Umami Sea Salt enhances and adds depth of flavor to simple roast asparagus side dish, as well as many other roast vegetables, meats, soups and even salads.
I absolutely adore our local Oaktown Spice Shop – they opened a second location closer to us and I can’t help but pop in every time I drive by. I can spend an hour in the place exploring what’s in the rows and rows of colorful jars, asking questions of the knowledgable staff, and love that I can purchase as little or as much as I want. I buy nearly all our spices there now in little bags and then fill magnetic metal containers that attach on the side of the fridge, which keep those we use most easy to reach and find, and also save space.
One of our favorites is their Umami Sea Salt. If you’re not familiar with the term umami, it’s simply the fifth taste – alongside sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. It “describes an indescribable deliciousness” and means “savoriness” in Japanese. Think about the extra-something-ness of Parmesan, dried shitake mushrooms, anchovies, soy sauce, and miso bring – they naturally contain that umami-ness. The cool thing about umami is you can achieve that depth of flavor without using a lot of salt. Nothing against, salt, I love salt, but you know, all things in moderation.
When I ran out Umami Sea Salt recently, I improvised my own version and it was almost as yummy! It is available to order (and other wonderful ingredients) online on their website – but if don’t have theirs on hand, try mixing up your own as I did. Roast asparagus is also delicious with just good quality sea salt, olive oil, and fresh ground pepper – but why not engage your fifth taste and give the umami version a try?
Other inspiring uses: on other vegetables, on meats and chicken, in soups and salads… even on eggs! One taste and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Umami Sea Salt Asparagus
- rimmed sheet pan
- grinder (if making your own Umami Sea Salt)
- 1 bunch asparagus, hard ends broken off or trimmed about 1 lb - medium to thin in size
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1-2 tsp Umami Sea Salt or Kosher Salt or Sea Salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1 tbsp ground dried Porcini or Shitake mushrooms if making your own Umami Salt
- 1 tbsp coarse or flake sea salt if making your own Umami Salt
- 1/2 tsp dried garlic powder or granules if making your own Umami Salt, bonus if you have black garlic powder or granules
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- If you don't have Umami Sea Salt you can create your own by mixing together ground dried shitake or porcini mushrooms, sea salt, garlic powder or granules. Set aside.
- Place the asparagus in one layer on the sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle the Umami Salt evenly over the top. Jiggle with your fingers to make sure they are fully coated with the olive oil and salt mixture.
- Place sheet pan in the middle or upper rack of oven for 15-20 minutes until a bit brown and cooked through, shaking the sheet pan to turn them a bit midway through. Transfer to platter or plates and serve.