Umami Paste: The Fifth Taste in a Tube

Umami is the hottest thing to hit taste buds since Harissa in 2009. It’s the “fifth taste,” an elusive flavor found in Japanese cooking that some lady has claimed to have captured in a paste. To me it seems a glorified version of Anchovy Paste, but still quite delicious when added to pasta sauce, as I did today. Umami is perhaps more famous on the West Coast, where Los Angelinos can find the mysterious flavor in burger form at Umami Burger. Perhaps I’ll try the paste on meat in a future post.

Umami Paste Pasta Sauce:

You will need:

1 cup canned tomatoes

2 Tbs olive oil

1 pinch salt

1/2 cup each: celery, carrot, onion

2 Tbs chopped garlic


1. Saute the celery, carrot, onion and garlic in the oil for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and crush before adding to the pan. Simmer for fifteen minutes on low heat. Add the paste and stir, add salt as needed.

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