Recipe: Umami Burger Bomb, Baby!
Umami is recognized as the ‘fifth taste’; sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami. Just as it is difficult to describe bitter or sour, umami is not easily explained, but here goes… Umami is a depth of flavor, it is savoriness (but not necessarily salty), it makes flavors more flavorful– like a flavor bomb.
Chemically speaking, umami is a glutamate. It occurs naturally in certain foods, and is found often in Asian and Italian cuisines. Some foods rich in umami are: Cured meats (Hello? Bacon!), beef, mushrooms (shiitake, porcini), ripe tomatoes (and sundried tomatoes), kombu (a Japanese sea algae that is SUPER high in umami), and most notably, aged or fermented foods, like Parmesan, shrimp paste, soy sauce and fish sauce.
This explains why some of our most beloved foods came to be so popular: Pizza? Forget about it– loaded with umami. Bacon-mushroom-cheeseburgers? Oh, sing it sister! Tapenade? I got your tapenade right ‘ere! There is a synergy between the ingredients of these favored dishes. A hamburger is good, but stack a burger with sautéed mushrooms and salty bacon, and it’s mind-blowing.
So, here’s my recipe for an Umami Burger Bomb. This burger is the sum of its parts. It tastes nothing like the umami ass-kicking additives that I combine with the beef, no one will detect that you’ve added fish sauce to their burger, all they will know if that it is the best burger they have ever had. Ever.
Umami Burger Bomb
2 and 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used equal parts chuck, sirloin and brisket)
2 tablespoons fish sauce (don’t think, just do it)
1/4 oz dried porcini mushrooms, pulverized to a powder in a clean coffee grinder
1) Mix all ingredients together. Try not to over-mix or the burger will become meatloaf consistency, which isn’t bad, not just not optimal.
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. I prefer the caramelization that occurs when cooking indoors on a griddle. Serve on a good quality bun (toasted is a nice touch).
For an even bigger explosion of umami, top with Parmesan and oven roasted tomatoes.
Makes six, 6 and 1/2 ounce burgers
Follow us on twitter@thefastertimes
- 1 First Openly Straight Figure Skater Comes Forward
- 2 Brooklyn Man Now Living Entirely Off Own Beard Garden
- 3 “Cra Cra” Now Official Diagnosis in New DSM (DSM-5)
- 4 OfficeMax Marketing Director Struggling to Make Staplers ‘Sexy’ and ‘Conversational’
- 5 Homeless Guy Woos Silicon Valley VCs with Low-Tech Crowdfunding Startup
- 6 Area Man Tailors Life To Be More Relevant To His Hulu Advertisements
- 7 Fan Banging Furiously on Glass Could Be the Difference in Hockey Playoffs
- 8 Survey: 88% of Eagles Fans Too Drunk To Spell Nnamdi Asomugha Last Season
- 9 Attorney Actually Starting to Believe Own Bullshit
- 10 Local Mom Won’t Stop Being First Person to Like Every Goddamn Thing Son Posts to Facebook