, tamarind, garlic, shallots, anchovies, and currants and ginger in a saucepan. (You’ll want a deeper, narrower pan, otherwise the additional evaporation will require you to keep adding water and increase the possibility of burning.) Bring to a boil, then cover and remove from heat for at least half an hour to allow the dried ingredients to rehydrate.
2Bring back to a simmer and add all remaining ingredients. Let sit overnight.
3Put everything through a fine-grain food mill. What’s left is primarily currant skins. Put them in a small food processor or spice grinder along with a little water and grind thoroughly. Put them back through the food mill.
4Return to the stove and bring back to a simmer, adjusting liquid so it’s not too thick. Simmer a while longer, then transfer to a glass bottle. You can adjust the liquid as to whether you want to be able to shake it out of a bottle or spoon it out like a paste. Will keep in the refrigerator for several months.