Giving her "little tube of magic" new meat-free appeal, London-based restaurateur and flavor specialist Laura Santtini recently teamed up with renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa to create Taste #5 Umami Far Eastern Vegetarian. This savory, garlic-based puree is a follow-up to her popular Taste #5 Umami Paste—a blend that includes anchovies and favors the piquancy of black olives, tomatoes and porcini mushrooms. The Far Eastern Vegetarian packs the same umami punch, but in a mixture that leans more heavily on miso, shiitake mushrooms, soy sauce and green tea with hints of sugary mirin, tangy ginger and citrusy yuzu. Whether using the paste to spice up a stir-fry or as a stand-in for soy sauce on sushi, a small dollop of the Nobu-developed blend will undoubtedly turn any dish into a greater culinary delight.
Santtini also cleverly turned the original Mediterranean-inspired Taste #5 Umami Paste into a powder, aptly called Umami Dust. The dry version is perfect on popcorn, as a rub on beef or fish, or in any situation where you would typically add salt.
Taste #5 Umami Far Eastern Vegetarian Paste and Umami Dust will both sell from Williams-Sonoma this Spring 2012.