Maldon salt is a flaky sea salt from England’s Essex coast that is well known for its clean, light flavor profile. It can be used to provide a salty flavor just like any other culinary salt or you can take advantage of its clean flavor and pyramid-shaped flakes and use it as a finishing salt. If you can’t find it in your local grocery store and need some in a hurry, try one of the following Maldon salt substitutes.
Your best bet: Fleur de sel
Fleur de sel is a sea salt, just like Maldon salt. It is harvested in France’s Atlantic Coast and its name translates literally to flower of salt. It has a reputation as a particularly delicate salt. Like Maldon salt, it offers an oceanic brininess that can complement your food with none of the bitterness that you might get from iodized table salt. Both Maldon salt and fleur de sel are flaky salts, which makes them easy to measure out and attractive when used as finishing salts.
Over the years, fleur de sel has developed a reputation for being a particularly fine salt. As a result, some varieties can command high prices. The price is one way in which it differs from Maldon salt, which is not cheap but is also not excessively costly.
Another key difference has to do with moisture and how it affects flavor. Fleur de sel is a moist salt. Because of this, its flavor lingers on the tongue for longer than Maldon salt does. Its moisture keeps it from dissolving instantly, so it lingers on the tongue. Maldon salt is dry and is famous for the fact that its flavor disappears quickly, which gives it the impression of being lighter.
Fleur de sel has larger flakes than Maldon salt, but you can start with it as a 1:1 substitute and add more if necessary.
A decent second choice: Flaky sea salt
Simple flaky sea salt has the upside of being readily available, both online and in most grocery stores. It is also inexpensive. It is a dry salt like Maldon salt, which means that it should work, taste and look very much like it. The big drawback is that is that it lacks the reputation for quality that you get with Maldon salt as well as from its main substitute, fleur de sel. If you don’t care about branding and simply want a seasoning that fits into the Maldon salt mold, flaky sea salt is a great option.
Use flaky sea salt as a 1:1 substitute for Maldon salt.
In a pinch: Kosher salt
Kosher salt is just as easy to find in the average local grocery store as the flaky sea salt noted above but will usually be less expensive per ounce. Kosher salt was originally used for drawing blood from meat according to Jewish dietary law. It has large grains, which means that it does not dissolve quickly like Maldon salt; however, it can provide the same intense punch of salinity. In addition, the fact that it has large grains allows it to provide a crunch. Its large, coarse grains mean that a lower volume of kosher salt will fit in a teaspoon. You may need to add a little more than the amount that the recipe requires for Maldon salt.
Use 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt for each teaspoon of Maldon salt.
Regular table salt is much easier to find and much more affordable than all of the Maldon salt alternatives above. It is chemically similar to Maldon salt and provides a salty flavor. It does have drawbacks such as the small grain-size that make it a poor finishing salt as well as the bitterness from additives like iodine.