Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mushroom Powder (For Vegetarian Cooking)



These are my recent purchases - mushroom seasoning powder. I've ditched chicken stock already and it's hard to find liquid vegetable stock here in Singapore. I paid a total of about S$17 for all three, I think.

The one in the can is the priciest because it contains seaweed extract and shiitake powder. The other two just state "mushroom powder". They all don't contain MSG or preservatives (at least that's what is claimed on the packaging).

So far, so good. They flavour dishes very nicely. I made a vegetarian Ngoh Hiang (spring roll) using the one from the white box, and it was fantastic! That post will be coming up soon, so stay tuned.



I think you can get these quite easily from any vegetarian food supplies shop. Singapore readers can get the list here. Regardless of whether you are vegetarian (I still eat seafood!), these mushroom seasoning powder make an excellent base for soups and stocks. I guess you'll be seeing more dishes from me, using them.

Anyone who has tips on using (non-MSG) seasoning for vegetarian cooking, please do share! Thanks. :)

21 comments:

  1. Oh wow- That is great to learn about- thank you for sharing!

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  2. I use Massel veg powdered stock. Massel has no msg. Don't know if it is only available in Australia. It comes in liquid and stock cubes too.

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  3. Piacerebbe anche a me provare questi prodotti, chissa' se riesco a reperirli nei negozi etnici, vedro' di informarmi. Leggerti è sempre un piacere. Un abbraccio, buon fine settimana Daniela.

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  4. These look very interesting. I will look for these next time I go to the Asian market.
    Thanks Ju!

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  5. Wow vegetarian ngoh hiang... that i haveta see! What's the main meat substitute? (Oh ok ok I'll wait for your post.. =)

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  6. I have some mushroom powder and add it as a flavor to many dishes. I was wondering...do you think you could make your own mushroom powder? Would it be cheaper?

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  7. I would be careful about this stuff, or at the least, don't delude yourself into thinking this is "healthier" or more "natural". It's true that it doesn't have MSG directly, but mushrooms are a natural source of glutamates, so making an extract of mushrooms isn't much different from any other way you could end up with concentrated glutamates. And many of these products contain other agents (like Sodium Guanylate / Disodium Guanylate) that dramatically exaggerate the effect of the naturally occurring glutamates. You can do a web search if you want to know more, though of course take much of what you read with a grain of salt.

    The one I see most here in LA is:
    http://www.vegieworld.com/cart/product_pages.asp?id=710 - looks the same as the type on the bottom right in your photo, and lists Sodium 5'Guanylate as an ingredient.

    If you want a savory flavor without MSG, you can make a kelp (kombu) stock pretty quickly, and soak or boil some dried shitakes in the water.

    I know that people get really worked up about MSG (one way or another); in my experience, it doesn't really matter if the glutamates come from MSG or from natural sources (tomato, soy sauce and other fermented soy products, mushrooms, nutritional yeast, etc.) -- if you're going to have problems from foods containing glutamates or a lot of tyramine, it will probably cause you problems regardless of the source.

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  8. Seaweed extract reads MSG to me. There are a lot of terms for MSG.

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  9. You can try getting the Marigold Organic Bullion powder (vegetable stock) from some organic stores. They are also sold at Cold Storage, Meidi-ya and Brown Rice Paradise at Tanglin Mall. The flavour is good and it is also organic. Confirm no msg and preservatives!

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  10. Lyndsey: That's my next project!

    Little Corner of Mine: I never would have known. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Cindy: Thanks! I will check this one out. :)

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  11. my sil is into vegetarian but she is similar as u, she stil consume seafood - probably fish only since she allegic to some of the seafood. She had introduced mushroom powder to us as well, think my mil bought a bottle too but not sure whether she stil cont'd to use after tat bottle, I m not doing the cooking so not sure :P. But the dishes with mushroom powder definately are tasty too.

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  12. I try not to use any seasoning powder whenever possible. I think using home made stock (be it vegetable or chicken) is much better. Make a big batch and then freeze them into smaller containers.

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  13. I have been using mushroom powder too for seasoning, more healthy I suppose. If you are using pyrex glassware for cooking soup...just remember to lower the fire as after adding this powder, the water will spill over the glassware, spilling all over the stove.

    : )

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  14. Yes,my vegetarian sister introduced this to me years ago. I always have this in my pantry but I am still not totally crazy over the use of this for soup - I still like the sweet taste of meat or dried fish in my stock.... But for seasoning fried dishes,especially vegetables, this is good enough. For vegetarian soup, I still prefer to use Kombu and miso paste.

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  15. I've been reading a lot about umami and how mushrooms are loaded with flavour - I've never seen it in powder form but am sure it is a great flavour enhancer.

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  16. You could make your own vegetable stock and freeze it in ice cube trays and then just pop out a cube when you need it. I have yet to become organized enough to do that ... but I'm just sayin'!

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  17. Looks like I will be using this mushroom powder sparingly. I think there is MSG in it ... under the guise of "seaweed extract" and/or other less suspicious names. I do agree with all of you that making your own stock is better. However, I have never had success with vegetable stock. For some reason, they taste sour whenever I thaw, and it's not cos they turned bad. Hmmm ... I guess I will be trying again. Thanks for all your helpful tips! :)

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  18. For me, I enjoy Indian spices as seasonings for vegetarian food.

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  19. Can anyone tell me if any of these 3 products are made from Corn? I'm allergic to corn & iodine and I love eating asian noodle broth. I know they all use MSG and I love the taste.

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  20. hi can you tell me where do you get the can one and the one on the left?

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  21. Drizzt: I got mine from a small shop at Geylang East. Any shop that sells vegetarian supplies will stock them. Refer to the list of shops I linked to, in my post above.

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