Umami paste

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Overview
This is very much a work in progress and will be updated after each batch. I started with the Thermomix vegetable paste as a base, then started adding other flavours to try and match the commercial Umami pastes when I or my mother could find them in shops.

I freeze these in generous tablespoon portions – once in Glad Wrap lined ice cube trays, which was great in theory but didn’t quite work, but usually I use tiny food storage containers. I pop one or two into most soups, stews and heavy sauces to give the flavour more depth. Another option is to freeze in plastic jars, keeping them ready to move to the fridge as needed.

There is no way to photograph this to make it look attractive. It looks like baby poop, but cooking is not always about appearances!

Time
30 minutes

Ingredients
50g parmesan or pecarino cheese
1½ celery sticks – include leaves
1 carrot, cut in chunks
1 onion, cut in chunks
¼ zucchini
½ parsnip
4-5 shiitake mushrooms
3 cloves of garlic


2 ts bouquet garni
3 large or 6 small anchovies
2 ts Vegemite
8g Dulse sea flakes
2 lemon zest peels
4 TB sweet balsamic reduction
6 black olives
1 ts umami salt
1 TB duck fat or oil

Equipment
Thermomix

Method
1 – Chop the parmesan finely in the Thermomix on speed 7 until done

2 – Add remaining ingredients except fat and blitz for 10 seconds, speed 6

3 – Add fat. Cook at Varoma temperature for 20 minutes, speed 3

4 – Blitz at speed 10 until smooth.

5 – Allow to cool, then divide amongst containers and store in the freezer, or use a jar in the fridge. If storing in the fridge, add more fat and some salt to help act as a preservative.