A couple of months ago I was pondering what new food item I would like to make over the weekend. By total accident I came across something called and Umami Burger. What is that?
It was a click by pure chance that led me to a list of great burgers. I did not want to make a burger but in that list was a Umami Burger which I had never heard of. The first thing I read about was the person put fish oil in it and that didn’t sound appealing at all. Ironically, I take a fish oil supplement daily (good for the heart). But, I clicked off of the page searching for other ideas but I kept thinking about that dang Umami Burger.
So, I went to Google and did a search for Umami and got a crash course education that cleared things up. Meaning clear enough to know that there are some broad borders. One thing that continually came up consistently was that umami is a taste different from salt. Yet soy sauce, for example. is very salty in taste. Clear as mud.
From Wikipedia –
Umami defined – A category of taste in food (besides sweet, sour, salt, and bitter), corresponding to the flavor of glutamate, esp. monosodium glutamate.
A good majority of us have all had umami as the very first thing we tasted in this life. Our mother’s breast milk.
Seafood – Kombu, Seaweed, Katsuobush/Dried bonito flakes, Niboshi/Small dried sardines, Bonito, Mackerel, Sea bream, Tuna, Cod, Prawns, Squid, Oysters and Shellfish.
Vegetables – Tomatoes, Shiitake mushrooms, Enokitake mushrooms, Truffles, Soy beans, Potatoes, Sweet potatoes, Chinese cabbage and Carrots.
Meat – Beef, Pork and Chicken.
Others – Cheese, Green tea, Soy sauce, Chicken Egg and Oyster Sauce.
All of the basic techniques were once again in place from when I wrote How To Make The Perfect Beef Burger here. I chose to do a very fine chop of 4 ounces of mushrooms and added that to 1 lb ground beef. Then I added a teaspoon of soy sauce and seasoned everything with garlic/pepper to form the patties.
But, here came the trick as I took a half slice of Tillamook medium cheddar cheese and broke it over into a square. I took a 1/4 pound patty and nestled the cheese into it. Then I took another 1/4 pound patty and covered the first one and made sure there was a good seal all around the edges so the cheese could not ooze out. I gently pressed my thumb into the center so it would not dome up when cooking. Then I put a tablespoon of butter and extra virgin olive oil into a medium hot skillet and cooked it 4 minutes per side. I was constantly basting it for the entire 8 minutes total cooking time. I literally never stopped. A bit of workout but the results were out of this world good.
I brought the burger out and let it rest. I lightly toasted the kaiser roll in the same pan I just cooked the burger in and added an aioli spread to each side. A tomato and spinach on top and here is my interpretation of one version of a Umami burger! To this day it’s the best, most juiciest burger I’ve ever made. The texture of the finely chopped mushrooms were so well incorporated into the cooked burger that it just melted in my mouth. Speaking of melting – was the cheddar cheese that ooozed out of the middle.
Yes, I forehead slapped myself for not cutting it in half and taking a cross-section picture. I’m still learning with the food photography.
I knew ahead of time I also wanted to make something new for a side dish and came across Ree Drummond’s macaroni salad recipe on The Pioneer Woman blog. Macaroni salad was something I had wanted to make all of my life and she had never let me down yet. It contained several ingredients like roasted red peppers, black olives, green onions, sweet/spicy pickles, mayo, red wine vinegar, sugar and milk. But, here was the secret….to add a splash of the pickle juice. I’m convinced that made this literally the best macaroni salad ever. I can honestly say I will never use any other recipe than this one here for it.
I wanted to thank Mary at The World Is A Book for all of her support and especially on Twitter. Check out her awesome blog here!
Have you ever had an Umami burger? If so, what were the ingredients?