Since his trip to Japan, chef Middelweerd can no longer do without umami in his kitchen. In Asian cuisine, additives such as ve-tsin, seaweed, soy and bonito (dried tuna) are mainly responsible for umami, but the possibilities are endless.
Mediterranean cuisine often uses dried or fermented products as a fifth flavor enhancer. Tomato, Parmesan cheese, anchovies and bottarga of salted and dried mussels are also bursting with umami.
Middelweerd uses dried mushrooms as an umami boost for its classic Madeira sauce. “First, prepare an intense poultry stock with veal shank for extra depth,” says Middelweerd. Add dried porcini mushrooms and reduce to at least a third. Sieve the sauce, add a splash of Madeira and just as much cream. Guaranteed success! ‘
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