Umami is well known and highly regarded as the fifth taste, the savory flavors we all know and love, but do you know about the sixth taste? Tanmi is a bit harder to describe, defying direct translation from Japanese to English, which explains a large part of its much slower ascent into widespread awareness.
Working in concert with the rich, robust tastes associated with umami, it provides a balancing counterpoint. “Natural” and “fresh” are the best words to explain it; the light, delicate touch of a practiced chef, emphasizing the inherent goodness of an ingredient without heavy seasoning. Start with the best food and allow it to shine for the greatest example of tanmi in action.
The gentle whisper of kombu infused into pale amber dashi broth? The subtle nutty, toasted green tea leaves that go into a hojicha latte, brightened with whole bean soy milk? You guessed it: those utterly enthralling gustatory experiences are all thanks to tanmi.
Shiitake, though typically associated with heavy, bold, hearty dishes, can also pack a punch of tanmi that will enhance any meal when properly harnessed. Especially when employing Sugimoto Shiitake Powder, just a pinch goes a long way to amplify the carefully layered flavors already developing, without creating an overwhelming mushroom sledgehammer that obliterates delicate nuances.
In the case of seared hearts of palm “scallops”, in fact, there’s no discernible mushroom character at all. It just serves as a spotlight to let the vegetables themselves shine. Like when salt is expertly applied, the results shouldn’t taste overtly salty, but some how, almost imperceptibly, indescribably, better.
Resting on a lush bed of cauliflower puree, tender sliced hearts of palm seamlessly take the place of seafood. Crunchy bites of pistachio punctuate the creamy base, which is all at once light yet decadent. Seasoned with bright, fresh lemon and parsley, the gentle savory undercurrent running through the complete plate could easily sweep the unsuspecting diner out with the tide.
Tanmi is also associated with the satisfaction after eating; a state of zen and contentment, rather than a food coma. One plate will crush all food cravings without leaving you feeling weighed down.
Create the best versions of your favorite dishes with the secret power of tanmi in your tool belt. Sugimoto Shiitake Powder is your ticket to instant culinary elevation, and ultimately, gratification.
Hearts of Palm Scallops:
- 1 (14-Ounce) Can Hearts of Palm, Drained
- 1 Teaspoon Dulse Flakes or Kelp Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Shiitake Powder
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1/4 Cup Vegetable Stock
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Medium (1 1/2 Pounds) Cauliflower, Cut into Florets
- 1/2 Medium Yellow Onion, Roughly Chopped
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 1/4 - 1/3 Cup Unsweetened, Plain Non-Dairy Milk
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/2 - 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Cup Frozen Green Peas, Thawed
- 1/4 Cup Toasted Pistachios, Roughly Chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, Minced
- Slice the hearts of palm into 1-inch thick rounds. Place them in a bowl the the dulse or kelp powder, shiitake powder, lemon juice, and vegetable stock. Cover and store in the fridge to marinate for 6 - 12 hours. The longer you can allow the mixture to sit, the more flavorful it will become.
- Meanwhile, prepare the cauliflower puree by placing the florets in a small saucepan along with the onion and whole garlic cloves. Add water just to cover and set over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, until fork-tender. Drain thoroughly and place the vegetables in your blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup non-dairy milk, the olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Blend on high speed until completely smooth. Adjust the consistency if needed, adding more non-dairy milk if it's too thick. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if desired. Keep warm.
- To serve, heat the olive oil for the "scallops" in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Remove the hearts of palm from the marinade and sear until golden brown; 5 - 8 minutes. Flip to the opposite side and cook for another 5 - 8 minutes until browned.
- Spoon a generous dollop of the cauliflower puree into a shallow bowl or spread it thickly on a plate. Top with the seared hearts of palm, green peas, pistachios, and fresh parsley. Enjoy right away!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 266Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 700mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 5g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.