Tanmi, the Latest Ancient Taste Sensation

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.

Yield: Makes 2 - 3 Servings

Seared Hearts of Palm Scallops with Cauliflower Puree

Seared Hearts of Palm Scallops with Cauliflower Puree

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.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 35 minutes


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

Cauliflower Puree:

  • 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

To Serve:

  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Green Peas, Thawed
  • 1/4 Cup Toasted Pistachios, Roughly Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, Minced


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


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.

This post was made possible as a collaboration with SUGIMOTO Co. My opinions can not be bought and all content is original. This page may contain affiliate links; thank you for supporting my blog!

16 thoughts on “Tanmi, the Latest Ancient Taste Sensation

  1. A fantastic post! I’ve never even seen the word tanmi. So interesting. I actually made my own mushroom powder from a variety of dried mushrooms, after seeing it on someone’s blog. It’s wonderful in risotto! And now I’ve noticed Trader Joe’s has a mushroom powder. Very handy. Love the hearts of palm – I’ve only put them in salads!

    1. There is truly nothing mushrooms can’t do! Shiitake powder is my favorite “secret” ingredient for pretty much everything. Speaking of salads, that makes me think I should try using it in my next vinaigrette… Hmmm!

  2. I love this type of cooking/food presentation and didn’t know there was a name for it. the recipe sounds great

  3. I’ve never heard of tanmi and haven’t had hearts of palm, so thanks for the introduction to lots of new ideas. 99 Ranch has opened near us but I have yet to get there. Maybe I’ll put it on the schedule this week and see what they have. Enjoy Monday, Hannah, and keep cool.


    1. Oh you’re in for such a treat! I adore hearts of palm; they’re so delicate and tender, they’re my favorite seafood sub around. They make great hearts of palm or ceviche, too. You can actually find them in most grocery stores now, in with the canned vegetables. Even Trader Joe’s has them!

  4. Looks great!!!
    I have learnt quite some things here! This blog is amazing and I can’t wait to see more content from you❤️
    I hope you check out my baking blog too. Would love to know your thoughts on it! I started mine being 13 and do check it out!

  5. Wow Tanmi, this is the first time I heard of it but I know that taste you described.
    Nice to see hearts of palm in your recipe, we use them a lot in Asian dishes

    1. I do adore hearts of palm and thing they’re terribly underappreciated here in the west. I honestly love just snacking on them plain, though!

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