The Mystery of Umami

The Mystery of Umami

All seasoned cooks have their secret ingredients they use to add that last, elusive layer of flavour to their dish that brings everything together. Asian chefs have been using naturally brewed soy sauce in this capacity for over two hundred years, and now the rest of the cooking world is catching on.

Because of the more than 285 flavour and aroma components in naturally brewed Kikkoman Soy Sauce, its applications go far beyond simply using it as a condiment for take-out Chinese dishes or sushi. Kikkoman Soy Sauce acts as a subtle flavour enhancer, rounding out and heightening the other ingredients in a dish. It also contains umami, the fifth primary flavour, described as the savoury and delicious qualities found in some foods, such as Parmesan and tomatoes. Umami is newly discovered by science, but long understood by our palates. When umami is balanced properly with the other four primary flavours “sweet, salty, bitter and sour” the food, whether it be pastry, pizza or pasta, is ultimately more delectable.

It’s important to use naturally brewed soy sauce. Non-brewed soy sauce is harsh-tasting and acrid-smelling and will not provide the nuances of flavour to finish a dish.

Whether added to a soup, stew, marinade, or dipping sauce, Kikkoman will enhance the vibrant character of your culinary creations.

As an experiment, replace the salt you normally use with a swirl of soy sauce in seafood, meat, vegetables, salad dressings – even pasta sauces. The result: A clean, balanced flavour without drowning out subtle tastes. Cream sauces will taste nuttier. Tomato sauce will be less acidic; batters more golden brown. Pot roasts will be heartier, and sautéed mushrooms will taste meatier. Try a lemon-soy aioli for grilled fish, or how about a soy beurre-blanc for roasted asparagus? The possibilities are endless.