A rainy start to the year calls for a bit of umami…

So this is the view from my window today:

 Omakiwi Cove, Bay of Islands

Omakiwi Cove, Bay of Islands

We are inside being entertained by the expressions on Lola's face as she watches 'The Princess Bride' for the first time.

There are a few sore heads and delicate appetites around here today, so I am thinking I need to get some umami on the table tonight. Japanese for “yummy,” umami is also (as of 2002) the fifth taste - alongside sweet, salty, bitter and sour. I am not sure how to describe umami properly – I guess it is the most intense of flavours, and it makes me think of rich, nutrient-dense, and fermented foods.

So I have thrown together something quick, easy, and umami-loaded. All the other tastes are catered for too…

  • Umami & salty – miso paste, soy sauce
  • Sweet –honey
  • Bitter – bulls blood beets
  • Sour – lime juice

And the other stuff...

  • Carrots
  • Edamame beans
  • Garlic
  • Sesame seeds (great source of calcium)
  • Kelp noodles
  • Chunks of salmon
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Bone broth

I have tossed it all into a bowl, except the broth, and left it to sit for a while. Later I am going to simmer it in the chicken and duck broth until the salmon is just cooked.

This meal is going to get everyone hungry again (hopefully), and the kelp, salmon and bone broth will give us an iodine hit. There is a resurgent problem with iodine-deficiency in New Zealand. Children are particularly at risk - iodine deficiency is the leading preventable cause of cognitive impairment. If you manage to eat enough iodised salt to get your levels up, you will be overdoing the salt – so getting some iodine into your diet via food is a must (and many would argue preferable to relying on supplementation).

No need for a New Years Resolution when super healthy food tastes this umami!

Cheers everyone.