learn how to add umami flavor to every dish you make !

The word umami is starting to become a bit like avocado toast…


Trends cycle with foods just like with fashion, baby names, and car colors. What’s with that new poo-poo brown car color btw and who would ever want that? Anyway, umami is here to stay. If you aren’t familiar with the term, it has been defined as the fifth sense of taste. We all know the difference between sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Umami is a bit harder to define. Have you ever had MSG? Certainly you have. It’s in Chick-Fil-A’s chicken sandwich, in Doritos, Pringles, bouillon cubes and Ranch dressing. The beloved Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup? Yep! It’s in there! Basically, all the foods that seem to be crazy-addictive that you can’t stop eating??? MSG. That is umami. You will want to learn how to add umami flavor to every dish you make!

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Fortunately, MSG isn’t the only way to create umami.

Top Providers of Umami

A few simple items that will add umami to your dishes

  • yeast extract
  • soy sauce
  • Miso paste
  • parmesan cheese
  • sardines, especially dried
  • meat
  • dried shiitake mushrooms
  • Bonito flakes
  • toasted nuts

Other foods deliver umami flavor such as the notorious Marmite, popular in Britain which you either love or hate, seaweed, and oyster sauce.

Add umami flavors to take your dishes to the next level without extra fat or salt. Trust me and give it a go!

Try this recipe by Jamie Oliver, my current Chef obsession.

Italian Mushroom and Pea Risotto garnished with shaved Parmesan cheese

Try Porcini Mushroom Risotto

How To Add Umami Flavor To All Your Dishes with These Pantry Items!

How To Add Umami

Pastes and Sauces

Harrissa is a spicy North African condiment and can add incredible flavor to roasted cauliflower and lamb. It’s a brilliant marinade and adds a boost of flavor to any soup.

Mango Chutney works beautifully with chicken for depth of flavor and with spicy dishes, adding notes of contrast. Serve over brie or in grilled cheese sandwiches.

Sriracha drizzled over roasted vegetables takes flavor up a few notches. Mix sriracha with ketchup for burgers, lightly drizzle on shrimp, salmon, and pulled pork. A few drops mixed into plain yogurt with lemon juice and herbs will create a dish all will love!

Make crazy-easy, flavorful curry with a Thai curry paste! Add a few tablespoons to chicken and veggies with a bit of coconut milk for a simple, mouthwatering dish!

Anchovy paste. Have you ever had Caesar salad without anchovies? Not good. Grind them or use a pre-made paste and all you will know is how over the top the flavor is. Anchovies mixed with olive oil on pasta will change your life. Mix into your favorite party dip to bring in countless compliments!

Black bean paste. Add insane umami flavor with little effort. Pound chicken, score it half way down then cover it well with black bean paste. Saute’ for the most flavorful chicken you’ve ever tasted! Use on pan seared steak, cooked medium-rare and you will never look at steak the same way again. Think tofu is bland? Add black bean paste to any tofu dish and transform your vegetarian attitude!

Chili Jam should live permanently on your pantry shelf! Add to rice and stir fry dishes. Pair with a few splashes of Worcestershire for a phenomenal burst of umami flavor.

Make it delicious, the easy way!

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