Quantcast

The Fifth Element of Taste: Umami

Savor the fifth taste, umami, with this decadent burger



Carrie Campbell

Umami, a Japanese word meaning “savory taste,” is commonly described as the fifth taste. For some foods it lends depth and for others it amps up their natural richness. While it’s not necessarily a trend—we’ve been tasting umami since cavemen were enjoying spit-roasted wild boar—its almost-decadent taste has become a recent hit on the culinary scene. Want to dig into your own umami? This beefy burger, mixed with dried mushrooms and fish sauce, is the perfect way to indulge at home.

Umami Burger Bomb

Makes 6 burgers
This burger is all about the sum of its parts. Just three ingredients create a burger with an incredibly beefy oomph! Fear not the fish sauce; it amps up the beef flavor without tasting the slightest bit fishy.

1. Sprinkle the mushroom powder evenly over the meat and drizzle the fish sauce over as well. Mix all ingredients together. Try not to overmix or the burger will take on a meatloaf consistency.
2. Cover and rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour, but up to 24 hours.
3. Shape into burgers and cook any way you like. The caramelization that occurs when cooking indoors on a griddle gives an additional umami flavor layer. Serve on a good bun (toasted is a nice touch).

For an even bigger umami blast, top with Parmesan cheese and slowly roasted tomatoes.

Order Up

To enjoy the taste on the town, try one of these three umami-heavy dishes

Charcuterie Platter at Georges Brasserie
These cured meats offer all the delightfully beefy flavors of umami on one plate. (market price)

4620 Piedmont Row Dr.
980-219-7409


Phwah Burger at Halcyon, Flavors of the Earth
With its foie gras center, ribeye exterior, and egg on top (not to mention bacon, aioli, and cheese), this burger brings umami to gourmet heights. ($24)

500 S. Tryon St.
704-910-0865


Pho Bo at Lang Van
Asian dishes are often heavy in umami, and this classic, brothy beef noodle soup is a perfect example.

3019 Shamrock Dr.
704-531-9525

More »Related Stories

Off the Street

Sabor Latin Street Grill offers budget-friendly street food favorites in a fast-casual setting

The Naked Tart's Raw Approach

N.C. treats are vegetarian and gluten-free

Matthews Rising

After years of transition, the dining scene in downtown Matthews is starting to hit its stride

Coming Soon: CB Italia

CB Italia is a new Myers Park eatery from restaurateur Bruce Moffett

We invite your responses and discussion. Please refrain from personal attacks, profanity, commercial promotion, or non sequiturs.

Add your comment:

Blogs »


Dusk Till Dawn

Jarvis Holliday Chronicles Charlotte's Nightlife and Social Scene, Straight No Chaser

Bachelorette Auction, Drex and Maney’s Party with Aloe Blacc, PlayDate Charlotte, Passport For Fashion, and More April 24-27

Charlotte’s social scene is jam packed with events over the next few days.

Comments


Revue

Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

This Weekend in Charlotte (4/23/14): Gillian Welch, PostSecret, Othello, & Lady Antebellum

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

5 Great DIY Projects

Home renovations, gardening tips, and a backyard bash to inspire your creative side

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Food (Truck) Fights

New rules could hurt the industry

Comments


Revue

Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

Charlotte Magazine Cover Shoot Featured in Matrimony Video

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Apply for a Grant from Keep Charlotte Beautiful

The committee will award $5,000 for projects that make lasting impacts

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

The Agenda 21 Derangement

How a wild conspiracy theory lassoes mainstream Republicans, Pat McCrory included.

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

New Favorite Spring Side

Highlighting spring vegetables should be the highlight of your day, especially when its this

Comments


On Tap

Matt McKenzie on Craft Beer in Charlotte

A busy week in Charlotte craft beer with events by VBGB, JJ's Red Hots/Triple C, Custom Home Pubs/Unknown, Olde Mecklenburg and Birdsong

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

McCrory's Coal Ash Proposal: All Sizes Fit One

Gov. McCrory's proposed coal ash legislation sounds like a strong step toward forcing Duke Energy to clean the stuff up. It's not. Here's why.

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Spring Feasts

Ham, matzah, lamb, potatoes, and eggs, oh my. Passover kicked off Monday and Easter is coming up, so I've got a meal plan ready for you if you've put it off till now.

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Coming This Fall: RockSalt

Owner Travis Croxton on his new space at Park Road Shopping Center, his family's oyster farm, and his love of Price's Chicken Coop

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Matthews Market Opens for Spring this Saturday

After a snowy winter and early spring cold snap, farmers and customers are eager to return

Comments


Dusk Till Dawn

Jarvis Holliday Chronicles Charlotte's Nightlife and Social Scene, Straight No Chaser

Nightlife News: Sydney’s Martini and Wine Bar Opens, Rebranding Leads to 3 Trade, and Dharma Lounge Prepares to Close

Keep up with the changing landscape in Charlotte’s nightlife scene.

Comments


On Tap

Matt McKenzie on Craft Beer in Charlotte

Charlotte’s first growler fill store to open this summer

Located in SouthEnd, The Beer Growler will have 45 taps

Comments


Dusk Till Dawn

Jarvis Holliday Chronicles Charlotte's Nightlife and Social Scene, Straight No Chaser

Springtime Events, ‘Illmatic’ Tribute Party, Cigars and Stilettos, Oak Room’s First Anniversary, and More April 17-20

The days leading up to Easter are quite eventful in Charlotte. Your social itinerary awaits.

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Carowinds in Bloom

The springtime festival continues through the weekend with flowers, cooking demos, and craft beer

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Sow Much Good

Providing fresh produce and farm goods to those in urban deserts, Sow Much Good has reopened

Comments


Revue

Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

This Weekend in Charlotte (4/16/14): Blue Man Group, Springsteen, & Local Natives

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

The 'Republican Civil War'

A Monday afternoon sampler.

Comments