Vegemite, either you love it or hate it, right? Or you’re like me and hated it for years and then suddenly realised it’s actually great. But not only is it good on toast with a mountain of butter (the only way to do it, in my opinion), that salty yeasty spread has such a good umami flavour, so it’s also really bloody good in a bunch of other recipes as well.
So let’s explore a few of them, shall we?
1. Nigella’s Spaghetti
Probably the first thing everyone thinks of when taking Vegemite away from breakfast is doing up that famous Nigella Lawson recipe.
In hers, she originally called for Marmite – Vegemite’s grosser, sweeter cousin from the UK – but swapping in our National Spread™ is definitely worth a run.
The Vegemite is the main hit of savoury flavour in this recipe, bringing a salty sharpness to cut through the creaminess of the butter while complementing the funk of the parmesan.
My friend Jocelyn also told me she made a vegan Cacio e Pepe while in Italy with a combo of Vegemite and nutritional yeast in place of the cheese, and said it was delicious as hell.
2. Vegemite Stock
I came across this when I had my first winter out of home and was trying to make a hearty veggie soup stretch another couple of meals. You know what it’s like, trying everything in your very-limited mental cookbook to jazz up the same boring-ass meal for the fifth meal straight.
I was out of veggie stock powder and instead dissolved a tablespoon of Vegemite in a couple of cups of boiling water, and stirred it through the soup that had soaked up all of the previous stock.
And you know what? It tasted fucking amazing. Vegemite as a stock brought this new depth to my soup that blew my tiny fresh-out-of-home brain.
3. Sticky Wings
Do you know what else Vegemite works really well on? The humble sticky chicken wing. Working it in with flavours like sweet soy kecap manis, oyster sauce, and chilli allows the Vegemite to round out the sticky sauce with its umami flavour.
This Sweet & Sticky Vegemite Chicken recipe from Australia’s Best Recipes (big call there) shows that adding that inky black spread into your next wings n’ tins night will probably go down a treat.
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4. Baked Potatoes
While I was looking around for Vegemite-related recipes, this one piqued my interest and yes I’ll be making it as soon as I possibly can. Baked potatoes glazed with Vegemite. Everything sounds like it’s delicious – carbs slathered in salty goodness and roasted to crispy perfection? Sign me the fuck up.
This recipe from UK cook CateInTheKitchen actually calls for Marmite (God they’re so obsessed with it) but I reckon switching it out with Vegemite would work just as well as the Nigella pasta recipe.
I dare say it would probably make the most comforting carby deliciousness, par-boiling the potatoes so they go all soft and fluffy, and then dousing them in Vegemite and oil, and crisping them up to perfection in the oven.
Vegemite brownies. Yep, we’re going there. Having that salty yeasty spread in your sweet snack recipes might feel incredibly wrong but may I kindly remind you of that Vegemite chocolate that Cadbury did a while back? Or when Boost made a Vegemite smoothie that actually didn’t taste like ass? They were divisive but I’ll be honest, I loved them both.
So naturally, chucking some Vegemite in a brownie recipe has me salivating. This recipe from Hettie McKinnon at Arthur Street Kitchen in Surry Hills has me daydreaming about my baking plans for the rest of the lockdowns. Am I going to try a salty-and-sweet brownie? You bet your sweet ass I am.
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6. Literally Anything That Calls For Anchovies
I think what we’ve established here is the general taste of Vegemite, right? It’s salty, and umami, and can either pack a bit of a punch or work away as a quiet hero in the background. Do you know what else does exactly that? Anchovies.
So if you’re not partial to tiny little salty fish in your food (I can’t blame you, I’ve only become a fan of them like this year) you can always try swapping out anchovies for Vegemite in any recipes that call for those wee fishies. Except for maybe anchovies on pizza, but hey, I’m not going to stop you.Image: Instagram / @rosiegodwin