Photo: umami powder ingredients - bonito flakes, kombu, dried shiitake mushrooms

During one of our call-in segments, listener Erica (Seattle, WA) wowed Francis with her secret ingredient – umami powder. The powder is made of kombu, bonito flakes, and shiitake mushrooms that are pulverized to a very fine powder. Erica says she uses the umami powder on almost everything - chicken, burgers, meatloaf, and even savory oatmeal - to add a wonderful depth and ultra-savory flavor. Below is the recipe as Erica relayed it to Francis Lam. Listen to their full conversation including other uses for the powder in the call-in segment of Episode 641.


  • 6 tablespoons bonito flakes

  • 1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms

  • 1 ounce kombu


If necessary, break kombu and mushrooms into small pieces that fit into blender or grinder. Blend all ingredients in blender or coffee grinder. A coffee grinder will make a much finer powder. Store in an airtight container.