The Ultimate Umami-Packed Ingredient

Umami, a.k.a. deliciousness, can be found in many foods like mushrooms, soy sauce and dashi, but Ming Tsai believes the next “it” source for the fifth taste is going to be black garlic.

We asked chefs to peek into their crystal balls and tell us what foods we’ll be talking about in the next five years. Here’s what they predicted.

Umami, a.k.a. deliciousness, can be found in many foods like mushrooms, soy sauce and dashi, but Ming Tsai believes the next “it” source for the fifth taste is going to be black garlic. “To make it, you ferment and dry a whole head of garlic until the cloves are two thirds of their original size and turn pitch black,” he says. “It’s one of the most-umami-packed flavors out there.” The striking appearance and pungent flavor make black garlic a wonderfully complex ingredient. Here, two delicious ways to try it.

Herbed Pea Puree and Ricotta Salad with Black Garlic and Lemon Confiture
This warm salad from F&W Best New Chef 2014 Matthew Accarrino combines three types of peas with a creamy ricotta-pea puree, sweet-tart lemon confiture and sweet, smashed cloves of black garlic.

Grilled Sardines and Okra with Black Garlic Aioli
Rich sardines are incredible with an equally flavorful molasses-tinged aioli.

Related: 25 Garlicky Recipes
How to Make Umami Burgers
10 Umami-Packed Porcini Mushroom Recipes

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