Saturday, 21 March 2015


Umami is described as the fifth taste sensation on your taste buds. It's a savory taste that is used widely throughout Asian cuisine. Us westerners are cottoning on to it and now you can find Umami paste sold in the UK. It's great in stir fry's such as this one. It is hard to describe the taste but if you are a fan of Asian food you'll recognize it instantly from restaurant made meals. All you need to know is that its yummy and when combined with a simple Asian sauce and the best fresh veg you can get hold of you are in for a right treat!

 So Umami paste. I came Taste #5 Umami paste across it as it was sent of part of a Flavourly box I had ordered online (if you didn't see them on TV recently check them out, there were some nice foodie finds in mine!). You don't have to order a flavoury box to get your hands on some. Get on the internet and hunt out your nearest stockist. A couple of the large supermarket chains are now beginning to stock it, quite rightly so too and it's sensational and well worth the effort to locate a tube.

The temptation with stir fry's is to buy one of those ready made packet sauces and just bunging it in but please do not do that this time round. Your in danger of completely overwhelming the Umami flavor. Simply whip up a simple sauce using soy, ginger, chili and garlic. It's all you need and its the perfect fresh compliment to your Umami paste.

I like to throw in a couple of cashew nuts into this stir fry to act as the protein and give a little bit of crunch to the dish. If your not a fan of them or have an allergy then simply leave them out. The rest is veg and this is a case of using whatever you have knocking around that will cook in a flash when stir fried. Use my recipe as a guide but experiment with different veg to suit your taste and budget:

Umami Stir Fry

1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
2 Grated Garlic Cloves
1 Tbsp Grated Ginger
1 Tsp Chili Flakes
1 Diced Red Onion
1 Handfull Chopped Mushrooms
1 Diced Red Pepper
1 Diced Green Pepper
Handfull Chopped Green Beans
1 Tbsp Umami Paste
Handfull Whole Cashew Nuts

  1. Place a lightly oiled wok on a medium heat and throw in the soy sauce, garlic, ginger and chili flakes and fry for a minute to release their flavors into the oil.
  2. Throw in the onions, mushrooms, peppers and green beans and fry until the onions begin to soften, stirring everything as you do so everything is coated in the soy sauce.
  3. Spoon in the Umami paste and stir it through the sauce and keep frying and stirring for another 5 minutes.
  4. Throw in the cashews and fry for another 2 minutes, stirring again as you do.
Done! How simple is that. I like my stir fry with the veg still a bit crunchy but if you prefer you can fry for a bit longer until everything is a little bit softer. Just make sure you keep stirring so nothing catches on the bottom of the wok. Serve piping hot straight from the wok onto a bed of rice or noodles and get tucking in with your chopsticks.

Your going to love the Umami flavor in this stir fry. It really is something too make you go UMMMMMMMMM!

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