What’s A Good Maggi Seasoning Substitute?

Maggi seasoning is a key ingredient in regional cuisines all over the world. It is a fast way to add umami and other savory notes to food without needing long-cooking consommes and stocks. There are nine different formulations of Maggi seasoning with nine flavor profiles to make them suitable for regional taste preferences worldwide. This means Mexican Maggi seasoning will differ from the Eastern European version. The difference means that no single substitute can perfectly replace all of them; however, they all share the same basic character even though the nuances are different. Here is a look at some of the best Maggi seasoning substitutes.

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Your best bet: A Soy Sauce and Worcestershire Sauce blend

The combination of Soy sauce and Worcestershire sauces does a great job of replicating the concentrated umami and complexity you get from Maggi seasoning. The soy sauce will give you the saltiness and caramel note that you would get from Maggi seasoning, while the Worcestershire sauce adds fragrant depth. Plus, both seasoning liquids have the same concentrated dark brown color you would get from Maggi seasoning.

Soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce are both easy to find and common in Western kitchens. If you don’t have them, they are available in most grocery stores and are inexpensive. Depending on the regional variant of Maggi seasoning you are trying to replicate, you may still need to do some additional work; however, this soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce mixture should form an excellent foundation for a Maggi seasoning substitute.

A decent second choice: Fish sauce

A key source of the umami note in Southeast Asian cuisine, fish sauce will provide much of the flavor profile you would get from Maggi seasoning. It is rich in the glutamic acid that gives Maggi seasoning its savory character. If you regularly cook Thai or Vietnamese cuisine, you probably already have fish sauce on hand; otherwise, look for it in your local Asian store if you live outside of Asia. Some mainstream grocery stores in culturally diverse cities may have fish sauce in their Asian sections.

The drawback of fish sauce is that while it does enhance umami notes, the flavor is different from that of Maggi seasoning and can significantly change the taste of a dish if you use too much of it. When replacing Maggi seasoning with fish sauce, start with half of what the recipe requires and increase to taste. Another issue is that while Maggi seasoning is usually vegan depending on which region’s version you are using, fish sauce is never vegan and cannot be used as a substitute for vegans.

In a Pinch: Kitchen Bouquet

Described on the label as a browning and seasoning sauce, Kitchen Bouquet is another branded commercial product used for some of the same purposes as Maggi seasoning.

Kitchen Bouquet has less salt and is less flavorful overall than Maggi seasoning, but it has the same color and provides a mild umami flavor. Kitchen Bouquet will be easier to find than Maggi seasoning in many parts of the US.

Other alternatives

Red miso is a soybean paste used as a condiment and is a key ingredient in many Japanese dishes. While it won’t offer the same kind of herbal complexity you would get from Maggi seasoning, it can provide a strong umami note.