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The Secret Umami Powerhouse You Probably Already Have in Your Kitchen

By Steve Dunn Published

All you need is one ingredient and a spice grinder.

Dried shiitake mushrooms are glutamate-rich umami powerhouses. We often rehydrate them to use in recipes—but you can also grind them to a powder that gives a quick boost of earthy, meaty flavor to all kinds of dishes.

How to Make:

Grind dried mushrooms to fine powder in spice grinder or food processor. Store in air-tight container (a clean spice jar works well) and out of direct sunlight.

How to Use:

Add to dishes before or during cooking so that the powder can hydrate, not as a final seasoning at the table like salt; otherwise, it will taste dry and dusty. The amounts listed in the chart below are a good starting point, but you can add more or less to suit your taste.

Try it in amount

Meaty stews and chilis

1-2 tbs

Ground beef or burgers

1 tbs per lb

Fresh pasta or gnocchi dough

2 tbs per cup of flour

Mushroom risotto

2 tsp

Flour dredge for breaded cutlets

2 tsp

Pan sauces

1 tsp

Spice rubs

To taste

Steaks, chops, scallops, or meaty fish before sautéing or grilling

A sprinkle

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.