Video showing how to use umami sauce for umami taste

What is Umami Taste

Umami, meaning “pleasant savory taste” in Japanese, is the fifth basic taste alongside sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. It’s a savory and brothy sensation that comes from glutamates and nucleotides, naturally present in many delicious foods like cheese, mushrooms, and meats.

Imagine a taste that’s not just sweet, sour, salty, or bitter. A taste that’s deep, rich, and lingers on your tongue, leaving you wanting more. This, my friends, is the elusive world of umami taste, a Japanese word meaning “pleasant savory taste.” Discovered in 1908, umami is now recognized as the fifth basic taste alongside its well-known companions.

Unveiling the Mystery of Umami Taste: The Secret Weapon of Japanese Cuisine

So, what exactly is umami? It’s a fascinating taste experience, often described as:

  • Savory: Think the rich depth of mushrooms, aged cheese, or cooked meat
  • Brothy: Imagine the comforting flavor of a well-made soup or dashi broth
  • Meaty: It’s not just meat itself, but that satisfying fullness umami adds to dishes
  • Long-lasting: Unlike sweet or salty, umami taste lingers on your tongue, leaving a warm aftertaste

Scientifically speaking Umami comes from two main sources

  • Glutamate: This amino acid is naturally found in many foods like tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese, and soy sauce.
  • Nucleotides: These compounds, particularly inosinate and guanylate, are found in meat, seafood, and some vegetables.

When glutamate and nucleotides bind to umami receptors on your tongue, they send a signal to your brain saying “delicious!” This is why umami-rich foods can be so satisfying, encouraging you to eat more for essential nutrients like protein.

But umami is more than just a basic taste. It plays a crucial role in enhancing the overall flavor profile of a dish. Here’s how:

  • Synergy: When umami-rich ingredients like kombu and bonito flakes are combined in dashi, their individual flavors amplify each other, creating a deeper, richer taste
  • Balance: Umami can soften bitterness, making vegetables like broccoli or kale more palatable. It can also round out sweetness and add complexity to simple dishes
  • Mouthfeel: Umami contributes to a pleasant “fullness” in the mouth, making you feel more satisfied after eating

Finding Umami Taste: Foods that Sing Savory

While elusive, umami is all around us. Think of the earthy elegance of mushrooms, the comforting warmth of aged cheese, or the robust heartiness of a perfectly ripe tomato. These are all whispers of umami, adding a layer of complexity and satisfaction to everyday dishes.

But nowhere is umami more deeply woven into the culinary tapestry than in Japanese cuisine. For centuries, Japanese chefs have harnessed the power of umami to elevate flavors and create dishes that are not just delicious, but also deeply comforting and harmonious.

The Dashi Symphony: Where Umami Takes Center Stage

At the heart of this harmonious experience lies the humble kombu seaweed, the foundation of the soul-warming dashi broth. Kombu, rich in natural glutamate, joins forces with the inosinate from bonito flakes, creating a flavor symphony that resonates across the palate.

However, umami’s magic lies not just in individual ingredients, but in their synergy. When different umami-rich ingredients are combined, their flavors amplify each other, creating a depth and complexity that surpasses the sum of its parts. This is the secret behind the satisfying simplicity of miso soup, where dashi and miso paste dance in perfect harmony.

Unlocking Flavor: Your Personal Umami Boosters when Cooking

This is where my delicious Japanese umami sauces come in. They’re not shortcuts, but rather your personal umami ambassadors, ready to unlock the hidden depths of your cooking. Each one adds a unique layer of savory complexity, inviting you to explore the boundless potential of umami.

By understanding and embracing the power of umami, you’re not just enhancing your cooking, you’re embarking on a culinary adventure. You’ll be able to craft dishes that are not just tasty, but truly soul-satisfying, experiences that go beyond the basic tastes and into the realm of pure flavor harmony.

So, are you ready to step into the world of umami? Where depth meets complexity, savoriness reigns supreme, and every bite is a delightful discovery? Let my little umami helpers be your guides on this delicious journey! Our in-house private Japanese chef uses umami flavour in every menu created.

How to incorporate Umami Taste into your home cooking?

Making your own umami taste when cooking can be challenging. And for those of you who know us. We are all about convenience cooking. And that is why we have umami sauces. These sauces can add depth and flavour to your meals. Here are some examples of how to use our uami sauces:

  • Dip Delight: Imagine glazing gyoza in your dipping sauce, the savory notes amplifying the filling’s deliciousness. Or, let tender vegetables soak up the richness, each bite bursting with flavor.
  • Stir-Fry Symphony: A dribble of your stir-fry sauce transforms your veggies, infusing them with savory umami layers. Meat? No problem! Marinate chicken or tofu for an explosion of taste in every stir-fry.
  • Broth Bliss: For soul-warming dashi or miso soups, your broth-infused sauce is the missing piece. A touch of umami depth elevates every sip, making it simply irresistible.
Remember, umami is not just a taste; it’s an experience. Are you ready to unlock it?

P.S. Don’t forget to visit our online store for a range of umami-packed sauces waiting to take your cooking to new heights!

Shopping Basket