Trader Joe's Umami Blend is So Good, We Might Actually Toss Our Everything But the Bagel
TJ's new seasoning is coming in hot (or, shall we say, umami). But how do you use this magical mushroom concoction?
Trader Joe's officially knows my own taste preferences better than I do. This grocery giant nails flavor trends and solutions to kitchen conundrums so well that it's not uncommon for their products to gain a well-deserved cult-following. A prime example is their Everything But the Bagel Seasoning: there are nearly 40,000 posts about it on Instagram! What often makes their products such a tremendous success is that they're able to breathe new life into quick-to-cook dishes that are prone to getting tired (life hack: coat your next chicken cutlet or omelet in Everything But the Bagel. It'll totally transform).
Their 2019 spice release is no different. The Mushroom and Company Multipurpose Umami Seasoning Blend ($13 for 2, amazon.com) is made from a divine mixture of kosher salt, dried porcini and white button mushrooms, dried onion, mustard seed, red and black pepper, and thyme. Once you taste it, you're going to want to sprinkle (perhaps, pour) it on everything, which is convenient considering how flexible its flavor profile is.
Umami is often referred to as the Fifth Taste (in addition to sweet, salty, sour, and bitter). It's a Japanese term that translates to "pleasant savory taste," and it's really just that. Umami is the deliciously rich, meaty flavor you'll get naturally from foods like parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, soy sauce, miso, and of course, mushrooms. And for those concerned about monosodium glutamate (MSG), fear not: because Umami occurs naturally in mushrooms, Trader Joe's has managed to capture its delicious essence without any additives.
Umami is as versatile as they come, and a hit of TJ's magic mushroom blend will add a little "lift" to foods with zero added effort. Here are a few of our favorite ways to use it:
- Sprinkle on top of this avocado toast recipe
- Pour it over popcorn as a lower-sodium swap for salt
- Mix into homemade veggie burgers or inside the bun of one that's premade
- Usa as a topper for roasted sweet potatoes (or any roasted vegetable)
- Sprinkle over grilled eggplant, or mix it into the marinade
- Stir into the coating for this delicious recipe for Panko-crusted chicken tenders
- Add on top of Nicoise salad or blend it into the dressing
- Dash it over this baked salmon with mushrooms before it goes in the oven (...and after)
If you're looking for a Trader Joe's nearby, you're in luck: the grocery chain is constantly adding locations, and a bunch of the 2019 store openings have already been announced.