Tagged With umami


If I had to pick my favourite ingredient of 2018, it would be shio koji.

This traditional Japanese paste — which is made from fuzzy, inoculated rice, salt, and water — adds savoury depth and miso-like umami to anything you smear it on, and an overnight hang in the stuff will do wonders for your (uncured) pork.


Any time I have ever mentioned bonito flakes, either online or in this thing called "real life", one very well meaning person will say, "I thought those were for cats." While it's true the a cat would find them very pleasing, these feathery, savoury and smoky flakes are best enjoyed by humans, who are more equipped to appreciate the umami-packed delicacy.


MSG - or Monosodium glutamate to give it its proper name - is widely believed to contain dangerous toxins. The once popular food additive has been shunned by many Australian Chinese restaurants who proudly proclaim their dishes are now "MSG free". But do we really need to be worried? Not according to this infographic from Compound Interest.


If you've ever seen a bright yellow bottle with two happy-looking old people on it, you've probably wondered exactly what are Bragg's Liquid Aminos. Basically, it's an unfermented, soy sauce-like product made completely from soy beans and water (meaning it's wheat free), and it is delicious.


Marmite is a somewhat polarising spread. (Their slogan is "Love it. Hate it.") Made from brewer's yeast, the salty paste is the British answer to Vegemite. Like Vegemite, it has an umami-packed, almost condensed-soy-sauce-like flavour that can be overwhelming in large amounts. Add just a smidge, though, and you'll boost the savoury-factor of whatever you're eating many times over.


"Umami", also known as "the fifth taste", is a flavour that is kind of hard to describe. It's savoury, but not salty, though it is usually accompanied by salt. It's been described as "meaty", "mushroom-y" and "brothy", but I prefer to describe it as "that flavour that makes you eat an entire bag of Doritos in one sitting".