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5 Easy Umami Recipes!

We can all be umami mammies.

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Rachel DolfiNew York, New York, United States
Southerner transported to NYC because of food! Associate Food Editor at TheFeedfeed.
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Salty, Sour, Sweet and Bitter Are Old News

As we begin to scrape the bottoms of our pantries for inspiration, I wanted to introduce y’all to some pantry staples I keep on hand to help a dish that feels lacking. All of these ingredients are easy to store, keep forever and they all happen to have something in common—the word, umami! You may have heard this word floating around and there’s good reason. Umami is known as the fifth sense (the other four being salty, sweet, sour and bitter), and although it’s hard to define, you know it when you taste it. It’s the meaty flavor your taste buds pick up on when eating a mushroom, or that indescribable bliss that comes from mounds of grated Parmesan cheese. These foods both contain glutamates, which your tongue picks up on in the form of deeply savory tastes. My favorites include Vegemite or Marmite (the sticky, brown Aussie/Brit condiment), miso (a fermented soybean paste), anchovies, sun-dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. So I’ve gathered together five easy recipes that include these scrumptious staples in the hopes that they too will become pantry must-haves for you.
 
Roast Chicken with Sweet and Spicy Anchovy Butter
By @daenskitchen
Compound butters are one of my favorite ways to look fancy, without actually doing anything difficult. Daen combines butter, honey, chilies and anchovies (I see you, umami) together and tucks it under the skin of the bird, allowing it to permeate throughout the chicken. Throw some veg onto the roasting tray and you’ve got a quick, flavorful dinner on the table.

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Cheesy Baked Onion Dip
By @saharabohoskey

This recipe is a great clean-out for your fridge and pantry! Any melty, sharp cheese like cheddar, gouda or gruyere will pair well with the mounds of caramelized onions in this recipe. Not to mention, the umami-laden marmite brings a savory element that compliments the sweetness of the onions. Don’t have a loaf of bread? No problem, just bake off the ingredients in a small casserole dish or a cast iron skillet.

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Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
by @itsallgoodvegan

This recipe is chock full of glutamates, with ingredients like diced tomatoes, nutritional yeast and sun-dried tomatoes, and every bite is an explosion of flavor. It’s also the perfect pantry meal, utilizing plenty of dried and canned goods. Whip up double the amount of pesto and keep it in the fridge to scoop onto breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

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Chicken Milanese with Herby Escarole Salad
by @leekalpakis

Lee Kalpakis has created the gateway for anchovy curious folks to become anchovy lovers. She includes anchovies in a bright dressing that pairs perfectly with lightly bitter escarole. Any green is acceptable here, but I’d aim towards the sturdier greens. It’s topped it off with crunchy, crispy chicken and plenty of Parmesan. I’ve made this several times at home and it always makes me smile!

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Miso Caramel and Tahini Brown Butter Popcorn
by @saratane

I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve been snacking non-stop since I’ve been staying indoors. I also have a deep obsession with stovetop popcorn. This mixture of nutty tahini, salty miso and sweet caramel just takes me there! Highly recommend you stop what you’re doing and go make this salty-sweet snack of perfection.

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