The Umami-Packed Pantry Sauce You Should Try Adding To Eggs

In the world of food, sauces are an especially beloved kitchen ingredient that provides those much-needed flavors, moisture, and often a visual or textual contrast to a number of delectable dishes. And which sauces do you opt for when shopping in a supermarket? Do you keep your pantry well-stocked with umami-packed sauces? And what is umami, anyway? 

MasterClass reports that umami is a Japanese word referring to "a pleasant, savory taste." Umami is also a part of the five tastes alongside sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. And if you think you haven't experienced umami, think again. You must've eaten ripe tomatoes, braised salmon, parmesan, or shiitake mushrooms at least once in your lifetime. If you have, those are all excellent examples of umami-rich foods. And Ajinomoto reveals that some of the best umami-rich sauces include ketchup, tomato paste, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce

In the U.S., 24 states have chosen ketchup as their favorite sauce, so we suppose lots of people have it in their pantry. It's a kitchen staple – after all, not many people haven't tried it on a slice of pizza (per Zippia). Those who love to cook probably also have soy sauce in their pantry. This rich Asian condiment provides salty, umami flavors to our dishes (via BBC Good Food). But there is one other umami-packed sauce you should try adding to eggs.

Add oyster sauce to eggs and rice for a comforting late dinner

Maybe you've already guessed it — we're talking about the oyster sauce. What is oyster sauce? If you've never tried it, you could think it's fishy in flavor, but you might be surprised. According to Healthline, oyster sauce is an umami-packed condiment with a syrupy and thick texture that's made with a mixture of oyster juices, sugar, and salt as key ingredients. Its dark brown color can put some people off, but there's no reason to worry – the flavors are sweet, smoky, and very rich, without a hint of fishy or seafood-like flavors (per Great British Chefs). 

And if you're wondering how to make the most of a bottle of oyster sauce, Epicurious recommends grabbing some rice and an egg to go with that sauce, and you have the perfect trifecta for a tasty breakfast or late dinner. Chef Calvin Eng from Brooklyn restaurant Bonnie's, which specializes in Cantonese cuisine, recommends Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce, which has the best viscosity, and many people consider it "bottled nostalgia." Maybe you need more inspiration for cooking with oyster sauce — you can mix it with cooked pasta and sesame oil, a variety of stews and chilis, pulled pork, and bacon quiches. 

While you're stocking up your pantry with bottles of delicious oyster sauce, don't forget to get other pantry essentials. Martha Stewart recommends canned tomatoes and beans, dried pasta, rice, polenta, different types of vinegar, and dried fruit, among others.