For those of you unfamiliar with Umami, it was sent to blow all of your grade school knowledge out of the water. Similar (but exactly the opposite) to “their” decision that Pluto was no longer a planet, Umami is the newly named fifth “taste”. (I wonder if they actually teach that in school now or if its just a foodie term. Any teachers out there that can weigh in??)
Umami’s flavor is best described as savory or meaty and can be found in items such as seaweed, mushrooms, soybeans, tomatoes, meats and well aged cheeses. It lends itself to alot of asian cuisine as you can tell by the previous ingredients. Delicious restaurants such as Umami Burger in LA specialize in this flavor. Their popular Umami Burger (creative, I know) combines as many elements of the Umami flavor as possible - roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, parmesan frico, sauteed shitake mushrooms, housemade ketchup and ground beef dusted in one of our households favorite items - mushroom powder.
Mushroom powder - we make ours out of porcinis - is the easiest way to add that savory Umami flavor to any dish with very little effort. Fantastic sprinkled on a steak or burger to kick the meaty flavor up a notch, perfect in risotto, pasta sauces or soups to add an extra depth of flavor. Anything you could imagines mushrooms in, this magic dust will knock your socks off.
You could likely find Porcini Powder at fancy gourmet food stores, or perhaps a really good international market - but it is so easy to make at home there is no need to waste your time hunting! Simply buy dried porcini (or any variety of your favorite mushroom for that matter), toss it all in a blender or food processor, and blend to a fine powder. Unless you have a small coffee grinder or spice blender you will probably still end up with some small chunks - but nothing wrong with that in my book!
Grill. Cook. Create. Enjoy.