Umami - Central taste of Chinese cuisine
We all love having tasty bowls of food, don't we? But how do we recognise the taste? All foods have four core tastes - Sweet, Sour, Bitter, and Salty. We all know these taste profiles. But did you know about the fifth taste - Umami?
If you are curious to know, Mr. Hong of Hong's Kitchen (Chinese QSR) is here to help you delve deeper into this popular taste profile and what's the history behind this unique name.
So, let's understand the Umami meaning from Mr. Hong himself, the connoisseur of Chinese cuisine.
What is Umami?
According to Mr. Hong, Umami is the fifth core taste. In the Japanese language, it means 'essence of deliciousness', and Umami taste is often described as meaty, broth-like, and savoury.
History of Umami
So, here's a story of how the taste was discovered in the early years. A Japanese chemist named Kikunae Ikeda first discovered and identified the Umami taste in 1908. He discovered the taste while trying to understand why the soup his wife made at home tasted differently than other soups and had a unique flavour, which was distinct from the four basic tastes, i.e., sweet, salty, bitter and sour.
Over the course of his experiments, he pinpointed the unique taste of the soup to a specific taste molecule, i.e., the monosodium version of glutamate. He temporarily termed it 'Umami' and it later became the official name and the fifth taste.
Today, it is not just an Asian phenomenon, as it is found in international foods like parmesan cheese, tomatoes, and mushrooms. In simplest words, Umami balances the taste and enhances the flavour of a variety of Chinese dishes.
Properties of Umami
Umami has three distinct properties:
- Its taste spread across the tongue
- Its taste lasts longer than other basic tastes
- It provides a mouth-watering sensation
Umami in Chinese cuisine
We all love Chinese cuisine, don't we? Even Mr. Hong of Hong's Kitchen is a fan of this cuisine. And why not? It is one of the most popular cuisines enjoyed by most people in the world. Known for the use of unique spices and highly flavourful dishes, Chinese food is savoured with utmost delight.
In India, Chinese food has a huge fan base. Some of the most popular Chinese food items in India are dumplings aka Momos, Manchurian gravy, Chilli Chicken, Hakka Noodles, Kung Pao, Spring Rolls, etc.
All these dishes have one thing in common, they all have Umami flavour thanks to the use of ingredients like mushrooms, oyster sauce and soy sauce, which are one of the most basic ingredients in Chinese dishes.
While there are many high-end Chinese restaurants in India, Mr. Hong recommends you to try the best street-style Chinese dishes at Hong's Kitchen, which is the Chinese Quick Serve Restaurant (QSR) present in Delhi, Gurugram, Ghaziabad and Noida.
You can order your favourite Chinese food through Hong's Kitchen App and enjoy great offers and discounts. From starters to main courses and combo meals, you have a wide range of choices. You can also customise basis the portion size and choice of Gravies and Noodles.
No matter what dish you order, you can be assured that everything is made from fresh and high-quality ingredients. From noodles (available in both veg and non-veg options) to Chef's special items like Fiery Orange Paneer and Fiery Orange Chicken. With every bite, you get an undeniable Umami flavour and authentic taste of Chinese cuisine.
So, what are you waiting for? Mr. Hong is ready to welcome you at Hong's Kitchen and serve you the best Chinese dishes in the world with an Indian twist.