who’s umami?!

you have to say it fast, and with some attitude.

who’s umami?!

who’s u mami?!

who’s your mommy?!?

See, it’s funny.

I read a great article on NPR, you should check it out. It’s all about some “philosopher” [this dude is getting air quotes because, seriously, lets stick to what we know, you “think”, i’ll “eat”]  who decided there were only 4 tastes. Salty [a personal favorite of mine], sweet [again delish], bitter [ehhh? I guess it has its place] and sour [sure, I’ll take it].

Umami is this awesome relatively newly discovered taste, not to my mouth, but as a general knowledge type thing. I guess my best personal description is savory, meaty, or earthy [as I prefer to call it]. Yeah, I definitely prefer earthy. According to the Umami Information Center, Umami is:

“a pleasant savoury taste imparted by glutamate, a type of amino acid, and ribonucleotides, including inosinate and guanylate, which occur naturally in many foods including meat, fish, vegetables and dairy products. As the taste of umami itself is subtle and blends well with other tastes to expand and round out flavors, most people don’t recognize umami when they encounter it, but it plays an important role making food taste delicious.”

I have been craving these awesome dumplings from my local healthy food store, alas they are made with wheat and I’m trying my hardest to stay away from that addictiveness. Because I couldn’t eat their delicious dumplings I scooped up some mushrooms and cabbage and headed home, I’m making my own damn dumplings!

I got home and shredded the cabbage:

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I chopped it up a bit finer than this in my Manual Food Processor. Then, I chopped up some mushrooms and shallots in my handy dandy food processor and threw it all into the wok to start to the filling.

I added Tamari (gluten free soy), some white truffle oil, and a bit of oil and I let it cook down. It was about double the mass of the food in the picture when I put it in the wok. I doubled the recipe below because, believe me, you’ll want more than I made.

I had planned on using my spring roll papers but unfortunately I couldn’t Maguiver a way to cut the dry spring roll papers to make dumpling shaped wrappers, so our dumplings became spring rolls.

Once the filling is ready I soaked the spring roll paper in warm water for about 30 seconds removed it and got ready to roll them up:

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Ok: FAIR WARNING, do not let these puppies touch or you will have a hell of a time getting them apart without ripping them to shreds.

Once I finished wrapping all the filling into spring rolls I fried them up in a preheated pan with olive oil and refined coconut oil. about a minute on each side and HELLO UMAMI:

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Holy savory. You will love these. I had three for dinner and it was a perfect serving. I then had them for lunch the next day [when you wrap up leftovers separate each roll with parchment or wax paper so they don’t stick together]. They are that good!

Here ya go: two ways to make your life a little more savory

1. The Recipe for Umami Rolls

1 small head Cabbage

1 small shallots

3 cups mushrooms

1/4 C Tamari (Soy Sauce)

2 TBSP White Truffle Oil

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Spring Rolls

Olive oil [for frying]

Refined Coconut Oil [optional]

  • Chop Cabbage, mushrooms, and shallots and place in wok. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes until it’s about 3/4 the size. Add tamari, truffle oil, olive oil, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally about 10 minutes or until cabbage is fully cooked.
  • Once filling is ready turn off heat and set aside. Put on a frying pan and heat half olive oil, half refined coconut oil in a frying pan, enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
  • While the pan heats up, start rolling your spring rolls. Soak your spring rolls in a pie dish filled with warm water for about 30 seconds or until pliable. Place about 4 Tablespoons of filling in each roll.
  • Place finished spring rolls in heated pan, to get the crispy brown it should take about 3-4 minutes on each side. Make sure the rolls don’t touch until they are fried or they will stick together and RIP when you try and take them apart.
  • ENJOY! I ate them straight up with some Tamari that had a little onion powder mixed in.


This is one of my favorite kitchen books. It’s not a Cook Book per say but it will help you with every meal you will ever make. It’s so interesting that I read it from cover to cover when I first got it. It’s a book about flavors, a Flavor Bible if you will.

flavor bible.

Cue the Angles singing. You will love this book! It gives you a wicked good edumacation on different flavors and pairings. You can thank me later.

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good luck to you & seeyalata.


  1. says

    These look great! I have almost all the ingredients to make them. No meat? Is it the mushrooms that give the “meaty/earthy” essence? Kudos on the Header. I really like it too. :)

  2. says

    I think I love you just for mentioning that you read an NPR article…yes. I was watching something a bit ago and they talked about umami and the 4 flavors, it was fascinating! These look SOOO GOOD!

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