‘Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter, Hot’, and the sixth sense ‘Umani’.
Many years ago, during my days as a yacht chef, I had the pleasure of spending a week taking an incredible class on Asian cuisine at the former Cooking School of the Rockies in Boulder, Colorado.
Taught by a teacher who loved in Asia for many years, she instilled in us the key to Asian, cuisine, balancing sweet, sour, salty, bitter and hot flavors in a dish. This principal really works for all types of cuisine; when you’re not sure what a dish needs, taste, and consider these five senses, chances are you’ll know just how to tweak the dish to get it right!
And what exactly is the sixth sense ‘Umami’? This is the magic of all the flavors singing together, as described by Wikipedia:
Umami(/uːˈmɑːmi/, from Japanese: うま味 [ɯmami]) or savory taste is one of the five basic tastes (together with sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness). It has been described as savory and is characteristic of broths and cooked meats
Asian flavors are incredibly versatile, and in today’s recipe they add a wonderful refreshing zippy update to a basic burger recipe with a burst of Asian basil, cilantro and mint, a good hit of chili and fragrant lemongrass.
You may have noticed meat has become somewhat pricier lately, in this burger recipe I mix in grated zucchini, a great vessel to stretch the meat, add nutritional value and moisture and makes the final product is amazingly luscious!
A simple slaw dressed with orange and ginger add a super crunch to the burger, topped off with a fresh chili aioli. In this video I make the mayonnaise fresh, feel free to use a good store-bought brand such as Sir Kensington’s or Honest Foods as the base if you don’t want to make it from scratch.
I do hope you make this deliciously yummy recipe to up level your summer grilling.
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