The Vietnamese Mushroom Seasoning That Adds Umami To Saucy Dishes

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Though umami is a rather late addition to the taste game — it was only identified in the 1990s and took an entire decade to be accepted as an official taste by scientists — the craze for the unique flavor is a trend that seems set to stay. One umami example is MSG, which was a once highly demonized umami-packed ingredient that's fully safe for consumption, as per the FDA. This is to the benefit of savory flavor fans since MSG can be used in a myriad of ways in the kitchen for an umami boost. Those who want umami flavor that can be naturally found in foods should look to foods like aged parmesan cheese, smoked meats, fish and soy sauce, miso paste, kimchi, anchovies, sun-dried tomatoes, and mushrooms.

Yet, if you want to add an umami boost to a sauce without adding an entire ingredient, there is an alternative to that magic white powder that is MSG.

A mushroom seasoning that slays

American Chef Chris Morocco, of Bon Appetit Test Kitchen fame, has an ingredient in his kitchen arsenal that he claims "slays": granules that are made out of a mushroom liquid that has since been converted into a dried form. Mushroom seasoning comes in a handy form that's ready to be sprinkled liberally into soups, broths, or dressings. Morocco says that the flavor-packed granules can be added to essentially any saucy or liquid dish for a delicious, mushroom-powered umami boost.

Slightly different from mushroom powder, the Vietnamese brand Po Lo Ku mushroom seasoning is free of MSG and yet full of umami flavor. According to their website, Po Lo Ku is a vegan seasoning that can be added to any stir-fry, deep-dry, broil, bake, and even directly to prepared foods like salad. If you're looking for another mushroom seasoning that's also halal-certified, check out this Singapore-made version from Love Earth Brand.