No food has to taste bland ever again with this flavor enhancer! This mushroom salt is just 2 ingredients and together they make any food taste super savory and umami! It is also a great way to make especially vegan food more umamilicious.
Some may call it a mushroom powder seasoning because ground mushrooms become more powdery than other spice mixes. However, I mix it with chunky pieces of coarse salt to create that spice mix texture and so to me, it wasn't just a fine dust. However, don't worry if yours is, it will still taste the same!
Mushrooms are super healthy. They are low in calories, sodium and fat. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, antioxidants and other immune-boosting properties (beta-glucans). So even though you would use just a tiny amount, it's good to know it's actually pretty good for you (although it's obviously better if you omit the salt!).
Yes. All you need is mushrooms and salt - easy peasy! What kind of mushrooms to use can be read in the next paragraph. When it comes to salt, I mentioned I like to use coarse salt to change the powdery texture of the ground mushrooms.
I also like to use two different kinds of salt, but this is completely optional! I use a flaky salt like Maldon salt, and a little pink Himalayan salt mostly because it's gorgeous and creates little specks of color in the mushroom salt.
However, any coarse salt will do just fine.
What kind of mushroom to use
The good thing about mushroom powder is that you can use pretty much any mushroom (that is edible!!) that you can find. My preference is either chanterelles, shiitake or cremini, but regular white button mushrooms work well too. Use the ones you can get your hands on and that you personally like!
- Chanterelles - my favorite mushrooms ever because of their distinct taste, they are woodsy and mildly peppery
- Porcini - common wild mushroom used dried because it has a strong, wild and nutty taste
- Shiitake - commonly used as dried mushrooms because of its super deep, rich buttery and meaty flavor
- Morel - also common because of its deep woodsy and eathy flavor, but it can also be quite smoky
- White button mushroom - mild, earthy and slightly nutty, tastes a little less than the others mentioned
- Cremini mushroom - same mushroom as the white button, only picked later for a bolder, earthier flavor
Read this mushroom taste guide for more ideas and information.
You can spice up the mushroom salt any way you like. I like to keep it clean so I can add it to all kinds of dishes, but this will depend on how you want to use it too.
- Umami bomb: To create an even more umami enhancer, add spices like dried onion and dried garlic. Use about 1 tablespoon each for this batch. These are what I use in my scrambled eggs to create more of a savory taste, but now that I think of it, I know what I should use the next time...
- Smoked and spicy: Add chilli flakes after grinding to make the salt spicier. You could also add a smoky element like smoked paprika for an even more complex flavor. Try 1 tablespoon chilli flakes and 1 tablespoon smoked paprika.
- Herby: Of course, mushrooms work amazingly with herbs. So why not add your favorite herbs after grinding? I'd love parsley, sage, rosemary or thyme. Try 3 tablespoon of your favorite herbs.
The good thing about dried mushrooms is that the shelf life is pretty much infinite. This mushroom salt will taste amazing for 6 months and pretty good long after that too. The thing is to keep it dry and air tight! This holds true for all my spice mixes too.
Drying mushroom intensifies the flavor making the flavor even MORE savory and umami, which makes for a fantastic savory salt mix!
You can purchase dried mushrooms in the stores and use those. However, you can also dehydrate them yourself if you find the perfect mushrooms and don't know what to do with them. I foraged chanterelles last year and after pumpkin gnocchi, chanterelle sauce, breaded pollock and wild mushroom ravioli - I was ready for some long term storage of it!
You do NOT need a dehydrator to dry mushrooms. All you need is an oven and time. Slice your mushrooms and add them in one layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Dry them in an oven heated to 140F° (60C°). Turn the mushrooms every 2 hours until they are completely dry. They should be brittle and not bendy when you try to break it in two.
It can take somewhere between 4 to 12 hours. I like to dry them for very long (like 18 hours) just to be completely sure they are dry. They will become drier once they cool too.
However, if you find your mushrooms to be bendy when you have already cooled them, it is no problem at all to add them back into the oven. When they break in two when you try to, you have successfully dried them completely!
FAQs (Other tips)
How much fresh mushrooms is the same amount of dried?
So you want to make this completely from scratch. According to the Spruce Eats, by weight, 1 pound (450 grams) of fresh mushrooms equals 3 ounces (85 grams) of dried mushrooms. That means that for this particular recipe, you would need roughly 10 ounces (285 grams) of fresh mushrooms.
By volume it's a little more tricky, as it depends on both the mushroom type and the way you slice it. I had tiny slices of dried chanterelles and that amounted to about 2 cups by volume. So I do recommend that you use a scale if you're unsure.
Do you have to cook the food used mushroom salt on?
I could not find any sources telling us we need to cook it beforehand, and considering you can use it in coffees and smoothies, I think we can safely say you do not have to cook it first.
This mushroom powder is quite versatile and it can be used on pretty much everything to get a more umami/savory taste. You can use it as part of a dry rub on meat, especially on chicken. Or you can sprinkle it on the meat when you're cooking it, instead of regular salt.
Considering this is a mushroom salt, you will always substitute it for regular salt, don't use both at the same time.
I also love to sprinkle it in vegetarian and vegan dishes to increase the umami of the dish. You can add it to this vegetarian lo mein, or the roasted vegetables in this cauliflower salad, and it's also great in this lemongrass noodle soup!
And it is so perfect for mushroomy dishes where you want the mushroom flavor to really shine. For example marsala chicken, pumpkin gnocchi and chanterelle cream sauce. That means it's also so yummy in comforting stir-fries, gravies, stews and soups!
So basically pretty much anything from
- soups, stews and gravies
As a superfood in coffees and smoothies
If you just make a powder, and not mix it with salt, you can also use it as a superfood in your smoothies and coffees. That's because it supposedly enhances brain function, supports the immune system, eases stress and boosts energy, among other things. Read more about this on Dr. Axe.
To be honest, I have not tried this and I don't think I will as I wouldn't drink anything I think would taste like a weird mix of super umami and sweet. I'd rather add it to broth and drink that!
However, Dr. Axe argues that it doesn't taste like mushrooms, but that the coffee gets less acidic, so it may be worth a shot.
How to make it
After dehydrating the mushrooms (or using store bought), add them to a spice grinder. Do not overfill the spice grinder, rather, work in batches. Grind until a fine powder.
If you do not have a spice grinder, you can use a pestle and mortar, however, I highly recommend getting a spice grinder. Mine was like less than $30 and I use it all the time (I can't find mine online anymore, but here are some great cheap spice grinders!). It can be used for e.g. spice mixes, grinding nuts to make for example almond meal, or grinding flax seeds.
Then add in the coarse salt (along with the mushroom powder) and pulse until you have your desired size of salt. I like to keep a little size on it, so I just pulse it a few times, but you can pulse until completely powdery too. See above on how to use it in your favorite dishes!
Did you like this recipe? Here are more spice mixes I think you would enjoy:
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