By Bren Herrera
Umami Taste No. 5. Paste. I’m sure you’ve heard of it by now. If not, you need to stop reading this article right now, do a quick search on it and come back to me. You’ll have a better understanding of the POW I’m about to put on you!
Honestly, I hadn’t heard of this much raved about paste until I did a search myself and read a few food blogs hyping it up. That being said, I’ll admit I’m always usually skeptical of any one new ingredient that claims to be the best new thing, the IT factor in food or the chicest thing you have to add to your pantry. Doesn’t every new product or brand claim to be the best? That’s part of being in business.
But, I digress. I’m supposed to be enticing you to try this umami paste, craftily named after the Japanese term for the 5th palate taste found in savory food. I finally was able to taste it and was intrigued. It had a very strong but smooth taste and wasn’t too thick. I had ideas of what I could do with it.
Since it claims to be the “ultimate flavor bomb to enhance any savoury dish,” I figured it would work with most anything I create in my cocina. But, for a first try, I didn’t want to go crazy and use my small tube on a whole dish that could potentially go bust. Hence, a dibble dabble in one of my favorite sauces: tomatillo. The small green tomato basedsalsa, which is great for steaks, some fish and definitely some homemade whole wheat chips got kicked up a notch when it touched the tip of the silver tube.
I mixed it, tasted it and knew it was as winner. Not because it took my salsa to a whole other level, rather because it gave it a smoky flavor that isn’t necessarily there unless the tomatoes are initially grilled. It was also good for giving it a bit of added thickness in the event I wanted to use my salsa as spread in a really good steak sandwich.
When you’re missing that “oomph”, or that one little ingredient that’s missing but you can’t quite nail it, try Umami paste. It just might kick the salt right back into the spice rack…No. 5 does the trick.
Tomatillo Salsa with Taste #5 Umami Paste
- 1 lbs. fresh tomatillos (husked)
- 1 small white onions
- 2 garlic cloves (peeled)
- 2 tbsp. fresh limejuice
- 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1.5 tsp. salt
- dime size amount of Taste No. 5 Umami paste
Rinse and pat dry tomatillos. Cut into quarters. Heat saucepan and cook tomatillos on medium for twenty minutes or until they begin to break down. Add cooked tomatillosto a food processor or blender. Add onions, salt and limejuice. Pulse for 3-4 minutes until you have a nice chunky salsa. Pour into bowl. Add in umami paste and combine well.
For more from Bren Herrera, please visit her at Flanboyant Eats