The earthy, savory flavor of truffle oil is unmistakable. But what do you do if you can’t find it or don’t want to spend the money? Here are some substitutes that will give you a similar flavor profile but not break the bank.
This article is about the best substitutes for truffle oil and how you can come close to the rich umami flavor it provides.
Substitute #1 – Truffle Salt
Truffle salt is salt that has been infused with the flavor of truffles to provide a distinctive, earthy flavor. This flavor is extracted and added to salt, which amplifies the flavor of whatever dish it’s used in. Whether it’s sprinkled on top of pasta or used to season a steak, truffle salt is an easy way to add a touch of luxury to any meal. And best of all, it’s far less expensive than truffle oil.
Substitute #2 – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is a type of olive oil that is made from pure, cold-pressed olives. It is the highest quality olive oil available and has a fruity, peppery flavor. It is also the most expensive type of olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is best used for drizzling over salads or dipping bread, as it has a low smoke point and will become bitter when heated. In contrast, regular olive oil has a more neutral flavor and can be used for cooking. While it’s not quite the same umami flavor as truffles, EVOO can elevate the flavor of any meal.
Substitute #3 – Porcini Mushroom Oil
Porcini mushroom oil is made from dried porcini mushrooms. When used in cooking, it gives food a rich, earthy flavor. It is often used as a finishing oil, drizzled over cooked meats or vegetables. Porcini mushroom oil can also be used in place of other oils in recipes. It is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Some people believe that porcini mushroom oil can boost the immune system and help to fight off illness. There is no scientific evidence to support these claims, but many people swear by the health benefits of this unique oil. If you are looking for a flavorful cooking oil, porcini mushroom oil is worth trying.
Substitute #4 – Worcestershire Sauce
Worcestershire sauce is one of those ingredients that can be hard to define. Is it a condiment? A seasoning? A marinade? The truth is, it’s all of those things and more. Worcestershire sauce is traditionally made with anchovies, vinegar, molasses, tamarind, garlic, onion, and spices. The exact recipe is a closely guarded secret, but these days there are plenty of brands to choose from if you’re looking to add a little umami to your cooking. So next time you’re in the grocery store aisle wondering what exactly Worcestershire sauce is, remember that it’s versatile, flavorful, and worth adding to your pantry.
Substitute #5 – Fish Sauce
Fish sauce is made from fermented fish. If you’re a fan of truffle oil, you might want to consider switching to fish sauce. Fish sauce is lower in calories and fat, and it’s a good source of protein. It’s also far less expensive and more readily available than truffle oil. There are many brands to choose from, and it’s a staple ingredient in Asian cuisine.
Make Your Own Mushroom Oil
Making your own mushroom oil is easy and only requires a few ingredients. First, you’ll need mushrooms. Any type of mushroom will do, but if you’re looking for a more intense flavor, try using shiitake or portobello mushrooms. Once you have your mushrooms, chop them up into small pieces. Next, heat up some oil in a pan. Olive oil and vegetable oil both work well. Once the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and cook until they’re soft. Finally, allow the mixture to cool before straining out the mushrooms.
Place the oil in a clean jar with a lid and use it for cooking or as a dressing for salads, dipping bread, or anywhere else you like to use oils.
Whether you choose to use truffle salt, extra virgin olive oil, porcini mushroom oil, Worcestershire sauce, or fish sauce in your cooking, each of these substitutes will add a touch of luxury and umami flavor to your meals. They are all less expensive than truffle oil and can easily be found at most grocery stores.
And most importantly, they make whatever you’re eating more delicious.