Chicken Salt – Australia’s very own special seasoning
It happens in every chicken, fish’n’chip shop or burger joint across Australia. As your fresh batch of hot chips, steaming from the fryer, is slid into a little cardboard tub or tray, you’re asked, “Chicken salt or plain?”
A bag of scalding hot chips doused in the spicy, salty, sweet seasoning is something we Aussies have come to cherish.
In fact, chicken salt is such a given in Aussie take-away shops that when Australians travel overseas or expats pop into their local chippy, it can come as quite a surprise to learn that chicken salt is a uniquely Aussie seasoning, one that is not well-known, let alone used, outside our great nation.
Chicken’s salt’s humble history
Until quite recently, chicken salt didn’t have a well-known origin story. Only a few years ago, in 2018, Adam Liaw (beloved in Australia for winning Masterchef, writing many a wonderful cookbook and column, creating delicious recipes for home cooks and presenting his own TV food shows) wrote a column about chicken salt, and how his school chum Jodie claimed her dad had invented it.
What followed was one of those charming stories the internet makes possible.
Jodie saw Adam’s article, got in touch with him via social media and put Adam in touch with her dad Peter Brinkworth. Turns out he did in fact develop the original recipe for chicken salt, to enhance the flavour of the chooks sold from The Gawler Chicken Shop, which Peter and his family ran off the side of their wholesale food supplies store.
Using this and that from his kitchen and warehouse, Peter came up with a flavoursome blend now known as ‘Chicken Salt’.
What is Chicken Salt and what is it made from?
Using onion powder, garlic powder, celery salt, paprika, chicken bouillon, curry powder and MSG, Peter Brinkworth was able to create the Fish’n’chip shop staple, Chicken Salt.
Originally used to season the chickens, the salt soon made its way onto the chips and into little packages sold to customers to use at home.
When the Mitani family took over the wholesale business in 1979, they became custodians of the chicken salt recipe, developing and commercialising Mitani Chicken Salt. Since then, other popular brands such as Masterfoods, Anchor and Woolworths have created their own seasonings, all available at the Australian Food Shop.
Why is Chicken salt the ultimate seasoning?
What can’t it do? With a unique flavour profile suited to all cuisines, chicken salt can be used in the kitchen in a surprising number of ways. Sprinkle over slow roasted or crispy skinned meat, add to sauces, pastas and bakes, sprinkle over popcorn or use it for ‘salt-and-pepper’ recipes.
Not forgetting of course, its original purpose of seasoning char-cooked chickens and to be sprinkled liberally over hot chips.
Buy chicken salt online at the Australian Food Shop
For Aussies living overseas who are missing that unique blend of salt, spices and something else, the Australian Food Shop has a selection of chicken salt options so you can get your tried and true favourite. Check out our full range here and get sprinkling!