Food Pharmacy, Recipes

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Umami Tomato Sauce

Umami can seem a bit esoteric, so for our benefit and hopefully yours we’ve written up a 30 second breakdown of what exactly umami is, where it comes from and how to use it, plus we share a simple recipe that is umamilicious. 

The most important thing to know about umami in terms of cooking is that, umami is definitely your friend. Umami is a sought-after and pleasing flavor, it brings depth to dishes that can otherwise be flat and it is found in foods that are savory such as, parmesan cheese, mushrooms, miso soup and seaweed to name a few. 

Umami is renowned as the “fifth taste” the other four being, sweet, sour, salty and bitter. The term was coined about 100 years ago in Japan by a professor and translated directly it means “pleasant savory taste”.

Using umami enhancing ingredients in plant-based cooking can be “the missing link” that brings depth and richness to dishes, hence why we’ve got a tomato sauce on the menu today with a secret umami ingredient. 

Umami Tomato Sauce
(serves 4)

½ yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
400g / 2 cups of cocktail tomatoes, quartered
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Trader Joe’s Multi-Purpose Umami Seasoning (substitute with crushed dried mushrooms if needed)
1 tbsp / 1 cube vegetable bouillon
½ cup water
chili flakes
fresh basil and parsley
olive oil

Saute the onion and garlic in a pot with a bit or olive oil over medium heat until softened. Toss in the quartered cocktail tomatoes(make sure to get all their juice in the pot too!). After a few minutes, add in the rest of the ingredients and simmer for another 5 -10 minutes. Serve on your preferred pasta, we went with zucchini noodles, and top with a bit more fresh basil and parsley.

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