Adding umami mushroom salt to asparagus makes for the absolute best grilled veggies. It’s super simple and my favorite use of Umami Salt.
This can barely be called a recipe because it is such a simple formula to perfect grilled vegetables. The process is always the same:
- Cut up veggies into easily manageable pieces
- Toss them with oil
- Cook over high heat, checking texture for doneness
- Finish with flaky umami salt
There are plenty of awesome marinade recipes to try out there. It’s impossible to beat the simple stuff when done perfectly. So… yeah. This post isn’t inventive, new, or anything fancy. This post is just a reminder that summer season isn’t limited to the hardcore barbecuing pit-masters of the world. Summer is the time to get some locally-grown (or home-grown) veggies and fire up the grill. Or get the broiler going, and stay inside on those rainy days.
Why Umami Salt Over Regular Salt?
Savory vegetables like eggplant and asparagus are actually very high in their own naturally occurring glutamates. That’s why they taste so good straight off the grill with a little salt.
However, there’s a little known fact that savory-ness doesn’t just come from glutamates, they also come from other amino acids and other umami molecules. Shiitake mushrooms, which are the key ingredient in Umami Salt, are very high in Guanylate, which has a synergistic effect with the naturally occurring glutamates in your vegetables. This means you can bring out tons of umami with just a little tiny bit of shiitake mushrooms.
Thus, we are not changing the simple flavor of the veggies, just bringing it out. When your guests ask how you made the best grilled veggies they’ve ever had, you can just say, “really nothing on them, just a little finishing salt…”
Spicing Up Your Best Grilled Veggies
Don’t think you’re limited to the basic recipe below! Here are some ideas for additional flavors on your umami grilled veggies:
- Balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese, and cracked black pepper
- Sesame oil, sesame seeds, and freshly minced ginger
- Minced garlic, fresh herbs, and a squeeze of lemon (lemon zest too, for extra credit)
- Fresh rosemary, thyme, and crushed red pepper
- Feta, orange, and chopped fennel fronds
Umami Grilled Asparagus
- Charcoal Grill
- 1 lb asparagus trimmed to tender sections
- oil to coat
- umami salt to taste
- Preheat grill until very high heat.
- Coat the asparagus spears with oil.
- Grill over high heat for 2-5 minutes or to desired doneness. Flip asparagus as needed.
- Sprinkle with umami salt and toss together lightly. Done.